Paralegal Course Descriptions: Required Courses
300A: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing I - After examining the litigation process and the structure of the federal and state court systems, students will be introduced to case and statutory analysis and to an understanding of the role of paralegals in the litigation process. They will learn how to analyze and synthesize written opinions and will complete several writing projects. This course meets CoLA Writing-Across-the-Curriculum requirement.
300B: Legal Analysis Research Writing II - Students will continue to develop their analytical skills and will learn how to conduct effective legal research. Students will use the results of their research in connection with several additional writing projects, including memoranda of law and appellate briefs. Employment opportunities for paralegals and their professional responsibilities will be stressed though out the course. This course meets the CoLA Writing-Across-the- Curriculum requirement. Prerequisite: 300a with a grade of C or higher.
305: Introduction to Law - This course will provide a basic background of the United States legal process. It will provide an introduction to civil and criminal processes, legal terminology, a history of common law, and cover various areas of substantive law. Ethics, regulations, and professional responsibilities involved in the legal profession will be discussed, along with the basic legal concepts and legal analysis. Students will learn to read and brief legal cases.
310: Civil Procedure - Students will examine the lawyers’ and paralegals’ roles in handling civil cases, and the means by which the objectives of litigation may be achieved. Strategy and mechanics of civil procedure will be explored in depth, and students will be required to prepare a complaint, discovery requests, and initial appellate documents.
320: Estates and Trusts - Students will study the more common forms of wills and trusts and the fundamental principles of law applicable to each; the course will analyze the administration of estates under the Illinois Probate Act.
330: Legal Forms of Business Organizations - This course includes a review of the lawyer’s role in the formation of business entities, including sole proprietorship, partnerships, and corporations, with a survey of the fundamental principles of law applicable to each and the preparation of documents necessary to the organization and operation of each. The student will be prepared to draft articles of incorporation and their legal documents relevant to the role of a paralegal in a modern law office.
350: Family Law - This course is a review of the law as it relates to the various aspects of domestic relations including marriage, divorce and separation, alimony, child custody and support, taxes, and Illegitimacy and adoption.
360: Torts - This course will provide an introduction to the broad area of civil wrongs and their appropriate remedies. Tort law focuses on principles in the traditional areas of intentional torts, negligence, absolute liability, product liability, nuisance and commonly employed defenses.
370: Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights - This course will provide an introduction to bankruptcy and the debtor- creditor relationship. The main purpose of this course is to give a basic understanding of the laws that apply to debtors and creditors, as a foundation to unraveling the intricacies of the bankruptcy process.
380: Technology in the Law Office - This course will introduce the paralegal student to the various kinds of law office technology, such as case management programs, database development, and billing. Topics and hours will vary, and will be announced in advance. Prerequisite: consent of director or instructor.
405: Advanced Internship - This course has two components. The first is in-class and will assist students in preparing for their careers, including investigating potential employers, job interviews, how to perform their anticipated employment functions. Skills training will include interviewing, use of computers in the office, administration, ethics, and professionalism. The class will coordinate with the internship component, supervised on-the-job training and experience in public or private offices. Students must complete 150 hours for each 3 hours of credit for the internship component. Only 4 credit hours are applicable to major requirements. Prerequisites: Completion of PARL 300a and b with a grade no lower than a “C” and consent of the paralegal studies program coordinator. Lab fee: $20.00. Not for graduate credit.
Paralegal Course Descriptions: Elective Courses
315: Intro to Criminal Law - The nature and theories of law and social control; legal reasoning and case analysis; simple legal research; statutory construction; principles and history of punishment; constitutional, historical and general legal principles applicable to the criminal law.
325: Basic Contract Law - This course will introduce students to basic principles of contract law and assist them in developing skills for drafting simple contracts.
335: Property Law - This course will introduce students to basic principles of Property Law and assist them in developing skills for drafting documents for the pruchase, sale, and transfer of real estate; understanding a variety of types of estates in real property and rights associated with real property; and other real estate-related matters.
340: Internship in Paralegal Studies - Entails supervised on-the-job training and experience in public or private offices typically employing paralegals. Student must work ten hours per week for fifteen weeks for each three hours of credit. Only three hours of internship credit applicable to major requirements. Prerequisite: completion of 300a and b with a grade no lower than a B and consent of coordinator of paralegal studies program.
345: Labor and Employment Law - Basic Labor and Employment Law for Paralegals. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of Labor and Employment Law and deals with the definition of employer and employees and the nature of the employment relationship, and the course deals with the laws relating to employment in the union setting and employment discrimination.
355: Criminal Law & Procedure - This course, presented in a semester-based distance education format, covers causes of action of criminal liability on the misdemeanor and felony level. Some constitutional law issues raised by a criminal practice will also be addressed. Students will study the procedures of the criminal system from arrest through post-trial motions, sentencing, and appeal. Students will be required to complete several writing projects.
365: Paralegal Ethics and Professional Responsibility - This course is an in-depth review of the canons of professional responsibility, conduct, and ethics concerning the legal profession, including case study projects. The emphasis is on the duty of paralegals and lawyers to act so as to serve a client's interests best, to do so in an ethical manner, and to advance the interests of justice. Paralegal students can take this course as an elective. Paralegal students and practicing paralegals must be aware of, understand, and abide by the ethical rules that govern their conduct.
375: International Law - Meets a need for increased global awareness in education, business, and society. The study of International Law looks at systems of values common to diverse societies, with a focus on treaties and laws regulating the relationships and trade between the United States and foreign nations and agreements between countries and their effects on American society. Topics may include, but not be limited to, human rights, group rights, and treatment of aliens. Romano-Germanic civil law and Anglo-American common law will be presented, as will cross-border disputes. The course will also address laws and policies governing the European Union and its business practices. Students will be introduced to sources of international law and where to begin research, depending on what is at issue; litigation and arbitration for civil and criminal proceedings, including the extradition process; various parties who could become involved in an international dispute, including military, diplomats, and businesses; and develop practical skills for applying international law to businesses of varied sizes and diverse backgrounds.