Course Summary
Credit Type:
12 weeks
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Paralegal Studies


The course objective is to prepare students as legal secretaries or legal assistants. The course provides the knowledge, skills, and ethical reasoning necessary to enter the job market as a legal secretary or legal assistant. Students will study topics such as legal terminology; legal process; jurisdiction and venue; ethics; written communications, including letters, pleadings, discovery, notices, and motions; filing procedures, legal research; memoranda preparation, and citation format.

Learning Outcomes:

  • define the role of the paralegal in the legal system
  • discuss the implications of paralegal regulation and paralegal ethics
  • define the components of a well-run legal office and describe how a paralegal might assist in the running of that office
  • participate in some of the basic roles of client interviewing and information gathering
  • discuss the foundations of the American legal system
  • explain the purpose of case reporters and statute books, as well as explain the various types of legal research and writing
  • describe the roles paralegals can play in the following contexts: litigation, torts or personal injury, criminal law, business organizations, family law, estate planning, real estate, or contracts

General Topics:

  • Today’s Professional Paralegal and Career Opportunities
  • The Inner Workings of the Law Office
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Business Organizations and Employment Law
  • Sources of American Law
  • The Court System and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Legal Research and Analysis
  • Online Legal Research
  • Legal Writing: Form and Substance
  • Civil Litigation: Before the Trial
  • Trial Procedures
  • Conducting Interviews and Investigations
  • Criminal Law and Procedures
  • Tort Law, Product Liability, and Consumer Law
  • Contracts and Intellectual Property Law
  • Real Property and Insurance Law
  • Family Law and Estates
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Case Studies
  • Classroom Exercise
  • Computer Based Training
  • Discussion
  • Learner Presentations
  • Lectures
  • Practical Exercises

Methods of Assessment:

  • Case Studies
  • Presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Written Papers

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials