Paralegal Studies


Paralegal Orientation Schedule

  • 2014/08/23 Saturday from 10-12pm
    Newport Beach Center, Room 227
    ** A SEP Workshop will be held following the orientation from 1-3pm in room 234.

C-TV host Michelle tells you why you should consider a career as a Paralegal.

 
Bring your "Boston Legal" dreams to life with this American Bar Association approved program.
 
 
 
 

Is Paralegal Studies Right for You?

The American Bar Association (ABA) approves Coastline's Paralegal Studies Program. The Paralegal Program prepares personnel for the intermediary position between the legal secretary and the attorney, performing work under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals work in law offices and other legal and law related environments and many interact with clients. A paralegal shall not provide legal advice or engage in conduct that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law including contracting with a natural person other than an attorney for the performance of paralegal services (California Business & Professions Code, Sections 6450 et seq.). This program is not intended to prepare students for law school or the practice of law.

Paralegal Associate in Arts Degree

Students who do not already possess an associate in arts or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university must complete the associate degree (60 units) as specified below. These requirements are in compliance with the ABA Guidelines for paralegal programs. Degree candidate students are required to attend a paralegal orientation or a counseling session and complete the English and Math Placement Testing and Group A General Education requirements prior to entering LAW C105, LAW C118, LAW C121, LAW C390 and/or any major elective with a "LAW" designation. The remaining general education units are to be completed concurrently with the remaining paralegal courses. Students must achieve a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in each paralegal studies course.

Paralegal studies course work taken at other institutions in an ABAapproved program, with approval by the paralegal studies department, will qualify for no more than six (6) units of transfer credit in legal specialty courses in the paralegal studies certificate program. Paralegal studies courses taken for other than a letter grade are limited to seven (7) units within the 27 unit total and 21 units of paralegal course work must be completed at Coastline Community College. (Credit by examination is not available courses within the Paralegal Studies Certificate.) Upon completion of the degree program, students will be awarded an associate degree in Paralegal Studies and a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association.

Students possessing a transferable associate in arts or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with official transcripts on file at Coastline, will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association upon completion of the 27 units of required paralegal courses. All students are required to attend a paralegal orientation or a counseling session and must achieve a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in each paralegal studies course. All students are required to demonstrate computer proficiency* (see below).

REQUIRED PARALEGAL COURSES Units
LAW C100 Intro to Paralegal Studies 3.0
LAW C127 Legal Procedure 1 3.0
LAW C128 Legal Procedure 2 3.0
LAW C105 Civil Litigation 1 3.0
LAW C118 Legal Analysis & Briefing 3.0
LAW C121 Legal Research/CALR [or LAW C120 and LAW C122] 4.0
LAW C390 Legal Clinic Practicum/Ethics 2.0
To be selected from Electives below 6.0
Paralegal courses subtotal: 27.0
 
PROGRAM ELECTIVES Units
LAW C110 Civil Litigation 2 1.5
LAW C115 Criminal Litigation 1.5
LAW C130 Law Office Management 1.5
LAW C135 Family Law 1.5
LAW C142 Probate/Estate Planning 3.0
LAW C148 Elder Law 1.5
LAW C150 Corporate/Business Organization 3.0
LAW C152 Conflict Analysis and Resolution 3.0
LAW C155 Bankruptcy Law and Procedures 3.0
LAW C158 Intellectual Property 3.0
LAW C160 Civil Trial & Evidence 1.5
LAW C161 Tort Law 3.0
LAW C164 Contract Law 3.0
LAW C170 Computer Applications 3.0
 
GENERAL EDUCATION, Paralegal Program Units
Students are required to complete at least 18 units in courses numbered C100-C299 listed in Groups A to D. (Course work in Group A2 is limited to ENGLISH C100. Course work in Group C1 is limited to ART C100, C101 and /or MUSIC C100. All course work in C2 is acceptable.) In addition, 3 units in Group E are required. Students can meet the general education requirements under Options 1, II, or III associate degree academic plans.
General Education subtotal 21.0
 
ELECTIVES Units
*Computer proficiency may be demonstrated by the satisfactory completion of LAW C170, or BUSINESS COMPUTING C148 and LIBRARY C110; by completion of similar courses; by transfer credit course work; by workplace substantiation; by Microsoft Certification; or, by other computer industry certification.
**Electives Subtotal 12.0
TOTAL UNITS for A.A./A.S. degree program 60.0
**Work Based Learning courses only apply to these elective units and are not a part of the paralegal studies courses. Earn credit for work you do on the job.
Access the college catalog for specific information regarding courses, certificates, and pathways to professional advancement!

