Paralegal

Course Descriptions

LEGAL 200: Introduction to Law and the Legal Process: CD

Credits: 5.0

An introduction to the function and sources of American law, state and federal courts, civil and criminal procedures, legal reasoning, ethics applicable to lawyers and paralegals, and the various areas of law, including tort, contract, family, criminal, and American Indian/Alaska Native law. Students will also observe a real court proceeding.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Read, understand, and analyze published cases and codes.
  2. Demonstrate how to brief a case and identify case holdings.
  3. Explain and distinguish among common legal terms.
  4. Discuss how the civil and criminal litigation processes work in state and federal courts.
  5. Explain how to file a case with state and federal courts.
  6. Understand the basic resources found in a typical law library.
  7. Compare and contrast the roles of lawyers, limited license legal technicians, and paralegals.
  8. Identify the activities which, when performed by a paralegal, constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
  9. Demonstrate good communication skills in a legal context.
  10. Discuss how law may or may not result in justice, while reflecting on the role law has played in the treatment of minority groups in America.

LEGAL 205: Civil Procedure

Credits: 5.0

An overview of the civil litigation process in Washington State and the paralegal's role in assisting with civil litigation matters. Topics include commencement of a civil action, pleadings and motions, parties to a case, discovery of evidence, trials, judgments, and appeals, as well as alternatives to litigation. Emphasis is placed on using the Washington State Court Rules effectively. Students gain experience drafting basic pleadings, motions, and other papers.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Understand the difference between substantive and procedural law and how they interrelate.
  2. Differentiate among the different stages of a civil case, from pre-litigation to appeal.
  3. Locate and apply the Washington State Court Rules and the various county local rules correctly.
  4. Explain the concepts of personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and venue as they relate to the commencement of a civil action.
  5. Describe the different discovery tools available in a civil case, and how sanctions are obtained for failure to comply with a discovery request.
  6. Identify the main types of alternative dispute resolution, and explain how court-mandated arbitration applies to the civil litigation process.
  7. Draft basic pleadings, motions, and other papers in the proper court-approved format.
  8. Demonstrate the skills necessary for a paralegal to work successfully with attorneys and other paralegals on civil litigation matters.

LEGAL 210: Legal Research and Writing

Credits: 5.0

An introduction to state and federal legal research using both hardbound volumes and online legal research database services. Emphasis is placed on locating and analyzing primary cases and codes, interpreting secondary authorities and practice tools, and updating legal research results effectively. In this class, students will also practice drafting client correspondence, legal opinion letters, and a legal memoranda, as well as prepare correct legal citations. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission; completion of or placement in ENGL& 101.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Conduct legal research using both hardbound volumes and online legal research database services, including WestlawNext.
  2. Locate and interpret relevant state and federal constitutions, statutes, and regulations.
  3. Explain how to locate and use state and federal case reports and reporters effectively when conducting legal research.
  4. Demonstrate how case digests are used to locate relevant state and federal judicial opinions.
  5. Use legal encyclopedias, annotated law reports, legal periodicals, and other secondary sources to conduct legal research.
  6. Prepare accurate state and federal legal citations in compliance with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation and the Washington Style Sheet.
  7. Describe how online citators are used to expand and update legal research, and track the legal history of specific research and its treatment by subsequent courts.
  8. Draft legal documents using the standard components for client correspondence, legal opinion letters, and legal memoranda.
  9. Identify effective strategies to organize and perform legal research and writing projects.

