Paralegal Studies (PA)

PA106: Legal Terminology and Transcription

This course is a comprehensive study of documents used in the legal field. Students will learn the basic procedures for transcribing, formatting, and processing legal correspondence and documents and the appropriate use of legal terms, phrases, abbreviations, symbols, and reference sources used by attorneys' paralegals and the courts.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: None

PA110: Civil Litigation

This course introduces students to civil litigation, the civil law process, rights, and procedures. Topics include informal fact gathering and investigation, case management and strategy, jurisdiction, the structure of the court systems in the United States, parties, pleadings, and motions.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA130: Contracts

The basics of contract preparation and proper legal requirements are outlined in this course. Topics include elements of a contract, types of contracts, promise, breach, duty to perform, remedies to breach, damages, small claims procedures, Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), Statute of Frauds, and governmental regulations.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA165: Introduction to Torts

This course is an introduction to the broad area of civil wrongs and their appropriate remedies as well as tort law principles in the traditional areas of intentional torts, negligence, absolute liability, product liability, nuisance, and commonly employed defenses.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA201: Introduction to Legal Research

One of the basic tasks performed by the paralegal is legal research - finding the law. Accurate, concise, and up-to-date information can be the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit. Students who complete this course gain specialized skills in the area of legal research.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: Prerequisites: CM220 and PA205

PA203: Interviewing and Investigation

This course presents the ethical aspects of interviewing and confidentiality, types of interviews, types of clients and witnesses, interview preparation techniques, the effective interview environment, questioning and listening skills, the interview format, problem solving, and counseling skills. The section on investigation covers the qualities of an effective investigator; how to develop a plan and find the facts; how to get information from public records, libraries, and computer sources; and how to find witnesses.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA205: Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing

Some of the tasks performed by a skilled paralegal are to summarize statutes or regulations, analyze the component parts of written opinions of appellate judges through briefing, identify the legal issues in a fact pattern, and apply the reasoning of relevant legal authorities to a fact pattern. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to analyze and synthesize legal authorities and draft correspondence and memoranda commonly used in the practice of law.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: Any College Composition I course

PA221: Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

Wills divide the property a person has accumulated during his/her life; precise legal requirements must be met when preparing wills. Topics include the basic elements of a will; types of wills; responsibilities of the personal representative; contesting, revoking, and terminating a will; the role of government; classes of trusts; rules governing trusts; and purposes of estate planning, probate, guardianships, and more. Tax ramifications are also discussed.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA230: Introduction to Legal Technology

Technology is pervasive and the modern law office is chock-full of technological appliances, tools, and applications that the paralegal must be able to master. At the core of most software applications are the basics - word processors, spreadsheets, databases, and tools for presentations. Of course, the ubiquitous communication tool, email, is the center of modern electronic communications. This course will explore the most common tools and applications found in law firms and those that every "technology-literate" paralegal must know. Word processing, document assembly programs, and tools for case management, time and billing, calendaring, electronic communications, and creating presentations are a few of the topics explored in this course. Students will leave this course with a solid foundation of the basics in legal technology.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA250: Family Law

This course presents major issues in family law, such as the nature of marriage, antenuptial contracts, annulments, separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, tort action, adoption, property distribution, and current trends.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA253: Legal Ethics

Legal assistants and paralegals must always consider the duties owed to clients by both the lawyer and the paralegal. In this course, you will learn to evaluate ethical dilemmas you may encounter as a legal professional and appropriately apply the rules of professional responsibility to these situations. This course discusses the duties and responsibilities regarding the ethical conduct of the paralegal in the legal workforce, codes of ethics, unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and more.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA260: Criminal Law

In this course, students learn about criminal law. They learn about the elements and types of crimes, including homicide, crimes against the person, crimes against habitation and occupancy, crimes against property, sexual offenses, and crimes involving more than one defendant. They also cover criminal capacity and defenses to crimes. Finally, students are introduced to criminal procedures followed in the United States and the concept of probable cause.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA261: Bankruptcy and Debtor-Creditor Law

When it comes to debtors' and creditors' rights, it is important to know both sides. This course presents the law governing the collection of debts, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, creditors' remedies, the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyances Act, and exempt property. Chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are also presented.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA299: Associate's Capstone - Project

This course builds on the concepts that students have mastered throughout the course of their paralegal studies program. The capstone course integrates the core concepts exemplified in the paralegal program outcomes, with application to fact scenarios that present relevant legal issues.

