Paralegal Studies Minor - Undergraduate - 2014 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2014 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

Coordinator: Nicole A. Fackina

The Paralegal Studies Program, approved by the American Bar Association, offers the student a balanced and varied background in theoretical and practical aspects of law which are necessary for work as a legal assistant. Paralegals—sometimes referred to as legal assistants or legal analysts—work under the supervision of an attorney, in a variety of areas ranging from real estate, litigation and family law to patent, trademark and estate practice. With the exception of giving legal advice, making court appearances and setting fees, a paralegal may carry out many tasks. The program develops intellectual and analytical skills, educates students for direct employment opportunities in the legal assistant field, and provides additional career possibilities in combination with a student’s major. Paralegals may not provide legal services to the public, except as permitted by law.

The Montclair State University Paralegal Studies Minor was the first program at a New Jersey state college or university to receive American Bar Association approval. A Certificate of Completion is awarded to all students who meet program standards, fulfill the 21 credit hours required in the program, maintain a 2.75 GPA, and complete a Bachelor’s Degree. For undergraduate students, this is an academic minor or a concentration within the Justice Studies major. For Post-Baccalaureate students, it is a certificate program.
 


PARALEGAL STUDIES MINOR

Complete 21 semester hours including the following 3 requirement(s) with a minimum 2.75 GPA:

  1. Complete the following 2 courses:

    PALG 210 Law and Litigation (3 hours lecture) 3
    PALG 312 Research and Writing for Paralegals (3 hours lecture) 3
  2. Complete 12 semester hours from the following:

    1. Complete 3 semester hours to 12 semester hours from the following:

      PALG 304 Real Estate Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 306 Contract Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 310 Fundamentals of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 322 Wills, Trusts and Probate Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 330 Family Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 336 Corporations and Partnerships (3 hours lecture) 3
    2. Complete 0 semester hours to 9 semester hours from the following:

      PALG 301 Criminal Law and Procedure (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 305 Immigration Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 308 Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 317 Evidence (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 318 Computer-Assisted Research in the Legal Environment (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 320 Bankruptcy Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 331 Administrative Law and Procedure (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 332 Personal Injury Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 339 Computer Applications in the Legal Environment (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 378 Employment Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 390 Independent Study in Paralegal Studies 3
      PALG 398 Selected Topics in Paralegal Studies (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 411 Advanced Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 412 Consumer Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 413 Elder Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 420 Civil Trial Preparation (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 437 Entertainment Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 438 Trademark Law (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 440 Criminal Trial Preparation (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 450 Law Office Management and Technology (3 hours lecture) 3
    3. Complete 0 semester hours to 3 semester hours from the following:

      JUST 351 Juries and Justice 3
      JUST 360 Rights, Liberties and American Justice (3 hours lecture) 3
      PALG 316 Skills for Bilingual Legal Personnel (3 hours lecture) 3
      POLS 321 Law in Society: Criminal Law (3 hours lecture) 3
  3. Complete 1 course from the following:

    PALG 497 Paralegal Seminar and Internship (3 hours seminar, 3 hours other) 3
    PALG 498 Cooperative Education: Paralegal Studies 4-8

Course Descriptions:

JUST351: Juries and Justice

An examination of the roots of the American jury system and the role of trials in the social construction of morality. Consideration of issues related to jury pools, selection, and representativeness. Examination of data from research on group processes within actual and mock juries, including communication and decision making in juries and juror bias. Students will conduct field studies in local courts. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: JUST 101 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or JUST 232 or departmental approval.

JUST360: Rights, Liberties and American Justice (3 hours lecture)

An integrated approach to the study of individual rights, liberties, and American justice. The development of constitutional law in its social, political, and cultural contexts. The growth of the legal tradition and recent developments in relation to statutory law in shaping the principles of American liberty. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: JUST 101 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or JUST 232 or departmental approval.

PALG210: Law and Litigation (3 hours lecture)

An introduction to the legal system with a focus on the New Jersey court system. Review of substantive areas of law and application of procedural concepts from initiation of a civil lawsuit through entry of judgment. The unique role and function of attorney and paralegal in the process of client interviewing, ethical considerations, investigation and preparation for trial. Drafting of pleadings and other documents used in litigation and trial. 3 sh.

