Paralegal (A.A.S.)

HEGIS: 5099

SUNY CODE: 0691

The Paralegal program prepares students for positions in law offices, banks, real estate firms, brokerage houses, federal, state and local government agencies and other institutions requiring employees with legal training. Responsibilities include assisting an attorney in legal research, the preparation of documents for hearings or trial and other support services.

The goals of this program are to enable students to:

  • maintain redundant legal calendaring, client trust fund accounting and file tracking systems;
  • describe the essential elements of contract law;
  • describe the process for initiating and maintaining a civil lawsuit in the federal and state court systems;
  • describe the major legal principles of real estate and property law, tort law, family law, and the law concerning the administration of wills, trusts and estates; and
  • describe the process for conducting legal research on assigned topics / issues from contract, family, criminal, real estate, wills/trusts/estates, and tort law using both manual and computer assisted legal research and to summarize these legal research findings in the format of a legal memorandum.

Successful graduates from this program will be able to:

  • enter filing deadlines, court appearances, and other legal deadlines into a computerized legal calendaring system and also maintain a separate manual system for backup; explain how to set up and maintain a lawyer trust banking account;
  • given a fact pattern, identify the intentional torts or negligent torts contained in the fact pattern and identify which fact satisfies which essential element of the tort(s);
  • given a fact pattern, identify and evaluate these facts to see if the essential elements to form a valid contract are present and to explain if the contract(s) comply with legal rules such as the Statute of Frauds;
  • given an extensive fact pattern and list of evidence, draft a complaint, answer, and appropriate motions;
  • categorize evidence, describe the proper discovery methods and draft simple discovery pleadings and responses;
  • given a detailed fact pattern, identify the correct estate in land to convey the proper form of ownership, review a land survey, verify the legal description and select proper clauses for the contact;
  • given a legal issue (identified by the supervising attorney), conduct legal research, (computerized or manual) using the appropriate resources to locate cases, statutes and regulations pertinent to the issue, and write a legal memorandum summarizing the research conducted and explaining the status of the law as it relates to the identified issue;
  • identify the legal issues pertaining to marriage, annulment, divorce, property division, support and child custody; and retrieve the proper forms from the courts web site; and
  • draft a simple will and simple trust documents from information given in a fact pattern, list the contents of the probate estate and retrieve the proper forms for beginning the probate process.

Career Opportunities/Transfer Information

Paralegal graduates find employment in law offices, administrative agencies, boards and commissions on the local, state and federal levels, district attorney offices, offices within the state and federal court systems, as well as abstract and title companies, bank trust departments, insurance companies and corporate legal departments. Although not designed as a transfer program, transfer articulation agreements have been established with Hilbert College, SUNY Institute of Technology, and Franklin University.

Program of Study

1st Year

1st Semester

BU 121Business Law I

3

EN 111English I - College Writing

3

FS 100First Year Student Seminar

1

IS 113Keyboarding w/Document Proc

2

PL 100Intro to Law for Paralegals

3

Mathematics Elective

3

Total Credit Hours:15

2nd Semester

BU 122Business Law II

3

EN 112English II - Intro to Lit

3

PL 110Legal Research & Writing

3

PL 112Civil Litigation and Procedure

3

IS 119Comp Software for the Law Off

3

Total Credit Hours:15

2nd Year

3rd Semester

BU 114Accounting I

4

PL 211Real Estate Law

3

PL 221Administration of Estates

3

PL 251Torts & Personal Injury

3

Science Elective

3

Physical Education Activity

1

Total Credit Hours:17

4th Semester

PL 231Family Law

3

PL 271Paralegal Practicum

3

SS 141American Government

3

OR

SS 246Constitutional Law

3

SS 151Intro Psychology

3

Elective

3

Physical Education Activity

1

Total Credit Hours:16

Total Credit Hours: 63

For more information, contact the Business, Health, Science and Technology Division at (315) 866-0300 or toll free 1-888--4-HCCC, ext.8240.

This program is Internet accessible and may be completed entirely online.

For more information access HCCC Internet Academy website: www.ia.herkimer.edu