Course Code: pc1
Lawyers simply don't have time to do everything their job requires them to do. As a result, they often hire paralegals to be their right hands. This lesson begins with a general overview of the paralegal's job responsibilities within the American legal system.
This lesson discusses the paralegal's work environment in three different types of employment: a law firm, a corporation, and the public sector. You will also explore the paralegal's post-trial duties to give you a comprehensive sense of what a paralegal does on a daily basis.
This lesson focuses on simple definitions of the legal terms that you will need to understand and use in your daily work. At the end of this lesson, terms like movant and tortfeasor should roll off your tongue with ease.
Contract law is a large part of most law practices. As a paralegal, you will often assist with preparing contracts. In this lesson, you will learn about the necessary elements that go into a legal, enforceable contract. Since even the most carefully prepared contract can sometimes go awry, you will also get a large dose of contract litigation.
This lesson will discuss the types of tort law actions. You will learn about intentional and quasi-intentional torts, and then you will explore negligent torts. You will also look at a few other areas of tort law, including strict liability, products liability, and nuisance torts.
This lesson addresses both legal analysis and drafting legal documents. You will learn how to apply analysis to the drafting of legal documents, as well as an easy-to-remember formula for legal analysis.
This lesson covers legal investigation. You will learn the goals of legal investigations as well as the best methods for conducting them. You will look at evidence: how to acquire, mark, protect, and organize it.
This lesson covers legal interviewing. You will begin by discussing the initial client interview, starting with the setting for the interview and its content. Then you will look at the intake memorandum, which paralegals typically draft at the end of the initial client interview.
Finding this case law is the heart of legal research, and one of the most important tasks assigned to paralegals. This lesson will first discuss legal authority and its various categories, including primary, secondary, mandatory, and persuasive authority.
Once you complete your legal research, you must be able to communicate the results in legal briefs. You will begin by looking at the proper format and organization of a legal brief, noting the various sections and citations. Then, you will learn how to make an effective legal argument.
This lesson covers the appellate procedure. You will learn how to prepare an appellate brief, how to form a research plan, and the difference between questions of law and questions of fact.
This final lesson deals with job hunting. You will gain some useful sources for job leads and discover 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 to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.
Instructor-Led: 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.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access.
Instructor-Led: 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.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.
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."