Paralegal Graduates Excel on National Exam

Graduates of the Manatee Community College (MCC) Paralegal/Legal Assisting Program exceeded state and national passing rate averages on the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination.

MCC graduates exceeded the passing rate average reported by the National Association of Legal Assistants for those taking the exam in 2006 and 2007. They had better averages in all of six major subject areas in comparison with test-takers statewide and exceeded the national rate overall and in four subject areas.

Only those who have a paralegal degree, completed a 60-credit program of study with at least five law courses, or worked as a paralegal for at least five years may take the exam.

"This report shows that our efforts to keep pace with the changes in the legal profession are working. Knowing that MCC graduates outperform others in the state and the nation is rewarding," said Barry Puett, director of MCC's program.

One recent change in the legal profession is the creation of a Florida Registered Paralegal status that makes paralegals eligible to join the Florida Bar Association. Puett said the number of private law firms that hire paralegals is increasing and the legal training is useful in diverse professional settings.

Day, evening and online classes are offered. For more information, call Puett at (941) 752-5656 or visit MCC's Web site at


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