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Paralegal I| Paralegal II

Students have 14 weeks to complete the online course (7 weeks for paralegal I and 7 weeks for paralegal II).

Note: Both sessions must be taken consecutively.

Paralegal I

Welcome to Paralegal I, the first section of the Paralegal Certificate Course© offered online. This online course represents the culmination of thirty (30) years of “live” classroom instruction of this course for liberal arts and pre-law students at major universities across the United States. To serve foreign students and law firm employees overseas, as well as people residing far from our live classroom lecture locations, we began offering this course on a VHS format in 1987. Now, with this interactive online format, we are overcoming the boundaries of distance and time by bringing the classroom into your office or living room. This interactive Paralegal Certificate Course© provides guided instruction and, in some cases, credit hours with which to work toward a degree. Plus, students successfully completing both section 1 and section 2 will receive a Paralegal Certificate of Completion from their chosen, sponsoring university.

Once registered, your password and access information will be emailed to you in time for the start of class.

This course will provide you with comprehensive knowledge of the American judicial system. It will also teach you practical skills including how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation.

Paralegal I:

Introduction to Paralegal Studies provides the foundation for the study of paralegalism. During the seven week course, you will gain an understanding of the American legal system and learn how you can be of assistance in the exciting field of law. Coursework in Paralegal I is equivalent to 45 class hours of study.

Paralegal I: Introduction to Paralegal Studies

This course is the first of two courses leading to a Paralegal Certificate. Successful completion of both Section 1 and Section 2 of the Paralegal Certificate Course© will result in a Paralegal Certificate issued from the sponsoring university of your choice.* (California paralegals may need to complete Advanced coursework to meet the requirements of new legislation, California Business and Professional Code §6450. Please click here for more information. New Mexico paralegals need to fulfill additional education requirements as set forth in Rule 20-115 NMRA. Please click here for more information.) The course is designed to train students to work as paralegals, provide advanced legal workers with additional skills, and educate students in the American legal system.

*Students taking the course through Ramapo College of New Jersey will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from The Center for Legal Studies.


Paralegal I Objectives:

After successfully completing the tests and assignments for this seven week course, you will know:

  • The origins and history of the American legal system
  • The meaning and application of important legal terminology
  • Attorney and paralegal ethics
  • Techniques of jury selection and the jury selection process
  • How to prepare legal documents including demand letters, pleadings, discovery documents, motions and memos
  • Significant elements of the substantive law of torts, contracts
  • The important rules of civil procedure and evidence
  • How to conduct a legal interview
  • How to conduct legal investigation
  • How to conduct legal analysis and perform legal problem solving

Expectations

This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of 12 hours per week reading and completing writing assignments. Assignments are due once a week.

Please note that no extensions will be granted for this online course.

70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course. Students may consider working ahead in the curriculum if they have the time. All assignments must be submitted to pass the course.

The entire program, Paralegal I and Paralegal II, runs 14 weeks; seven weeks for Paralegal I and seven weeks for Paralegal II. NOTE: To receive your Paralegal Certificate, students must enroll in, and successfully complete, both Paralegal I and Paralegal II. Paralegal I is a prerequisite for Paralegal II.


Course Books

The following texts are available to order from The Center for Legal Studies. Some of the texts may be available in libraries, but most students prefer to own these texts because they are great references even after the course has ended. Please note that these same texts will also be used for the second half of the course: Paralegal II.

  • Paralegal Career for Dummies, Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2006 by Scott A. Hatch and Lisa Zimmer Hatch.
  • Paralegal Certificate Course© Workbook, Golden: The Center for Legal Studies, 2010 by Margaret J. Kirk.
  • Legal Document Preparation Manual for the Paralegal Certificate Course©, Golden: The Center for Legal Studies, 2013
  • Introduction to Paralegalism: Perspectives, Problems and Skills, 8th Edition. Clifton Park: Cengage Learning, 2016 by William Statsky.
  • Federal Civil Rules Booklet, most recent edition, Dahlstrom Legal Publishing, Inc.
  • Uniform System of Citation (aka “The Bluebook”), most recent edition, Harvard Law Review.

Highly Recommended Legal Resources:

  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition, by Daniel Oran. Clifton Park: Delmar Cengage Learning
  • WESTLAW, legal research access, available during the online session (maximum of seven weeks) for only $89. Order Online Now

For more information, call The Center for Legal Studies at 888-407-5138, or visit our Online Store to order.


Paralegal I: Reading Assignments for Lesson Topics:

Lesson One: Legal Terminology, Legal Process, and Rules of Civil Procedure

  • Read Chapter 6 in Introduction to Paralegalism (“Statsky”).
  • Read Chapters 4 & 6 in Paralegal Career for Dummies (“PCD”).
  • Read Chapter 7 pages 99-108 in PCD.
  • Review the legal terms on pages 309-334 of PCD.
  • Read Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, concentrating on Rules 1-56.

