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Associate in Paralegal Studies

Program Description

The Paralegal Studies program is a practice-oriented course of study designed to prepare you to be a paralegal. As the legal industry experiences transformation due to economic and technological changes, opportunities for accomplished and technically-savvy paralegals have increased significantly. As a Paralegal student you will receive education in many different facets of substantive law, including the litigation, criminal law, legal databases and alternative dispute resolution. The Paralegal Studies Program combines academic rigor with legal and technical competencies to develop well-rounded legal professionals. As a graduate you can pursue a successful career as a paralegal in legal, corporate, non-profit, or government organizations, and many continue to law school.

Program Objectives

  • To teach you substantive and procedural law with the objective of preparing you to complete any paralegal assignment in a competent, professional, and ethical manner.
  • To develop your legal writing skills by exercising your critical thinking skills and analytical skills.
  • To give you an understanding of legal research and to develop your ability to locate answers to legal questions.
  • To ensure that you have up-to-date skills in technology, including the use of computers for data and word processing, and legal research.
  • Through practical application, to improve your ability to work cooperatively with others; develop the your leadership skills and the ability to assume responsibility; and to improve your ability to follow directions.
  • To maintain good communications with private and public legal services providers to ensure that the paralegal program stays abreast of changes in the legal field in order to provide you with meaningful and current paralegal training.
  • To maintain good relations with national, state, and local bars and paralegal associations and to work collaboratively with these groups to improve and increase the utilization of paralegal services.

Curriculum

Curriculum

Required Courses

Total Major Credits (25 credits)

Required Courses (22 credits)

PLS 100 Introduction to Law and Legal Studies
PLS 101 Criminal Law for the Paralegal
PLS 110 Emerging Technologies and the Legal Environment  
PLS 210 Legal Research and Writing I
PLS 221 Law of Contracts  
PLS 222 Law of Business Organizations
PLS 310 Litigation I  
PLS 400 Legal Ethics (1 Credit)

 Major Electives

Major Electives (3 credits)

Select one course in Paralegal Studies course electives.

CORE Curriculum

Includes two writing courses (Expository Writing and Critical Writing for the Professional) a Mathematics skills course; Introduction to Public Speaking; Social Science; one liberal arts electives and at one of the following approved courses from the following categories: Natural Science, Humanities, Fine Arts for a total of 21 credits.

Electives (15 credits)

Total Credits required to graduate 61

Outcomes

The Program’s educational goals are:

  • Provide students with knowledge of ethics and professional responsibility to enable him/her to recognize these values and perform legal services in an ethical manner.
  • Provide each student with tools to develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Develop in each student the ability to communicate effectively through training in legal research, writing, listening and speaking skills

Faculty