Associate of Applied Science Degree

Paralegal Studies (Online Program)

The purpose of this program is to help students prepare for entry-level positions as paralegals. Areas of study include ethics, legal research and writing, law office technology, and specific areas of the law, such as criminal law, corporate law and litigation, among others. The program is also intended to help the student develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Graduates of this program may begin their career in a variety of entry-level positions corporate paralegal, paralegal real estate, litigation paralegal, and court paralegal.

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Refer to the Admission section of this catalog for information relating to Admission Requirements and Procedures for this program.

The student is responsible, at his or her expense, for providing all supplies and equipment for the students use in the online courses in the program, including, without limitation, a computer (and the associated accessories and peripheral equipment, including without limitation, a monitor, keyboard and printer), software and Internet service.

All of the courses offered at the school in this program are distance education courses and are taught online over the Internet, rather than in residence at the school. Each course will be taught over a period of either (a) six weeks or (b) 12 weeks, as determined by the school from time to time in its discretion. Courses are delivered through an asynchronous learning network. There is a prescribed completion schedule for the activities in each course. Support materials for each course will be sent to the student. These materials may include a course syllabus, a textbook(s), a CD-ROM(s) and other printed documents required for the course. Students will be assigned to a class for each course. Students in each course will interact with their classmates and the instructor through discussion board and e-mail systems.

Online Student Preparation - Prior to starting any of the online courses in this program, the student is encouraged to complete the online course student preparation, which describes the protocols that the student must follow when taking an online course.

View all online courses

The student must have access to a computer (and the associated accessories and peripheral equipment), software and Internet service that satisfy the following specifications:

Minimum Requirements for Computer: Pentium III or equivalent PC-compatible (MacIntosh or Unix-based machines are not supported), 256MB RAM (512MB preferred), CD-ROM, 2GB free space (5GB preferred) on master hard drive.

Minimum Requirements for Software: Windows XP or 2000 (or higher), Microsoft Office Professional 2003 (or higher), Internet Explorer 6.0 (or higher), and functional e-mail address with file attachment capabilities. The student will be required to obtain any software tools, plug-ins and/or applications identified in the course syllabus for any course in the program of study.

Minimum Requirements for Internet Service: 56Kb modem (Cable or DSL connection strongly preferred).

The student is obligated for any expense associated with obtaining access to the above specified computer equipment, software and Internet service. No school-owned computer equipment, software or Internet service will be accessible to the student.

Classes generally range in size from 15 to 25 students. Depending on the course subject matter, certain classes may contain a greater or lesser number of students.

Course Number Course Credit Hours
GE117
Composition I+

This course covers phases of the writing process, with special emphasis on the structure of writing and techniques for writing clearly, precisely and persuasively. Prerequisite or Corequisite: TB133 Strategies for the Technical Professional or equivalent

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4
GE127
College Mathematics I+

This course will include, but is not limited to, the following concepts: quadratic, polynomial and radical equations, linear functions and their graphs, systems of linear equations, functions and their properties and triangles and trigonometric functions. Activities will include solving problems and using appropriate technological tools. Prerequisite: GE184 Problem Solving or TB184 Problem Solving or GE150 Survey of the Sciences or equivalent; Prerequisite or Corequisite: TB133 Strategies for the Technical Professional or equivalent

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4
GE150
Survey of the Sciences+

This survey course is designed to familiarize the student with the methods of rational inquiry and problem solving in the physical sciences. Students will explore a selection of topics in the scientific fields including physics, chemistry, biology and earth science to develop basic scientific literacy and the ability to critically analyze issues of science.

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4
GE175
American Government+

This course covers principles and theory related to the United States government, including the development and foundations of the Constitution, the organization and function of the federal government including the legislative, executive and judicial branches, political parties and the electoral process, and the relationship between states and the federal government. Prerequisite: GE117 Composition I or equivalent

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4
GE217
Composition II+

This course focuses on appropriate rhetoric structures and styles for analytical and argumentative writing. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, reading skills and elements of research in the information age. Prerequisite: GE117 Composition I or equivalent

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4
GE375
Psychology+

This course introduces psychological theories from behavioristic, humanistic and biological viewpoints. Primary focus is on exploring how selected principles of psychology apply to students' personal lives and social behavior. Students apply the skills of critical thinking, observation, and information gathering and analysis as they practice social science and scientific methodology. Prerequisite: GE117 Composition I or equivalent

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4
Subtotal 24.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
BU222
Business Law and Regulation+

This course offers a basic foundation in business law and regulation in a variety of areas, including bankruptcy, employment, consumer and contract law. Instruction on ethics, social responsibility and technology is integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: GE217 Composition II or equivalent

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4
CJ123
Criminal Law+

This course introduces the student to criminal law, which involves the imposition of penalties for engaging in criminal conduct. The course also explores the distinction between criminal law, which typically is enforced by the government, and civil law, which may be enforced by private parties. Prerequisites: GE175 American Government or equivalent, GE217 Composition II or equivalent, An introductory level Criminal Justice or Paralegal Studies course

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4
CJ333
Constitutional Law+

This course provides a survey of major constitutional thought and a review of primary constitutional issues. Prerequisite: CJ123 Criminal Law or equivalent

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4
PL101
Introduction to Paralegal Studies+

This course introduces students to the American legal system, the role of courts, lawyers and the roles and responsibilities of the paralegal/legal assistant. This course reviews legal terms and office procedures and practice.