Lesson Two: Ethics, Torts, and Contracts

  • Read Chapter 5 in Statsky.
  • Read Chapters 5, 15, & 19 in PCD.
  • Read Chapters 1 & 2 in Legal Document Preparation Manual (“Legal Doc Prep”)

Lesson Three: Legal Documents and Legal Analysis

  • Read Chapters 7 & 12 in Statsky
  • Read Chapters 10 & 16 in PCD
  • Read Chapter 3 in Legal Doc Prep

Lesson Four: Discovery Documents and Legal Interviewing

  • Read Chapter 8 and Chapter 9, pages 401-423 in Statsky
  • Read Chapter 12 in PCD
  • Read Chapter 4 in Legal Doc Prep
  • Review Chapters 10 & 16 in PCD

Lesson Five: Evidence

  • Read the rest of Chapter 9 & all of Chapter 10 Statsky
  • Read Chapter 11 in PCD
  • Review Chapter 7 pages 109-114 in PCD
  • Read Federal Rules of Evidence

Lesson Six: Legal Investigation

  • Review Chapter 11 in PCD
  • Review Chapters 7 & 9 Statsky
  • Review “Introduction to the Law” Chapter 6 pages 287-293 Statsky

Lesson Seven: Course Wrap-up

  • Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, & 4 in Statsky.

Tests:

Each lesson you will submit a 50-point short answer/essay test covering the topics in that lesson’s reading. You will not have a test on the last week of class.

Writing Assignments:

Your writing assignment is to prepare two interoffice memos in which you analyze legal issues. Each memo is worth 100 points.

Bulletin Board Assignments:

You will also post your responses to six class participation assignments. These assignments are referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions and will be submitted by either selecting Bulletin Board Submission from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Forums’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block.

All lesson objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Materials.

Grading

Your grade will be based on your completion of six tests, two memos, and class participation assignments /Bulletin Board Submissions. The tests and writing assignments can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block. You will have the opportunity to engage in “class participation” by using the Bulletin Board tool to respond to the bulletin board assignments throughout the course. Also, participating in the bulletin board assignments will enhance your understanding of the reading material. All assignments must be submitted to pass the course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all assignments.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six tests are 50 points each and comprise 60% of your grade.
  • Two interoffice memos are 100 points each and comprise 30% of your grade.
  • Your participation in bulletin board assignments comprises 10% of your grade.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $15 administrative fee if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at info@legalstudies.com by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at info@legalstudies.com anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.


Paralegal II

Welcome to Paralegal II, the second section of the two-part Paralegal Certificate Course© (Core Courses) offered online. This online course represents the culmination of twenty (20) years of “live” classroom instruction of this course for liberal arts and pre-law students at major universities across the United States. To serve foreign students and law firm employees overseas, as well as people residing far from our live classroom lecture locations, we began offering this course on a VHS format in 1987. Now, with this interactive online format, we are overcoming the boundaries of distance and time by bringing the classroom into your office or living room. This interactive Paralegal Certificate Course© provides guided instruction and, in some cases, credit hours with which to work toward a degree. Plus, students successfully completing both section I and section II will receive a paralegal certificate from their chosen, sponsoring university.

Once registered, your password and access information will be emailed to you in time for the start of class.

This course will provide you with a working knowledge of legal authority: how it is used in the litigation process and how to locate it through legal research. You will also learn the basics of law office management, substantive law (such as criminal law, domestic relations, real property law, and bankruptcy), and informal and formal advocacy.

Paralegal II:

Advanced Paralegal Concepts takes over where part one leaves off. You will learn the advanced skills of legal research and writing, formal and informal advocacy, and appellate procedure. Coursework in Paralegal II is equivalent to 45 clock hours of study.

Paralegal II: Advanced Paralegal Concepts

This course is the second of two courses leading to a Paralegal Certificate. Successful completion of both Section 1 and Section 2 of the Paralegal Certificate Course© will result in a Paralegal Certificate issued from the sponsoring university of your choice.* (California paralegals may need to complete Advanced coursework to meet the requirements of new legislation, California Business and Professional Code §6450. Please click here for more information. New Mexico paralegals need to fulfill additional education requirements as set forth in Rule 20-115 NMRA. Please click here for more information.) The course is designed to train students to work as paralegals, provide advanced legal workers with additional skills, and educate students about the American legal system.

*Students taking the course through Ramapo College of New Jersey will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from The Center for Legal Studies.


Paralegal II Objectives:

After successfully completing the tests and assignments for this seven week course, you will know:

  • The importance of precedence
  • What legal authority is, and which authority is the most important
  • How to conduct legal research and learn how to use the 4 most effective legal research tools found in virtually every law library
  • How to Shepardize your authority
  • How to properly cite your authority
  • How to conduct computerized legal research used extensively in law offices throughout the country.
  • Proper and effective legal writing style
  • The basic documents for several important substantive areas of law
  • Advocacy techniques for usage in formal or informal settings, and
  • How to begin your job search and perhaps begin a freelance paralegal business after your education

Prerequisites

Paralegal I: Introduction to Paralegal Studies

Expectations

This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of 12 hours per week reading and completing writing and research assignments. Assignments are due once a week. Please note that no extensions will be granted for this online course.

