ABA Approved Paralegal Studies Program - Lone Star College System

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ABA ApprovedParalegal Studies Program2014 - 2015Lone Star College

To the Prospective Paralegal Student:We have compiled these materials to assist you in your decision to attend Lone Star College-North HarrisABA-Approved Paralegal Studies Program. We have tried to be as complete as humanly possible, but ifwe have missed something, please give us a call or send us an email! The first thing you want to do is apply to the college for admission. There is no specialapplication for the program itself. Just apply to the college and sign up for classes. Order yourtranscripts to be sent to Admissions. Get advising to see about testing.DECLARE YOUR PARALEGAL MAJOR! This is vitally important!Sign up for classesBe sure you take LGLA 1307 Intro to Law and LGLA 1303 Legal Research either FIRST orCONCURRENTLY with other first semester classes. You MUST have these two classes asprerequisites for the other classes in order to succeed. Never try to take LGLA 1345 LitigationProcedures without taking the other two classes first. It is certain to cause failure.Ask Prof Delesandri to sign you up on the Paralegal Listserv so you get all the program newsWe do not know anything about Tuition or Financial Aid in our department. Our college hasseparate departments for those things. See other materials in this packet for those phonenumbers. However, we have compiled some rough tuition information here below that isaccurate for 2014: Out of InternationalDistrictor Out of State Certificate 2056 4506 5818 AAS 3898 8098 9043The above numbers reflect tuition only. You will also have fees and books to consider. To see ifyou live in-district, please consult the Lone Star College website at www.lonestar.eduYes, we have Internships. You must complete 15 LGLA hours before being able to sign up forone. An internship may be done in place of one of the LGLA electives. Internships are 20 hoursa week for an entire long semester (16 weeks) and they are unpaid. Begin the process by fillingout an Internship Questionnaire and giving it to Prof. Delesandri. We find you the internshipunless you already have one.We do not GUARANTEE placement. However, our graduate placement rate is well over 90%.We will teach you how to look for a job in the Houston area and you will have to do the hardwork. There is nothing magical about the paralegal profession as far as getting your first entrylevel job is concerned. It takes the same amount of work and dedication as any other career.But once you have a job in this profession, you are usually set for life!While you are in the program, your paralegal advisor will be Professor Delesandri. I am the oneto determine whether other classes may be substituted for a prescribed class, etc. However, ifyou want transferability advice to go on to a 4 year university, you may want to go to see acollege advisor.In- DistrictStudents lacking the minimum of an Associates’ Degree shall enter the AssociatesDegree Paralegal Studies ProgramAll students should declare appropriate paralegal major and begin with a minimumLGLA 1307 Intro to Law and LGLA 1303 Legal ResearchNo student should be allowed into LGLA 1345 Litigation Procedures without the properpre-requisite (LGLA 1307 Intro to Law). Without Intro, they will fail.

Four classes MUST be taken on campus in a classroom. These classes are LGLA 1307,LGLA 1303, LGLA 2370, and LGLA 2331. All the other LGLA classes are only availableonline.The Paralegal Studies Program at LSC-NH is approved by the American Bar Association(ABA).Criminal Justice classes are not the same as Paralegal courses and may not be used forsubstitution.There is no licensing or regulation of paralegals in the State of Texas. However, mostemployers will not hire a paralegal who does not have either a degree or certificate inParalegal Studies.POFL courses are not a part of the Paralegal Studies program and cannot substitute forthem.Paralegals must work under the direct supervision of an attorney, and may not deliverlegal advice or legal services directly to the public. To do so is crime called“Unauthorized Practice of Law.” That means they may not open “legal documentpreparation services” that service the public.The term “legal assistant” has evolved to mean an entry-level paralegal, or legalsecretary. After completion of either the Associates Degree or Certificate in ParalegalStudies, you will be qualified to enter a job as a paralegal.Only the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program may complete course substitutionsfor a student. No waivers of any kind will be given for any course.Students are welcomed and encouraged to seek advising from the Paralegal Studiesdepartment. Please call Professor Marcy Delesandri at 281-618-5735 or emailmarcy.delesandri@lonestar.edu for an appointment. Or call Assistant Professor JeffWatts at 281-618-5587 or email Jeffrey.A.Watts@lonestar.edu.We have an articulation agreement with University of Houston Downtown, which also hasclasses at our Woodlands location. Ask about their Interdisciplinary Degree. They will transferyour paralegal classes. Not all 4 year colleges and universities will do this.I understand that many of you will want to go on to finish your bachelor’s and go on to lawschool. But please don’t overlook the paralegal profession as a career. You can make moremoney than most lawyers, and your career will be just as satisfying. Think about it.Professor Marcy DelesandriDirector of Paralegal StudiesLone Star College-North Harris2700 W W Thorne, A-133 HHouston, TX 77073281-618-5735FAX: 281-765-7858marcy.delesandri@lonestar.edu

