Legal & Paralegal Studies

Faculty:

Deborah Kottel, J.D.
Edward Lucas, J.D.

The UP Bachelor of Science in Legal and Paralegal Studies and Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies degrees are American Bar Association (ABA) approved programs. Students may pursue their degree through on-campus courses or, subject to the requirements of the ABA discussed below, by distance learning.

Legal and paralegal studies prepares students to assume challenging legal positions. Each core course in the major provides a balance between legal theory and practical application. Elective options allow students to pursue specialty area expertise. The program requires a field experience, where the student obtains actual experience in a law firm, judge’s office, or corporation.

UP Legal and Paralegal Studies students have had great success upon graduating as high performing paralegals, have a strong foundation for law school if they desire to be an attorney, and have excelled in the corporate, governmental and non-profit arenas. Law firms offer the majority of placement opportunities; however, many graduates choose to join corporations, legal aid organizations, banks, insurance companies, or government. Graduate school opportunities, including law school, are available for paralegal studies graduates with bachelor degrees. A paralegal is a non-lawyer who assists attorneys in their professional duties. Paralegals always work under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals cannot practice law or provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

It is the policy of the Paralegal Studies program to accept legal specialty transfer credits from accredited institutions with ABA approved programs at the time the credit is earned provided the student completes the following procedure. First, the student must meet with the Paralegal Studies Program Director. The student must provide either a catalog description or a course syllabus and be able to discuss goals and objectives completed during the course. If the program director determines that the course is sufficiently similar to one in the program, and if the student has received a “C” or better in that course, then the program director notifies the Registrar that the course is accepted in transfer as a substitute for a legal specialty course. Signed articulation agreements with ABA approved programs will act as pre-approval for students transferring from articulated programs.

Students must still complete a minimum of 40% or 15 credits, whichever is greater, from the University of Providence in Paralegal Course work to be meet requirements for a degree.

The Paralegal Advisory Board occupies the ongoing position of focusing on program quality and relevancy. The paralegal program is American Bar Association approved.

Students obtaining their degree through Distance Learning are required to complete ten (10) semester credits of legal specialty courses in a traditional classroom or have transfer credit from an ABA approved paralegal program of 10 credits of traditional classroom legal specialty course work. Depending on student transfer evaluation, students may be required to attend three (3) classes on campus.

If you would like to be a distance learning student, please contact Professor Kottel or Professor Lucas to discuss more convenient ways to fulfill this ABA requirement. Army and Air Force Paralegal Program (see below) students should contact Professor Lucas to discuss how you may have already fulfilled this ABA requirement.

UP Army Paralegal Program and UP Air Force Paralegal Program

The UP Legal and Paralegal program has unique agreements with the US Army Judge Advocate General Learning Center and School and the US Air Force Air University to assist Army and Air Force active duty and reserve component paralegals earn an ABA approved degree. For further information, contact UP Admissions at (800) 856-9544, or the program coordinator, Professor Edward Lucas (Colonel, ret, USAF) at (406) 791-5392 or edward.lucas@uprovidence.edu.

Pre-Law Program

The Pre-Law Program is not a major. Rather, the Pre-Law program offers individualized academic advising to assist students interested in pursuing a law degree (Juris Doctor). No particular course of study serves as a prerequisite for admission to law school. Present-day law students have undergraduate degrees in history, English, business, science, paralegal studies and a host of other disciplines. However, potential law students will benefit from the mentorship of a pre-law program advisor. The Pre-Law program places emphasis on the development of scholarly skills and insights rather than the mastery of a prescribed subject. Each Pre-Law student will be assigned a Pre-Law advisor in addition to an advisor in their major. The pre-law advisor assists students in evaluating their interest in law and helps them make proper preparations to be advantageously positioned to enter the law school of their choice.

The main guide to undergraduate study should be your own interests and talents. Successful study and practice of law can be based on any of a large number of college backgrounds; therefore, the pre-law student should feel free to study in depth what interests him or her and to enjoy the breath of undergraduate education.

Goals of the Pre-Law Program

The Pre-Law program strives to assist each student to tailor a program of study that focuses on their strengths and prepares them to succeed in law school. Pre-Law students are advised to take classes that will develop their communication and critical thinking skills.

