Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Studies prepares you for successful careers with law firms of all sizes. Upon graduation you will be fully qualified to assist attorneys and other legal professionals with legal research, evidence collection, communications, document and litigation preparation, and the general duties of the daily practice of law.

Hodges’ program also offers a unique benefit not found in most paralegal programs: eDiscovery and eLitigation. The management of e-mail, privacy issues and electronically stored information are at the cutting edge of current legal practice. The Paralegal Studies program will enable you to fill the urgent need for legal professionals with expertise in this area by learning practical techniques for managing information security on behalf of clients and law offices.

On Campus and Online
This Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies is offered on campus or entirely online as part of our online learning experience.

Paralegal Graduates Are Skilled In:

 

  • Document Preparation
  • Legal Research
  • Client Contact
  • Gathering Evidence
  • Case Management
  • Drafting Legal Motions

Why Paralegal Studies?

Is An Associate in Paralegal Studies Right For Me?

The American Bar Association has acknowledged the importance of the paralegal role by devising a formal definition:

"A person...who is employed by a law office...in the capacity or function which involves the performance under the ultimate direction and supervision of an attorney, of specially delegated substantive legal work, which work for the most part, requires a sufficient knowledge of legal concepts that, absent such assistant, the lawyer would perform the task."

A paralegal is a legal assistant, not a legal secretary, and has been trained in general and specific areas of law and legal research. The paralegal performs routine duties of legal practice such as client contact, research, evidence collection, and document preparation under the supervision of an attorney. The paralegal is to the lawyer what a nurse is to a doctor–an assistant. By delegating routine matters to the legal assistant, both the attorney and the client are better served.

Strong Career Field

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020.Competition for paralegal jobs will be strong, therefore experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best job prospects.*

*Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm 12-11-13

Continue Your Education

After obtaining your Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies, you can continue your education with a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies. All credits earned from the Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies degree are acceptable and apply toward the Hodges University’s Baccalaureate Degree in Legal Studies.

Careers

What is the Paralegal Career Outlook?

The job market for paralegals and legal assistants is strong and expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020. The applicant pool is competitive and experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best job prospects.*

*Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm 12-11-13

Paralegals may find jobs in all types of organizations, but the majority find careers in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies.**

PARALEGAL DUTIES**
  • Investigate Cases
  • Organize and Present Findings and Case Information
  • Obtain Affidavits and Formal Statements
  • Legal Research
  • Update Case Computer Databases
  • Assist Lawyers in Trial Preparation and Trials
  • Write Reports
  • Draft Legal Documents
PARALEGAL SPECIALTIES**
  • Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Employee Benefits
  • Intellectual Property
  • Bankruptcy,
  • Immigration
  • Real Estate
CAREER OPTIONS**
  • Private Law Offices
  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Federal Government
  • Finance
  • Insurance

**Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-2 12-11-2013

Curriculum

What Will I Learn?

You may enter the Paralegal program during any semester. A full time student, 12 semester hour credits per term or typically 3 courses per term, can complete this program in approximately 2 years.

Hover over the course names below to view course descriptions.

Area I Paralegal Component Semester Hour Credit
LEA1000 Introduction to Law

LEA1000 - Introduction to Law - 4 Credits

An introduction to the legal system including the United States Constitution, sources of law, state and federal court systems, administrative agencies, basic legal research, and various areas of common law including briefing cases and terminology common to those areas of law. This course is a prerequisite to all LEA courses.

4
LEA1001 Civil Procedure

LEA1001 - Civil Procedure - 2 Credits

This course provides a study of basic procedural due process including complaints, answers, crossclaims, discovery, various pre-trial motions, and basic trial procedures.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

2
LEA1002 Torts

LEA1002 - Torts - 2 Credits

A general overview of tort law including types of torts such as: intentional, negligence, strict liability, product liability, and non-physical injury. Also covered are the limits and defenses to liability, and research and writing on the subject.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

2
LEA1003 Contracts

LEA1003 - Contracts - 2 Credits

This course provides a study of basic contract elements, breach of contract, remedies, various types of common contracts and their usage, including terms and clauses often contained in contracts.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

2
LEA1004 Property

LEA1004 - Property - 2 Credits

A study of basic property possession, ownership, and transfer theory through an examination of common and statutory law as each affects real property. The student is introduced to property descriptions, title examination, encumbrances, easements, licenses, real estate financing, title insurance, closings, condominiums and cooperatives, surveys and descriptions, and leases.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

2
LEA2014 Legal Research and Writing

LEA2014 - Legal Research and Writing - 4 Credits

A study of the various tools and methods used to perform legal research and a study of legal writing formats and techniques, and the preparation of briefs, memoranda, and other legal documents.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

4
LEA2010 Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure

LEA2010 - Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure - 4 Credits

This course is a study of the principles and elements of substantive criminal law including common law concepts and modern statutory provisions regarding crimes against the person, property and habitation, the public, and inchoate crimes; and a study of the principles of criminal defenses including factual, statutory, and constitutional defenses; and the principles of criminal procedure including court procedures and constitutional requirements of law enforcement procedures.

