The Paralegal Studies Certificate program was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in February 2004. This program prepares graduates for entry level employment as paralegals. The entry level paralegal works under the supervision of a lawyer researching the law, investigating facts, preparing drafts of legal documents, and working with clients. They are employed in almost all areas where law related work is performed, i.e., private law firms, government agencies, insurance companies and corporations, but, in all areas of law, paralegals are prohibited from establishing attorney-client relationships, from setting legal fees, from giving legal opinions or advice, and from representing clients in court. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as provided by law.
Monroe Community College's curriculum was prepared in partnership with the Monroe County Bar Association and the Paralegal Associates of Rochester. Course work emphasizes New York law, ethics and professional responsibility, procedural applications of the law, computer application in the law, and client satisfaction through legal teamwork.
The Paralegal Studies Certificate program commences every Fall Semester. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at the Downtown Campus. The curriculum consists of 17 courses varying from one credit hour to three credit hours, and the program takes 15 months to complete. Each course must be taken in the sequence indicated.
1) Identify legal concepts and their practical applications
2) Deliver an effective oral presentation
3) Write effectively in a variety of legal contexts
4) Use legal technology for legal research
5) Apply analytical thinking skills in legal contexts.
6) Apply knowledge of ethical obligations and reasoning to situations in the law
Requirements for Program Entrance
Admission to the program has specific educational requirements that include either a bachelor's degree, or an associate's degree with 18 credit hours in broadly based liberal arts courses (a degree in Criminal Justice is deemed to meet this requirement) and Program Director approval.
Students seeking admission to Paralegal Studies must possess an Associate degree; Bachelor’s degree preferred. For students without a Bachelor’s degree, a departmental interview/recommendation is required.
PLS 260 Introduction to Paralegal Studies
PLS 266 Legal Research and Writing
PLS 267 Litigation and the Federal and NYS Procedural Laws
PLS 273 Computer Support Systems
First Semester Total:
INTERSESSION AND SPRING SEMESTER
PLS 263 Contract Law for Paralegals
PLS 268 Personal Injury Law
PLS 269 Domestic Relations and Family Law
PLS 270 Debtor-Creditor Law
PLS 272 Real Estate Law
PLS 275 Law Practice Management
Intersession and Second SemesterTotal:
PLS 271 Corporate Law and Business Organizations
Summer Semester Total:
FINAL FALL SEMESTER
PLS 250 Paralegal Communication Skills
PLS 264 Administrative Law
PLS 265 Fact-finding Research
PLS 274 Estate Planning, Estates and Trust Administration
PLS 276 Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
PLS 299 Paralegal Internship
Final Fall Semester Total: