Paralegal Studies Program

Our online Paralegal Studies program introduces you to the legal system, the role of a paralegal, types of laws and more. You may also take one of our Advanced Specialty Courses at no additional cost. Choose from Litigation, Real Estate Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Law or Estates, Wills and Trusts. You'll graduate ready to pursue a great career. Enroll now.

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Lesson 1: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson 2: Introduction to Legal and Criminal Justice Careers  

This lesson introduces you to the legal system. You will learn about federal and state laws and federal and state court systems. You will also learn about types of crimes, the civil litigation and criminal justice processes, and careers in the legal and criminal justice fields.

Lesson 3: Introduction to the Legal System and Jurisdiction  

In this lesson, you will learn about the origins of the legal system, the sources of law, the three branches of government, and the functions of federal and state court. You will also learn about the types of jurisdiction and how jurisdiction impacts legal research.

Lesson 4: Categorizing the Law and Procedural Law  

This lesson teaches you how to classify cases to streamline and focus legal research. You will learn how to distinguish between substantive law and procedural law and criminal law and civil law. You will also learn how to effectively read the law and apply the law to the facts of a case. You will learn the stages of a trial and the significance of procedural law and how it affects criminal and civil law and the trial.

Lesson 5: The Role of the Paralegal, and Criminal Law  

In this lesson, you will learn to identify the qualities an ideal paralegal should possess, the career opportunities available to paralegals, and the ethical considerations faced by paralegals. You also will be introduced to the essential elements of criminal law, the significance of the Model Penal Code, how to distinguish between general intent and specific intent, how to identify the two essential elements of a criminal offense, how to explain the difference between burglary and robbery, and the defenses available in most criminal cases.

Lesson 6: Contracts and Business Law  

In this lesson, you will learn what a contract is, its essential elements, defenses to valid contracts, remedies available to breach of contract actions, and the purpose of the Uniform Commercial Code. This lesson also introduces you to the major forms of business organization, such as sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.

Lesson 7: Torts and Property Law  

In this lesson, you will be introduced to the primary classifications of torts: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability torts. Negligence and potential defenses will be discussed as well as strict liability and remedies. You will also learn about real and personal property and how property is classified, transferred, and recorded.

Lesson 8: Wills and Estates, and Family Law  

In this lesson, you will learn about wills, trusts, estates, and the essential elements of a valid will. You will also learn about the distribution of property before and after death. This lesson will also introduce you to the essential elements of family law; you will study the topics of marriage, dissolution of marriage, and the legal aspects of the parent-child relationship.

Lesson 9: The Paralegal Profession, and Ethics and Professional Conduct  

This lesson introduces you to the world of the legal professional. You will learn what the law is, how it actually operates, and the role of a paralegal. You will also study the ethical considerations necessary for the study of law, including the ethical issues faced by paralegals and the importance of professionalism.

Lesson 10: The American Legal System  

In this lesson, you will learn about American law, its development and history, and its structure and components. You also will learn about jurisdiction over subject matter, persons, and things.

Lesson 11: Legal Research and Writing  

This lesson teaches you how to read court decisions and how to write a case brief. You will learn techniques and strategies for finding and applying legal materials from both primary and secondary authorities, and you will learn legal research and writing.

Lesson 12: Paralegals and Substantive Law  

In this lesson, you will be introduced to substantive law and to the specialty areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, and property.

Lesson 13: Family and Business Matters  

In this lesson, you will learn legal specialties dealing with family matters -- about how the law affects and governs many important aspects of our personal relationships. This lesson will also teach you about business-related topics within the legal practice, such as contracts and business organizations.

Lesson 14: Paralegals in the Workplace  

In this lesson, you will learn about the process of obtaining employment in the legal profession, techniques that paralegals use to obtain training and continuing legal education, examples of actual work that can be performed by paralegals, and the outer boundaries of paralegal activity.

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Program Description

This comprehensive program provides a foundation in the basic principles of paralegal studies. Students will learn about the legal system, the litigation process, tort law, contracts, legal research, wills, and ethics. Students will also learn techniques that paralegals use to obtain employment, training, and continuing legal education.

Program Objectives

After completing the Paralegal Studies program, students will be able to:

  1. Outline the career opportunities available to trained paralegals, describe typical job responsibilities, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of work environments.
  2. Describe the personal and professional qualities of competent paralegals, given the ethical considerations, rules, and supervisory requirements currently governing the practice of the profession.
  3. Explain the importance of legal research and writing skills for paralegals, describe how to conduct effective legal research using both traditional and technology-based tools, and explain how to draft a variety of legal documents.
  4. Describe the history and origins of the American legal system, with an emphasis on the sources of American law.
  5. Explain the difference between criminal and civil law and describe various categories of civil law, such as torts, contract law, corporate law, property law, family law, and wills and estates.
  6. Outline the structure of the federal and state court systems and identify the processes followed by courts in all phases of criminal and civil litigation.
  7. Identify the two basic types of jurisdiction and explain the requirements for personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.

Prepare to learn professional skills and work closely with attorneys in our Paralegal Studies program. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online today.