Paralegal Studies (PARA)
How to Read Course Descriptions
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area followed by the course number and title. The number of credits earned by taking the courses is also displayed.
The course description is a brief summary of the purpose of the course and the topics covered. Any requisite courses are listed and could include the following:
- Courses showing the abbreviation “COREQ” require simultaneous registration with each course named as a corequisite.
- The abbreviation “PRE-or-COREQ” means that each course named may have been taken prior to or may be taken concurrently with the course for which it is required.
- Courses showing the abbreviation “PREREQ” require the courses named as prerequisites to have been taken previously.
If the course can be applied towards a General Education Objective, the applicable Objective is listed.
To assist with your academic planning, courses in the Undergraduate Catalog are designated according to the semester they are usually offered. Unanticipated faculty vacancies and academic program changes may affect future course scheduling. Therefore, students should always contact the academic department to verify future course offerings, especially when specific courses are needed for graduation.
The following letters which appear after the course descriptions indicate the anticipated course scheduling:
F = Fall Semester, every year
S = Spring Semester, every year
Se = Sequential; a series of courses is presented until all have been taught.
Su = Summer Semester, every year
EF, ES, ESu = Even-numbered years, Fall, Spring, or Summer Semester
OF, OS, OSu = Odd-numbered years, Fall, Spring, or Summer Semester
D = Students should contact the Department to ask when this course will be offered.
R1 = Course is rotated every year, either Fall or Spring
R2 = Course is rotated every two years, either Fall or Spring
R3 = Course is rotated every three years, either Fall or Spring
PARA 0110 Introduction to Paralegal Studies: 3 semester hours.
The legal system and the paralegal's role in it; fundamental paralegal skills and tasks; law office administration; computer technology; regulation of paralegals and paralegal ethics; and employment opportunities. A survey of the major substantive areas of the law is presented, with a summary discussion of the paralegal's role in each area. F
PARA 0111 Ethics and Professionalism: 3 semester hours.
Ethical standards and regulations governing paralegals and attorneys. Unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality of information, conflict of interest are covered in depth, along with common billing practices and fee arrangements, client trust accounts, filing and calendaring systems, and the documentation of client files. F
PARA 0112 Estates Wills and Trusts: 3 semester hours.
Learn what estates, wills, trusts and guardianships are and how to write the documents pertaining to them. Emphasis on Uniform Probate Code including formal and informal probate proceedings and the administration and closing of estates. Focus is on the role of the paralegal in gathering information, researching, and drafting estate planning. D
PARA 0113 Contract Law: 3 semester hours.
Basic principles of contract law, including capacity, formation, conditions, enforcement, statute of frauds, performance and breach, remedies, defenses, and third-party rights. Portions of Articles 2 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code will also be addressed. Emphasizes the role of the paralegal in gathering information, researching, and drafting contract documents. S
PARA 0114 Family Law: 3 semester hours.
This course instructs students in the law governing marriage, prenuptial agreements, marital property, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, termination of parental rights, adoption, and other matters relating to domestic legal rights. The role of the paralegal in the area of domestic law is emphasized. D
PARA 0115 Property Law: 3 semester hours.
The paralegal's role with regard to documents and concepts of ownership, conveyance, and encumbrance of real and personal property, including leases, licenses, liens, easements, remainders, and life estates. Includes public and private restrictions on land use, and proper drafting of deeds, leases, mortgages, foreclosure and eviction documents. D
PARA 0116 Tort Law: 3 semester hours.
The paralegal's role regarding fundamental concepts of tort law, including intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and product liability and the elements necessary to prove each tort. Defenses to and damages recoverable for a tort claim. Personal injury litigation and worker's compensation will be discussed in depth. S
PARA 0117 Criminal Law and Procedure: 3 semester hours.
Statutory and common law crimes against person, property, and society; the elements required to prove a crime; and the defenses available to a defendant. Constitutional and statutory standards for law enforcement practices, plea negotiation, trial, sentencing, and appeal. Conducting preliminary factual investigation and other pre-trial work. F
PARA 0118 Business Organizations: 3 semester hours.
This course explores the basic types, formation and operation of business organizations, including corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships. The role of the paralegal in drafting documents and maintaining records for business organizations will be emphasized. D
PARA 0119 Law Office Technology: 2 semester hours.
Students will learn advanced and specialized computer applications specific to the legal services environment, including advanced Word skills, such as creating headings, sections, tables of authorities, indexes, and hyperlinks in legal documents; Excel spreadsheets for the creation of exhibits, charts, and tables; law practice management software including time keeping; records management; accounting; and billing; and other applications for managing, editing, marking, and storing electronic documents. F
PARA 0121 Law Office Management: 2 semester hours.
Introduction to the structure and dynamic of the law office. Examines the legal team, personnel relations, legal fees, timekeeping, billing and financial management, law office technology, legal application software, records systems, docket control, and file and records management. S
PARA 0122 Legal Research Analysis and Writing I: 3 semester hours.
Basic elements of legal research and sources of the law using print and electronic research methods. Develop rudimentary skills for analyzing legal issues and developing legal arguments. Introduce basics of legal document preparation such as case briefing, letter writing, and research memoranda drafting. PREREQ: BT 0170 or INFO 1101, ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1101P, and PARA 0110. S
PARA 0215 Debtor and Creditor Rights and Bankruptcy Law: 3 semester hours.
The paralegal's role relating to business transactions, debtor and creditor relations, consumer protection, and bankruptcy. Students explore secured and unsecured transactions, rights and remedies available under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and other statutes, and the types of relief afforded under the Bankruptcy Code. D
PARA 0222 Legal Research Analysis and Writing II: 3 semester hours.
Continued development of issue identification and legal analysis skills. In-depth legal research using primary and secondary sources of law and print and electronic research media. Advanced legal document preparation including court briefs and memoranda, litigation, and transactional documents. PREREQ: BT 0170 or INFO 1101, ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1101P, PARA 0110, and PARA 0122. S
PARA 0223 Legal Research Analysis and Writing III: 3 semester hours.
Development of more advanced legal analysis and issue identification skills. In-depth legal research of pimary and secondary authority using law library resources and computerized legal databases. Related legal writing skills are developed further, including preparation of complex legal documents. PREREQ: ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1101P, PARA 0110, PARA 0122, and PARA 0222. D
PARA 0230 Paralegal Internship: 4 semester hours.
Students acquire practical experience in doing the job of a paralegal in the workplace. The course is arranged on an individual basis. S
PARA 0232 Civil Litigation and Procedure: 3 semester hours.
Students perform tasks of a paralegal at every stage of litigation including initial client contact, investigation and identification of claims and issues, legal research, preparation and filing appropriate documents, preparing witnesses, making trial notebooks, giving jury instructions, assisting at trial, making post-judgment motions, and handling appeals and collection. PREREQ: PARA 0116 and PARA 0122. F
PARA 0296 Independent Study: 1-8 semester hours.
Addresses specific learning needs of individuals for the enhancement of knowledge and skills within the program area under the guidance of an instructor. May be repeated. Graded S/U, or may be letter-graded. PREREQ: Permission of the instructor. D
PARA 0298 Special Topics: 1-8 semester hours.
Addresses the specific needs of industry, enabling students to upgrade technical skills that are not included in the current program curriculum. May be repeated. Graded S/U, or may be letter-graded. PREREQ: Permission of instructor. D