LEGAL 214: Legal Ethics

Credits: 3.0

A study of the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct, ethics opinions, and related statutes and cases. Ethical canons from leading professional paralegal organizations are also examined. Emphasis is placed on the ethical duties and scope of paralegals, limited license legal technicians, limited practice officers, and attorneys working in Washington State.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Identify and apply the ethical standards and rules of professional conduct that govern paralegals and other legal professionals in Washington State.
  2. Summarize what constitutes the practice of law, and identify methods to avoid engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
  3. Distinguish among, and apply the ethical rules required to protect, client confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, and attorney work product.
  4. Analyze and discuss the methods for resolving potential conflicts of interest faced by paralegals and attorneys, including concurrent and successive representation, business transactions with clients, gifts from clients, imputed conflicts, and disqualification.
  5. Differentiate between advertising and solicitation, and describe the limitations that exist on attorney advertising and solicitation of clients in Washington State.
  6. Explain the different fee arrangements made with clients, what constitutes a reasonable fee, the rules regarding fee-splitting and referral fees, and how client property and client trust accounts must be handled in Washington State.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the elements that contribute to legal competence for paralegals and attorneys in Washington State, and the disciplinary actions that exist for incompetence.
  8. Describe the current issues involving paralegal licensing and certification at the state and national levels, as well as the limited licenses available to paralegals in Washington State.

LEGAL 215: Administrative Law

Credits: 5.0

Study of administrative procedures acts governing federal and Washington agencies with emphasis on creation of agencies; agency rulemaking, investigations, and hearings; availability and scope of judicial review; public records acts; and constitutional limitations on agency actions. Emphasis on paralegal's role working with clients and agencies. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Explain the relationship and function of administrative agencies at all levels of government.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the methods used by the branches of government, at both federal and state levels, to maintain accountability and control of administrative agencies.
  3. Explain the application of constitutional concepts of federalism, separation of powers, due process, equal protection, delegation doctrine, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to an administrative law problem.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the provisions of the federal and Washington Administrative Procedures Acts applicable to agency rulemaking, agency adjudications, and judicial review.
  5. Analyze the major issues and apply substantive and procedural federal and state administrative laws and rules in resolving an administrative law problem.
  6. Locate, acquire, evaluate and apply information from federal and state statutes, agency rules and case law in hardbound and electronic sources in response to an administrative law problem.
  7. Prepare appropriate documents for various procedures common to administrative agencies, in compliance with the applicable administrative procedures act and agency rules.

LEGAL 220: Real Estate and Property Law

Credits: 5.0

Introduction to state and federal laws relating to real estate and other property. Topics include real estate transactions, deeds, mortgages, closings, title searches, and recordings. This course also covers leases and Washington State's landlord-tenant laws. Emphasis is placed on the paralegal's role in a real estate and property law practice. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Distinguish between the concepts of real property and personal property.
  2. Explain the most common types of real estate transactions and conveyances, including deeds, contracts, leases, and deeds of trust.
  3. Describe a typical real estate transaction, including file preparation, contract review, deed preparation, financing options, title examinations and insurance, and closings.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of Washington State's system of recording and searching for public documents, including title.
  5. Identify the rights and duties owed to landlords and tenants under Washington's Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
  6. Perform the basic duties of a real estate and property law paralegal, and identify activities that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law if performed by a paralegal.
  7. Identify and draft various documents involved in the conveyance of real property through sale, lease, or other transaction.

LEGAL 222: Dispute Resolution

Credits: 2.0

The study of dispute resolution processes, such as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, mini-trials, and summary jury trials, as alternatives to traditional court adjudication. Critical evaluation of each alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process will occur through a combination of lectures, assigned readings, and role-play exercises. Students will practice ADR techniques in class. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Explain the negotiation, mediation, and arbitration processes by identifying participants, decision-making authorities, best alternatives given the circumstances of a particular dispute, and the role a paralegal plays in each process.
  2. Evaluate a client's negotiation position in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the client's case.
  3. Describe the meaning and effect of mediation agreements and how they influence a party's future rights.
  4. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration, and assist in determining whether arbitration is appropriate and/or required in a given situation.
  5. Define the state and federal laws governing arbitration, including court mandated arbitration.
  6. Describe the various nontraditional alternative dispute resolution processes, and determine when each process is best applied.
  7. Recognize the ethical issues that may arise in the dispute resolution process and the professional guidelines and rules used to respond to these issues.

