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Course Details


PARA 101 - INTRODUCTION TO LAW

This course provides a basic overview of law and an introduction to the legal profession. Students will have a chance to discuss and research not only cases and hypothetical situations based on cases, but they will examine the roles of members of the legal community and study how all these careers interact to bring about the laws and regulations that govern our daily lives and activities.

Credits: 3


PARA 301 - ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM

This course covers legal ethics with an emphasis on how the rules affect paralegals. Students learn about the regulation of the legal profession including the rules of conduct that govern both attorneys and paralegals. Topics include the meaning and importance of the unauthorized practice of law, the attorney-client privilege and its related work product doctrine, confidentiality, the rules governing conflicts of interest and other topics ethical in nature. Law office management is also addressed.

Credits: 3


PARA 302 - LEGAL RESEARCH

The course teaches students the basics of legal research. Students will learn how to use the many research tools of the law library through a series of library exercises. Proper citation to the various legal authorities will be covered. Working in the area of tort litigation, students learn how to read, analyze and apply the law. An emphasis will be on legal reasoning as students learn how to develop logical and practical legal arguments. Students learn how to research on-line using both a computerized legal database as well as legal research on the Internet. A hands-on approach is taken in the class, with students spending significant in-class time in the law library and in the computer lab with their instructor.

Credits: 3


PARA 303 - CIVIL LAW

In this survey course, students learn the fundamentals of several areas of the law relating to civil practice including torts, property, wills & estates, domestic relations, and intellectual property. Instructors emphasize current legal events. Written assignments include case briefs and other written exercises designed to increase students' understanding of the subject matters.

Credits: 3


PARA 304 - PRE-TRIAL LITIGATION

The pre-trial litigation process in civil matters is the subject of this course. In a step-by-step approach, students learn what needs to take place before trial. The course looks at pre-lawsuit considerations including client and witness interviews, factual investigations, jurisdiction, legal research, how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case, litigation strategy and other areas. The course reviews and studies the discovery process in detail because the paralegal plays a major role in this stage in a civil case.

Credits: 3


PARA 305 - COMMERCIAL LAW

In this survey course, students learn the fundamentals of laws relating to business. The course places an emphasis on the law of contracts and on the law of business organizations, but also covers the commerce clause, business ethics, bankruptcy law, the law of agency and antitrust and securities law. Written assignments include case briefs and other written exercises/analyses designed to increase the students' understanding of the subject matters.

Credits: 3


PARA 306 - TRIAL & POST-TRIAL LITIGATION

This course covers the preparation of a case for trial, the trial process and the post-trial process. The focus of the course is the preparation of a case for trial, or the "100 Days Before Trial". Final trial preparation includes developing a last minute trial strategy that considers what became known during the discovery phase, preparing exhibits, subpoenaing and contacting witnesses and preparing them for testimony, preparing trial briefs, preparing motions to exclude evidence and preparing jury instructions. Students prepare a trial notebook that includes witness question outlines, exhibits, motions in limine, a trial brief and jury instructions.

Credits: 3


PARA 309 - REAL ESTATE

This course of study is an overview study of real estate and prepares students for real estate practice. The course covers both residential and commercial real estate transactions and issues. Students begin the course of study by reviewing the various estates in real property including freehold estates, easements and licenses. The course covers the various methods of holding title to property and explores the different types of transfer deeds (warranty, quit claim and judicial). In addition, students learn how to read surveys, plats and subdivision maps. Students draft legal descriptions of property, prepare closing documentation and learn how perform a title search. The course stresses the practical study of real estate law and transactions.

Credits: 3


PARA 319 - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

This course provides an overview of the substantive federal law regulating copyrights, trademarks and patents and state law regulating trade secrets. The course features practical skill assignments, including the registration of a copyright, preparation of agreements used to protect trade secrets and the selection, evaluation and registration of a trademark. Students begin the course by studying the history of intellectual property, its Constitutional basis in the United States and the common law. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the current laws of intellectual property as they learn the practical processes of protecting intellectual property rights. Intellectual property law is an expanding field of the law for paralegals and an interesting area to practice in.

Credits: 3


PARA 323 - ESTATES,TRUSTS & WILLS

This course covers the practical aspects of estate planning and estate administration. Students will obtain a basic understanding of the legal principles involved in estate work. After reviewing theory and the laws of the State of Illinois and the Federal tax laws, students focus on the preparation of documents incident to an estate practice. Students will gain an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of estate forms and learn what forms are best for the particular situation at hand.

