Paralegal Professional

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The Paralegal Professional
Paralegals play one of the most important roles in the legal industry. Though individual attorneys are ultimately responsible for the legal work they produce and the strategies they devise, many tasks – from legal research and writing, source citing, filing, and others – are delegated to paralegals.   As such, it is imperative for successful Paralegals to have a fundamental understanding of the substantive and procedural elements applicable to the specific areas of law where they’ll be working so that they can build on a solid foundation of knowledge starting from the first day. The legal industry relies heavily on paralegals for their experience and general training in these fields.  For any new Paralegal looking to enter the workplace or for experienced Paralegals perhaps moving to a different practice, an overview of these common substantive areas is extremely useful to ensure you’re ready to go from the start.   

The Paralegal Professional Program
This program offers an in-depth view of the role of paralegals play within the American legal system. Examining the myriad of skills used by paralegals everyday alongside the typical legal working environment, students will explore the common areas of law in which they’ll likely be working, the various ethical considerations that may arise as well as the sources of law they’ll reference every day.  Students will be offered an offered an overview of traditional state and federal courts as well as the implications and uses for alternative dispute resolution. Students will also be introduced to various career opportunities available to trained paralegals.

This program also provides students with a comprehensive understanding of professional responsibility in the legal field and how these laws apply to paralegals, specifically. In addition to the general legal ethical concepts presented in the course, students will research individual state professional responsibility rules as they apply to the overall field and to the paralegal role. Upon completion of this program, students will be able to recognize an ethical issue, categorize it, and research the possible solutions to the issue. 

    

 

Program Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Summarize the role of the paralegal in the American legal system
  • Distinguish among various environments that may use the services of a paralegal
  • Summarize legal accounting procedures
  • Describe the process of becoming a paralegal professional
  • Prepare a resume for a paralegal position
  • Examine how the paralegal profession is regulated
  • Analyze ethical issues commonly encountered by a paralegal
  • Describe the sources of American Law
  • Examine the state and federal court systems
  • Prepare for a client interview
  • Explain the investigation process
  • Research legal matters
  • Explore styles and formats used in legal writing
  • Draft legal documents
  • Describe elements in preparing for trial
  • Explain the trial process
  • Explain the appellate process
  • Describe the types of alternative dispute resolution
  • Differentiate the authority and functioning of administrative agencies
  • Explain criminal law and procedure
  • Articulate the legal principles of tort law
  • Describe the classifications and elements of contracts
  • Outline the basic principles of property law
  • Examine the legal principles of family law
  • Examine estate planning and probate
  • Describe the primary forms of business
  • Summarize the role of the paralegal in the American legal system
  • Recognize the regulation of the legal profession as a distinct set of laws and rules
  • Explore the meaning of the unauthorized practice of law
  • Examine issues related to misrepresentation
  • Analyze the application of the duty of confidentiality
  • Analyze issues related to confidentiality
  • Examine issues related to evidentiary privileges
  • Examine issues related to conflict of interest and the duty of loyalty
  • Examine issues related to advertising
  • Analyze issues related to solicitation
  • Examine issues related to legal fees
  • Examine issues related to paralegal fees
  • Examine issues related to client trust accounts
  • Examine issues related to competence and negligence
  • Examine issues related to zealous representation
  • Examine issues related to the duty of integrity and the duty to report
  • Examine issues related to health in the legal profession
  • Use Microsoft Office

Note:  In order to qualify for an externship, students must successfully complete the program, including all quizzes and final exams, and be available for a background check and/or a potential drug screen.  This program can be completed in 6 months.  However, students will have online access to this program for a 12-month period. 

Education and Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program. 
  • National Certification Available:
    • National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal (CP)/Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam

Optional Volunteer Externship Opportunity

Students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an optional volunteer externship opportunity with a local company/agency/organization whose work aligns with this area of study in order to gain valuable hands-on experience.  As students progress through their eLearning program, an Externship Coordinator will reach out to coordinate placement.

Note:
Additional documentation including health records, immunizations, drug-screening, criminal background checks, etc. may be required by the externship facility.