PALG301: Criminal Law and Procedure (3 hours lecture)

Legal concepts of criminal law and their application to criminal procedure. Contrast between civil law and criminal law. Study of crimes against persons, property and the public. Searches and seizure, arrest and interrogation. Students may take PALG 301 or POLS 321 but not both courses as part of the Paralegal minor, the Political Science major or the Criminal Justice minor. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG304: Real Estate Law (3 hours lecture)

Principles of real estate law and transactions. Contracts, mortgages, surveys, title, RESPA. Conveyances of real property from the standpoint of seller and purchaser. Landlord-tenant relations. Forms and documents utilized by paralegals in real estate law. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG305: Immigration Law (3 hours lecture)

Basic overview of Immigration and Nationality Act, including historical and sociological perspectives of United States immigration. Practice and procedure of immigration law as it pertains to both administrative agency processing and consular processing. Non-immigrant visas, family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, naturalization, removal, asylum and refugee practice. Recent developments in this continually evolving area of law and practice. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG306: Contract Law (3 hours lecture)

Theoretical foundations and practical applications of contract law in the common law tradition as modified by the Uniform Commercial Code. Drafting of contracts. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG308: Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration (3 hours lecture)

An in-depth study of complimentary forms of dispute resolution as compared and contrasted with the traditional judicial system. Students study the theoretical background and receive training in mediation, negotiation and arbitration. Students may take LAWS 220 or PALG 308 but not both courses. Students in the Paralegal Studies Program should take PALG 308. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG310: Fundamentals of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law (3 hours lecture)

Substantive principles of patent, trademark and copyright law including categories and standards of patentability, categories of trademarks and categories of copyrightable subject matter. Assignment and licensing of such proprietary rights. Litigation involving acts of infringement including related areas of anti-trust law and unfair competition. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG312: Research and Writing for Paralegals (3 hours lecture)

Study of principles, methods and applications of research and writing as utilized by paralegals in the legal environment. Students will be required to use the library as well as conduct computer-assisted research. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG316: Skills for Bilingual Legal Personnel (3 hours lecture)

Translating, interpreting and cultural fluency as applied to the legal field and in particular to the role of bilingual paralegals. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Fluency in Spanish required.

PALG317: Evidence (3 hours lecture)

An examination of the basic principles and rules governing trial advocacy in federal and state (NJ) cases. Areas to be examined include: the hearsay rule and its exceptions, examination of witnesses (lay and expert), impeachment, privileges, real and demonstrative evidence, inference, judicial notice and presumptions. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG318: Computer-Assisted Research in the Legal Environment (3 hours lecture)

This course provides students with the theoretical foundations and practical applications of computer-based research in the legal environment. Areas to be covered in computer-assisted legal research include government legal databases and private legal databases such as Westlaw and Lexis. Factual investigation and other law-related internet reserarch will also be explored. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG320: Bankruptcy Law (3 hours lecture)

This course prepares paralegal students to assist attorneys representing debtors and creditors in bankruptcy matters. The course emphasizes procedures and their practical applications, including interviewing clients, preparing and reviewing schedules and preparing claims and motions. The course reviews the new Federal bankruptcy code. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG322: Wills, Trusts and Probate Law (3 hours lecture)

Basic concepts, practice, and procedures in wills, probate, and trusts. Includes will drafting, estate planning, probate procedures and estate administration. Forms and questionnaires utilized by paralegals in these areas. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG330: Family Law (3 hours lecture)

Basic concepts of family law practice. Study of ceremonial and common-law marriage. Dissolution of marriage and annulment. Financial consequences, including alimony and property distribution. Child custody, adoption, illegitimacy, paternity, and surrogacy. Domestic violence. Familiarization with New Jersey procedures. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG331: Administrative Law and Procedure (3 hours lecture)

This course will employ an integrated approach to the study of administrative law. Students will explore the importance of administrative agencies in the development and implementation of public policies as well as the pervasive ways in which agency actions affect the public. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG332: Personal Injury Law (3 hours lecture)

Legal concepts and terminology of personal injury law, both substantive and procedural. Negligence, medical malpractice, products liability. Drafting of pleadings and other documents utilized by paralegals in personal injury practice. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG336: Corporations and Partnerships (3 hours lecture)

Legal characteristics and tax aspects related to sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships and corporations. Formation, operation and dissolution of the corporate entity. Drafting of legal forms utilized by paralegals in these areas. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG339: Computer Applications in the Legal Environment (3 hours lecture)

Applications of computer software and hardware in the legal environment. Legal applications of word processing, databases,and spreadsheets. Legal software for document generation, document management, financial management, time billing, time and document management, computer-assisted legal research and information management in the workflow process. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG378: Employment Law (3 hours lecture)

The goal of this course is to provide students with the theorectical foundations and practical applications of employment law as it has developed and been applied in the United States. The course will utilize a model and method approach which will present theory and procedure in a case problem context. The course will acquaint students with various human resource and compliance procedures in the modern legal environment. Processes such as policy creation and procedural application of modern employment law including wrongful discharge, whisleblower statutes, age discrimination, handicap discrimination, sex discrimination and harassment, race, and religion will be explored as well. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the use of ADR and CDR prior to disputes manifest before federal and state agencies. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG390: Independent Study in Paralegal Studies