Program Contact

If you have any questions about the Paralegal Studies program or would like more information, please contact sbarnes@coastline.edu.


Paralegal Course Outlines

Descriptions & Student Learning Outcomes

LAW-C100

Section Description

Introductory course covering the relationship between paralegals, attorneys and clients. Topics include: structure of the profession, federal and state court systems, ethical standards, legal terminology, investigation techniques, research, case and statute analysis, overview of legal practice areas, and communication. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and compare legal problems, assess research procedures, organize investigative techniques, and utilize the Coastline Virtual Library to develop entry level factual research skills.
  • Analyze and evaluate selected cases and statutes, and factual situations and compare federal and state court structures.
  • Collect and develop legal terminology and apply terms to legal procedures.
  • Develop and improve writing proficiency through a series of short writing assignments on a particular topic resulting in a composition for assessment.
  • Examine and assess the role and function of the paralegal and apply ethical standards.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and communicate conclusions both orally and in writing.
  • Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  • Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.

LAW-C105

Section Description

Learn, analyze and examine the basic principles of civil litigation as applicable to jurisdiction, venue and preparation of pleadings, discovery, motions, trial preparation, and alternative dispute resolution by plaintiffs and defendants in the California court system. ADVISORY: LAW C100 and LAW C127. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze a potential case and the basic pleadings as applicable to complaints, cross-complaints, answers, and other responsive pleadings and demonstrate knowledge by preparation of pleading and other responsive documents.
  • Analyze how to use discovery and motions in the civil process in preparation for mediation, arbitration, or trial.
  • Examine the basic principles of recognition and selection of the parties to an action, define and explain the courts’ jurisdiction over subject matter and property, and be able to select the correct designation.
  • Read and analyze cases and legal factual situations and demonstrate knowledge in application of litigation procedures.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and communicate conclusions both orally and in writing.
  • Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  • Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.

LAW-C127

Section Description

Knowledge and skills required of paralegals and legal assistants, including procedures and functions in the court structure and litigation procedures including personal injury and general civil cases, probate, family law, dissolution, adoption,and bankruptcy. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze legal terminology and assess, select and use legal terms.
  • Measure and develop general office skills such as filing, calendaring, service of process, judicial council forms, documents and legal mailing procedures when applied to a specific fact pattern.
  • Perform the duties and functions at entry-level or above of a paralegal or legal assistant.
  • Prepare appropriate legal forms and documents for court filing in a civil action using a given specific fact pattern.
  • Prepare documents using appropriate software to become more proficient by applying information provided by the instructor.
  • Work independently to produce an acceptable project folder similar to what is used in a family law legal work place environment.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  • Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.

LAW-C128

Section Description

Continuation of LAW C127, including civil procedures in unlimited and limited courts with emphasis on preparing, filing and bring to judgment breach of contract, landlord-tenant and personal injury actions, including discovery, law and motion, research, arbitration, calendaring, business entities and formation of small corporations, real estate terminology, criminal law introduction, and skills, techniques and abilities the paralegal will be expected to have in the workplace. ADVISORY: LAW C127 or concurrent enrollment. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the basic constitutional rights of defendants in criminal actions and select and use the procedures and terminology in misdemeanor and felony actions.
  • Prepare and use the forms for discovery and motions in civil actions and be able to select and apply the documents and procedures needed for pre-trial civil actions as applied to specific fact patterns.
  • Prepare in proper format all documents and procedural check lists for corporations, civil actions and criminal cases, as applied to specific fact patterns.
  • Prepare, file, and organize civil actions through judgment in breach of contract, landlord-tenant and personal injury actions, and prepare and schedule proper legal calendaring as applied to specific fact patterns.
  • Select and use general real property terminology.
  • Select and use the different forms of business entitles and apply the procedures to form a small California corporation and create a viable legal entity.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  • Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.

LAW-C142

Section Description

Organization and jurisdiction of the Probate Court: administration of estates, including gift, income, inheritance and estate taxes, estate litigation, and will contests. Conservatorships, guardianships, and intestate succession. Wills and other disposition of property, review of probate avoidance mechanisms, trust administration after death, and elder law. ADVISORY: LAW C100 or LAW C127. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze, summarize and assess selected probate related cases.
  • Assess and evaluate the needs of an elder client as it pertains to finances, insurance, healthcare, and capacity based on specific fact situations.
  • Demonstrate competence in selection of various tax planning mechanisms based on specific fact situations.
  • Distinguish the various taxable applications of a probate estate, evaluate the elements necessary to the preparation of a valid will, and formulate methods for avoiding probate and conservatorships based on specific fact situations.
  • Evaluate and prepare necessary court forms for probate administration based on a specific fact situation.
  • Interview a potential client and determine if a will and/or trust is the appropriate document to be drafted.
  • Question, compare, and measure utilization of and purpose of various trusts and prepare necessary forms for trust administration based on a specific fact situation.