Credits: 3


PARA 325 - LEGAL WRITING

The course includes a review of grammar basics, the Uniform System of Citation, and a series of written assignments ranging from simple case briefs and business letters to a complex research memorandum that integrates research, analysis and writing skills. Students will be drafting legal documents during class and as outside homework assignments, allowing for significant personal feedback on their writing from the instructor.

Credits: 3


PARA 326 - CRIMINAL LAW

This course provides an overview of the criminal justice process in the United States. Topics covered include investigation of a crime, arrest, charging offenses, arraignment, and the pre-trial and trial process. The course studies crime by defining criminal offenses, the parties to a crime, and responsibility for crime. Issues regarding criminal procedure are also covered. These include privilege against self-incrimination, Miranda admonitions, sixth amendment right to counsel, and double jeopardy. Students learn the criminal law by studying actual court cases and through lectures. Writing assignments include practical, up-to-date assignments a paralegal might prepare in a criminal law practice.

Credits: 3


PARA 327 - CORPORATIONS AND LLC LAW

This course provides students with the basics of corporate practice and looks at the various aspects of corporate and securities law with a focus on the practical side of the law. Students will learn how to prepare appropriate forms relating to, and develop an understanding of the different types of business entities ' sole proprietorships, limited and general partnerships, subchapter S corporations, limited liability corporations and public and privately held corporations. Students draft partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, stock certificates, meeting notices and resolutions, annual reports and learn to maintain corporate minute books.

Credits: 3


PARA 329 - Legal Technology

This course teaches students the basics of software applications being utilized in the law firm environment. Students will learn how to use Microsoft applications and specific computer skills often required from paralegals. Students will also learn legal-specific software applications being utilized internationally. An emphasis will be placed on how the various software applications help paralegals organize a case from the beginning through trial. A hands-on approach is taken with the class, with students spending significant in-class time in the computer lab both individually and with their instructor.

Credits: 3


PARA 330 - PARALEGAL INTERNSHIP

Students must apply for and be selected by an intern sponsor that the program has made arrangements with in order to enroll in this course. It may also be possible for a student to secure an internship on their own and have it count for credit toward their elective course. This must be approved by the program in advance of the internship start date. This course provides the student intern with an opportunity to gain practical work experience under the supervision of an attorney in day-to-day, on-site paralegal work. In addition to on-site work, the student will meet with the program's Internship Coordinator during the semester to discuss their progress, and will participate in online discussions with other student interns through Blackboard. Finally, upon completion of the on-site work, the student intern will submit a self-evaluation report on their experiences during the internship. The student must complete a minimum of 135 hours of work at the internship site in order to pass the course.

Credits: 3


PARA 331 - BANKRUPTCY LAW

Basics of bankruptcy law and practice including in-depth examination of the differences among Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Focus will be on the daily duties and responsibilities of both the paralegal and the supervising attorney and students will work with the most recent bankruptcy filing software and the most updated bankruptcy forms and pleadings. The course will also present an overview of foreclosures and alternatives to bankruptcy.

Credits: 3


PARA 332 - LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

This course provides an overview of labor and employment law: labor-management relations (which include collective bargaining, labor contracts, unfair labor practices and the rights of management and bargained-for employees) and employee-employer relations (which include at-will employment, contracts, employment discrimination laws, privacy rights and benefits). Students will develop an in-depth understanding of relevant laws as they work on hypothetical cases involving a grievance and discrimination charge, as well as other projects.

Credits: 3


PARA 333 - PARALEGAL INTERNSHIP II

This course provides the student intern with an opportunity to gain practical work experience under the supervision of an attorney in day-to-day, on-site paralegal work. Students must apply for and be selected by an intern sponsor that the Paralegal Studies Program has made arrangements with in order to enroll in this course. Students must have completed PARA 330 Paralegal Internship to be eligible for PARA 333 Paralegal Internship II.

Credits: 3


PARA 334 - INTRODUCTIN TO SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW

Special Education Law addresses disputes and protects the rights of students with disabilities. Students will learn the core concept of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it establishes educational rights. Students will learn about the importance of paralegals in special education law and their ability to both participate in and impact cases.

Credits: 3