LEGAL 224: Medical Paralegal Law

Credits: 4.0

Course covers substantive law and procedures related to medical-legal issues and its application to multiple venues, including law firms, hospitals, insurance companies, consulting firms, governmental agencies, and health care systems. Emphasis is placed on medical record review, case analysis, standards of care, assessment of damages, report writing, and ethical issues. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Explain the substantive law relating to medical-legal issues, including what is meant by "standard of care" and its impact on legal issues.
  2. Understand the various aspects of investigation, discovery, and trial preparation, including locating pertinent standards and policies and obtaining medical records.
  3. Conduct factual and legal research in medical-legal matters and effectively communicate the results of such research.
  4. Analyze and summarize medical documents and records for use in legal matters, and identify potential issues that affect damages assessment.
  5. Communicate the results of medical research and factual evidence by drafting reports, including timelines, chronologies, and briefs.
  6. Evaluate, Identify, and locate other supportive litigation associates to assist with case development, such as legal nurse consultants, life care planners, and expert witnesses.
  7. Apply the ethical rules and standards of practice to the role of a medical paralegal and develop a framework for resolving ethical dilemmas.
  8. Apply knowledge, awareness, and/or skills to identify and analyze issues related to diversity.

LEGAL 225: Litigation Practice and Procedure

Credits: 5.0

Examines civil litigation process from pretrial through trial and appeal, with emphasis on preparing litigation-related documents and creating trial notebook. Minimal review of Legal 205 concepts; expectation is student already has working knowledge of rules of civil procedure. Emphasis on practical aspects of paralegal role in litigation. Prerequisite(s): Completion of LEGAL 200 and LEGAL 205.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Discuss the law office setting and procedures, courts and jurisdiction, and the stages of the civil litigation process.
  2. Explain the role of paralegals on the litigation team interviewing clients and witnesses, filing court documents, serving papers, assisting in discovery, assisting at trial and other litigation processes.
  3. Integrate substantive and procedural law in preparing documents and working with the various parties involved in the litigation process.
  4. Use the relevant federal and state rules of civil procedure and evidence to ensure compliance in preparation of documents, time computation, docketing/calendaring, and other tasks related to the civil litigation process.
  5. Demonstrate awareness of the ethical and professional responsibilities of the lawyer and the paralegal in civil litigation.
  6. Prepare forms, checklists, pleadings, discovery documents, motions, and other materials relevant to the litigation process.
  7. Create an organized professional-quality trial notebook.

LEGAL 226: Torts and Personal Injury

Credits: 5.0

Covers fundamentals of tort and personal injury law, including the concepts of negligence, strict liability, intentional torts, products liability, defamation, invasion of privacy, and professional malpractice. Defenses and computation of damages are also examined. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Describe the elements of intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability causes of action.
  2. Define and use tort and personal injury law terminology properly.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize specific tort and personal injury causes of action presented in a factual situation by applying Washington state law.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of vicarious and joint liability.
  5. Identify and explain the various defenses available in tort and personal injury cases.
  6. Analyze how tort and personal injury damages are computed and assessed, including application of the mitigation doctrine.
  7. Explain the role and ethical obligations of a paralegal working in the area of tort and personal injury law.

LEGAL 228: Law Office Technology

Credits: 5.0

Introduction to law office technology, including timekeeping and billing software; database, case management, and docket control software; litigation support software; legal imaging techniques; and electronic filing. Microsoft Office Suite is covered; however, students should already possess basic-to-intermediate computer and word processing skills prior to taking this course. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Identify and describe the basic computer hardware components.
  2. Identify and describe software and information systems typically encountered in a legal environment and the factors to consider when purchasing legal software.
  3. Demonstrate word processing program features, including preparing, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  4. Describe spreadsheet and database program features, and be able to prepare a basic spreadsheet, graph, and database.
  5. Demonstrate presentation software program features, including slide components, graphics, and sound, and be able to create a basic presentation.
  6. Describe the features of typical law office time keeping and billing software programs; identify the ethical issues that arise with the use of such programs.
  7. Describe the features of computerized litigation support programs and compare these programs to corresponding manual litigation support.
  8. Describe and compare the features of case management and office management software.
  9. Demonstrate the features of computerized docket control systems and compare to manual docket control systems; identify ethical problems relating to docket control.
  10. Access legal and nonlegal data using the Internet and evaluate Internet sites for reliability and validity of information.
  11. Use email functions and describe ethical issues that arise as a result of using email and other electronic methods of communication.