Guided study of a particular area of Paralegal Studies arranged individually between student and professor. The topic may be a more advanced treatment of a regularly offered course or the exploration of a timely and significant area of Paralegal Studies. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6.0 credits. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG398: Selected Topics in Paralegal Studies (3 hours lecture)

Exploration of a timely and significant area of Paralegal Studies such as administrative law, bankruptcy, environmental law as well as new and evolving legal areas. The specific topic will be announced each time that the course is offered. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6.0 credits. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG411: Advanced Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law (3 hours lecture)

Procedural principles of patent, trademark and copyright law including prosecution of patent and trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, preparation and filing of trademark applications and preparation of applications to register claims to copyright in the United States Copyright Office. Litigation procedures for acts of infringement relating to such proprietary rights. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG412: Consumer Law (3 hours lecture)

This course provides students with the theoretical foundations and practical applications of Consumer Law. The course utilizes a model and method approach, which presents theory and procedure in a case problem context. The course acquaints students with various traditional legal theories and compares and contrasts them with law as it has evolved to meet new changes in society. Areas to be covered include compulsory disclosure of information, consumer claims and defenses, abusive collective practice, state and federal regulation of the cost of credit and alternative dispute resolution. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG413: Elder Law (3 hours lecture)

This course presents basic Elder Law concepts, practices and procedures. This course is a "service-learning course" requiring students to participate in an organized service activity that addresses an identified community need in this case, that of the elderly. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG420: Civil Trial Preparation (3 hours lecture)

Refinement of substantive and procedural principles relating to all stages of a civil law suit from commencement of suit through judgment and appeal as applied in New Jersey. Theoretical foundations and practical applications in the state court system contrasted with the federal court system. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 and PALG 312 or departmental approval.

PALG437: Entertainment Law (3 hours lecture)

The goal of this course is to provide students with the theoretical foundations and practical applications of entertainment law. The course will utilize a model and method approach, which will present theory and procedure in a case problem context. The course will acquaint students with various traditional legal theories and compare and contrast them with entertainment law as it has evolved to meet the changes in society. Areas to be covered include representing minors, contract preparation, copyright infringement, publishing, theatrical and musical performance, film and television. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG438: Trademark Law (3 hours lecture)

Comprehensive study of procedural and substantive aspects of trademark selection, registration, use, and protection within the context of intellectual property. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG440: Criminal Trial Preparation (3 hours lecture)

This course presents a comprehensive overview of the criminal trial process. Preparation and trial of a criminal case as studied through case law, procedures, techniques and strategies. Contrast of New Jersey and Federal criminal procedure. Study of crime scene investigation, motion practice, grand jury, discovery, voir dire, evidentiary problems, testimonial evidence and summations. Extensive use of simulation exercises. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: JUST 101 or JUST 102; and PALG 210 and PALG 301.

PALG450: Law Office Management and Technology (3 hours lecture)

Theoretical foundations and practical applications of law office management and technology. Hands-on and theoretical problems dealing with work product, human resources, and workflow in assembly, case management, database management, human resource management, and technological interfaces with traditional processes. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 210 or JUST 200 or JUST 201 or departmental approval.

PALG497: Paralegal Seminar and Internship (3 hours seminar, 3 hours other)

Field work experience of 90 hours in a private sector law office, corporation, bank or public sector agency. Required classroom seminar supplements experiential component and includes discussion of field work experience, ethical considerations and career options. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 312 with a minimum grade of C-, PALG 210, two legal specialty courses, and departmental approval. Prerequisites or corequisites: two legal specialty courses selected from courses approved within the Paralegal Studies Program or from the approved departmental list.

PALG498: Cooperative Education: Paralegal Studies

Academic study integrated with supervised paid employment situation in the legal environment outside of the formal classroom setting. Part-time (20 hours per week) or full-time (40 hours per week). Required classroom seminar supplements experiential component and includes discussion of field work experience, ethical considerations and career options. 4 - 8 sh.

Prerequisites: PALG 312 with a minimum grade of C-, PALG 210, two legal specialty courses, and departmental approval. Prerequisites or corequisites: two legal specialty courses selected from courses approved within the Paralegal Studies Program or from the approved departmental list.

POLS321: Law in Society: Criminal Law (3 hours lecture)

Introduces the student to institutions, processes, and social functions of criminal law. Students may take POLS 321 or PALG 301 but not both courses as part of the Political Science Major, the Paralegal Studies Minor or the Criminal Justice Minor. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: POLS 101 or LAWS 200 or JURI 210 or departmental approval.