ABA Approved Paralegal ProgramParalegal Studies AAS ChecklistTotal Credit Hours for Program: 61Date Started Program Date Completed ProgramCourse #Course NameCreditHoursBUSI 2301Business Law3MATH 1332Math for Liberal Arts3ENGL 1301Composition & Rhetoric I3ITSC 1401Introduction to Computers3LGLA 1307Intro. To Law & LegalProfessions3SecondSemesterACNT 1303Introduction to Accounting3Elective 1Humanities/Fine Arts3Elective 2General Education3GOVT 2305Federal Government3LGLA 1303Legal Research3DateStartedDateCompletedGradeFIRST YEARFirst Semester1Humanities course requirement must be selected from this list: ENGL 2332, 2333; HUMA1301, 1302; PHIL 1304; FREN 2311, 2312; GERM 2311, 2312; SPAN 231, 2312. Thesecourses also meet the multicultural requirement.2Select from the general education requirements.

(Paralegal Studies AAS Checklist, cont.)Course #Course YEARFirst SemesterKINELGLA 121912LGLA 1345Physical activityLegal Ethics & Prof.ResponsibilityCivil LitigationLGLA 2370Rules of Civil Procedure3LGLA 2303Torts & Personal Injury Law3ITSW 1301Intro. To Word Processing3Preparing for LegalEmploymentInterviewing & Investigating13LGLA4Adv. Legal Research &WritingElectiveLGLA 2388Internship ParalegalSecondSemesterLGLA 1171LGLA 2305LGLA3 2331ORLGLA4SPCH 131534ElectivePublic Speaking33333Capstone courseLGLA: 1323, 1341, 1343, 1349, 1353, 1355, 1359, 1371, 2301, 2309, 2311, 2313, 2315(LG: 1/25/13)

Paralegal Studies Advanced TechnicalCertificate ChecklistTotal Credit Hours for Program: 35-36Date Started Program Date Completed ProgramCourse #Course NameCreditHoursFIRST YEARFirst SemesterITSW 1301Introduction to Word ProcessingORIntroduction to ComputersLGLA 1219Legal Ethics & Prof. Responsibility2LGLA 1303Legal Research3LGLA 1307Intro. To Law & Legal Professions3LGLA 2303Torts & Personal Injury Law3LGLA 2370Rules of Civil Procedure3Second SemesterACNT 1303Introduction to Accounting3LGLA 1345Civil Litigation3LGLA 2305Interviewing & Investigating3LGLA 1 2331Adv. Legal Research & Writing3LGLA2Elective3LGLA 2388Internship ParalegalLGLA2Elective12DateCompletedGrade3-4ITSC 1401ORDateStarted3Capstone courseLGLA: 1317, 1323, 1341, 1343, 1349, 1353, 1355, 1359, 1371, 2301, 2309, 2311, 2313, 2315(LG: 1/25/13)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:LGLA1171PREPARING FORLEGALEMPLOYEMENT1 CREDIT(1 hr.lec)This course prepares theparalegal student in thespecific job finding skillsnecessary for the legalenvironment.LGLA1219LEGAL ETHICS ANDPROFESSIONALRESPONSIBILITY2 CREDITS(2hrs.lec)LGLA1303LEGAL RESEARCH3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)This course covers the moraland legal responsibilities andduties that a member of thelegal profession owes to thepublic, the court, clients, andother professionalcolleagues. Includes a reviewof canons, codes and rules ofprofessional responsibility.Law library techniques andcomputer assisted legalresearch.LGLA1307INTRODUCTION TOLAW AND LEGALPROFESSIONS3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1317LAW OFFICETECHNOLOGY3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1323EMPLOYMENT LAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1341ADMINISTRATIVELAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)This course provides anoverview of the law and thelegal professions. Topicsinclude legal concepts,systems, and terminology;ethical obligations andregulations; professionaltrends and issues withparticular emphasis on theparalegal.Computer technology andsoft-ware applications withinthe law office.This course presentsfundamental concepts of,and the paralegal’s role in,employment and labor law.Topics include contracts ofemployment, governmentalregulations, discriminationissues, and worker’scompensationThis course presentsfundamental concepts ofadministrative law andPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL1301) ORplacement by testing;Co-requisite: LGLA 2305Prerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL

