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Metropolitan Community College Criminal Justice Program

Paralegal Practice Course Descriptions

MCC Campus(es): MCC-Penn Valley
Program Contact: Maggie Goodman, JD, 816.604.4007

PARA 100 - Introduction to Paralegal Practice - 3.00 credits

An introduction to the American legal system and the role of the paralegal. Students will examine the philosophical and historical background of law, legal context, organization, purpose and ethics. Paralegal career requirements, opportunities and responsibilities are presented. Systems approaches to law office management including billing practices, timekeeping and law office library systems are reviewed.

PARA 104 - Principles of Legal Technology - 3.00 credits

Prerequisites: CSIS 115 & PARA 100. This course will provide an overview of the primary types of technology and related skills utilized regularly by practicing paralegals. The course offers a broad understanding of legal technology and the need for paralegals to be proficient with computers, software, and other forms of technology. The material will address how various technologies are utilized both in the office and in the courtroom. Students will study challenges associated with technology such as ethics and security. Various software applications will be studied, including document management, timekeeping, spreadsheets, and presentation graphics. This is a hands-on course conducted in the computer lab and allows the student to apply the course material through a variety of activities.

PARA 126 - Criminal Law and Procedures - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. The student will be introduced to criminal law, classification and analysis of crimes and criminal acts; fundamentals of constitutional and criminal law concepts; elements of local, state and federal jurisdiction, venue and procedure as they apply to law enforcement, and detailed concepts in the laws of arrest, search and seizure and the preservation and protection of life and property.

PARA 173 - Contracts - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. Introduction to the formation of simple contracts, consideration, conditions, benefits, and impossibility. Remedies, performance, and breach.

PARA 175 - Torts - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. Introduction to the civil law of torts including negligence, strict liability, intentional torts, battery, false imprisonment, rights to privacy and privilege. Techniques of interviewing witnesses and parties to an action.

PARA 176 - Legal Research - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. Introduction to sources of laws and legal research methods. Students will learn the techniques and skills necessary to conduct legal research and evaluate factual scenarios to formulate research issues and topics.

PARA 177 - Legal Writing - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 176. Students will draft weekly briefs, memoranda, or pleadings and review and revise settlements, leases, transactional documents, and employment documents.

PARA 181 - Property - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. An introduction and overview of the legal issues pertaining to both real and personal property, including ownership and tenant rights; deeds, leases, easements, licenses, bailment, zoning, condemnation/eminent domain, and related issues.

PARA 185 - Ethics for the Paralegal - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. The course will introduce students to the type of ethical dilemmas that they will face once in the work force, the ethical rules developed by the American Bar Association and methods for researching the answers to ethical dilemmas. This course will help the paralegal student delineate clearly between the tasks in which a paralegal can legally do and those tasks which must be done by or under the supervision of an attorney.

PARA 199C - Special Topics in Legal Studies - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. The open topic format of this course provides students opportunities to study, analyze, and discuss selected topics of law or current issues related to paralegals or the legal profession. Instruction will vary by topic and may include lecture, guided readings, discussions, research, writing, and/or field experiences. Repeatable for different topics. No more than six credits of special topics courses may be applied toward elective and/or paralegal program degree requirements.

PARA 278 - Employment Law - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. An introduction and overview of the legal relationship between employer and employee, management and labor, and the applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

PARA 279 - Family Law - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. An introduction and overview of the legal rights, responsibilities and related issues in the area of domestic law, including marital, non-marital and parental family relationships.

PARA 283 - Wills, Trusts and Probate - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. An introduction and overview of estate administration, including legal principles and issues involved in the construction and administration of the various forms of wills, trusts, testate and intestate estates and related issues.

PARA 290 - Internship in Paralegal Practice - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100, PARA 104, PARA 176, PARA 177 and PARA 185. This course is a capstone to the Paralegal Program and provides student with opportunities to gain practical work experience under the supervision of an attorney in the legal field.

PARA 292 - Litigation - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. Introduces the student to the essential role which paralegals play in the initial, pretrial and trial process in civil litigation.

PARA 299C - Special Topics in Legal Studies - 3.00 credits

Prerequisite: PARA 100. The open topic format of this course provides students opportunities to study, analyze, and discuss selected topics of law or current issues related to paralegals or the legal profession. Instruction will vary by topic and may include lecture, guided readings, discussions, research, writing, and/or field experiences. Repeatable for different topics. No more than six credits of special topics courses may be applied toward elective and/or paralegal program degree requirements.