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The Paralegal Studies program is a course of study for those interested in becoming non-lawyer legal professionals. The Associates in Applied Science Paralegal Studies degree is recommended for those students intending to go directly into the workforce upon graduation. A paralegal (sometimes called a legal assistant) is, in the words of the American Bar Association, a person “who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work, for which a lawyer is responsible.” Paralegal employers prefer applicants who have completed a formal paralegal training program.
Lawyers employ new paralegals in a variety of settings. In addition to traditional law firm positions, paralegals assist attorneys in businesses and corporations, financial institutions, title and escrow companies, and government institutions. Paralegals may also qualify for positions as trust officers, title examiners, contract clerks, legal investigators, and law firm administrators. Typical paralegal job duties include:
• Conducting legal investigations
• Performing legal research
• Drafting legal documents
• Conducting interviews of clients and witnesses
• Collecting, retrieving, analyzing, and summarizing data
• Managing and organizing cases
and other complex legal tasks while specific assignments depend on the training, education, and experience of the paralegal, a paralegal may not give legal advice or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
Successful paralegals share many characteristics: they are knowledgeable in their field of law; they are well-organized and attentive to detail; they have excellent computer skills and are adept in the use of most common office applications; they are able to communicate in a clear, grammatically correct manner, both orally and in writing; and they have superior analytical skills.
Program outcomes include:
• Demonstrate knowledge of legal terminology, the American legal system, and state and federal court rules and procedures.
• Describe the ethical obligations governing attorneys and paralegals.
• Demonstrate proper methods for conducting interviews and factual investigations with clients and witnesses.
• Demonstrate ability to determine relevant facts and conduct legal research in specific areas of law and the application of cases, statutes, regulations, and other sources of legal authority.
• Demonstrate ability to draft and properly format specific legal documents and correspondence.
• Demonstrate knowledge of the legal principles and procedures that determine the legal rights and duties of businesses.
• Demonstrate knowledge of legal principles and procedures in at least three of the following specialty areas: constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, family law, bankruptcy law, real property law, torts and personal injury law, wills and probate, victim advocacy, or alternative dispute resolution.
• Develop a portfolio documenting professional skills and knowledge in the paralegal field.
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Other Course Requirements:
|ADSC1420||3||Business Communications||This course covers the development of business communication skills and applying them along with proofreading skills, when creating business documents such as letters, memos, and informal reports. (Prerequisites: College-level reading and writing, keyboarding/word processing ability or concurrent enrollment in a keyboarding course) (2 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/ 0 hrs OJT)|
|ADSC1515||3||Law Office Applications||This course covers legal procedures, documents, and terminology relating to estate planning and estate administration proceedings, real estate law, and corporate law in Minnesota. Documents are prepared using word processing and/or transcription. (Prerequisites: Keyboarding and word processing ability) (2 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
|ADSC1517||3||Computers in the Law Office||This course covers practical computer applications in legal organizations and how the computer can be used to make the legal support staff more productive. Various types of software and legal-specific applications are covered. (Prerequisites: College-level reading and basic computer skills.) (1 hr lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
|ENGL1106||3||Composition I||First semester college-level composition course focusing on writing expository prose using word processing as a tool for composing. Emphasis is on writing as a process, critical reading, developing a voice, and grammar review. Presupposes competency in Standard English. This course is required of all students working toward an AA degree. MTC goal areas: (1) Communication (Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of ENGL0460 and READ0465 with a grade of "C" or better or a score of 85.50 on the CPT Sentence Skills test and a score of 77.50 on the CPT Reading Comprehension test. Students who score below 85.50 on the Sentence Skills Test and 77.50 on the Reading Comprehension test will be required to withdraw from ENGL1106 and register for ENGL0450 or ENGL0460 as indicated by the placement score. Keyboarding skills: proficiency in Microsoft Word or equivalent word processing proficiency. May take a word processing course concurrently with ENGL1106.) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
|ENGL1109||3||College Composition II||Second semester college-level composition course focusing on academic writing using primary and secondary sources, including basic research using print and electronic sources. Emphasis is on writing as a process, critical analysis, summarizing, research, logical argumentation, and MLA documentation. Presupposes competency in standard English. Required of all students working toward an AA or AS Degree, unless special exemption is granted. MTC goal areas: (1) Communication (Prerequisites: ENGL1106 with a grade of "C" or better) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