LGLA1343BANKRUPTCY LAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1345CIVIL LITIGATION3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1349CONSTITUTIONALLAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1353WILLS, TRUSTS ANDPROBATEADMINISTRATION3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1355FAMILY LAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)procedure in governmentalagencies at all levels withemphasis on the paralegal’srole in the administrativeprocess. Topics includecreation of governmentagencies, operation,rulemaking and adjudication.This course presentsfundamental concepts ofbankruptcy law andprocedure with emphasis onthe paralegal’s role. Topicsinclude individual andbusiness liquidation andreorganization.This course presentsfundamental concepts andprocedures of civil litigationwith emphasis on theparalegal’s role. Topicsinclude pretrial, trial andpost-trial phases of litigation.This course provides anoverview of the UnitedStates Constitution and itsarticles, amendments, andjudicial interpretations.Topics include separation ofpowers, check and balances,governmental structures andprocess, and individual rightsin relation to government.This course presentsfundamental concepts of thelaw of wills, trust, andprobate administration withemphasis on the paralegal’srole.This course presentsfundamental concepts offamily law with emphasis onthe paralegal’s role. Topicsinclude formal and informalmarriages, divorce,annulment, marital property,and the parent-childrelationship.0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testing

LGLA1359IMMIGRATION LAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA1371INTELLECTUALPROPERTY3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2301ENVIRONMENTALLAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2303TORTS ANDPERSONAL INJURYLAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2305INTERVIEWING ANDINVESTIGATING3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2309REAL PROPERTY3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)This course presentsfundamental concepts ofimmigration law withemphasis on the paralegal’srole. Topics includesubstantive and procedurallaw related to visaapplications, deportation,naturalization, andcitizenship.Intellectual property is thestudy of patents, copyrightsand trademarks. This coursewill prepare the paralegalstudent to assist in thepreparation of filing oftrademarks, patents andcopyrights, as well as themaintenance and researchrelated to this field.This course presentsfundamental concepts ofenvironmental law withemphasis on the paralegal’srole. Topics includeterminology, creation ofenvironmental law, and theapplication of statutes andgovernment regulations tospecific fact situations.This course presentsfundamental concepts of tortlaw with emphasis on theparalegal’s role. Topicsinclude intentional torts,negligence and strict liability.This course is a study ofprinciples, methods, andinvestigative techniques usedto locate, gather, document,and manage information.Emphasis on developinginterviewing andinvestigative skillsThis course presentsfundamental concepts of realproperty law with emphasison the paralegal’s role.Topics include the nature ofreal property, rights andduties of ownership, landuse, voluntary andPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testing