LEGAL 229: Law Office Procedures

Credits: 5.0

Examines nature, organization and function of a law office; policies on legal fees and trust accounts; procedures for bills and collections, docketing and calendaring, and timekeeping; equipment and technology; office safety; disaster recovery; advertising/ marketing; personnel policies; and relevant Rules of Professional Conduct. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Explain the form, structure, and function of law firms and other businesses that provide legal services.
  2. Explain the limitations on lawyer advertising and marketing, and client referrals.
  3. Discuss types of legal fees, fee agreements, and role of paralegal regarding setting or quoting fees.
  4. Explain procedures for complying with Americans with Disabilities Act and workplace safety law, and procedures for emergencies, work-place violence, and disaster recovery.
  5. Maintain a basic law library and resource bank for a law firm or other business providing legal services.
  6. Perform paralegal tasks in maintaining client trust accounts using manual or automated systems.
  7. Use manual and computerized systems for timekeeping, billing, docket control, and records management.
  8. Apply the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct to maintain client confidentiality, and avoid situations involving conflicts of interest, unauthorized practice of law, or other violation of the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct.

LEGAL 230: Interviewing and Investigating: CD

Credits: 5.0

Introduction to factual investigations and interviewing, with emphasis on methods of investigation, role of pretrial discovery, examination of evidence, use of experts, obtaining public and private information, and ethical considerations associated with investigation. Students will conduct mock interviews with potential clients and witnesses based on hypothetical civil and criminal cases. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Identify and use effective strategies to investigate and gather facts as they relate to formal discovery and informal criminal and civil investigations.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to locate relevant information found in public and private records by following appropriate procedures and making necessary records requests.
  3. Evaluate a potential client's case effectively through the use of learned interviewing techniques.
  4. Identify fact witnesses and locate qualified expert witnesses.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to schedule and conduct client and witness interviews, prepare interview plans, draft investigation reports, and create witness declarations.
  6. Describe the meaning and effect of the relevant ethical and professional considerations related to interviewing and investigating, including the unauthorized practice of law, client confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, work product, conflicts of interest, and improper communications.
  7. Apply knowledge, awareness, and/or skills to identify and analyze issues related to diversity.

LEGAL 236: Wills, Trusts and Estates

Credits: 5.0

Study of estate planning law and procedures essential to the paralegal involved in the drafting of wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools. Probate practice is also covered, including initial steps, asset accumulation, debt management, court procedures, estate-related tax issues, and forms. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Use the legal terminology of wills, trusts, and probate administration effectively.
  2. Recognize and explain the purposes, functions, and statutory requirements of wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.
  3. Describe the process of estate administration and differentiate between the various types of probate proceedings.
  4. Prepare estate planning and probate documents under the direct supervision of an attorney.
  5. Demonstrate the skills needed to effectively interview clients and analyze their needs.
  6. Identify and apply important ethical considerations to the paralegal's role in estate planning and probate practice.

LEGAL 240: Contracts

Credits: 5.0

This course examines the components of a legally binding contract. Topics also include: defenses against enforcement, interpretation of contract terms, performance, breach, and remedies. Students gain experience analyzing contract problems and drafting standard contract provisions.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Identify the components of a valid contract, including the elements of a valid offer, a proper acceptance, and legally adequate considerations.
  2. Discuss issues of lack of mutual assent, including incapacity, illegality, fraud, misrepresentation, mistake, duress, undue influence, and unconscionability.
  3. Explain which contracts must be in writing under the Statute of Frauds, and apply the rules of interpretation and the Parol Evidence rule to construe the meaning of written contracts.
  4. Summarize the methods for discharging contractual obligations, including impossibility, impracticability, frustration of purpose, rescission, release, novation, modification, accord and satisfaction, and performance.
  5. Identify the different types of third party contractual relationships and differentiate between assignments and delegations.
  6. Distinguish between the available for breach of a common law contract and those available for breach of a sale of goods contract under the Uniform Commercial Code.
  7. Apply the substantive law of contracts and the rules of interpretation to analyze a typical contract problem and to draft a standard contract.

