Paralegal - Required Courses | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Required Courses

  • PLS-530:  Introduction to Paralegal Studies and Ethics (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover general law topics including the structure of the American legal system, the various sources of law, legal analysis, and methods of dispute resolution.  Students also will discuss the responsibilities and duties of paralegals, as well as the ethical considerations of particular importance to paralegals and other non-lawyer professionals. 

    PLS-532:  Fundamentals:  Torts and Contracts (2 credit hours)
    This course will cover tort law and contracts law.  In torts, the topics will include intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, defamation, and defenses to tort actions.  Students will learn to identify and analyze tort issues in case law and various fact patterns.  In contracts, the topics will include the elements of a contract, the laws that govern contracts (including the Uniform Commercial Code), the different types of contract breaches, and defenses to contract actions.  Students will draft and revise various contract provisions using track-changing technology.  Students also will learn about execution and delivery of contracts, as well as preparing signature blocks for different individuals and business organizations.   

    PLS-534:  Professional Development Practicum (1 credit hour)
    Over the course of the year (as modified for Summer Immersion students), each student will attend a minimum of three one-on-one counseling appointments to discuss individual career and professional development needs. All students will be required to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP is a self-assessment, planning, and goal setting tool that is meant to be revised/updated as the year progresses. Students will be required to attend three to four group professional development workshops on topics including self-assessment and goal setting; resume and cover letter drafting; networking and job search strategies; interviewing; and social media and professional etiquette.  Students will maintain a record of the time they spend on professional development activities.  This course will be pass/fail based on the student’s overall participation in individual counseling sessions and workshops, the time-keeping report, and completion and maintenance of the IDP. 

    PLS-536:  eDiscovery & Legal Technology (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover general legal technology software, applications, and trends, as well as eDiscovery.  Students will utilize key legal software packages for office management, client management, billing, and trial preparation.  Students will discuss the ethical implications associated with technology and social media.  The second half of the course will focus on eDiscovery and the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, as well as the legal and practical considerations involved in the Electronic Discovery process.  Students will evaluate emerging eDiscovery case law, best practices, cost management, and current eDiscovery technologies.  Note:  This course presupposes that all students are familiar with the basics of office technology including Word, Excel, and Power Point. 

    PLS-542:  Legal Research & Writing I (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover the fundamentals of legal research and writing, and teach students to develop a writing style that is clear and concise.  Students will analyze legal issues, apply relevant case or statutory law to facts, and express legal opinions in various written forms, including an objective memorandum (“office memo”).  Students will read cases and prepare case briefs.  Students also will identify and resolve ethical dilemmas encountered by paralegals as they assist attorneys with legal research and writing.  Students will utilize a variety of manual and computer-assisted research techniques, including Lexis, Westlaw, and the Internet. 

    PLS-543:  Legal Research & Writing II (3 credit hours)
    This course will continue covering the fundamentals of legal research and writing, and teach students to develop a writing style that is clear and concise.  Students will continue locating and analyzing case law and statutes, and will begin to identify and use secondary sources for research projects.  Students also will draft various legal documents, including a memorandum of law. 

    PLS-544:  Civil Litigation (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover topics including case organization, the litigation process, and the Rules of Civil Procedure.  Students will receive a fact pattern and case files, and participate in the trial process as either the defense or the plaintiff team.  The instructors will guide students through the pretrial phase of a civil case. Students will apply the Rules of Civil Procedure and become involved in the litigation process. Students also will draft a variety of pleadings, discovery documents, deposition digests, motions, etc.  Students also will conduct mock interviews and depositions.

    PLS-545:  Business Organizations (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover topics including agency law, and the formation and operation of corporations, general and limited partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liability companies.  Students will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of operating different business organizations, as well as the steps a business must take upon ceasing operations.  Students also will prepare documents that are necessary for the formation of the different types of business organizations. 

    PLS-546:  Real Property (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover topics including various estates in land, types of ownership, and transfers of title. Students will learn how to analyze surveys, legal descriptions, easements, deeds, and title matters.  Students will review and discuss contracts for purchase and sale, the real estate closing, mortgages and other liens, foreclosures, and leases.  Students also will prepare closing documents, deeds, and other property-related documents.

    PLS-551:  Probate (3 credit hours)
    This course will cover topics including intestacy, jurisdiction, wills, trusts, probate, guardianships, fiduciary powers, and estate administration.  Students will discuss various estate tax issues, as well as the estate-planning process.  Students also will prepare a variety of probate-related documents including a will, trust, and estate administration documents. 

    PLS-549:  Family Law (2 credit hours)
    In this course, students will learn about the paralegal's role in the interaction between lawyer and client in a family law case. Students will discuss the substantive areas of divorce, dissolution, alimony, custody, support, and settlements by reviewing statutory and case law.  Students will prepare a variety of documents including, without limitation, a new client questionnaire, an income and expense affidavit, motions for temporary orders, dissolution documents, a complaint for divorce, and discovery requests.

    PLS-553:  Intellectual Property (3 credit hours)
    The primary areas of intellectual property are Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents & Trade Secrets.  These areas of the law provide the basis for legal protection of art, music, movies, books, computer source code, logos, brands, product packaging, inventions, jewelry, secret recipes and a number of other valuable intangible assets. In addition, intellectual property legal professionals deal with a number of evolving areas of the law including social media, domain names, and sports sponsorships. This course will cover the fundamentals of intellectual property rights, including how to obtain, maintain and enforce such rights.  The course will also explore the practical aspects of searching, registering, and owning intellectual property.  Finally, the course will include scenario-based exercises in the form of in-class activities and take-home assignments, exploring activities common to legal professionals in the intellectual property field.

    PLS-550:  Criminal Procedure  (2 credit hours)
    This elective course examines the basic elements of criminal law and procedure, including the interpretation and use of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. All aspects of the criminal trial process are explored, including investigation and pre-trial and post-trial motions. Research assignments expand the students’ skills in these areas. Instructional methods include lecture, Socratic method based on hypothetical reading assignments in the text, outside reading assignments consistent with the course areas and outside research incident to an assigned term paper.  Though much of the class is devoted to lecture, questions and discussions of material or current cases/laws or events are encouraged.

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