LGLA2311BUSINESSORGANIZATIONS3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2313CRIMINAL LAW ANDPROCEDURE3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2315OIL AND GAS LAW3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2331ADVANCED LEGALRESEARCH ANDWRITING3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2370RULES OF CIVILPROCEDURE3 CREDITS(3hrs.lec)LGLA2388INTERNSHIP –PARALEGAL/LEGALASSISTANT3 CREDITS(18 hrs.ext)involuntary conveyances,and the recording of andsearching for real estatedocuments.This course presents basicconcepts of businessorganizations with emphasison the paralegal’s role.Topics include law of agency,sole proprietorships, formsof partnerships,corporations, and otheremerging business entities.This course introduces thecriminal justice systemincluding procedures fromarrest to final disposition,principles of federal andstate law, and thepreparation of pleadings andmotions.This course presents thefundamental concepts of oiland gas law, includingrelationships betweenlandowners and oil and gasoperators, governmentregulation, and documentsused in the industry with anemphasis on the paralegal’srole.This course builds upon skillsacquired in prior legalresearch and writing coursesincluding computerizedresearch techniques andpreparation of complex legaldocuments such as briefs,legal office memoranda, andcitation forms.An in-depth study of bothstate and federal rules of civilprocedure. Designed to makethe paralegal studentextremely knowledgeable inlocating the proper rules ineither jurisdiction.The internship is a workbased learning experiencethat enables the student toapply specializedPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: LGLA 1303and completion of 12LGLA credits; ENGL 0305or ENGL 0365 AND ENGL0307 or ENGL 0375 ORhigher level course(ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: ENGL0305 or ENGL 0365 ANDENGL 0307 or ENGL0375 OR higher levelcourse (ENGL 1301) ORplacement by testingPrerequisites: 15 LGLAcredits, Enrollment inparalegal AAS orcertificate program,

occupational theory, skillsand concepts. A learning planis developed by the college,the student and theemployer.approval of instructor;ENGL 0305 or ENGL0365 AND ENGL 0307 orENGL 0375 OR higherlevel course (ENGL 1301)OR placement by testing

LONES STAR COLLEGE-NORTH HARRISABA APPROVRD PARALEGAL STUDIES PROGRAMFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSWhat is the difference between a legal assistant and a paralegal?Years ago, there was no difference. The terms were interchangeable and their usagewas generally determined by common custom or practice in a geographical area. Now,however, a trend is beginning where the term legal assistant is being used more forassistants to paralegals, or for legal secretaries. Therefore, all the major paralegalassociations and educational programs have changed their names to “Paralegal.”What does a paralegal do?The short answer to this is "anything an attorney does except give legal advice or arguebefore the bar." Paralegals are trained to assist the attorney in all aspects of the law.The paralegal drafts documents and pleadings, does legal and factual research andinvestigation, acts as liaison between the firm and the client, analyzes and summarizesdocuments and compiles reports, attends and assists at depositions, hearings, and trial,organizes, develops, and maintains case management and file systems, and filesdocuments with the court. The role of the paralegal does vary with the individuality ofthe lawyer who employs the paralegal. A paralegal who works in a small, generalistpractice can expect to have more varied duties, including some secretarialresponsibilities in many cases. Paralegals who work for larger firms generally specializein one area of the law and have more specific job descriptions.How much money does a paralegal make annually?This, of course, varies greatly according to geographic areas. In the Greater Houstonarea, for example, the higher salaries are generally found in the downtown area, whichis highly competitive. A beginning paralegal can expect to start upwards of 30,000 ayear, but the attorneys in the suburbs generally pay a much lower salary. Once aparalegal begins to gain experience, salaries rise steadily on an annual basis. At theother end of the spectrum, very experienced paralegals in large metropolitan areas caneasily earn more than 90,000 annually. Working for a small law firm in a suburban areabrings far less in salary.What is the difference between a paralegal and a legal secretary?The biggest difference is in the priority of job responsibilities. Expectedly, a legalsecretary's first responsibility is answering the phone of the attorney. The secondpriority is typing. Both of these jobs make it necessary for the legal secretary to keepregular office hours and stay seated at a desk as much as possible during the day. Aparalegal, however, in most cases, has secretarial support, and does work much the

