Paralegal/Legal Assisting

Margaret Schuck, JD, Coordinator
Phone: (419)995-8404
Email: schuck.m@RhodesState.edu
Office: Tech Lab 145E

The Paralegal/Legal Assisting program prepares individuals to work in a variety of legal settings. Individuals assist attorneys in private, public, corporate, or administrative areas. The skills learned (research, analytical skills, investigation, written and oral communication, exercising judgment, preparing documents, etc.) enable graduates to work in other areas such as corporate legal departments, human resource or personnel offices, banks, trust or real estate departments, local government and court offices, title agencies, billing and collections, insurance, administrative agencies (workers compensation, social security, EPA, etc.) and community or non-profit agencies. Jobs which utilize paralegal skills and talents can be found in every industry and profession.

This is a practical, skills-based program. Students receive extensive course work and hands-on training in computer skills, general and specific legal knowledge, legal research and writing skills, accounting and business law. They perform specific legal tasks and complete case studies in legal research, family law, criminal law, debt collections and bankruptcy, real estate procedures, probate, and government administrative processes.   Students complete a practicum in a legal, business or government setting gaining valuable practical experience.

Rhodes State Paralegal Program does not prepare students to practice law.  Graduates do not provide legal services directly to the public.

The Paralegal/Legal Assisting program also provides a well-rounded educational background in the areas of communications, analytical problem solving, accounting and taxes, social interactions, political science and economics. This background assists students who decide to continue their education beyond the Associate’s degree.

By adding one to two additional courses, the students may also pursue the following business certificates: Tax Preparer Certificate and Accounting Clerk Certificate. A certificate is available for individuals who already have a Bachelors degree.

Students must attain a “C” grade in each Paralegal/technical course (LEG and BUS prefix). Any paralegal/technical course in which a grade below a “C” is received must be repeated. Students must receive a “C” grade in COM 1110 English Composition, before enrolling in LEG 1110 Legal Research and Writing II.

Students interested in the night program should see an advisor or the department chair for the scheduled night classes. Students who begin the curriculum in Spring semester or who need developmental course support should recognize that it may take longer than four semesters to complete the program. Students who are considering full- or part-time alternatives to the listed curriculum are encouraged to consult with the department chair for scheduling.

Rhodes State’s Paralegal/Legal Assisting Program is approved by:

The American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL, 60610

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Technical Standards

See here for details.

Tech Prep Partner

See here for details.

 

Paralegal/Legal Assisting Major

Associate of Applied Business Degree

Structured Course Sequence (4 Semester Plan)

First Year
First SemesterHours
COM 1110 English Composition 3
CPT 1250Computer Applications in the Workplace 3
LEG 1010Introduction to Paralegals and the Legal System 2
LEG 1100Legal Research and Writing I 2
LEG 1100LLegal Research and Writing I Lab 0
LEG 1190Criminal Law 2
MTH 1100Math of Business 13
SDE 1010 First Year Experience 1
 Term Hours16
Second Semester
ACC 1010Corporate Accounting Principles 4
BUS 2100Business Law 3
LEG 1110 Legal Research and Writing II 3
LEG 1110LLegal Research and Writing II Lab 0
LEG 1150Litigation 3
LEG 1300Legal Office Management and Technology 2
PSY 1010 General Psychology 3
 Term Hours18
Second Year
First Semester
COM 1160Business Communications 3
LEG 1200
   or LEG 2050
   or LEG 2200
   or ACC 2250
Family Law 2
   or Real Estate Law
   or Debtor/Creditor/Bankruptcy
   or Principles of Federal Income Tax
6
POL 1010Introduction to Political Science 3
SOC 1010 Sociology 3
 Term Hours15
Second Semester
ECN 1410Macro Economics 3
HST 2300Technology and Civilization 3
LEG 1020Legal Ethics 1
LEG 2000   Civil Procedure 2
LEG 2100Probate Administration 3
LEG 2250Administrative Law 1
LEG 2991Paralegal Legal Assisting Practicum 3
 Term Hours16
 Total Hours 65

Portfolio course

Capstone course

1

If planning to pursue a bachelor degree, choose from one of the TAG approved Math courses. See MTH courses in Course Description section of this catalog.

2

 Must take 3 of the 4 listed courses.

Ohio prohibits the practice of law by non-lawyers. 

See here for Portfolio and Capstone information.

This curriculum has been approved by The American Bar Association (ABA).

Prerequisites:
Students should check course prerequisites before registering. 

Legal Electives

The student may select six of the following courses for the legal electives for the One-Year Paralegal/Legal Assisting Certificate:

LEG 1010 — Introduction to Paralegals and the Legal System
2 Credit hours  

Introduces the role of the paralegal within the American legal system, including an overview of the American system of law, an examination of federal and state criminal and civil courts; and appellate process. Emphasis is on ethical requirements for paralegals and practical skills necessary for this profession.

LEG 1020 — Legal Ethics
1 Credit hour  

Introduces and discusses how attorneys are regulated, what ethical rules governing lawyer conduct and how ethical rules affects paralegals. Topics include what constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, competency and professionalism. Emphasis is on the Ohio Code of Professional Responsibility.

LEG 1100 — Legal Research and Writing I
2 Credit hours  

Emphasizes legal research techniques; understanding when and how to use primary and secondary sources of law; and distinguishing between mandatory and persuasive law. The course includes an introduction to finding the law, analyzing the research and applying it to specific legal issues. Students will complete case briefs, an initial legal memorandum, and legal correspondence. Course is Part 1 of a two-part series in legal research and writing.
Corequisites: LEG-1100L.

