PLS 260 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies
Introduces the student to the paralegal profession and the common core of legal knowledge and skills that all paralegals should possess. Areas covered include: what paralegals do, a history of the profession, the significance of paralegal professional associations, personal attributes of the professional paralegal, employment of paralegals, paralegal specialized practice areas, paralegal compensation, the organizational structure of law firms, the regulation of legal professionals, unauthorized practice of law, and contemporary issues. Aspects of these topics are also included in subsequent courses. This course also introduces students to sources of American law, the court system, and alternative dispute resolution. Emphasis is on the paralegal's participation on the legal team. Two class hours.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. Define the role of a paralegal and the vocabulary attached thereto; understand the history of the profession and the skills and attributes required to succeed in this area.
2. Describe the areas in which paralegals are functioning and the range of compensation.
3. Explain the various paralegal regulation options.
4. Describe the ethical considerations specific to the legal profession and paralegals in particular.
5. Explain how law firms are organized and how they structure their business including the lines of authority, typical employment policies, work appraisals, efficient billing and filing.
6. Describe the uses for computers in the legal field today.
7. Define the sources of American law including the common law tradition, constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law and case law.
8. Describe the American system of justice including federal, state, and local court systems,and alternative dispute resolution.
Course Offered Fall only