Paralegal Studies Certificate

Paralegals, also called legal assistants, assume much of the responsibilities once considered the sole responsibility of attorneys. Being a paralegal requires discretion, independent judgment, a strong writing ability and an analytic approach to organizing and reviewing materials. Paralegals may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office or governmental agency.
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Our Program

Our Paralegal program is a straight forward pay-as-you-go certificate program. Entering students must show proof of a high school diploma or a GED.  To earn a certificate, students must successfully complete six courses, five required and one elective.  In order to receive a certificate, students must successfully complete the courses, attended at least 80% of the classes and received a grade of "C," or better.  Upon completion of the sixth class, students should submit a request for their certificate.

Required Courses

  • Basic Concepts in Paralegal
  • Ethics
  • Litigation
  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Research

Elective Courses

  • Family Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Wills, Estates and Trusts
  • Criminal Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Concepts of Real Estate Law
  • Concepts of Landlord Tenant Law
  • Concepts of Real Estate Law
  • Microsoft Word fo Law Firm

Course Descriptions

Basic Concepts in Paralegal

This course focuses on basic concepts in the legal field such as: Criminal Law, Tort Law, New York Civil Practice and Family Contracts.  It also gives a review of the Federal and New York State Court Systems.

Litigation

This course trains students to assist attorneys in litigation by exposing them to the practical problems and procedures of litigating attorneys.  Topics include: advanced legal research, evidence, actions, special proceedings, courts and jurisdiction, civil practice and procedure, negligence, pleadings, motions, trials and appeals.  Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Legal Research

Students will learn legal research as a process for seeking solutions to legal problems.  In addition to learning the description of law books and the mechanics of using them, students will gather and analyze facts, identify legal issues and learn to organize the issues of effective research.  Students must make visits to the Queens Law Library to complete all research assignments. Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Legal Writing

Students will learn to apply the information gathered from legal research and draft legal documents simply, clearly, and concretely.  Students will survey and draft several legal documents including opinion letters, memoranda of law to persuade/advise and also legal briefs.  Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal and Legal Research.

Ethics

This course provides an overview of ethical considerations and responsibilities regulating the paralegal profession.  Students will become familiar with the ethical problems facing paralegals today.  Focus will also be on the evolving issues within the industry concerning paralegals with special emphasis on the unauthorized practice of law, attorney-client privilege and conflicts of interest.  This course will cover the New York Codes of Professional Responsibility, as well as NALA and NFPA Codes. Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Bankruptcy Law

This course will provide practical information on individual and corporate bankruptcy.  It will address the rights of both debtors and creditors and will teach you how to prepare and file individual bankruptcy petitions. Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Criminal Law

This defines the role of the paralegal in the criminal justice system. It emphasizes the practical application of criminal law principles and procedures, from arrest through plea negotiations and trial. Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Concepts of Real Estate Law

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Real Estate Law and its practical applications to everyday problems in Real Estate. Students will become proficient in assisting practicing attorneys. Topics will include the purchase and sale of residential and commercial property, landlord/tenant matters, and much more.  Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Concepts of Landlord Tenant Law

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of landlord/tenant disputes and the law and its practical application.  Topics include:  nonpayment, holdover and ejectment proceedings, service of court papers, foreclosure sales, contract law, leases and types of ownership of real property.  Cases will illustrate how real estate law works together with landlord tenant law.  It is suggested that Concepts of Real Estate Law be taken prior to this course.  Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Family Law

This course will cover the legal issues involved in family life, from marriage to property distribution after death. Students will learn the basics of family law and estate planning, including pre-nuptial agreements, marriage, legal obligations of married partners, grounds for divorce and separation and the obligations of parents and guardians.  Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Wills, Estates and Trusts

This course is designed to teach students how to assist an attorney in rendering legal services to clients in the area of probate and trusts.  Topics will include:  the law of property intestacy, the law of trusts, and forman requirements of wills and trusts.  Prerequisite: Basic Concepts in Paralegal

Personal Injuries

This course is designed to give students a step by step explanation of how to be successful  in working in the personal injury field. This program will cover everything from obtaining clients, to handling investigations and starting a lawsuit. This will help first timers or experienced PI support staff become more proficient. Prerequisite:  Basic Concepts in Paralegal.

Microsoft Word for Law Firm

Learn how to use advanced features to create a table of contents, headers and footers for page numbering, automatic outline numbering and more. You’ll practice with legal document samples to pass any of the MS Word tests that law firms and employment agencies give as part of the interviewing process.

Job Outlook

Employment for Paralegals and Legal Assistants is projected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2014. Employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services, by hiring paralegals to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers.

To download a flyer: Paralegal Studies Flyer

To browse the catalog for descriptions and schedules click this link.

*visit the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics For Further Information

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