LEG 1110 — Legal Research and Writing II
3 Credit hours  

Continues to develop the research and writing skills utilized in Legal Research I. Emphasizes legal writing to various audiences including: the court, clients, and attorneys. Students research and write legal memoranda, letters, and an appellate brief and participate in an oral argument. This class is Part 2 of a two-part course in legal research and writing. C grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: LEG 1100
Corequisites: COM 1110, LEG-1110L.

LEG 1150 — Litigation
3 Credit hours  

Introduces the process of the American adversarial judicial system, including local, state, and federal jurisdiction and venue; civil procedure, Ohio Rules of Evidence, and an overview of the paralegal's and attorney's function in the civil trial process. Students practice skills in nterviewing, preparation of legal documents, and organizing materials for a civil trial.

LEG 1190 — Criminal Law
2 Credit hours  

Explores the basics of criminal law and procedures including basic constitutional law and the Ohio Criminal Code and procedures.

LEG 1200 — Family Law
2 Credit hours  

Introduces and examines legal issues relating to marriage, divorce, dissolution, marital and non-marital property rights, child custody and support, visitation and other related domestic issues. Students prepare documents for a dissolution case study.

LEG 1300 — Legal Office Management and Technology
2 Credit hours  

Studies basic principles and methods used in a law office, including time/billing, electronic document production, e-discovery, calendaring/docket control, e-file court forms, controlling conflicts, contacts, organizing documents and files, and trust accounting.

LEG 2000 — Civil Procedure
2 Credit hours  

Demonstrates proficiency by integrating technical knowledge with core skills and abilities; reviews federal civil procedures such as pleadings, discovery, pretrials, and remedies in the litigation process. A case studey approach is utilized. This course includes an e-portfolio assignment and an exit evaluation of critical thinking and writing. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: LEG 1110.

LEG 2050 — Real Estate Law
2 Credit hours  

Introduces law of real property and common types of real estate transactions. Students prepare deeds, perform title searches, and draft a title option.

LEG 2100 — Probate Administration
3 Credit hours  

Demonstrates knowledge of wills, trusts, estates and estate administration, taxation, testate and intestate estates, the law of descent and distribution, estate planning, and additional end of life documents. Students will draft a will and prepare basic probate estate documents for case study. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: LEG 1100
Corequisites: ACC 1010.

LEG 2200 — Debtor/Creditor/Bankruptcy
2 Credit hours  

Examines the law of Debtor-Creditor relations including negotiable instruments, secured transactions, Consumer Protection laws, non-judicial and judicial collection methods; distinguishes between Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy procedures: prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with case study. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: BUS 2100.

LEG 2250 — Administrative Law
1 Credit hour  

Examines legal framework of administrative law; differentiates between federal, state, and local administrative agencies. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: LEG 1010
Corequisites: BUS 2100.

LEG 2991 — Paralegal Legal Assisting Practicum
3 Credit hours  

A guided work experience in which the student will be employed for a minimum of 14 hours per week over the 15 week semester term (210 hours) in a law office, business, or agency offering legal services. Each student will meet with the faculty member/Chair to discuss the internship experience for one hour per week; duties will be agreed upon by the faculty member, intership supervisors, and the students.
Prerequisites: LEG 1110, LEG 1150, Chair approval
Corequisites: LEG 2000.

The Paralegal/Legal Assisting major is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), 11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66213.

 

Certificates

To be eligible for the Paralegal/Legal Assisting certificate, a student must have received a grade of “C” or better for each course required for the certificate and completed all required courses within four years of applying for the certificate.

Applications for the certificates listed below can be obtained in the Dean of Business, Technology & Public Service office.  Please do not apply for a certificate until you have completed all required courses with a grade of “C” or better.

Prerequisites may be required for courses listed for each certificate. Please consult the course description section of this college catalog or see your advisor.

Paralegal/Legal Assisting Certificate

The Paralegal/Legal Assisting Certificate is available to those who currently hold an associate's*, bachelor’s or graduate-level degree. *(May require additional general education credits). The requirements for the certificate may be completed in one year if the student has a flexible work schedule.

First Year
FallHours
BUS 2100Business Law 3
LEG 1010Introduction to Paralegals and the Legal System 2
LEG 1100Legal Research and Writing I 2
LEG 1100LLegal Research and Writing I Lab 0
Legal Electives  7-8
 Term Hours14-15
Spring
LEG 1020Legal Ethics 1
LEG 1110 Legal Research and Writing II 3
LEG 1110LLegal Research and Writing II Lab 0
LEG 1150Litigation 3
LEG 1300Legal Office Management and Technology 2
LEG 2991Paralegal Legal Assisting Practicum 3
Legal Electives  7-8
 Term Hours19-20
 Total Hours 33-35
Electives
LEG 1190Criminal Law2
LEG 1200Family Law2
LEG 2050Real Estate Law2
LEG 2100Probate Administration3
LEG 2200Debtor/Creditor/Bankruptcy2
LEG 2250Administrative Law1
LEG 2000   Civil Procedure2
ACC 2250Principles of Federal Income Tax2

Portfolio course

Capstone course

See www.RhodesState.edu/GainfulEmployment for additional information on certificates.