Quarter Credit Hours: 5 | Prerequisite: Last term or permission from the Dean

PA300: Real Estate Law

In this course, students will become familiar with procedures and documentation of real estate transactions. The course will address a wide range of issues and functions within the field of real estate law, including ethics, types of ownership, use, possession, mortgages, financing, taxation, closings, and litigation.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA301: Administrative Law

This course provides a basic overview of administrative law and procedure. In addition to identifying sources of administrative law and procedure, this course covers agency actions, controls on agency actions, administrative hearings, and appellate procedures for administrative decisions.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: PA110

PA303: Landlord and Tenant Law

This course is designed to introduce students to key elements of leases, applicable statutory law regarding landlord and tenant rights, the nuts and bolts of landlord/tenant litigation, and ways to avoid and/or resolve landlord/tenant disputes.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA305: Law Office Management

Legal professionals are often called upon to handle office management functions. Effective law office managers save their offices time and money and become valuable members of the legal team. The management skills covered in this course can be applied to any office. This course guides students in creating a procedures manual that can be used at the office and as a portfolio of their work.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA310: Tort Law

As a paralegal, you must be familiar with tort law, as you will undoubtedly encounter tort issues at some time, no matter in what area of law you work. This course includes topics such as negligence, defamation, malpractice, strict liability, product liability, intentional torts, misrepresentation, and defenses to torts. You will explore torts in the areas of accidents, medical malpractice lawsuits, and wrongful death claims.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: PA165

PA328: Intellectual Property

This course explores the origins and sources of intellectual property. Particular topics to be covered in this course include copyright law, the extent of trademark rights, patents, the rights of inventors, trademark infringement, trade secrets, damages, injunctions, and forms.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA335: Trial and Courtroom Presentation

This course will introduce students to tools for creating presentations for trial and courtroom presentation. The creation of high-quality courtroom graphics does not have to be an expensive, hard-to-manage process. This course shows students how to create clear and convincing charts, diagrams, and graphics. Students will learn how to create timelines, case chronologies, legal flowcharts, trial graphics, calendars, and much more.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: PA230

PA342: Insurance Law

This course provides a comprehensive overview of insurance law and explains various types of insurance. The nature of insurance and insurable interests are considered, along with the nature and definition of risks, persons insured, and procedures for filing claims. The insurer's defenses are covered, as well as waiver and estoppel, the measure of recovery, the insurer's duty to defend, and subrogation. Finally, this course considers insurance bad faith causes of action, reinsurance, bonds, and how the insurance industry is regulated.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: PA130

PA350: Social Security Disability Law

This course will cover the essentials of representing a claimant before the Social Security Administration for benefits under Title II (Disability Insurance Benefits). Students will gain a working knowledge of the five-step sequential evaluation process and an understanding of the steps used to qualify a claimant at each step. In addition, the course will cover the terminology, ethics, representation requirements, administrative structure, processes, and typical activities encountered in the social security disability claims process.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA401: Advanced Legal Writing

The course focuses on researching legal issues and drafting legal documents using the results of student research. Emphasis will be placed on the drafting of documents commonly used in practice (rather than strictly legal theory). This course also teaches students how to present the results of research in professional memorandum format, helps students acquire skills in briefing and analyzing court opinions and writing legal memoranda, and teaches students how to prepare legal documents from various areas of practice. The course is intended to prepare students for the demands of a legal practice environment.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: PA201

PA402: Employment Law

This course is about the body of law that governs employer-employee relations, from hiring to termination. Much of this course focuses on discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, and other protected categories. Worker safety and workers' compensation systems are part of PA 402, along with issues related to unions and labor organizations.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA412: Alternative Dispute Resolution

This course introduces alternative methods to litigation for resolving disputes, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Topics covered include: the nature and sources of conflict, the mediator's role in resolving disputes, and other adjudicative and nonadjudicative processes. Related policy, ethical, and practice issues are also covered. In addition, the course addresses both the law and the practices of domestic and international commercial arbitration, which includes: a) federal and state statutes favoring arbitration, international treaties, and judicial review of arbitration awards; b) choosing the arbitrators; c) drafting arbitration clauses; and d) the lawyer's conduct in an arbitration and how the skills used differ from those used in litigation.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: LS100

PA499: Bachelor's Capstone in Paralegal Studies

This course builds on the concepts of all of the paralegal courses students have mastered in the bachelor's degree program. The capstone course integrates problem-solving techniques and research skills studied in the paralegal program and applies them to fact scenarios that present legal issues. Students research the relevant secondary and primary sources in order to draft the required legal documents.

Quarter Credit Hours: 6 | Prerequisite: Last term or permission from the Dean