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4
PL102
Ethics for Paralegals+

This course provides a foundation of legal and ethics necessary for the paralegal/legal assistant to properly deal with the public, clients, and professionals in any type of legal setting. It reviews ethical considerations and responsibilities regulating the paralegal/legal assistant. Prerequisite: PL101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies

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4
PL103
Technology in the Law Office+

This course introduces students to computer technology and applications commonly used in law offices. Students will receive hands-on instruction with emphasis on software common to paralegal/legal assistant. Prerequisites: PL101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies, TB150 Computing and Productivity Software

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4
PL104
Wills, Trusts and Estates+

This course will introduce students to the preparation and handling of wills, trusts, and estates. It will cover the responsibilities and duties in the field of estate administration that can be performed by a paralegal, emphasizing the drafting of estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts. Probate proceedings are also covered, including the preparation of probate court pleadings, collection and valuation of assets, review of claims, distribution of assets among beneficiaries and accounting. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL105
Real Estate Law+

This course covers the legal concepts and specialized terminology related to real property law, title examination, title insurance, and transfer of interests in real property. Students review title examination and title searches, as well as the procedures and documents used in real estate closings. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL106
Legal Research and Writing I+

This course introduces how to use a law library and online resources to find statues, precedents, and other relevant legal authority and how to cite them. Basic principles of legal analysis are covered. Correct and effective written communication through letters, legal memoranda, briefs, and other documents is emphasized. Prerequisites: GE217 Composition II, PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL201
Family Law+

Students study prenuptial agreements, marriage, adoption, annulment, dissolution of marriage and legal separation, alimony, property settlement, child custody and support, and paternity actions. This course will focus on practical aspects such as investigation, preparation of pleadings and other documents, court procedures, settlement agreements, and post decree modifications. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL202
Civil Litigation+

This course introduces the structure and operation of civil courts as well as the paralegal's role in gathering and organizing factual information with emphasis on the discovery process and document drafting. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL206
Legal Research and Writing II+

This course continues to study legal research and writing and will emphasize the development and ability to capably analyze, interpret and communicate facts, ideas, and law through comprehension of legal research techniques. Prerequisite: PL106 Legal Research and Writing I

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4
PL207
Contract Law+

This course reviews the basic theory of contract law and how to draft simple contracts. This course covers the fundamentals of contract law, specifically contractual elements and standard contractual provisions, contract provisions in selected specialized practice areas, the Statute of Frauds, and the Uniform Commercial Code. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL208
Tort Law+

This course introduces civil tort liability, negligence, strict liability, and product liability, focusing on the role of the paralegal in the role of the paralegal in personal injury litigation. Prerequisite: PL103 Technology in the Law Office

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4
PL299
Paralegal Capstone+

This course provides a culminating experience in the paralegal program. Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate competency and knowledge they have learned throughout the program. Prerequisites: Completion of a minimum of 80 credits earned in the program of study including PL206 Legal Research and Writing II or equivalent

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4
Subtotal 60.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
TB139A
Strategies for Learning in a Technical Environment+

The course reviews characteristics and trends of the global information society and including basic information processing, Internet research, other skills used by the technical professional and techniques that can be used for independent technical learning.

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4
TB141
Introduction to Productivity Software+

The course covers the fundamentals of productivity software. Emphasis is placed on word processing, spreadsheets, file management, and presentations as well as integration of productivity software.

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4
TB150
Computing and Productivity Software+

The course covers the fundamentals of computing and the use of computers in communications and networks. Emphasis is placed on the use of computer technology, Internet and the World Wide Web in enterprise computing and working environments. The course will also focus on using productivity software and hands-on applications to problem solving in business and other working environments.

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4
Subtotal 12.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
Program Total
96
Subtotal 96.0

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Notes

+In this program, this course is a distance education course that is taught online over the Internet, rather than in residence at the school. Refer to the Online Course Information section of this catalog for additional information relating to these courses.

NOTE: The course descriptions for the courses in this program are in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog . The school may, at any time in its discretion, vary the offering and/or sequence of courses in this program, revise the curriculum content of the program or any course in the program and change the number of credit hours in the program or in any program course.