4
LEA2300 Business Organizations

LEA2300 - Business Organizations - 4 Credits

A study of business organizations, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations relating to their creation, operation, and importance in the legal environment. Upon completion of this course students will be able to create various types of business entities, explain the best entity to use based on circumstances presented, and define the requirements for various business types.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Program Chair

4
LEA2800 Wills and Trusts

LEA2800 - Wills and Trusts - 4 Credits

This course examines basic concepts of the estate planning process including intestacy, transfer of assets, wills, probate, trusts, capacity, and intent. After taking this course students will be able to describe key terms and their meaning, draft a sample will, and properly chart distribution of assets.

Prerequisite: LEA1000 or permission of the Program Chair

4
LEA2910 Paralegal Seminar

LEA2910 - Paralegal Seminar - 0 Credits

A review of the course work, skills, and knowledge used by a successful paralegal, based on the competencies designated by the National Association of Legal Assistants.

Prerequisite: 20 credit hours in LEA courses or permission of Faculty/Program Advisor, Program Chair, and Dean

0
LEA3055 eDiscovery

LEA3055 - eDiscovery - 4 Credits

This course will focus on the effect of electronic information on the litigation practice. Specific areas to be covered include preservation of electronic information, data collection, production issues, spoilation of evidence, ethical issues, and admissibility. Students will be able to identify and discuss key terms and concepts associated with eDiscovery techniques.

4
LEA3065 eWorkshop

LEA3065 - eWorkshop - 4 Credits

This course will give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in LEA3055 using real-world eDiscovery software from Acess, Lexis/Nexis, etc. to work through a simulated case study. Students will be taught project management techniques including how to collect data, review and identify the data, then analyze it for litigation purposes.

4
LEA3075 Data Privacy and Social Media

LEA3075 - Data Privacy and Social Media - 4 Credits

This course will help students identify problem areas associated with data privacy and social media as it applies to the legal and business environment. The implications of using social media in the law office can be more profound and far reaching than some may expect and this course will teach students areas of concern and tips to avoid legal trouble caused by social media. This course is also intended to discuss the importance of data privacy and the safeguards necessary to protect data in an increasingly electronic society.

4
LEA3085 eLitigation and Litigation Support

LEA3085 - eLitigation and Litigation Support - 4 Credits

This course will focus primarily on teaching students the necessary skills for litigation support in the electronic age. Students will learn the basics of eFiling at the state and federal level, preservation of litigation material, and trial presentation and support. Students will be able to identify various methods of litigation support techniques based on the type of case and issues presented for trial.

4

Total Paralegal Component
44

Area II

Liberal Arts Component


CAP1000 Computer Applications

CAP1000 - Computer Applications - 4 Credits

This course helps students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to use a computer effectively as a tool for productivity, communication, collaboration and problem-solving. The course coverage includes: knowledge of computer operations and file management, the use of email, navigating the Internet to search for information and resources, online safety, security and privacy, as well as the ability to use the current Microsoft Office suite including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and at a level of basic proficiency.

4
IDS1002 Foundations for College Success

IDS1002 - Foundations for College Success - 2 Credits

The Foundations for College Success course is a two credit course designed specifically for first year students and new students who do not have a minimum of 60 transferrable credit hours or an Associate degree. This course must be completed the first semester at Hodges University. The purpose of this course is to help new students make a successful transition to Hodges University in the academic, social, professional and personal realms. This course aims to foster a sense of belonging, to promote engagement in the life of the university, to explain the expectations of the University and its faculty, help students develop and apply critical thinking skills, as well as assisting students in the ongoing process of clarifying their purpose, meaning, and direction.

2
PSY1102 Strategic Thinking

PSY1102 - Strategic Thinking - 2 Credits

This course focusses on the process by which attitudes are developed, evaluated, and changed. Students will focus on applying critical thinking skills to understand current issues, belief systems and ethical positions.

