Legal Assistant Courses
Introduction to Paralegal Studies
Overview of the legal system and the present and potential role of the paralegal within the legal process. Study includes a comparison of civil and criminal law, the sources of American law, structure and operation of the court systems, fundamentals of legal research sources, principles of contract and tort law, and basic legal terminology. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): Placement by Examination or RDG111. Fall Only.
Law and Society
Overview of the American legal system and the impact of law on our society. Includes a comparison of civil and criminal law systems, the sources of American law, structure and operation of the course systems, rights of the criminally accused, principles of contract and tort law, basic legal terminology, and an introduction to legal research sources. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) As needed.
Exploration of the many ethical and malpractice pitfalls that paralegals and lawyers face in providing legal services. Discussion includes the ABA and Pennsylvania guidelines and appellate court decisions involving substantive ethical issues. Emphasis on identifying ethical issues and, once identified, on how to proceed. (Formerly LAS371) 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): Placement by Examination or RDG111. Fall Only.
Legal Research and Writing
Study designed to provide a working familiarity of the major legal resources. Practical experience includes using both primary and secondary sources and helps develop the capacity to research legal issues rapidly and accurately. Emphasis on effective communication through the written word. The ability to research and communicate information will be incorporated into the correct writing of letters, legal memoranda, briefs, and other legal documents. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Corequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Civil Practice and Procedures
Study of the rules of procedure that are followed in a civil suit, from the commencement of the action through trial and appeal. Skills developed include researching a point of law and drafting pleadings, interrogatories, depositions, and motions. Emphasis on the role of the paralegal in this process, with special emphasis on the discovery process. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Corequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Real Property Law
Study that provides the basic concepts of the law of real property and a working knowledge of the procedures and documents involved in real estate transactions. Rules affecting ownership and transferability of real estate are covered. Discussion covers the paralegal's duties, from accumulating data and information needed to complete the various instruments of conveyance, such as deeds or mortgages, to monitoring mortgage foreclosures, real estate closings, examining title reports, preparing and plotting legal descriptions of land, and preparing leases. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Corequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Real Estate Principles and Practices
Exploration of real estate as a business, with treatment of relevant economic, social, and political factors. Study includes relevant federal and Pennsylvania real estate law governing landlord/tenant interests, property management, licensing, brokerage, agency, listing and buyer representations agreements, antitrust, and fair housing. Basic concepts of real estate appraisal are covered. Relevant procedures and documents are reviewed and analyzed. Course work includes legal research component. Emphasis on terminology and ethical issues specific to the business of real estate. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Corequisite(s): LAS170.
Oil and Gas Law
Introduction to oil, gas, and related environmental law through examination of basic legal doctrines and theories. Study covers fundamental concepts of oil and gas law, the relationship between landowners and oil and gas operators, applicable government regulations, and documents used in the industry. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. As needed.
Introduction to civil litigation, the process whereby one person sues another in a court of law to enforce a right or to seek a remedy. The paralegal's role in gathering and organizing factual information is discussed, with emphasis placed on the discovery process. Documents that paralegals would be expected to draft are reviewed. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111 and LAS160. Fall Only.
Business Organizational Law
Overview of the various forms of business organization - sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Analysis includes the basic characteristics of each form of organization as well as the contracts and documents developed in the set-up, operation, and dissolution of each. Discussion includes the ethical issues relevant to business organization law. Business Law I (MGT 231 or MGT 301) and Business Law II (MGT 241 or MGT 302) cannot be substituted for this course. (Formerly LAS110) 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
Basic principles of family law and practice, including a study of antenuptial agreements, marriage, adoption, annulment, dissolution of marriage and legal separation, alimony, property settlement, child custody and support, and paternity actions. Course work includes reviewing statutes and case law governing these proceedings as well as various legal documents used in family law matters, such as typical pleadings, affidavits, and separation agreements. The practical aspects of the paralegal role in the field of family law are emphasized. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
Estate and Trust Administration
General theory and procedures employed in the preparation and handling of wills, trusts, and estates. Topics cover the responsibilities and duties in the field of estate administration that can be performed by a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney. Sample forms for the preparation of wills, the creation of trusts, and the administration of a decedent's estate, as well as tax forms, are reviewed. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
The American Civil War: Law, Politics and Technology
Examination of the legal, political, and technological implications of the American Civil War era, including factors leading to the war and the Reconstruction period. Topics include issues raised by secession, states' rights, the suspension of habeas corpus, slavery and emancipation, the Dred Scott decision and later civil rights cases, and military rule of the occupied South during and after the war. Topics also include the contributions of various minority group members and the interactions of these groups with the larger society. Other discussion includes the impact of technology on the war and its aftermath, including advances in weaponry, battle tactics, medicine, photography, journalism, transportation, surveillance, and means of communication. The relevancy of the Civil War to modern society is addressed. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) (Cultural Diversity, Science, Technology and Society) As needed.
Criminal Law and Procedures
Study covering the various facets of criminal law. Topics include crimes against the person and property, as well as the procedures necessary from arrest through trial, sentencing, and punishment. The paralegal's role in these procedures and in the preparation of documents is emphasized. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111.
