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Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Program Description

This program is open to you if you have previously earned a baccalaureate degree. Under exceptional circumstances, this requirement may be waived. You must petition the Paralegal Studies Department and submit supporting documents which must include evidence of a significant combination of college achievement and law-related work experience.

Of the following requirements, half must be completed at the University. New students may begin during any semester. This program is approved by the American Bar Association. Paralegals are prohibited from the practice of law except when allowed by law or court rule. A minimum of 10 semester credits of legal specialty courses must be taken in a traditional classroom setting.

 

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 and analytical skills.
  • To give you an understanding of legal research and to develop your ability to locate answers to legal questions.
  • To ensure 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 meaningful and current paralegal training to our students.
  • 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

PLS 100 Introduction to Law and Legal Studies
PLS 210 Legal Research and Writing I
PLS 211 Legal Research and Writing II
PLS 221 Law of Contracts
PLS 222 Law of Business Organizations
PLS 235 Torts
PLS 310 Litigation I
PLS 311 Litigation II
PLS 400 Legal Ethics (1 credit)

Major Electives

Two PLS Electives

CORE Curriculum N/A

Total Credits required to graduate 31

Outcomes

Program Outcomes:

  • To teach paralegal students substantive and procedural law with the objective of preparing them to complete any paralegal assignment in a competent, professional, and ethical manner.
  • To develop the student’s legal writing skills by exercising the student’s critical thinking skills and analytical skills.
  • To give the student an understanding of legal research and to develop the student’s ability to locate answers to legal questions.
  • To ensure that students 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 the student’s ability to work cooperatively with others; develop the student’s leadership skills and the ability to assume responsibility; and to improve the student’s 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 meaningful and current paralegal training to our students.
  • 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.

Faculty