Department Chair: Mitch Mancione, 847-635-1935, firstname.lastname@example.org
The goal of the Paralegal Studies program is to train students to work in paralegal or legal assistant roles in a variety of legal settings such as law, business, or government offices. The program offers coursework for individuals seeking to enter the field, preparing for a career change, or wishing to upgrade their skills for existing positions. It also provides students with a broad array of general education studies along with specific skills relevant to the paralegal profession.
The Paralegal Studies program has been developed in accordance with American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines.1 The College offers the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies, which requires 60 semester credit hours comprised of 18 hours of general education courses and 42 hours of Paralegal Studies (PAR) courses and other electives. The program also offers the Paralegal Studies Certificate, which requires 24 semester credit hours of strictly paralegal courses. Prior to completing this certificate, students must have completed a minimum of an associate’s degree, either at Oakton or at another accredited college or university.
Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Paralegal Studies Courses
Course covers the functions of law; courts and lawyers in modern society; the origin, training and role of the paralegal; professional responsibilities of the lawyer; fields and specializations within the practice of law; and legal research and writing based upon a review of the sources and works of law.
Course orients students to law library and various legal publications, treatises and other legal writings encountered in day-to-day practice of law. Content emphasizes developing student capability to analyze, interpret, and communicate facts, ideas and law through comprehension of legal research techniques.
Course covers the role of the paralegal in litigation. Content includes an analysis of civil procedure and instruction in preparation of documents used in lawsuits, covering pre- and post-trial matters, evidentiary problems, and assistance during trials.
Course covers the role of the paralegal in family law. Content includes an examination of domestic relations law with emphasis on marriage, divorce, annulment, separation agreements, adoption, and other legal matters involving the family.
Course provides historical study of common law estates and interests and statutes. Content emphasizes the role of and relationship between the attorney and the paralegal in preparing the more common types of real property transactions and conveyances such as deeds, contracts and leases; drafting problems involving these various instruments; special research projects related to the subject matter; and a study of the system of recording and search of public documents.
Course provides exposure to and training in the use of the computer to perform legal research. Content emphasizes Westlaw, LEXIS and Internet research, and introduces the latest forms of computer-assisted legal research.
Course covers topics such as incorporation, corporate recordkeeping, and compliance with administrative regulations. Also covered are statutes, rules, forms, and releases pertaining to the principal acts administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Course covers the role of the paralegal in probate matters. Topics include the principles, history, and sources of probate law; probate court forms and tax returns; and gathering information and preparing documents for the paralegal's supervising attorney.
Course covers the role of the paralegal in tort and insurance law. Topics include basic tort and insurance principles, insurance claim procedures, and pleading forms used in litigation of various actions.
Course covers the role of the paralegal in estate planning. Topics include common forms of wills and trusts; legal principles applicable to wills and trusts; and drafting of documents by the paralegal for the supervising attorney.
Course covers the principles, history, and sources of contract law; elements of a valid, enforceable contract; and contract drafting. Topics include Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code regarding the sale of goods, and the role of the paralegal in contract law.
Course covers American environmental law. Topics include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Endangered Species Act, wetlands, asbestos, and environmental racism. Emphasis is on the role of the paralegal in environmental law issues. Ethical issues dealing with environmental law are also discussed.
Course develops skills and competencies needed to recognize legal problems and comply with the procedures relating to various government agencies. Content includes federal housing and landlord-tenant law; mental and civil commitments; welfare laws; labor law; social security law; consumer protection law; and the paralegal's role in community law.
(offered spring semester only) Course covers law office management, relying on the system analysis approach to examine design, methods, and processes necessary for integrating the paralegal into the hierarchy of the organization of a law office. Emphasis is on defining functions of the lawyer, paralegal, and legal secretary.
Course covers the principles, history, and sources of bankruptcy law in the United States, as well as the law relating to Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Content includes instruction in the drafting of the schedules needed for Chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 filings. Course examines the jurisdiction of the federal bankruptcy courts and the role of the paralegal in bankruptcy law.
Course covers an historical study of the development of intellectual property law in the United States. Content includes the role of the paralegal in preparing applications for patent, copyright, and trademark protections with federal and state governments. Course provides an overview of the role of the paralegal in preparing for litigation involving intellectual property law issues, and reviews ethical issues that arise in the intellectual property arena.
Course covers American commercial real estate law. Topics include the anatomy of a commercial real estate transaction; the role of a paralegal in a commercial real estate transaction; the importance of title searches and surveys; and the role of leases, easements, and licenses. Also covered are the process utilized to obtain commercial real estate mortgages; the role of a paralegal in preparing for a commercial real estate closing; and ethical issues dealing with commercial real estate.
Course provides supervised experience in a legal setting to enhance students' technical paralegal skills. Also included is a one-hour weekly seminar devoted to paralegal issues.
Course covers selected problems or topics in paralegal studies. Content and instructional methodology will vary semester to semester. A syllabus or course outline containing additional information will be available with preregistration materials each time that the course is offered. This course may be repeated on different topics up to three times for up to four credit hours.