|FYE1000||1||Student Success Seminar||This course is mandatory* for students in their first semester at Lake Superior College. It provides a foundation for students to make a successful transition to college by: (1) creating a connection to the college community and resources, (2) introducing tools for academic success, and (3) developing personal, academic, and career goals. (Prerequisites: None) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
- Students who have not declared a degree or diploma
- Students who are in a certificate or diploma program of fewer than 37 credits
- Students in good academic standing who have earned 12 credits including an Introduction to College course
- Students in good academic standing who have earned 24 college credits post high school|
|LGST1400||3||Legal Studies I: Terminology and Procedures||This course introduces the student to the specific terminology and procedures used by paralegal professionals and to the proper documentation of legal information. It also covers legal ethics, legal analysis, legal evidence, and investigation. (Prerequisites: College-level reading and writing and keyboarding and word processing ability) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
|LGST1410||3||Legal Studies II: Introduction to Research||This course covers methods of research and document preparation used by the legal profession, including citation forms, appellate procedure within the specific areas of the law. The administration of a law office and formal advocacy are included, as well as a review of legal writing style. (Prerequisites: LGST1400 or instructor's consent) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
|LGST1415||3||Legal Ethics for the Paralegal||This course covers the ethical obligations of paralegals and other law office support staff. The course includes in-depth study of the ethical rules that govern the work of attorneys, paralegals, and others who work in the legal environment. Students will be introduced to the types of ethical dilemmas that they will face in a legal practice and be given a framework from which to undertake an analysis of an ethical problem. (Prerequisites: College level reading and writing and LGST 1400(Legal Studies I) or concurrent enrollment) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0hrs OJT)|
|LGST1420||3||Business Law - An Introduction||This course is an introductory course in the principles of business law as they apply to citizens and businesses. Topics include the legal system, contracts, sales, agency and employment law, and business organizations. (Prerequisites: College-level reading and writing) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
|LGST1425||2||Business Law: Commercial Topics||This course is a continuation of the study of the principles of business law as they apply to citizens and businesses. Topics include administrative law, negotiable instruments, secured transactions, creditor/debtor relations, insurance, real and personal property, and wills and trusts. (Prerequisites: College-level reading and writing)(2 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
|LGST2997||1||Paralegal Capstone||This course is designed to provide the paralegal student who is familiar with law office procedures, legal research, letter writing, document preparation, and client contact an opportunity to integrate classroom concepts into the legal working environment. Students will have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities required of practicing paralegals through completion of a paralegal internship, concurrent employment in a legal working environment, participation in providing pro bono legal services or equivalent service learning, or a combination of activities. In addition, students will prepare a comprehensive portfolio evidencing the completion of program outcomes. (Prerequisites: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in last semester of required Paralegal Studies (LGST) courses or instructor consent.) (0 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)|
SEMESTER III STUDENT CHOOSES
LGST1455 CIVIL LITIGATION 3 CR
LGST1460 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 3 CR
ADSC1525* LEGAL TRANSCRIPTION/WORD PROCESSING APPLICATIONS 3
ADSC2520* LEGAL DOCUMENT PROCESSING 3 CR
Successful entry into this program requires a specific level of skill in the areas of English and reading. Program entry will depend, in part, on meeting the prerequisites listed below:
• A score of 86 or higher on the Sentence Skills portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of ENGL0460 or its equivalent transfer course or higher.
• If required, ENGL0460 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.
• A score of 78 or higher on the Reading Comprehension portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of READ0465 or its equivalent transfer course or higher.
• If required, READ0465 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.
LEGAL STUDIES ELECTIVES (Choose six credits from the following LGST courses)
LGST1470 Wills, Trusts, and Probate 3 CR
LGST1480 Family Law 3 CR
LGST1510 Bankruptcy Law 3 CR
LGST1520 Real Property 3 CR
LGST2995 Paralegal Internship 3 CR
BUSINESS ELECTIVES (Five credits total required courses listed below or any ACCT, ADSC, BUS, CIS or LGST courses. See program instructors or professional advisors with questions)
ADSC1430 Microsoft Office 3 CR
ADSC1431 Microsoft Office Advanced 3 CR
ADSC1441 Bookkeeping 2 CR
ADSC1442 Records Management 2 CR
ADSC1715 Word Processing 2 CR
ADSC1719 Presentation Software 2 CR
ADSC2597 Law Office Internship 3 CR
*Required for the Legal Secretary Certificate, a recommended option for students seeking entry-level positions in local law offices.
MN Transfer Curriculum:
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (16 CREDITS)
FYE1000 INTRO TO COLLEGE 1 CR
ENGL1106 COLLEGE COMPOSITION I 3 CR
ENGL1109 COLLEGE COMPOSITION II 3 CR
GENERAL EDUCATION - *OTHER 9 CR
*SEE THE ASSOCIATE IN ARTS (A.A.) PLANNER FOR AT LEAST TWO (2) ADDITIONAL GOAL AREAS. (NOTE: RECOMMEND PHIL1140 CRITICAL THINKING)
General Education Requirements: Select 16 credits from 3 of 10 goal areas of the Minnesota