Paralegal Studies

Scales of Justice

2015-2016 Paralegal Studies Degree Plan


The growing demand for legal services has placed great stress on attorneys to provide efficient and effective legal assistance. Paralegals--who, as non-lawyers, are legally restricted from practicing law--assist attorneys in meeting this demand and aid in delivering legal services more efficiently and economically.

As the paralegal field continues to grow, the demand for paralegals remains high. Career opportunities for paralegals exist in private law firms, government offices, and businesses such as banks, corporations, and insurance companies. Law libraries, paralegal education, and freelance paralegal work provide additional career opportunities for paralegals.


The mission of the Paralegal Studies program is to provide students with a well-rounded liberal arts education, including the legal terminology, concepts, and skills necessary to function effectively in the legal profession, whether in a private law firm, business, or government environment.


Course description:

PLS 381. Introduction to Paralegalism. 3 hrs. An introduction to the profession, including history and development, ethics, the American legal system and paralegal skills

PLS 382. Civil Litigation. 3 hrs. An introduction to civil litigation — the process of resolving disputes between individuals, businesses and government through the court system, with emphasis on procedure

PLS 383. Legal Research. 3 hrs. A summary of primary and secondary legal sources including reporters, digests, codes, citations, LEXIS, the Internet and other basic research materials

PLS 384. Legal Drafting. 3 hrs. An introduction to writing correspondence, pleadings, discovery, legal memoranda, briefs and other documents used in civil practice

PLS 385. Law Office Computing and Management. 3 hrs. A skills course which introduces computer applications in the law office, including Windows, word processing, automated litigation support and specific law office management applications such as timekeeping, billing and docket control systems

PLS 386. Equity Practice. 3 hrs. A study of the courts of equity and their jurisdiction in the American legal system, with emphasis on domestic relations, wills and estates

PLS 387. Title Searching and Loan Document Preparation. 3 hrs. An introduction to the procedure of title searching and the preparation of loan-closing documents

PLS 388. Commercial Skills for Paralegals. 3 hrs. An introduction to transactional law and related topics, including bankruptcy, debtor-creditor law, intellectual property and formation of business entities

PLS 389. Internship in Paralegal Studies. 3-9 hrs. Prerequisites: PLS 381, 382, 383, and 384, a GPA of 2.5 and permission of the director; course is open only to paralegal majors.

PLS 490. Advanced Paralegalism. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: Senior standing. A writing-intensive course to provide paralegal majors with a comprehensive review prior to entering the working environment or sitting for the Certified Legal Assistant examination; open only to paralegal majors and to paralegal graduates preparing to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant Examination

PLS 492. Special Problems in Paralegal Studies. 1-3 hrs. Prerequisite: Consent of the director. Provides the opportunity to pursue a special topic or area of interest. May be repeated for a total of three hours (Students undertaking a Senior Honors project will enroll in PLS H492.)