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Paralegal Certificate

This program prepares students to assist lawyers and administrators of law-related occupations in providing efficient legal services to the public. The program of study includes law-related courses and legal specialty courses.

Students who already possess a(n) Associate in Science, Associate in Art, Bachelor’s, or higher degree may apply for a paralegal certificate upon successful completion of the paralegal courses only.

The paralegal courses are offered primarily in the evening. Courses prepare students for entry into a paralegal career and provide presently employed paralegals an opportunity to enhance their legal knowledge and skills. The Paralegal program does not train graduates to provide legal services directly to the public. Any person who attempts to provide legal services directly to the public, but is not licensed to practice law, engages in the illegal and unauthorized practice of law. The Paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Students must take at least ten semester credits or the equivalend of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction as required by the American Bar Association

Students wishing to enroll in the Paralegal Program, must complete an Admission Request. Students must make an appointment to meet with and advisor to present the Admission Request for processing. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Counseling and Advising Office.

 

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2017 - 2018

  • Curriculum

    Program Courses
    CoursesTitlesCourse OutlinesGoal AreasCredits
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1111
    Course Title:Introduction to Law and Paralegal Studies      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course introduces students to the paralegal profession, including the nature of paralegal work, job requirements and opportunities. Students will study the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct and the ethical standards applicable to paralegals. The students will learn about the American legal system, including sources of law, court systems and procedures. The students will study the relationship between state and federal laws and procedure and alternative dispute resolution. Students will also study the substantive areas of torts and criminal law. PSEO students may not register for this course until they have completed all general education courses required for the Paralegal A.S. degree.
    Introduction to Law and Paralegal StudiesViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1210
    Course Title:Computer Applications in the Legal Profession      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:2

    Course Description:This course presents a study of the computer software commonly used in legal organizations, including programs in word processing, spreadsheets, database management systems, timekeeping and billing, case management and docket control, litigation support, presentation graphics, and electronic mail. Students will also study legal ethics as applied to the use of computer technology in the law office. CIS 1000 or knowledge of keyboard recommended. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Computer Applications in the Legal ProfessionViewn/a2
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1411
    Course Title:Litigation I      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course is the first part of a two-part Litigation course. This course presents a study of the processes and procedures undertaken in litigation and the role of the paralegal in a litigation practice. Students will study the requirements and applications of the Rules of Civil Procedure and the general rules of practice in District Court. Students will also study the various methods of alternative dispute resolution and their application to a litigation practice. Students will learn to prepare the documents essential to a litigation practice, such as complaints, discovery requests and discovery responses. This course also examines the ethical considerations relating to litigation. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Litigation IViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1412
    Course Title:Litigation II      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course is the second part of a two part Litigation course. This course presents a study of the processes and procedures undertaken in litigation and the role of the paralegal in a litigation practice. Students will study the requirements and applications of the Rules of Civil Procedure and the general rules of practice in District Court. Students will also study the various methods of alternative dispute resolution and their application to a litigation practice. Students will draft litigation documents and learn the role of the paralegal before, during and after trial. This course includes a study of the rules of evidence, and tips for preserving and protecting evidence in civil and criminal trials. Students will learn methods of investigation and fact gathering. In addition, this course also examines the ethical considerations related to evidence and the trial process. Prerequisite: PLeg 1411
    Litigation IIViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2211
    Course Title:Legal Research and Writing I      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of methods of legal research related primarily to case law, which include the use of digests, encyclopedias, reporter systems, and practice manuals. The students will gain an understanding of law libraries and will be introduced to computer assisted legal research. Students will learn analytical writing skills for use in preparation of legal memoranda. Use of Blue Book citation methods will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Engl 1201 or Engl 1200 and PLeg 1111
    Legal Research and Writing IViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2212
    Course Title:Legal Research and Writing II      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course is a continuation of Legal Research & Writing 1. This course focuses on primary sources other than case law such as constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law, and court rules. The student will also study secondary sources. This course provides the student with additional experience in the advancement of analytical writing skills for use in the preparation of legal memoranda. Blue Book citations relative to sources studied will be emphasized. The student will also gain additional experience with computer assisted legal research. Prerequisite: PLeg 2211
    Legal Research and Writing IIViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2930
    Course Title:Legal Studies Seminar and Internship      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:The course is designed to ready the student for transition from the classroom to the work place, emphasizing practical skill development and additional development of the student's organizational, communication and critical analysis skills. This is also a course designed to measure the student's learning and mastery of the program's goals and objectives. The course is designed with in-class and out of class internship experiences. Through in-class discussions and exercises, the student develops the basic skills necessary for the paralegal work setting. The student gains actual work experience under the supervision of an attorney or experienced paralegal in day-to-day, on-site office work completed at an internship site. The student must complete 150 hours of work at the internship site, which may be a private or public law office, corporate or government legal department, or other appropriate law-related setting or complete the alternative legal practicum coursework. Prerequisites: PLeg 2211
    Legal Studies Seminar and InternshipViewn/a3
     