LEGAL 244: American Indian Law:CD

Credits: 3.0

Law and policy relating to American Indians and federally recognized tribes. Federal, state, and tribal laws, and unique legal status of American Indians and Indian Country. Emphasis on the role of the paralegal in working with clients, tribal governments, and tribal court systems in Washington State.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of federal and state statutes and case law about American Indians and Tribes, including rules relating to treaty interpretation and legal status of Americans Indians and Tribal Governments.
  2. Identify and apply constitutional concepts to American Indian Tribes including the commerce clause, due process, equal protection, and sovereignty, as well as the individual constitutional rights of American Indians under the Indian Civil Rights Act.
  3. Identify and apply substantive and procedural legal requirements under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and Violence Against Women Act, including regulations of state statutes and federal and state administrative regulations.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the civil and criminal jurisdiction of tribes in the area of civil law, criminal law, and regulations regarding tribal persons, tribal activities, and tribal lands.
  5. Explore and apply a cultural, religious, and ethnic perspective of tribal laws, tribal rules, and tribal regulations to establish effective working relationships and to effectively interact in a multicultural setting.
  6. Apply knowledge, awareness, and/or skills to identify and analyze issues related to diversity.

LEGAL 247: Intellectual Property

Credits: 5.0

Covers the legal principles and rules regarding the law of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Emphasis is placed on the skills required of paralegals who practice in this area. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand the procedures for seeking statutory protection of intellectual property rights (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand the substantive law (federal and state, statutory and common law) which grants protection to intellectual property.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to identify and apply major principles of legal ethics as they apply to lawyers and paralegals practicing in the area of intellectual property law.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to analyze facts in a problem and identify the legal issues involved or raised by the problem.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to identify the applicable substantive legal rules.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to identify appropriate forms and methods used in the protection of intellectual property rights.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to give concise, clear and well-organized oral or written answers to fact problems which correctly identify the issues, applicable rules of law, analysis and conclusions.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to prepare appropriate forms and other written materials.

LEGAL 250: Family Law

Credits: 5.0

Washington statutes and procedures on formation and dissolution of marriages and registered domestic partnerships; visitation rights; child and spousal support; prevention of domestic violence; adoptions; parentage issues; and juvenile offenders. Scope of practice of limited license legal technician in family law. Emphasizes skills necessary for paralegals working in family law. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles in the various areas of family law.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to recognize the essence of a problem or problems presented by a factual situation in the family law field.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the required skills to work effectively in the area of family law, including effective interviewing skills; ability to analyze client needs; effective drafting skills to produce necessary documents.
  4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the various state and federal laws affecting families.

LEGAL 255: Special Topics: Paralegal

Credits: Maximum of 5 credits possible

Specialized courses on current issues in the legal field. Each class will have its own course syllabus and outline. Decimal or S/U grade option depending on the course.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Describe the current information and legal issues relating to the specific course topic.
  2. Identify the legal resources related to the specific course topic for further exploration.
  3. Explain the legal application and ethical implications of the specific course topic for paralegals in a law office setting.

LEGAL 257: Immigration Law:CD

Credits: 5.0

An introduction to immigration law and policy with an emphasis on practical paralegal skills. Course engages students in the study of classification of immigrants and nonimmigrants, procedures for admission and deportation, asylum and refugees, and naturalization and citizenship. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Define and use correctly the common vocabulary terms as related to immigration law.
  2. Describe how an individual gains lawful entry to the United States.
  3. Distinguish between the various types of visas and application processes.
  4. Explain deportation and removal requirements.
  5. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills in an immigration law context.
  6. Show an awareness of cultural, religious, and ethnic perspectives of those involved in the immigration process and the role and ethical duties of paralegals.
  7. Identify and apply substantive and procedural concepts fundamental in immigration law to deepen understanding and solve problems.

