30 credit Certificate program
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Gainful Employment Info – 2014
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The Paralegal Studies program is a course of study for those interested in becoming non-lawyer legal professionals. This certificate is recommended only for those students with a strong law-related educational or work experience background. 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 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.
Program Requirements: Click on Course Title for Course Description - Opens in new window
Course Outlines: CLICK HERE Required Courses:
Other Course Requirements:
SEMESTER ONE STUDENTS CHOOSE FROM
LGST1455 CIVIL LITIGATION 3 CR
LGST1460 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 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 OR ANY OTHER 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