Paralegal course curriculum
Our paralegal course curriculum introduces you to the legal system and teaches you the skills you’ll need to support a lawyer with research, drafting documents, and preparing for court. You’ll graduate with an understanding of criminal, civil, contract, corporate, property, and family law, as well the structure of the federal and state court systems. With the opportunity to take an Advanced Specialty Course in the subject of your choice, you’ll have the training you need to pursue a career you’ll love in the paralegal field.
Curriculum LessonsLesson 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
After completing the Paralegal Studies program, students will be able to:
- Outline the career opportunities available to trained paralegals, describe typical job responsibilities, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of work environments.
- Describe the personal and professional qualities of competent paralegals, given the ethical considerations, rules, and supervisory requirements currently governing the practice of the profession.
- 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.
- Describe the history and origins of the American legal system, with an emphasis on the sources of American law.
- 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.
- 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.
- Identify the two basic types of jurisdiction and explain the requirements for personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.
Pursue a rewarding career as a paralegal
With an understanding of the American legal system and a range of different categories of law, you'll have the opportunity to choose the career path that appeals to you. In addition to paralegal classes online, we'll also make sure you have an expert understanding of employment, training, and continuing legal education with one-on-one guidance through our Career Tools.