In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of paralegal studies, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Apply legal research methods and techniques that are used in the practice of law.
- Develop skills in legal reasoning, in identifying and effectively using legal resources and in writing legal documents.
- Evaluate the importance of secondary sources in legal research.
- Describe the primary rules and sources and roles of each in legal research.
- Distinguish how advice, persuasion, and advocacy enter into legal research.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the nature, function, principles, and concepts of law as they relate to the paralegal and apply critical legal thinking and analytical skills to resolve typical situations or facts.
- Comprehend and describe what a paralegal is and how one fits into the legal system.
American Public University is part of American Public University System, a regionally accredited university offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.
Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:
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Introduction to Law for Paralegals
This course requires no previous legal background and introduces the student to the paralegal profession, the legal system, legal research, writing, and analysis, and other aspects of the law and the law office.
This course is an introduction to and the exploration of the process related to civil litigation and the procedures normally the responsibility of the paralegal in preparing materials for trial. Coverage will include information gathering, interviewing, organizing, and preparation of materials for trial.
Real Estate Law
This course is a study of real estate law, with emphasis on those portions of real estate law that are essential to the processes and functions of the real estate purchase, administration, financing, land use regulation, financial instruments, leases, and property rights.
Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal
This course will examine the practical aspects of criminal law and procedure as they pertain to the work of the paralegal. The course covers the nature of criminal liability, the elements of various crimes, and defenses to criminal accusations. The course will also cover criminal procedure, from search and seizure through trial and appeal. Constitutional issues relating to search and seizure, self-incrimination and other matters are explored in depth. Students learn how to prepare relevant legal documents.
Legal Research and Writing
This course will assess the methods used to locate necessary legal materials and be able to evaluate the appropriate citations of those materials. The paralegal aspects are reviewed and distinguished from other judicial case briefings. The course will introduce legal analysis methods and the preparation of appropriate techniques for researching legal issues and cases. Critical definitions of legal terminology are analyzed and used in preparation of legal materials such as memoranda, client letters, and other relevant documents. The course presents the student with techniques for effective writing in the legal environment. (Prerequisite: ENGL101).
Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)
This undergraduate course introduces students to the ethics and professional responsibilities of the legal profession. Emphasis is given to the strict regulation of the practice of law and accompanying reasons, as well as the standard of care expected by those who work in the field. Important ethical issues, such as marketing, client relationships, fees, and communications are explored. Students will analyze the model rules and their practical applications.
This upper level undergraduate course introduces students to the legal and procedural requirements of family law. Students will explore various legal procedures and extrajudicial methods. Topics such as marital agreements, separation, divorce, alimony, custody, adoptions, domestic violence, cohabitation, and same-sex marriages will be covered. Emphasis is placed on linking theory to practice.
Foundations of Online Learning
This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.