    Program Electives
    CoursesTitlesCourse OutlinesGoal AreasCredits
    Program Electives - 10 credits
    **PLEG 1990 is a Topics course and will range from 1-4 credits.
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1330
    Course Title:Family Law or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of the processes and procedures undertaken in a family law practice. Students will study the procedures applicable to marriage dissolution and learn to prepare the legal documents associated with such procedures. Students will also study other substantive family law topics such as marriage and premarital agreements, child custody and support, domestic abuse, and adoption. In addition, this course examines the ethical considerations relating to a family law practice. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Family Law orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1430
    Course Title:Alternative Dispute Resolution or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:1

    Course Description:This course introduces students to the understanding of conflict and provides a working knowledge of the major forms of adjudicative and non-adjudicative alternative dispute resolution processes. Students will apply the theory and practice of alternative dispute resolution to their personal as well as their professional lives. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111.
    Alternative Dispute Resolution orViewn/a1
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1510
    Course Title:Intellectual Property or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:2

    Course Description:This course presents a study of the major areas of intellectual property law in the United States: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. Students will study relevant statutes and case law, as well as the key policy considerations in the subject area. This course also examines the ethical issues relating to intellectual property law. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Intellectual Property orViewn/a2
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:1990
    Course Title:Topic: or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course will provide flexibility in offering an in-depth review of topics of immediate importance and topical interest. These topics will go beyond the introductory courses in examining specific aspects of the subject matter.
    Topic: orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2310
    Course Title:Criminal Law and Procedure or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of the substantive and procedural aspects of criminal law and the role of the paralegal working in the area of criminal defense or criminal prosecution. Students will study the general principles of criminal liability, analysis of particular crimes, parties to crimes, and the substantive defense to crimes. Constitutional safeguards and procedures from arrest through trial, sentencing, punishment, and appeal are also studied. This course also examines the ethical considerations relating to criminal law and procedure. Prerequisite: PLEG 1111 Please Note: All Paralegal program and course prerequisites are enforced. This course may not be used as a substitute for SOC 1710 in any NHCC programs which include SOC 1710 as a required course.
    Criminal Law and Procedure orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2430
    Course Title:Torts & Personal Injury Law or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course covers the procedural and substantive law of torts and personal injury, including negligence, insurance, strict liability, products liability, and intentional torts. Students will prepare documents used in both a plaintiff and defense personal injury practice.
    Torts & Personal Injury Law orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2510
    Course Title:Contracts and Business Organizations or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of contracts, sales of goods, products liability, secured transactions, creditor rights, consumer protection and bankruptcy. The students also study basic principles of employment law. This course also presents a study of business entities, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, and other business entities. Students will learn the fundamental principles of law applicable to each entity type and how to prepare documents necessary to the organization and operation of each. In addition, this course examines the ethical considerations relating to business law practice. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Contracts and Business Organizations orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2620
    Course Title:Property or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of personal and real property. Students study landlord and tenant law, real estate conveyancing, real estate financing, foreclosure and mechanic's liens. Students will learn to prepare a purchase agreement, deeds and other closing documents, and the documents used in mortgage foreclosure and mechanic's lien foreclosure. The general concepts of legal descriptions, title examination, and closing procedures also are covered. In addition, this course examines the ethical considerations related to a property law practice. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Property orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2710
    Course Title:Wills, Trusts and Estate Administration or      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:3