  1. Communications Skills
    A lawyer must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written expression. Words are the tools of the lawyer’s trade. Training for communication skills obviously must include mastery of the English language. Lawyers must be able to write well. Students are encouraged to take writing intensive courses.
  2. Social Understanding
    Prospective law students need a range of critical understanding of human institutions and values. Pre-Law students are advised to take courses in philosophy, art, sociology and history.
  3. Critical Thinking
    A lawyer must be able to reason closely from a premise to a defensible conclusion. The analysis of a legal problem involves close reasoning. Courses in mathematics, physical sciences, logic and advanced political and economic theory will help develop these needed skills.

Law and Justice Club

Pre-Law students are invited to join the Law and Justice Club, which is designed to provide students with information about the field of law. Students also participate in law related service projects.

Legal and Paralegal Program Outcomes

  1. Differentiate and categorize the concepts of critical and analytical thinking.
    • Identify legally significant facts and legal issues from a fact pattern.
    • Apply rules of law to a fact pattern.
    • Formulate solutions by applying relevant law.
    • Form conclusion as to probable legal outcome.
  2. Demonstrate the importance of effective oral communication skills as a paralegal professional.
    • Interview clients to receive complete and accurate information.
    • Communicate the results of interview in an appropriate oral format.
    • Communicate the results of research orally using appropriate language and speaking skills.
    • Communicate effectively with clients.
  3. Utilize the principles of effective time management and people skills to maintain professional relationships, conduct client/witness interviews, and orchestrate the human resource demand of management.
    • Work effectively as part of a team.
    • Identify interpersonal skills that enable team to complete task.
    • Cultivate personal attitudes and values to support role as a developing paralegal
  4. Demonstrate professional caliber legal writing skills.
    • Use citation rules properly to reference legal and non-legal authorities.
    • Draft memorandums and appellate briefs that are clear and use persuasive writing to further a point of view.
    • Draft transmittal documents and litigation support documents that are legally professional and clear to the audience.
    • Be capable of drafting the forms of documentation utilized in the legal community.
    • Construct appropriate business legal documents.
    • Draft pleadings and trial support documents.
  5. Apply and abide by the Professional Rules of Responsibility/Ethical Conduct for the legal community. Most notable, students will understand and abide by the limitations on the practice by non-lawyers.
    • Awareness of role and function of paralegals.
    • Awareness of current issues affecting the paralegal profession.
    • Awareness of current law, rules of professional conduct and ethical obligations.
  6. Paralegals will have knowledge of at least four core substantive areas.
    • Describe basic substantive principles and theories in areas of contracts, torts, property, agency, administrative and criminal law.
    • Develop skills in the practical application of theories in resolving fact-based problems.

Degree Requirements

Legal and Paralegal Studies Major (B.S.)

Required Courses
BUS 335COMMERCIAL LAW II3
PLG 101INTRODUCTION TO LAW *3
PLG 203INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ANALYSIS *3
PLG 305LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING *4
PLG 333LITIGATION AND TRIAL PRACTICE3
PLG 397FIELD EXP IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE3
PLG 430LEGAL AND PARALEGAL CAPSTONE3
Two Specialty Elective Courses:6
DOMESTIC AND FAMILY LAW
PROPERTY LAW
ESTATE LAW
DEBTOR-CREDITOR LAW
LEGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Other Approved Electives:6
Any Specialty Electives (Listed above)
COMMERCIAL LAW I
CRIMINAL LAW
CRIMINAL EVIDENCE & PROCEDURE
PERSONAL INJURY LAW
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
NEGOTIATION & MEDIATION
EVIDENCE AND REMEDIES
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Total Credits Required:34
*

Denotes legal specialty courses that must be taken in a traditional classroom. Depending on student transfer evaluation, students may be required to attend three (3) classes on campus.

Paralegal Studies Associate Degree (A.S.)

Required Courses
BUS 220COMMERCIAL LAW I3
PLG 101INTRODUCTION TO LAW *3
PLG 203INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ANALYSIS *3
PLG 305LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING *4
PLG 333LITIGATION AND TRIAL PRACTICE3
PLG 397FIELD EXP IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE3
PLG 430LEGAL AND PARALEGAL CAPSTONE3
Two of the following courses:6
DOMESTIC AND FAMILY LAW
PROPERTY LAW
ESTATE LAW
DEBTOR-CREDITOR LAW
LEGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
COMMERCIAL LAW II
Total Credits Required:28
*

Denotes legal specialty courses that must be taken in a traditional classroom. Depending on student transfer evaluation, students may be required to attend three (3) classes on campus.