LEGAL 260: Corporations

Credits: 5.0

A survey of the law of corporations and other business organizations, including limited liability companies and partnerships. Topics include business planning, corporate governance, fiduciary duties, shareholder liability and rights, and transactions in shares. Students examine agency law, mergers and acquisitions, and federal securities. No exposure to accounting, economics, or finance is needed for this course. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Identify and analyze the respective advantages and disadvantages of conducting business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.
  2. Explain the functions, responsibilities, and liabilities of sole proprietors, partners, shareholders, and corporate officers and directors.
  3. Explain the types of securities and basic requirements regarding state and federal registration of securities.
  4. Analyze major structural changes to corporations and determine the necessary forms to be filed.
  5. Explain the rights of minority and dissenting shareholders.
  6. Research the laws relevant to forming and maintaining business entities.
  7. Prepare documents and follow procedures for forming various types of business entities under state and federal laws.

LEGAL 263: Debtor/Creditor and Bankruptcy Law

Credits: 5.0

The study of bankruptcy fundamentals and the laws on consumer fair debt collection practices and creditor rights and remedies. Emphasis on the Federal Bankruptcy Act, bankruptcy court procedures, and the paralegal's role in preparing bankruptcy forms and related documents. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the sources of law governing debtor/creditor relations, including loans, credit arrangements, credit reporting, and fair debt collection practices.
  2. Describe the alternatives to bankruptcy available to debtors and creditors.
  3. Prepare documents and follow the procedures required for attachment, execution, and garnishments.
  4. Distinguish among Chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 bankruptcies, and identify the procedures for selecting the appropriate bankruptcy filing.
  5. Demonstrate basic knowledge related to the bankruptcy estate, exemptions, and the automatic stay.
  6. Understand and demonstrate knowledge related to the appointment of an interim trustee, creditors' meetings, proofs of claims, contested matters and adversary proceedings, and objections to exemptions.
  7. Identify and complete basic tasks for filing a bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs, reaffirmation agreements, discharge, distribution of the property of the estate, and closing the case.
  8. Identify the role of lawyers, paralegals, debtors, creditors and other parties in interest, the bankruptcy judge and his or her staff, the office of the clerk of the bankruptcy court, and the various types of trustees operating under the Bankruptcy Act.
  9. Discuss the ethical considerations of paralegals working in a debtor/creditor and bankruptcy law practice.

LEGAL 267: Employment and Labor Law:CD

Credits: 5.0

An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of employers and labor unions from pre-interview and recruiting through termination. Topics include equal employment opportunity, civil rights, fair wages, workplace safety, workers' compensation, medical leave, pension rights, unfair labor practices, and collective bargaining. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate a substantive knowledge of basic employment law issues from pre-interview and recruiting practices through termination of employment.
  2. Explain commonly committed workplace torts, including privacy rights violations.
  3. Compare the various types of workplace discrimination prohibited under state and federal laws.
  4. Describe the procedure for filing employment discrimination claims with state and federal agencies.
  5. Understand state and federal workplace safety laws and how workers' compensation claims are processed in Washington State.
  6. Distinguish among the different safety nets available to employees, including social security benefits, health care and unemployment insurance, and pension plans.
  7. Identify unfair labor practices and collective bargaining processes under state and federal labor laws.
  8. Apply the practical skills necessary for a paralegal to work successfully in the area of employment and labor law.
  9. Apply knowledge, awareness, and/or skills to identify and analyze issues related to diversity.

LEGAL 275: Criminal Law and Procedure

Credits: 5.0

Course examinatines the fundamental concepts of criminal law and procedure from arrest to final disposition, including principles of state and federal law. Emphasises the constitutional rights of defendants and the role of paralegals in the criminal justice system. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Define the basic elements of common law crimes, including crimes against persons, habitation, property, public order and safety, and organized crime.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the various legal defenses available to a criminal prosecution.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of criminal pretrial and trial considerations and procedures.
  4. Explain the evidentiary issues and constitutional concerns associated with criminal law and procedure.
  5. Identify a client's individual needs and analyze the legal issues presented in a factual situation.
  6. Develop an understanding of the state and federal constitutional rights of a criminal defendant, and the obligation of the criminal justice system to the accused, by study of the U.S. and Washington state constitutions and interpretive case law.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the progress of a criminal case through the state and federal court systems by study of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  8. Explain the processes of sentencing, punishment, and appellate review, including how to apply federal and state sentencing guidelines to convictions.
  9. Describe the role of the paralegal in assisting an attorney or group of attorneys in the prosecution or defense of a criminal action, including the drafting of documents and pursuit of pretrial discovery.
  10. Identify the unique ethical and legal rules that apply to the practice of criminal law and procedure, including the ethical obligations of paralegals working in this area of law.