LAW-C152

Section Description

This course introduces the student to the basic skills needed to begin evaluating client needs regarding the use of alternative solutions to resolving conflicts and explore the changing climate of litigation-oriented practices, including ethical considerations. ADVISORY: LAW C100. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and evaluate the factors used to determine appropriate conflict resolution methods and analyze and diagnose the basis of conflict in a given factual situation.
  • Develop the ability to participate or mediate and prepare a mediation or arbitration brief based on specific facts.
  • Distinguish between the different non-adjudicative solutions available in conflict resolution.
  • Recognize the methods and procedures of conflict resolution and be able to apply the methods and procedures to given factual situations.

LAW-C170

Section Description

This course is designed to acquaint paralegals with basic computer use, including software programs utilized by attorneys (word processing, spreadsheets, document databases), law-related public databases, non-law public databases, systems management, research, time and billing and other applications. ADVISORY: LAW C100 and keyboarding skills at 30 wpm. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and select computer applications (positive and negative assessments) and develop a plan utilizing specific facts for a needs assessment within a legal organization to implement specialty-specific software programs.
  • Compare and contrast the use of online legal research and Internet research as applied to specific fact situations.
  • Evaluate and compare the steps required to create documents, pleadings, and correspondence in Microsoft Word software.
  • Evaluate the basic features of a spreadsheet database, case management database, and time and billing software as utilized within the legal environment and as applied to specific fact situations.
  • Identify and select basic commands, commonly utilized in a legal office environment, and know the order of steps required to (1) copy files for back-up and/or storage, (2) load software, and (3) perform simple operational functions.
  • Identify elements of basic computer utilization and evaluate basic computer software applications typical to a legal office environment.

LAW-C283

Section Description

To enhance each Work Based Learning participant's opportunity for success in the field of Paralegal by bridging the gap between educational theory and on-the-job practices through individualized performance objectives related to the student's career or occupational goal in Paralegal. PREREQUISITE: Be employed or volunteer in a field related to Paralegal for 5 hours per week per 1 unit of Work Based Learning. COREQUISITE: Be enrolled in a total of 7 units including Work Based Learning.Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and build on theoretical and practical education in the performance of work tasks in chosen field.
  • Based on self-evaluation and supervisor feedback, develop appropriate professional development and career advancement goals.

LAW-C284

Section Description

To enhance each Work Based Learning participant's opportunity for success in the field of Paralegal by bridging the gap between educational theory and on-the-job practices through individualized performance objectives related to the student's career or occupational goal in Paralegal. PREREQUISITE: Be employed or volunteer in a field related to Paralegal for 5 hours per week per 1 unit of Work Based Learning. COREQUISITE: Be enrolled in a total of 7 units including Work Based Learning.Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and build on theoretical and practical education in the performance of work tasks in chosen field.
  • Based on self-evaluation and supervisor feedback, develop appropriate professional development and career advancement goals.

LAW-C390

Section Description

Students in the clinic will work directly under the direction and supervision of clinic attorneys and experienced paralegal instructors. Students will interview clinic clients, prepare and monitor client files, set up interview schedules, and perform various management duties relating to clinic operations. Students will examine and evaluate the regulation of lawyers, paralegals and the unauthorized practice of law. ADVISORY: LAW C100 and C127. Graded or Pass/No Pass option.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to the working environment in the legal clinic with clients.
  • Assess communication processes and evaluate ethical issues and client confidentiality.
  • Attain a satisfactory evaluation for his/her legal clinic real world work experience in interviewing clients and meeting with attorneys in consultation.
  • Compare and distinguish between conflicts of interest, legal advice, and the unauthorized practice of law as applied to given fact patterns and client in-person interviews.
  • Demonstrate the use of forms for client interviews, fact gathering, and reporting.
  • Evaluate and assess legal problems and demonstrate the ability to handle telephonic and face-to-face client contact.
  • Score a passing grade on the required ethics examination.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and communicate conclusions both orally and in writing.
  • Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  • Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.


Federal Gainful Employment Disclosure

Use the link below to view Coastline Community Colleges Federal Gainful Employment Disclosure for this program. These reports provide you, the student, with important information regarding the costs, benefits, and potential employment options of our certificate programs.

Paralegal Studies

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