2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Professional Services - Paralegal Studies, Certificate

Overview

The certificate in Paralegal Studies prepares the student for a dynamic career in the legal profession. The student will receive training in case management and legal research as well as learn how to analyze and summarize data to assist attorneys in preparation for hearings, trials, closings, corporate meetings, and other legal functions. The student will experience community learning opportunities that include job shadows, internships, and real-world projects. Paralegal Studies courses are also offered in the evening, tailored for those with family or work commitments. *Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Personal Traits Leading to Success in Paralegal Program:

  • Ability to develop sound academic skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Minimum keyboarding skill of 40 cwpm
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and accuracy
  • Able to work under stressful circumstances
  • Assertive
  • Exhibit common sense
  • Desire to develop research abilities
  • Capacity to work as part of a legal team
  • Enjoy extensive research and writing

LDSBC Methods and Procedures for Teaching

  • Legal courses taught by legal professionals/lawyers
  • Caring faculty
  • Instructors are facilitators
  • Students responsible for own learning
  • Students are required to come to class prepared
  • Teaching is done by the Learning Model which is based on teaching and learning by the Spirit
  • Learning involves the student, the instructor, and the Spirit
  • Practical application with project-based learning
  • Internship at end of coursework to apply what has been learned

Career Opportunities

A successful paralegal finds fulfillment as a contributor in resolving difficult legal situations in behalf of families, non-profit organizations, law firms, government agencies, and corporations. A variety of positions can be found in numerous industries including banking, insurance, healthcare, business, entertainment industry, real estate, and public agencies.

A number of benefits are associated with paralegal graduation:

  • Steady, upward trend for starting salaries
  • Attractive to individuals seeking to improve their career and earning potential
  • Allows current Legal Administrative Assistants to advance their legal career
  • Shows healthy job market in Utah and throughout the country with an increased employment demand for paralegals for the next 7 years
  • Listed by Department of Workforce Services in its top “Five Star” jobs at the associate degree level
  • Low cost program with high salary potential
  • Excellent career possibilities for multiple-language students

Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students will demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Confirm personal testimony in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Collaborate with others using interpersonal skills in an honest, ethical, and Christ-like manner.
  • Communicate effectively using written and verbal presentation principles.
  • Construct new knowledge using technology and information resource tools.
  • Comprehend and think critically to solve problems.
  • Cultivate a strong, professional work ethic and lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Work knowledgeably through federal, state, and local court systems, including PACER, CM/ECF, and Xchange.
  • Apply substantive and procedural law to any fact pattern, including the determination of appropriate jurisdiction and venue.
  • Practice ethical obligations and standards, and maintain the appropriate level of professionalism, tact, and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrate organizational and prioritizing skills in balancing multiple assignments and deadlines.
  • Prepare legal research plans, analyze factual situations, identify legal solutions, summarize legal research findings, and write legal memoranda.
  • Follow appropriate interviewing and investigative procedures with clients, witnesses, and others.
  • Prepare and file/e-file legal forms, including, but not limited to: complaints, answers, letters, demands, closing documents, subpoenas, summons, notices, and motions.
  • Use a variety of legal office management and case management software systems proficiently.
  • Articulate career preparation confidently using resumes, portfolios, and interviews.

Course Requirements

Students are responsible to examine the course description of each course listed below for details of prerequisites, which must be satisfied before registering for the course.

Religion Courses

REL One cornerstone religion courses (2 credit hours)

Course NumberTitleCredits
REL 200The Eternal Family

2 credits

REL 225Foundations of the Restoration

2 credits

REL 250Jesus Christ & Everlast Gospel

2 credits

REL 275Teach & Doct of Book of Mormon

2 credits

Total Credit Hours:2

College-wide Courses

Course NumberTitleCredits
ENG 101Intro. to College Writing

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:3

Program Core Courses

Course NumberTitleCredits
PLS 101Introduction to Law

3 credits

PLS 110Legal Research/Writing I

3 credits

PLS 115Legal Research/Writing II

3 credits

PLS 120Evidence

2 credits

PLS 150Paralegal Computer Application

3 credits

PLS 160Ethics

2 credits

Total Credit Hours:16

Electives (Choose 2 of the following)

Course NumberTitleCredits
PLS 130Criminal Law and Procedures

3 credits

PLS 203Intro. to Civil Litigation

3 credits

PLS 205Contract Law

3 credits

PLS 210Torts

3 credits

PLS 215Bankruptcy Law

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:6

**Optional Internship

Course NumberTitleCredits
PLS 299Paralegal Internship

2 credits

Total Credit Hours: 27

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Depending upon the number of preparatory courses a student must take, an additional semester may be required to complete the program

First Semester

Course NumberTitleCredits
ENG 101Intro. to College Writing

3 credits

PLS 101Introduction to Law

3 credits

PLS 110Legal Research/Writing I

3 credits

PLS 120Evidence

2 credits

PLS 150Paralegal Computer Application

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:14

Second Semester-Winter

Course NumberTitleCredits
PLS 115Legal Research/Writing II

3 credits

Elective Choose from PLS 130, 203, 205, 210, 215

3 credits

Elective Choose from PLS 130, 203, 205, 210, 215

2 credits

Religion Cornerstone Religion course

2 credits

PLS 160Ethics

2 credits

Total Credit Hours:13

Graduation Requirements

  1. Minimum of 27 total semester credit hours as outlined
  2. Grade of C or higher in all PLS core courses
  3. Cumulative grade-point average of 2.0
  4. 1 cornerstone religion course


Paralegal Studies Certificate Gainful Employment information.