College Catalog

Nurse-Health Care Paralegal Studies (LX)

(Effective Fall 2004)

This major is designed for students who have an associate or baccalaureate degree in nursing or other Health Sciences field, such as Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy and Radiography, or who are working on a degree in Applied Health Studies (BAH). The curriculum provides an introduction to the legal system and the role of the paralegal, along with an emphasis in legal research, writing and ethics. Additional courses expose students to specific practice areas where medical knowledge is particularly appropriate. Paralegals operate under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are prohibited from practicing law.

Career Opportunities

Nurse/Health Care Paralegals are hired by law firms, insurance companies, risk management departments, and government agencies. They are especially suited to any legal specialty field requiring medical expertise, such as medical malpractice, personal injury litigation, insurance, risk management, elder law, workers' compensation and disability law. Some work independently, offering their services as consultants and expert witnesses.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • gain an understanding of the interrelationship between the health care, insurance, and legal fields and the goals of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC).
  • learn about the role of the nurse/health care paralegal in a variety of legal fields and how to gain employment in a legal environment or establish an independent practice.
  • learn the basic principles of the American legal system, including the sources of law, jurisdiction, civil case procedure, and the structure of state and federal court systems.
  • learn the substantive and procedural law in various legal areas involving medical issues, including personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, risk management, insurance, workers' compensation, and disability.
  • learn how to conduct effective factual and legal research and prepare legal correspondence, memoranda, documents, and exhibits.
  • develop skills in various aspects of civil case management, discovery, and trial preparation, including analyzing and summarizing medical documents and deposition transcripts for use in legal matters.
  • develop skills necessary to testify in legal proceedings, negotiate on behalf of a client, and interview clients and witnesses.
  • learn the ethical rules and standards of practice pertaining to the paralegal and develop a framework for resolving ethical dilemmas.
  • develop an appreciation for lifelong learning and the need for maintaining currency in the medical and legal field.

Curriculum

First SemesterCredits
LAS100Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3 
LAS210Civil Litigation 3 
LAS310Risk Management and Insurance 3 
LAHSpecified LX Legal Elective 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Second SemesterCredits
LAS150Legal Research and Writing 3 
LAS371Legal Ethics 3 
LAHSpecified LX Legal Elective 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 9

Additional Information

Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

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