Degrees and Certificates
Paralegal Studies,Associate in Science
This course introduces the student to the field of law. The course will examine the role of paralegals working for attorneys in the practice of law. The student will gain an understanding of the structure and operation of the legal systems in the United States, both state and federal, with a fundamental knowledge of the major areas of substantive and procedural law. The student will acquire an understanding of the important ethical rules governing attorneys in the practice of law, and will gain valuable practical knowledge for beginning a career and working in the legal field.
This course will develop strong legal writing, research and analytical skills. Students will be required to engage in frequent "hands-on"exercises in legal research and legal writing to enhance research, writing and analytical abilities. The student will acquire an understanding of legal research tools, methods and resources. Solid and proficient "book shelf" research will be developed; thereafter, electronic research tools, methods and resources will be learned. The course will demonstrate the importance of thorough legal research and effective and professional legal writing for assisting the attorney in providing competent and quality legal services.
This course covers an overview of all phases of civil litigation. Emphasis will be on civil "causes of action" (claims) and defenses at common law, under statutes, and based in tort law and contract law. Functional skills acquired include preparing and maintaining the file, gathering information through client and witness interviews, investigation, drafting pleadings and motions, organizing and indexing documents, compiling evidence, examining public records, preparing briefs and memoranda, preparing discovery, and assisting the lawyer in preparing for trial and at trial.
This course covers the fundamental principles and procedures in the practice of real estate law. The student will be capable of assisting in most phases of residential real estate transactions. Functional skills acquired include reviewing and understanding real estate instruments and documents, title insurance binders and policies, surveys; assisting in the preparation and drafting of deeds, purchase and sales contracts, title affidavits, escrow agreements, use and occupancy agreements, notes, mortgages and related financing documents; and preparing for and attending residential closings.
The student will have acquired a complete knowledge of the fundamental legal doctrines and principles of the law of contracts; will be familiar with the significant Articles of the Uniform Commercial Code governing Sales, Negotiable Instruments and Secured Transactions; will have acquired a fundamental and practical knowledge of agency law and employment law. From a legal perspective, the graduate will also have a full understanding of the nature, characteristics, formation, operation and termination of the different for-profit business entities; as well as the legal, duties, rights and liabilities of persons associated with such organizations, and related legal actions. Functional skills acquired include assisting in the preparation of business contracts, employment agreements, and documents in the formation of such business entities including: drafting of articles of incorporation, corporate by-laws; preparing notices and minutes for meetings of the board of directors and shareholders; and drafting partnership agreements.
This course will enable the student to be capable of assisting in the probating, planning and administration of the probate estate. Functional skills acquired include assisting in the preparation of simple wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, assisting in the preparation of probate documents including inventory forms, final accounting forms, maintaining accounts, and assisting the attorney in the remainder of the probate process. The course will also examine living wills, estate planning, and estate taxes.
This course will examine the substantive and procedural law relating to family law and particularly with regard to legal ethics, marital and cohabitation agreements, marriage, divorce, separation, division of marital property, annulment, adoption, support of spouse and child, and child custody issues. The student will be prepared to assist the attorney in client interviews, information and document gathering, preparation of matrimonial disclosure forms, the drafting of agreements and pleadings related to divorce and family law proceedings. This course also contains an optional service learning component or assignment.
In this course, the student will examine the significant legal concepts, principles, legal doctrines, procedures and practice of criminal law in the local and state (according to New Hampshire law and procedure) and federal court systems; and will trace the steps by which the criminal procedure is followed: from stop and arrest, prosecution, the initial client interview, pre-trial, through trial, and post-trial procedure, motions and appeals.
The Paralegal Capstone Course is designed to prepare the student for obtaining and maintaining employment in the paralegal profession. Students will discuss the application of their knowledge of the law and the legal system, the practical knowledge necessary for successfully working as a paralegal in the field of law, and a review of the ethical rules governing attorneys. The students will review the major skills they acquired during the Paralegal Studies Program and apply them to practical assignments and projects. Students will also complete a Portfolio containing selections of their legal work-product, and will prepare a professional resume which best presents their attributes and employment potential. This course will also prepare the student for the employment process, from job search through interview and hiring.
The Internship and Seminar in Paralegal Studies consists of: 1) an internship which is a hands-on learning experience at law firm, public agency, corporation, or other law-related organization, under the direct supervision of a lawyer; and, 2) a capstone seminar of one class contact hour per week designed to prepare the student for obtaining and maintaining employment in the paralegal profession.