70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course. Students may consider working ahead in the curriculum if they have the time. All assignments must be submitted to pass the course.

The entire program, Paralegal I and Paralegal II, runs 14 weeks; seven weeks for Paralegal I and seven weeks for Paralegal II. NOTE: To receive your Paralegal Certificate, students must enroll in, and successfully complete, both Paralegal I and Paralegal II. Paralegal I is a prerequisite for Paralegal II.


Course Books

The following texts are available to order from The Center for Legal Studies. Some of the texts may be available in libraries, but most students prefer to own these texts because they are great references even after the course has ended. The following texts are required: Please note that these are the same texts you used for Paralegal I.

  • Paralegal Career for Dummies, Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2006 by Scott A. Hatch and Lisa Zimmer Hatch.
  • Paralegal Certificate Course© Workbook, Golden: The Center for Legal Studies, 2010 by Margaret J. Kirk.
  • Legal Document Preparation Manual for the Paralegal Certificate Course©, Golden: The Center for Legal Studies, 2013
  • Introduction to Paralegalism: Perspectives, Problems and Skills, 8th Edition. Clifton Park: Cengage Learning, 2016 by William Statsky.
  • Federal Civil Rules Booklet, most recent edition, Dahlstrom Legal Publishing, Inc.
  • Uniform System of Citation (aka “The Bluebook”), most recent edition, Harvard Law Review.
  • WESTLAW, legal research access, available during the online session (maximum of seven weeks) for only $89. Order Online Now

Highly Recommended Legal Resources:

  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition, by Daniel Oran. Clifton Park: Delmar Cengage Learning

For more information, call The Center for Legal Studies at 888-407-5138, or visit our Online Store to order.


Paralegal II: Reading Assignments for Lesson Topics:

Lesson One: Legal Authority

  • Read Chapter 11 in Introduction to Paralegalism (“Statsky”).
  • Read Chapter 8 in Paralegal Career for Dummies (“PCD”).

Lesson Two: Introduction to Legal Research, Secondary Sources, and Finding Tools

  • Review Chapter 11 in Statsky
  • Read Chapter 13 in PCD

Lesson Three: Citation Format and Appellate Procedure

  • Review Chapter 11 in Statsky, concentrating on Citation on pages 506-513
  • Review Chapter 13 in PCD, concentrating on pages 208-209
  • Read Chapter 12, Appellate Brief section on pages 542-546 and Chapter 10, Litigation Assistant: Appeal Section on pages 483-484 in Statsky
  • Read Chapter 5 in Legal Document Preparation Manual (“Legal Doc Prep”)
  • Review “Appealing the decision” in PCD on pages 87-89

Lesson Four: Computerized Legal Research

  • Read Chapter 13 in Statsky
  • Read Chapter 17 in PCD

Lesson Five: Legal Writing and Analysis

  • Read Chapter 12 Statsky
  • Read Chapter 16 in PCD

Lesson Six & Seven: Law Office Administration & Informal and Formal Advocacy , Job-Hunting Techniques &Course Wrap-up

  • Read Chapters 14 & 15 in Statsky
  • Read Chapter 18 in PCD
  • Read Chapter 1, 2, & 3 in PCD
  • Review Chapter 2 in Statsky

Tests:

Each lesson you will submit a 50-point short answer/essay exam covering the topics in that lesson’s reading. You will not have a test on the last week of class.

WESTLAW Research Exercises:

You will complete 3 WESTLAW Research exercises to hone your research skills and help you prepare to research your appellate brief assignment. Each exercise is worth 10 points. Deadlines are posted within your course.

Writing Assignments:

Your writing assignment for this course is to complete an Appellate Brief based on a hypothetical case. This assignment is worth 100 points.

Bulletin Board Assignments:

You will also post your responses to six class participation assignments. These assignments are referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions and will be submitted by either selecting Bulletin Board Submission from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Forums’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block.

All lesson objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Materials.


Grading

Your grade will be based on your completion of six tests, two memos, and class participation assignments /Bulletin Board Submissions. The tests and writing assignments can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block. You will have the opportunity to engage in “class participation” by using the Bulletin Board tool to respond to the bulletin board assignments throughout the course. Also, participating in the bulletin board assignments will enhance your understanding of the reading material. All assignments must be submitted to pass the course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all assignments.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six tests are 50 points each and comprise 60% of your grade.
  • The research assignments are 10 points each and comprise 15% of your grade.
  • The appellate brief is 100 points and comprises 15% of your grade.
  • Your participation in bulletin board assignments comprises 10% of your grade.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $15 administrative fee if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at info@legalstudies.com by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at info@legalstudies.com anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.

* WESTLAW access is available for a maximum of seven weeks for only $89.00. Please read the WESTLAW User Agreement for more information.