    Course Description:This course presents a study of estate administration, including the preparation and use of wills and trusts as estate planning tools. Students will study powers of attorney and the use of health care directives for disability planning. The students will learn the fundamental principles of probate law and how to prepare documents used in probate procedures. Students will also learn about the impact of estate taxes on estate planning. In addition, this course examines the ethical considerations relating to estate planning, wills and trusts. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Wills, Trusts and Estate Administration orViewn/a3
    Course Subject: PLEG         Course Number:2810
    Course Title:Employment Search for Paralegals      Goal Areas:n/a      Credits:1

    Course Description:This course presents a study of the skills and tools needed for locating paralegal employment opportunities. Students will study employment opportunities in both legal and non-legal settings. Students will study attitudes and work habits for a more successful career. Students will learn to prepare a professional resume and conduct an interview. Prerequisite: PLeg 1111
    Employment Search for ParalegalsViewn/a1
     
    NHCC Residency and GPA
    CoursesTitlesCourse OutlinesGoal AreasCredits
    10 Credits must be earned at NHCC
     
                                   Total Credit Required30

  • Program Outcomes

    Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the sources of law, legal procedure, and operation of legal systems within state and federal government and apply that knowledge to the work of paralegals.

    Intellectual and Practical Skills:

    • Demonstrate written, verbal, and interpersonal skills appropriate to various legal and business settings.
    • Think critically and creatively analyze, synthesize, and organize information.
    • Demonstrate ability to use word processing, spreadsheets, data base and case management software as they are used in the legal profession.

    Personal and Social Responsibility:

    • Understand and apply the Rules of Professional Conduct as they relate to the practice of law and demonstrate ethical behaviors in all settings.

    Integrative Learning:

    • Conduct legal research using print and electronic resources, apply results to fact situations, and report findings in an appropriate format.
    • Successfully complete projects performed by paralegals in the various substantive areas of law.

    This program prepares students to perform paralegal work in private law firms, government agencies or large corporations or transfer to a four-year institution in this discipline.

  • Career Opportunities

    p>Information on careers, including salary and employment outlook data, is available on the iseek and Bureau of Labor Statistics websites: www.iseek.org and www.bls.gov.


    Gainful Employment Program Information

    Paralegal


    Criminal Offense Notice

    If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or your chances to obtain federal, state, and other higher education financial aid.

  • Transfer Information

    p>If you are planning on transferring to another institution, follow the guidelines available on our transfer resources web page to help you plan the process: Transfer Information

  • Degree Information

    p>Certificates may be earned for successful completion of courses in a specialized program of study with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (C). A certificate shall include 9 to 30 semester credits. At least one-third of the total credits required for each certificate must be completed at North Hennepin Community College.


     


    Developmental Courses

    Some students may need preparatory course(s) in Math and/or English. Courses numbered below 1000 will not apply toward a degree.


     


    Equal Opportunity Employer and Disability Access Information

    North Hennepin Community College is a member of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and an equal opportunity employer and educator. This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 763-493-0555 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 1-800-627-3529.

  • Accreditation

    p>North Hennepin Community College is accredited by the: Higher Learning Commission 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400 Chicago, IL 60602-2504 1-800-621-7440

To Enroll In The Paralegal Program

Students must complete a Paralegal Admission Request and make an appointment with Maria Yang (Advisor) for review.

Contact Maria at 763-424-0703 for more info or to schedule your appointment.