Legal and Paralegal Studies Major (B.S.)

Plan Template: Legal and Paralegal Studies
Description: Bachelor of Science
# of Terms: 8
Term Start: Fall

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallCredits
COD 100 CORPS OF DISCOVERY 3
PLG 101 INTRODUCTION TO LAW 3
PHL 101
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN
or INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY
3
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
WRITING ESSAYS
Option 2:
Select one of the following:
ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
PRECALCULUS I
CALCULUS I
Select one of the following options: 1
Option 1:
ESSENTIALS OF SPREADSHEETS
ESSENTIALS OF WORD PROCESSING
ESSENTIALS OF PRESENTATIONS
Option 2:
INFORMATION LITERACY
 Credits13
Spring
PLG 203 INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ANALYSIS 3
PHL 101
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN
or INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY
3
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
WRITING ESSAYS
Option 2:
ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
PRECALCULUS I
CALCULUS I
Select one of the following options: 1
Option 1:
ESSENTIALS OF SPREADSHEETS
ESSENTIALS OF WORD PROCESSING
ESSENTIALS OF PRESENTATIONS
Option 2:
INFORMATION LITERACY
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES
Option 2:
GLOBAL HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
 Credits13
Year 2
Fall
PLG 305 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING 4
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES
Option 2:
GLOBAL HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
Major Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
PLG 333 LITIGATION AND TRIAL PRACTICE 3
FAFine Arts 3
ENG 300-319Upper Division English or WAC 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits15
Year 3
Fall
ILC 330
WHAT IS TRUTH
or WHAT IS THE COMMON GOOD
4
Major Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
ILC 330
WHAT IS TRUTH
or WHAT IS THE COMMON GOOD
4
BUS 335 COMMERCIAL LAW II 3
Major Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits16
Year 4
Fall
PLG 430
LEGAL AND PARALEGAL CAPSTONE
or FIELD EXP IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE
3
PHL 301
ETHICS
or THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
3
Major Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
PLG 430
LEGAL AND PARALEGAL CAPSTONE
or FIELD EXP IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE
3
PHL 301
ETHICS
or THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
3
ESExperimental Science 4
Major Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits Required:120

*Plan templates are based on the most current catalog and ideal route for degree completion, and should only be used to get an idea of what degree completion may look like. New and enrolled students should log into DegreeWorks to see their specific degree requirements.  

Legal and Paralegal Studies Major (A.S.)

Plan Template: Legal and Paralegal Studies
Description: Associate of Science
# of Terms: 8
Term Start: Fall

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallCredits
COD 100 CORPS OF DISCOVERY 3
PLG 101 INTRODUCTION TO LAW 3
PHL 101
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN
or INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY
3
ESExperimental Science 4
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
WRITING ESSAYS
Option 2:
Select one of the following:
ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
PRECALCULUS I
CALCULUS I
Select one of the following options: 1
Option 1:
ESSENTIALS OF SPREADSHEETS
ESSENTIALS OF WORD PROCESSING
ESSENTIALS OF PRESENTATIONS
Option 2:
INFORMATION LITERACY
 Credits17
Spring
PLG 203 INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ANALYSIS 3
PHL 101
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN
or INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY
3
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
WRITING ESSAYS
Option 2:
ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
PRECALCULUS I
CALCULUS I
Select one of the following options: 1
Option 1:
ESSENTIALS OF SPREADSHEETS
ESSENTIALS OF WORD PROCESSING
ESSENTIALS OF PRESENTATIONS
Option 2:
INFORMATION LITERACY
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES
Option 2:
GLOBAL HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
 Credits13
Year 2
Fall
PLG 305 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING 4
BUS 220 COMMERCIAL LAW I 3
PLG 397 FIELD EXP IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE 3
Select one of the following options: 3
Option 1:
INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES
Option 2:
GLOBAL HISTORY II
UNITED STATES HISTORY I
Paralegal Elective 3
UNITED STATES HISTORY II
 Credits16
Spring
PLG 333 LITIGATION AND TRIAL PRACTICE 3
PLG 430 LEGAL AND PARALEGAL CAPSTONE 3
FAFine Arts 3
Paralegal Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits Required:61

*Plan templates are based on the most current catalog and ideal route for degree completion, and should only be used to get an idea of what degree completion may look like. New and enrolled students should log into DegreeWorks to see their specific degree requirements.  

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