same way as an attorney, which often calls for the paralegal to be out of the office oreven traveling.How long does your program take?That will depend on you. Our program is made up of college-credit courses. Full timestudents generally take 15-16 credit hours per semester. The paralegal certificateprogram is available to students who have already obtained the equivalency of a two orfour year college degree in any subject. The certificate program can be completed intwo-full time semesters, or 32 weeks. Students who do not already possess either a twoyear or four year college degree will enter the two year AAS degree program which willtake four full time semesters to complete. Of course, if you are not able to attendclasses on a full time basis, the length of time it takes you to complete the program willvary according to how many classes you are able to take each semester. A semester bysemester breakdown of the required classes for both the certificate and the AAS degreeplan are found on Lone Star College-North Harris’ website.What time of day are your classes offered?Lone Star College-North Harris offers classes in two formats: There are four classeswhich MUST be taken in the classroom:LGLA 1307 Intro to LawLGLA 1303 Legal ResearchLGLA 2370 Rules of Civil ProcedureLGLA 2331 Advanced Legal Research and WritingThe above classes are offered at night every semester and some day classes. Each classmeets one night a week for 3 hours. Day classes meet twice a week for 1.1/2 hourseach. The rest of our classes are online. Please bear in mind that while LGLA 2303 and1307 are offered at night in the classroom, you may not take other LGLA classes withouttaking these classes first, or concurrently with other courses that ask for these coursesas a prerequisite.After I graduate from your program, will I be certified to be a paralegal? Is there a test I take tobecome licensed?After graduation, you will be either a degreed paralegal or a paralegal, depending onyour course of study. Employers, who advertise in the paper for a "certified" legalassistant, are really looking for a "certificated" legal assistant, or one who has graduatedfrom a paralegal program and earned a certificate or degree. There is no licensing orregulation of legal assistants by any government or bar authority in any state or on anational basis at this time. There is considerable discussion among bar associations andlegal assistant associations about the inevitability of instituting such regulation. Thebest way to be prepared for the implementation of licensing or regulation is to graduatefrom a respected legal assistant program with a degree or certificate, which is certain tobe part of the criteria for licensing in the future.

I have heard about an exam called the CLA. Will I be qualified to take that exam when Igraduate, and what will it mean if I pass the exam?There are several national paralegal associations, one of which is called NALA, whichstands for National Association of Legal Assistants. NALA offers a voluntary test calledthe Certified Legal Assistant exam. Once a paralegal passes this exam, the initials CLAare placed behind the legal assistant's name. As a graduate from our program, you willbe qualified to take this exam if you so choose. To do so is strictly voluntary, and thestudent should be aware that becoming a CLA will not necessarily give that student anedge in employment opportunities or garner a larger salary. Most employers are notentirely familiar with the CLA exam, and many, many qualified and experienced legalassistants have enjoyed extremely successful careers without choosing to take theexam. The CLA exam is a two-day test and costs several hundred dollars.Is your paralegal course ABA approved?Yes, Lone Star College – North Harris’s Paralegal Studies Program is ABA Approved.I started college classes many years ago, but changed my mind about my major and did notgraduate. Can I use any of those classes to fulfill the requirements for the paralegal program?Certainly, as long as those classes were taken at an accredited college and the coursecontent is the same as that which is required under our program. For example, yourPsychology 101 class will be accepted here for the Psychology requirement. Many ofthe classes you took may also be able to be used to fulfill elective requirements. We willbe happy to look at your transcripts and help you to develop a degree plan where thesecourses are applied to your degree.I see that none of the courses for your program are offered at the other campuses in yourcollege district. Why is that?According to the ABA guidelines for paralegal programs, certain types of resources andsupport must be available to properly teach the courses. The North Harris campus is theonly campus in the system which has full time legal professors on faculty and a full lawlibrary which meets the ABA standards. We feel that the North Harris College campusoffers students their best opportunity for complete resources and support in theparalegal program.Who do I contact for more information on your program?Please call Marcy Delesandri (281) 618-5735 or e-mail her at:Marcy.delesandri@lonestar.eduOr Jeff Watts (281) 618-5587 or e-mail him at:Jeffery.A.Watts@lonestar.edu

The term "legal assistant" has evolved to mean an entry-level paralegal, or legal secretary. After completion of either the Associates Degree or Certificate in Paralegal Studies, you will be qualified to enter a job as a paralegal. Only the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program may complete course substitutions for a student.

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