Thank you for the opportunity to explore a new and exciting area in my life. I found it helpful and enjoyed the comments from other students.
This was a very good course to take to start off a paralegal career. It gave you the indepth basics you need to see if you want to continue with further education.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Just enough information to peak my interest in taking more courses in the paralegal field.
I just wanted to take this time to thank Mr. Germana for introducing us to the world of the paralegal. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and the challenge. You made it interesting, fun, and most of all it was extremely informative. I am now enrolled in a paralegal certificate college course. I feel much more confident that I will be able to do well in this upcoming college course thanks to you and this wonderful introduction.
This class went beyond a general knowledge of what a paralegal does. By the time I finished the class, I felt I learned the basics to perform the tasks of an entry-level paralegal. I highly recommend the instructor who is knowledgeable and always willing to help and/or answer any questions that we may have. I think anyone who has an interest to enter the legal field should take this class. Thank you!
I loved this course. I have thought for awhile now that I might like to pursue a career as a paralegal and taking this class has helped me in making a final decision. I appreciate all of the help that the instructor provided and am looking forward to continuing my education.
Course Code: pc1
Begin with a general overview of the American legal system before looking at the details of what a paralegal’s job entails, and spend some time discussing the current job prospects for paralegals. Then, explore the paralegal’s work environment and learn about a paralegal’s work prior to, during and after a trial.
Learn simple definitions of the legal terms that you'll need to understand and use in your daily work as a paralegal. Then, learn about the necessary elements that go into a legal, enforceable contract so you can be familiar with the various terms related to contract law and feel comfortable in distinguishing a valid contract form one that's unenforceable.
Learn the types of tort law actions and have a discussion around tort law practice. Then, learn about some of the most interesting tasks paralegal have — legal analysis and drafting legal documents. You’ll learn an easy-to-remember formula that's the basis for legal analysis, and then how to apply analysis to the drafting of legal documents.
Cover the goals of legal investigation as well as the best methods and look at evidence: how to get it, how to mark it, how to protect it, and how to organize it. By the end of this lesson, you should be prepared to conduct a thorough and effective legal investigation. Then, sharply tune your communication skills with everything you’ll need to conduct great interviews.
Discuss legal authority and its various categories, including primary, secondary, mandatory, and persuasive authority and learn about the research process itself. Then, learn specific techniques for effective legal writing including formatting, organization, grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation.
Learn about the aftermath of a trial and how the parties begin to prepare for appeal as you discover the difference between questions of law and questions of fact and see how these differences will form the basis of your research. You’ll also about how to prepare an appellate brief and how to form a research plan. Finally, you’ll gain sources for job leads, and learn how to develop good working skills and habits.
Sam Germana is General Counsel for a New Jersey hospital and previously worked for a private law firm representing physicians and hospitals. He has taught paralegal studies online and in the classroom since 1997, and he is an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Elizabeth.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.