2
ENG1101 English Composition I

ENG1101 - English Composition I - 4 Credit

This course is designed to encourage students to evaluate their own writing practices, learn strategies to make their writing more effective, and then apply their understanding to expository and research writing. Students must pass this course with a grade of C or better. Prerequisite: A score of 60 or better, or its equivalent on the language skills section of the CPAt test, a score of 65 or better on the language section of the COMPASS test, a score of 48 or better on the language section of the Online Entrance test, or ENG0991 and/or ENG0992 with at least a grade of C.

4
MAC1132 College Mathematics

MAC1132 - College Mathematics - 4 Credits

This course will provide the student with a firm understanding of college level mathematics as it relates to the contemporary world. Topics include critical thinking, set theory, logic, number systems, and an introduction to probability. Other topics include an introduction to Algebra and Geometry, solving linear equations, ratios, proportions, variation, percents and interest, measurement, and the metric system. Modern applications are emphasized with the above topics. All students must earn a C or better in this course

Prerequisite: A score of 60 or better, or its equivalent on the mathematics section of the CPAt test, a score of a 50 or better on the mathematics section of the COMPASS Test, a score of a 18 or better on the mathematics section of the Online Entrance Test, or a grade of C or better in MAT0998

4
PHI3601/3301 Ethics or Philosophy

PHI3301 - Philosophy - 4 Credits

This course acquaints the student with the most significant directions of philosophical thought to the end that the student may have the ability to formulate questions, arrive at reasonable answers, and evaluate those of others.

Prerequisite: ENG1101 and 30 semester hours

PHI3601 - Ethics - 4 Credits

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that explores both the theory and application of virtues and vices in all areas of our lives. The course investigates current issues and events in the light of various moral principles that justify, clarify, explain, and direct our actions and attitudes.

Prerequisite: ENG1101 and 30 semester hours

4

Total Liberal Arts Component
20

Total Semester Hours Required for Graduation

60

Benefits

How is Hodges Paralegal Studies Program Different?

Certification

Graduates of Hodges University’s paralegal program are eligible to take the Certified Legal Assistant exam given by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA).

More Choices

The Paralegal Studies Program is designed to be delivered online or in a traditional classroom format.  Choose the method that is best for you!

Our Professors

Every instructor of law at Hodges University holds a Juris Doctorate degree and has practiced law. All other instructors hold at least a Master’s degree and experience in their respective field, ensuring that each student receives the best education and preparation in his/her career field.

Small Class Size

Our small class sizes allow for enhanced individual attention. With an average class size of 14 students, you will always receive the assistance and attention you need.

More Information

For more information about our program or Hodges policies and procedures review our Student Handbook and our Current Catalog.

Tuition

What Will the Program Cost?

Hodges University tuition continues to be one of the lowest among private institutions in the state of Florida. Basic tuition for all undergraduate credit hour courses is $530.00 per credit hour.

Additional fees may apply. Books and supplies are not included in tuition. For a complete schedule of Tuition and Fees, see the current Catalog or Graduate Bulletin.

Rewards Plan

Full time undergraduate students can take advantage of our Rewards Plan. Take an additional course at no extra cost and save up to 25% on undergraduate tuition.

Prospective students should contact Admissions at 844-HODGESU or admit@hodges.edu for more information. Current students should contact the Registrar's Office at 239-938-7818 or registrar@hodges.edu for more information.

How Does Hodges Help?

Hodges University holds several fundraising events every year that benefit institutional scholarship funds. We also directly contribute an average of approximately two million dollars per year in loan offsetting funds to assist student's in achieving their educational goals. Remember that tuition may be reduced by scholarships and grants and financial aid is available.

"I love the friendly staff and faculty. They helped me through a tough time in my life and guided me to where I need to be." - Nichols School of Professional Studies Student

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Need More Information?

You may also contact us to speak to an admissions coordinator who will guide you through the application and admissions process. To speak to an admissions coordinator call us at 1-800-466-8017 (Naples), 1-800-466-0019 (FM), use our contact form, email admit@hodges.edu or schedule a one-on-one visit to tour one of our campuses.

Your Admissions Coordinator will:

  • Help you complete the application in its entirety.
  • Help you obtain necessary transcripts.
  • Schedule your admissions test (if necessary).
  • Coordinate the Financial Aid process with a Financial Aid Professional.
  • Refer you to your Academic Advisor for class scheduling.
  • Give you information regarding your orientation.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Hodges family!

 

Mary Nuosce

Program Director : Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

As the field of counseling continues to evolve, our commitment ever increases to develop the counseling knowledge and skills of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling students.

 
 

Attending Hodges has been the most wonderful experience of my life.

- Kelly O'Brien

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Hodges University’s Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Program supports the University’s philosophy of being an open, creative, and community conscious institution of higher learning.

 
 
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