Study of the Federal Bankruptcy Code and the laws regulating bankruptcy and creditors' rights. Examination covers the various types of petitions that can be filed by individuals and business entities. Procedures for the paralegal to follow in preparing and filing these petitions are reviewed. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Study providing the skills needed to assist attorneys in the public sector of law. Human relations, Social Security, unemployment, occupational safety, workman's compensation, minority and handicapped rights, and environmental protection are some of the topics covered. The role of the paralegal in dealing with the client and the local, state, and/or federal agencies involved is emphasized. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Legal Assistant Internship
Work experience (typically unpaid) within a private law firm, government agency, court office, corporation, insurance company, bank, real estate company, community service agency, health care facility, or other appropriate office. Supervised by a licensed, practicing attorney, the student will observe and participate as a paralegal in the operation of the assigned office. A resume and interview with the prospective internship employer are required. As a capstone course, the internship must be scheduled as one of the final courses in the associate-degree major. Student must successfully complete 24 LAS credits prior to enrolling in this course. Restricted to LA or BLA majors. 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship)
Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Study of the various facets of interviewing and attorney counseling. Focus is on negotiation strategies and tactics used by attorneys emphasizing various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation, ADR's practical aspects, and the paralegal's role in ADR. Skill development includes interviewing witnesses and parties to litigation, and development of mediation techniques. Study includes the paralegal's role in assisting attorney counseling and effective negotiation. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
Risk Management and Insurance
Study and practice in risk identification, analysis, and management, including insurance products and alternative tools. Techniques such as loss control, risk retention, and risk transfer are presented within business and health care law contexts. Emphasis on preventative measures (risk management) and remedial measures (insurance and its alternative) essential to understanding risk and, ideally, minimizing social and economic costs resulting from loss. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
Introduction to the general principles and theories of the law of nations. Emphasis on nations as participants in the decision-making process and how this process impacts private individuals. Study includes the processes followed when the United States enters into international agreements and the role and impact of international agreements in our domestic law and business practices. Student must have completed 60 credits or have permission of instructor to schedule this course. (Formerly LAS 470) 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. (Cultural Diversity) As needed.
Electronic Media and Law
Exploration of how media law has evolved to meet the challenges posed by electronic media. Introduction to the different areas of electronic media law and how they have developed from traditional media law concepts. Relevant federal and state statutes, regulations, and case law are presented. The interaction between law and ethics is also considered. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. (Science, Technology and Society) As needed.
Legal Issues in Information Security Management
Study of major legal and ethical issues raised by information security. Focus on legal aspects of security management likely to be encountered by businesses, organizations, and employees. Applicable federal and state criminal statutes are examined and various theories of civil liability are analyzed, including breach of contract, negligence, invasion of privacy, Constitutional violations, intellectual property infringement actions, and other relevant statutory claims. Basic concepts of litigation and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are presented. Preventative legal management is stressed, including the importance of employee training, identifying legal and ethical issues, and recognizing when to consult a legal professional. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): CIT230 and ENL111. (Science, Technology and Society)
Advanced Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis
Study intended to improve and expand upon methods of legal research and legal writing. Skill development includes researching increasingly intricate issues of law using accurate and precise methods. Emphasis is on the ability to prepare complex legal documents such as the appellate brief. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): LAS150. (Writing Enriched) Spring Only.
Survey of the major provisions of the U.S. Constitution and the amendments that have been adopted. Case studies are used to analyze the role of the courts in interpreting the Constitution. Discussion includes the applications of federalism, the functioning of the separation of powers doctrine, the growth and development of federal government powers, equal protection and due process of law, and the impact of legislation, executive enforcement, and court decisions on constitutional rights of the individual, minorities, and culturally diverse groups. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. (Cultural Diversity) Fall Only.
Law Office Administration and Management
Study providing a general perspective of law office administration and management by identifying the responsibilities of various positions and roles in the typical law office setting. Skill development includes administrative areas such as personnel organization, telecommunications, financial tasks, and public contact. Emphasis on docket control systems and client confidences. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
Consumer Protection Law
Exploration of federal state statutes, regulations, and case decisions designed to protect the interests of consumers. Laws addressed include the Federal Trade Commission Act and regulations, Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Truth-in-Lending Act, Consumer Credit Protection Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, automobile lemon law, and laws governing telemarketing, product warranties, false-misleading advertising, deceptive trade practices, and common law deceit. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Fall Only.
UCC and Intellectual Property Law
Introduction to the framework and coverage of the Uniform Commercial Code, with particular emphasis on Articles 2 (Sale of Goods), 3 (Negotiable instruments), and 9 (Secured Transactions). Intellectual property topics include the basic legal principles applicable to federal trademark, copyright, and patent protection, emphasizing the rights granted by each, procedures for procurement, and protection through litigation. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): ENL111. Spring Only.
Senior Project: Legal Assistant Studies
Capstone course generally taken during the final semester of Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies program. Completion of 12 LAS credits beyond LA degree is required to enroll. Course work fulfills the senior project criteria through application of the knowledge and competencies gained in previous course work to an approved major professional endeavor of the student's choosing (submitted and approved during the previous semester). Successful completion of the project will consist of a written report with all necessary documentation and supporting materials and an oral presentation in a colloquium environment to peers, faculty, and members of the College community. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) As needed.