College Catalog

Legal Assistant-Paralegal Studies (BLA)

(Effective Fall 2013)

The American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Science in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies is a two-plus-two major that will allow students with an associate degree in paralegal/legal assistant/legal studies to continue study toward the baccalaureate degree. Inasmuch as the paralegal field continues to be listed as one of the fastest growing professions and inasmuch as the American Bar Association has recognized the benefit of four-year paralegal programs, this major provides students with marketable skills for employment in the paralegal or other law-related professions. The degree opens the door for opportunities in law office management, government, court administration, arbitration/mediation, financial institutions, the medical field, the insurance and real estate industry, etc. Practicing paralegals have the opportunity to pursue continuing legal education. In addition, the degree allows graduates to seek admission to law school. Paralegals operate under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are prohibited from practicing law.

Career Opportunities

Positions in law firms, court systems and offices, government agencies, corporate and business legal departments, insurance companies, financial institutions, real estate companies, health care facilities, community service agencies, and consumer organizations.

Remediation Strategies

All students entering the major are tested for English, mathematics and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies during their first semester.

Transfer Procedures

All students entering the Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies bachelor-degree major will be considered for junior-level status as they will have earned the first two years in their respective associate-degree major from an accredited institution. This applies to Pennsylvania College of Technology associate-degree graduates as well. Due to the two-plus-two nature of this major, recommended high school subjects are not applicable. It is expected that students will carry a minimum of 60 associate-degree credits from an accredited institution into the bachelor's degree. Students who have not met the bachelor-degree requirements for the first four semesters will be required to complete these courses. Students who have not met the legal assistant associate-degree core requirement will be required to complete these courses before scheduling advanced legal assistant courses. (See note concerning curriculum outline.) Credits above the 60-credit minimum that were not required for the associate's degree and which meet the requirements for the third and fourth years of the major will be evaluated for transfer on a course-by-course basis. NOTE: Pre-program area relates to the College bachelor-degree requirements. In addition, students will be expected to have completed the following legal assistant associate degree core requirements: Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Practice and Procedures, and Real Property Law. Existing articulation agreements governing transfers into the baccalaureate degree major (BLA) will be applied.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • apply information literacy to personal, professional and other related areas.
  • develop the skills and awareness necessary for lifelong learning.
  • develop the skills needed for critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, and decision making.
  • develop the human relations skills needed to succeed in the legal environment.
  • be aware of and adapt to diverse/alternative cultures, processes, and ideas.
  • demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.
  • demonstrate practical skills necessary to assist with the administration of a law office, including the handling of accounting and billing procedures.
  • identify and appropriately evaluate legal ethical issues, including conflicts of interest, client confidentiality, and unauthorized practice of law.
  • contribute to the professional growth of legal assistants.
  • develop the ability to plan, organize, direct, and control within a legal environment.
  • increase individual knowledge and understanding of self and others in the work environment.
  • utilize legal sources to conduct effective research.

Curriculum

First SemesterCredits
LAS100Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3 
LAS125Legal Ethics 3 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
MTH151Structures of Mathematics 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
TOTAL CREDITS 13
Second SemesterCredits
LAS150Legal Research and Writing 3 
LAS160Civil Practice and Procedures 3 
LAS170Real Property Law 3 
ENL121English Composition II 3 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Third SemesterCredits
PLAPrevious Legal Assistant/Paralegal Courses 6 
LAS360Advanced Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis 3 Writing Enriched Requirement
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 3 
SCIScience Elective 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Fourth SemesterCredits
PLAPrevious Legal Assistant/Paralegal Courses 10 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
or
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
or
ARTArt Elective 3 
or
FORForeign Language Elective 3 
or
AAEApplied Arts Elective 3 
or
IFEInternational Field Experience Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 4 
TOTAL CREDITS 17
Fifth SemesterCredits
LAS300Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution 3 
LAS260Bankruptcy 3 
or
LAS270Administrative Law 3 
or
LAS310Risk Management and Insurance 3 
MTH153Topics in Mathematics 3 
SCI101Introduction to Forensic Science 3 Science, Technology and Society Requirement
SCI102Introduction to Forensic Science Laboratory 1 
SBLDirected Business Elective 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
TOTAL CREDITS 17
Sixth SemesterCredits
BLADirected Legal Assistant Elective 3 
BLADirected Legal Assistant Elective 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
SPC301Organizational Communication 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement
or
SPC302Intercultural Communication 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Seventh SemesterCredits
LAS400Constitutional Law 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement
BLHDirected Legal Assistant Elective 300 Level or Higher 3 
ACC331Income Taxation of Individuals 3 
or
FIN150Principles of Banking 3 
BLBDirected Legal Assistant Business Elective 300 Level or Higher 3 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 18
Eighth SemesterCredits
LAS495Senior Project: Legal Assistant Studies 3 
BLHDirected Legal Assistant Elective 300 Level or Higher 3 
SBLDirected Business Elective 3 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
or
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
or
ARTArt Elective 3 
or
FORForeign Language Elective 3 
or
AAEApplied Arts Elective 3 
or
IFEInternational Field Experience Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Directed Business Electives are any ACC, CSC or FIN course along with HRM 300, MGT 110, MGT 115, MGT 216, MGT 249, MGT 344, and MKT 240.

A maximum of 24 legal specialty credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree (BLA) through credit by examination or credit for work/life experience.

Additional Information

Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

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