Paralegal Studies Courses

These listings are sourced from Curricunet, and some courses may not be offered every semester. For additional information, contact the academic department, speak with counseling or refer to the current Class Schedule and College Catalog.

PLGL 30 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course will introduce students to the responsibilities and duties of a paralegal. It will provide an overview of the paralegal profession, including the paralegal's role in the delivery of legal services.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Ability to summarize, compare and analyze the basics of paralegal work, the civil and criminal court system and understand relevant legal terminology.
  2. Research, interpret and analyze various sources of law, different types of evidence, and apply to legal investigations, interviews, and pleading documents.
  3. Understand billing, timekeeping and other law office procedures, as well as overall office management.

PLGL 31 - Legal Writing and Research    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamentals of legal research and writing. Students will learn how to locate, analyze and cite to federal and state cases, statutes, constitutions, and secondary sources. Instruction is given on utilizing both print materials and online resources. Students will prepare case briefs that demonstrate legal reasoning, proper punctuation, grammar and clarity of expression.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Contrast and explain the difference between written professional communications, oral presentations, and legal memorandum including pleadings, briefs, and motions.
  2. Explain how to cite various legal authorities and how to shepardize and keycite using electronic resources like LexisNexis or Westlaw.
  3. Comprehend and explain the rules contained in various legal authorities and how to apply them to a variety of fact patterns, as well as prepare and brief a moderately complex legal case.

PLGL 32 - Litigation and Civil Procedure    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course provides an introduction to the litigation process and the role of the paralegal. It will include the process and procedures related to litigation, including the specific duties of a paralegal in the pretrial and trial process.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Develop a basic understanding of the litigation process-it's origins, structure and institutions-to enable students to work in the legal field as a paralegal.
  2. Strengthen students' ability to analyze facts and law and persuasively support a pleading or discovery document with evidence/argumentation.
  3. Understand various discovery mechanisms and their appropriate usage, and apply the rules regarding admissibility of information obtained through the discovery process.
  4. Research legal issues in any jurisdiction and cite appropriate authorities and legal sources.
  5. Describe key elements of various civil pleadings, i.e. complaints, answers, and motions.
  6. Describe basic rules of trial procedure and basic rules of evidence in relation to the litigation process.

PLGL 33 - Computer Application and E-Discovery for Paralegals    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course introduces the use of technology by paralegals in the legal profession. Students will become familiar with hardware and software used in law offices and will explore the latest versions of common programs like Microsoft® Word, Excel®, and PowerPoint®, as well as specialized legal applications. Students will be instructed on the ethical considerations of technology in the legal profession.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Explain the role of the paralegal in utilizing technology in a legal setting including: word processing and document assembly, spreadsheets, database management, law office management, case management and litigation support.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of computer technology and the use of computer hardware and software in the law office.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to utilize various computer applications in the law office.
  4. Explain the use of and demonstrate the ability to perform computer-assisted legal research.

PLGL 34 - Professional Responsibility and Ethics    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course provides students with a practical understanding of the professional codes of conduct and the general principles of ethical legal conduct governing the practice of law.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Identify, analyze and apply the California Rules of Professional Conduct, the American Bar Association Model Rules of Conduct, and rules of conduct applicable in other jurisdictions.
  2. Understand and apply the attorney-client privilege process, including the way a paralegal determines what client information is to be classified as confidential and in what manner confidential client information may be disclosed.
  3. Understand the ethical role of a paralegal in factual investigation, including researching sources of law, locating and interviewing witnesses, assistance with depositions, interrogatories, and document production, checking legal citations, and drafting correspondence.

PLGL 35 - Advanced Legal Writing and Research    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course is designed to build upon the skills developed in Legal Writing and Research. This course will provide a more in-depth, advanced understanding of legal writing, research, proper citation format, and preparation of legal documents.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Identify and perform legal research from both primary and secondary sources and apply the salient holdings of decisions to related fact patterns.
  2. Understand and prepare drafts of documents used in a broad range of legal environments and in support of attorneys, including legal memoranda and litigation documents such as complaints, interrogatories, and discovery materials.
  3. Enhance and hone efficient writing and editing skills, including analyzing and conceptualizing legal issues and structuring legal arguments and documents.

PLGL 36 - Contract Law    ( 3.00 - Units )
As part of the Paralegal Program, this course will examine the fundamental elements of contract law, including the principals of formation, agreement, and consideration. Students will also learn contract interpretation, the necessary elements for creating legally enforceable contracts, and breach and remedies.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Identify, analyze and apply various sources of contract law, including common law, statutory law (both state and federal), case law, and the Uniform Commercial Code.
  2. Identify and analyze fact patterns and cases in which a contract can be deemed null and void due to grounds such as mistake, duress, statute of frauds and determine possible defenses.
  3. Understand and apply the rules for contract remedies to various fact patterns and analyze potential court ordered remedies.

PLGL 37 - Tort Law    ( 3.00 - Units )
This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of tort law, including intentional torts, negligence, trespass, strict liability, personal injury, mental distress, as well as commonly employed defenses. This course will help fulfill the requirements of the 24-unit Paralegal Studies Certificate.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Identify, analyze and apply the rules which apply to the category of intentional torts, including defamation, misrepresentation, and malicious prosecution.
  2. Identify, understand and summarize appropriate defenses to tort allegations, including contributory and comparative negligence, as well as assumption of risk.
  3. Identify and analyze specialized torts, including economic torts, special duties owed, and allegations pertaining to product liability law.

ADMJ 60 - Criminal Law    ( 3.00 Units )
This course offers an analysis of the doctrine of criminal liability in the United States and classification of crimes against persons, property, morals, and public welfare. Emphasis is placed on the classification of crime, elements of particular crimes, and defenses to crime. This course utilizes case law and case studies to introduce students to criminal law and will include some limited discussion of prosecution and defense decision making, criminal culpability, and defenses to crime.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Identify the different categories of crime and the elements of major crimes against persons, property, the justice system, and the state;
  2. discuss, describe, and state the main sources of criminal law and the reasons for the limits on criminal law and punishment in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights;
  3. Know the laws of arrest.