Paralegal Technology

The Paralegal Technology curriculum prepares you to perform legal tasks and assist lawyers with many types of legal work. A paralegal does not practice law, give legal advice, or represent clients in a court of law but they can assist with any type of legal work that a lawyer does. The Paralegal Technology program's primary goal is to provide you with the legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to become a competent, ethical professional.

Paralegals play an important role in allowing lawyers to provide high-quality, reasonably priced legal services. As a result, it is a fast-growing field. Paralegals, sometimes also called legal assistants, work in law firms, government agencies, business organizations, and anywhere else that a lawyer might work. After completing a two-year degree many paralegals go on to get a bachelor’s degree and some even go to law school.

Credentialing Options

Career Opportunities

Paralegal Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to follow the general enrollment process for GTCC, found here.  During the advising process you will have the opportunity to indicate your desire to study within this curriculum. Your advisor will help you sign up for the specific courses you need.

Pamela E. Hollern is an attorney-at-law and the lead instructor of the Paralegal Program.  She has taught at GTCC since 2012 and her specialties include legal research and writing and civil litigation.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and graduated cum laude from Arizona State University’s School of Law.  She was the Note & Comment Editor of the Arizona State Law Journal and was a legal research and writing instructor for first year law students.  She took and passed the bar exam in Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina and received the top score on the Ohio bar exam.  She practiced commercial litigation at prominent large law firms in Phoenix, Arizona and Cleveland, Ohio.  Prof. Hollern left the practice of law to work for Thomson Reuters, training large law firm attorneys and paralegals on the online legal research tool, Westlaw.  She was one of the top Account Representatives, earning a trip to Boston for her efforts.  In 2006, the Ohio native moved to Greensboro and practiced law at a boutique business firm before starting her employment at GTCC.

Robert S. Payne is an attorney-at-law who received his BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. After four years in the Air Force, he attended and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill Law School. Following admission to the North Carolina Bar, Prof. Payne practiced law with an emphasis on civil litigation, and a concentration in landlord-tenant law, Fair Housing, and advocacy before administrative agencies. He has worked in a variety of legal settings, including as an attorney with Legal Services, as a sole practitioner, in a large private law firm, and in state and local government agencies. Prof. Payne has represented clients before every level of court from Small Claims to the United States Supreme Court. At every stage of his career, he has hired, trained and supervised paralegals. Since 2000, Prof. Payne has been a fulltime Associate Professor and an Adjunct Instructor in the Paralegal Program at Guilford Technical Community College, teaching face-to-face and online classes.

Damon Duncan is an attorney-at-law and a board-certified specialist in consumer bankruptcy. He is a managing partner at Duncan Law, LLP which has offices in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC. In addition to practicing law, he is an adjunct professor at Elon University School of Law, a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association, and a member of the Greensboro Bar Association. Prof. Duncan formerly served as Chair of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and Secretary of the Greensboro Bar Association. He is a graduate of Elon University and Elon University School of Law as well as the North Carolina Bar Association's Leadership Academy.

Kathy Ronnenberg is an attorney-at-law and professor in the Paralegal Technology Department where she has been an adjunct faculty member since 2016. Prof. Ronnenberg earned her undergraduate degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the T.C. Williams School of Law, at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. She practiced law in Tampa, Florida where she represented parties in both civil and criminal matters She is a member of the Florida Bar and a certified civil and family law mediator. Professor Ronnenberg provides mediation services with a focus on family law and workers’ compensation cases. She is active in the legal community and sits on the board of directors for an adoption agency in Tampa, Florida.

Abigail Peoples is an attorney-at-law licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina. She was born and raised in Greensboro, and enjoys serving the citizens of the Triad area in her law practice. She graduated from Western Guilford High School, and went on to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prof. Peoples also earned a Masters in Counseling prior to attending law school at the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia. Prof. Peoples brings to her practice and teaching compassion and integrity that are often hard to find in the legal world. Prof. People’s practice focuses on wills and trusts, estate planning and administration, guardianships and adoptions, and she teaches wills, trusts and estate administration at GTCC.

