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Associate of Applied Science Degree

Paralegal Studies

Objectives

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.

Career Opportunities

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

Admission Requirements

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

School Equipment

Students will have the opportunity to use the following school equipment as required throughout the program: computer systems, network hubs, patch panels, printers and other common computer peripherals. Refer to Student Equipment in the Online Course Information section of this catalog for information relating to the student equipment requirements for the distance education courses that are taught online over the Internet.

Class Size

Classes generally range in size from 20 to 40 students. Depending on the course subject matter, certain classes may contain a greater or lesser number of students.

Program Outline

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
GE184
Problem Solving+

This course introduces students to problem solving techniques and helps them apply the tools of critical reading, analytical thinking and mathematics to help solve problems in practical applications.

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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 28.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
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 Compostion II or equivalent, An introductory level Criminal Justice or Paralegal Studies course

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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 Statue of Fraud, 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 84 credits earned in the program of study

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4
Subtotal 52.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
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Unspecified Elective Core Courses*
8
Subtotal 8.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
TB133
Strategies for the Technical Professional+

The course reviews characteristics and trends of the global information society 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
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 8.0
Course Number Course Credit Hours
Program Total
96
Subtotal 96.0

Notes

+In this program, this(these) course(s) may be taught either completely in residence at the school, completely online over the Internet as a distance education course or partially in residence and partially online, as determined by the school from time to time in its discretion. Refer to the Online Course Information section of this catalog for additional information relating to the courses that the school decides to teach all or partially online over the Internet. In order to help students become familiar with fundamentals of taking courses online over the Internet, the school may determine that a portion of the first online course that a student takes in this program must be taken online at the school in a supervised setting.

*Courses offered at this school that satisfy the Unspecified Elective Core course requirement are BU222, CJ333 and PL270. The course descriptions for these courses are in the Course Descriptions section of the catalog. The PL270 course involves an externship. Externship opportunities are limited and may not be available every quarter or for every student who desires to take PL270. Any student interested in PL270 must apply for and be selected for any externship opportunity that may be available at that time.

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.