(Effective Fall 2013)

The American Bar Association-approved Legal Assistant/Paralegal curriculum prepares students to assist attorneys, either in private practice or in public service, in the performance of their professional duties. Paralegals operate under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are prohibited from practicing law. The curriculum provides students with a core of paralegal courses, a variety of courses in specialized areas of law, and a series of related courses. A professional internship gives students on-the-job paralegal experience. This in-depth coverage of the paralegal's role in the field of law provides the background necessary for successful employment in this rapidly growing field.

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. Opportunities also exist for graduates to continue their education.

Recommended High School Subjects

Students should have English and mathematics courses (including algebra).

Remediation Strategies

All students entering the major are tested for English, reading, and mathematics deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies during their first semester. Deficiencies in English and/or reading must be remediated prior to beginning LAS courses.

Transfer Procedures

This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College (see http://www.pct.edu/catalog/TransferringCredits ). Exceptions must be approved by the school dean. A maximum of 15 legal specialty credits may be transferred into the associate-degree major (LA).

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • define and use terminology common to the legal industry.
  • 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.
  • possess the ability to interpret legal documents and to assist the attorney with the drafting of such documents.
  • learn the ethical rules and standards of practice and be able to identify and respond appropriately to legal ethical issues.
  • learn to conduct effective legal research.
  • demonstrate competent legal writing skills.

Performance Standards

Students must maintain a 'C' or greater in all Legal Assistant-Paralegal courses. The major uses an A, B, C, and F grading scale in all LAS courses. Failure to achieve a grade of 'C' or higher after the maximum number of attempts allowed by College policy results in withdrawal from the major. Students should work closely with their advisers and with the program faculty to ensure they are meeting all criteria for satisfactory progress in the major.

Curriculum

First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
LAS100 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3  
LAS125 Legal Ethics 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
MTH151 Structures of Mathematics 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Second Semester Credits
LAS150 Legal Research and Writing 3  
LAS160 Civil Practice and Procedures 3  
LAS170 Real Property Law 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Third Semester Credits
LAS210 Civil Litigation 3  
LAS220 Family Law 3  
LAS230 Estate and Trust Administration 3  
ACC113 Introduction to Financial Accounting 3  
SCI Science Elective 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
or
ART Art Elective 3  
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3  
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3  
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 18
Fourth Semester Credits
LAS250 Criminal Law and Procedures 3  
LAS291 Legal Assistant Internship 3  
LAS360 Advanced Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
BLS Specified Legal Assistant Elective 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 12

A maximum of 15 legal specialty credits may be applied toward the associate’s degree (LA) through credit by examination or credit for work/life experience.

Additional Information

Students who begin the major in January will require at least five semesters to complete the major. Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).