Hannah B. Vaughan is an attorney-at-law who has been practicing Elder Law in Greensboro for over 10 years. Prof. Vaughan graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University, where she majored in Psychology and Child Development. She earned her J.D. from the University of Alabama where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law and Psychology Law Review, a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, and recipient of several leadership and service awards.  She is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. She is currently a Legal Consultant for The Corporation of Guardianship, Inc., providing legal guidance to a non-profit provider of fiduciary services for vulnerable adults, specifically with regard to their Special Needs Pooled Trust. Prior to that, she served as the Director of the Elder Law Clinic at Elon University School of Law, which provided free civil legal services to low income senior residents of Guilford County. She taught a seminar on elder law to advanced law students, and under her supervision, these law students handled cases related to elder law issues and made community presentations to seniors on various topics of interest. Prior to teaching, Vaughan worked as an Associate Attorney with the elder and special needs law firm of Booth Harrington and Johns of NC, PLLC, where her practice was focused on Medicaid Planning and Special Needs Trusts. Prof. Vaughan is also passionate about ending elder abuse and was instrumental in making sure that elder justice would be a priority at the new Guilford County Family Justice Center. She served as a co-founder of and remains active in the leadership of the Guilford County Elder Justice Committee.  Prof. Vaughan is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Elder and Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP), the Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association (ABA), Triad Retirement Living Association (TRLA), and the Greensboro Bar Association (GBA).

Financial aid is available if you qualify. Please visit the Financial Aid web page or contact the Financial Aid office at 336-334-4822. Select option 3.

To become a North Carolina Certified Paralegal you need to graduate from a North Carolina Qualified Paralegal Program and take and pass the certification exam.  GTCC’s Paralegal Technology Program is proud to be a North Carolina Qualified Program.  More information about the certification exam can be found at http://www.nccertifiedparalegal.gov/

GTCC’s Paralegal Program does offer some online classes, but does not offer an online only path to graduation.  Online programs are not Qualified by the North Carolina State Bar, so students graduating from online only programs cannot become North Carolina Certified Paralegals.  We strongly encourage our graduates to take the voluntary exam.  We do not currently offer night classes in the Paralegal Program.

The Paralegal Technology AAS degree is open to individuals holding at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. In order to complete this degree option, students are required to complete 64-68 credit hours, which includes college level general education requirements, in addition to substantive and procedural legal specialty coursework. Students who complete this program will receive an Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Technology.

The Paralegal Technology Certificate is open to individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or an AS degree from an accredited college or university. In order to complete this degree option, students will be required to complete 18 credit hours, which is comprised primarily of legal specialty coursework. Students who complete this program will receive a Paralegal Technology Certificate and are qualified to sit for the North Carolina voluntary certification exam.

The time that it takes to complete the program depends on the number of semester hours you complete every semester, which will vary for each individual depending on work, family, and other obligations. The AAS degree Program is a total of 64-68 hours, therefore if you attend school full-time (16-18 credits per semester), you should be able to complete the AAS degree Program in two years (including one summer term). The Certificate Program is 18 credits and can be completed in one full-time semester.  You will only be able to complete the Program within these time periods if you follow the suggested course sequence for each degree option. There is no requirement that a student complete the program in a set time period. Our students have varied circumstances which allow for some to complete the Program faster than others. You should speak with an Advisor to help you determine your semester workload and course sequencing.

It may be possible to reduce the number of required courses by receiving transfer credit or it may take longer if you need to complete pre-college developmental work in English.

The Paralegal Technology Program is located on the Greensboro Campus at 3505 E. Wendover Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina 27405. All paralegal courses are offered on the Greensboro campus, however, your General Education courses could be taken on another campus, such as Jamestown or High Point.