LEGAL 291: Legal Internship

Credits: 1.0 to 5.0

Receive valuable on-the-job experience as a paralegal intern. Earn one credit for every 30 hours of paralegal work performed during the quarter. Students should meet with the paralegal internship coordinator before the start of the quarter to receive an internship packet and assistance locating a paralegal internship. Class meets two times; must attend both classes to receive credit. S/U grade only.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Exhibit adequate competency in the areas set forth in the individual goals identified by the student, the student's workplace supervisor, and the instructor.
  2. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a law office or legal department environment.
  3. Understand how to manage time effectively and account for time worked in a law office or legal department.
  4. Describe the structure and functions of a typical law office or legal department.
  5. Apply the knowledge and skills learned inside the classroom to the paralegal tasks performed in a law office or legal department.
  6. Exercise the ethical responsibilities of a paralegal in a law office or legal department, including confidentiality.
  7. Summarize and evaluate the internship experience so the student is better informed when choosing future employment.

LEGAL 292: Paralegal Success Skills

Credits: 2.0

This course increases opportunities to locate a paralegal job or internship, and helps students design their personal strategy for career success. Topics include professional networking and branding; workload, time, and stress management; creating professional resumes and cover letters; and preparing for job interviews. Students are expected to bring an editable/digital draft of their current resume on the first day of class. Course includes classroom interaction with working paralegals and/or attorneys. Prerequisite(s): LEGAL 200 or instructor permission.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Create professionally formatted paralegal resumes and cover letters regardless of one's background or work experience.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of effective job interviewing techniques, and identify common questions and effective answers during a job interview.
  3. Design a personal strategy for professional networking and branding.
  4. Describe effective techniques for managing workload, time, and stress in the workplace.
  5. Explain the importance of a paralegal internship to one's career, and identify effective methods for locating paralegal internships and employment.
  6. Identify the characteristics of a successful paralegal and the opportunities for career advancement through professional certification, licensing, and lifelong learning.

LEGAL 295: Advanced Legal Research and Writing

Credits: 5.0

Critical analysis of legal authorities, analytic reading and writing, and objective and persuasive writing techniques. Includes advanced approaches to using law libraries and online services. Students prepare various documents in proper formats with emphasis on writing mechanics. Prerequisite(s): Completion of LEGAL 200 and LEGAL 210.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze and conceptualize legal issues, locate and evaluate appropriate legal authority, and apply such authority to the resolution of hypothetical factual situations.
  2. Identify relevant, current support for legal analysis using correct citations for legal and nonlegal sources.
  3. Formulate search queries effectively in online database services like Westlaw, and efficiently use online legal research methods as time saving devices in legal research and writing.
  4. Apply core legal writing techniques, including clarity, cohesion, concision, and plain English concerns.
  5. Distinguish between objective and persuasive techniques in legal writing, and prepare various types of legal writing in their acceptable legal formats.
  6. Construct legal arguments and documents effectively within limited time constraints.
  7. Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues regarding paralegals or non-lawyers engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

LEGAL 296: Legal Seminars

Credits: 1.0

Topics in specialized or rapidly changing areas of the law. Offered to enhance established program curriculum and provide continuing legal education to paralegals. S/U grade only.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the legal issues relating to the specific seminar topic.
  2. Identify the legal resources related to the specific seminar topic for further exploration.

LEGAL 299: Special Projects: Paralegal

Credits: 1.0 to 5.0

Individual projects in legal study designed to give exposure to practical problems in areas of particular interest to the student. Credit available with approval. S/U grade only. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head and project approval of the dean.

Course Level Objectives

  1. Develop and demonstrate expertise in narrow legal specialty areas through projects proposed by student and evaluated by a paralegal instructor.