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Paralegal Studies

The Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal Studies Program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in law offices. The curriculum is designed to provide students with practical legal skills enabling them to draft legal documents with minimum supervision, and to familiarize them with fundamental concepts of substantive areas such as torts and business law. In addition, emphasis is placed on the development of effective written and oral communication skills, team work, critical thinking skills, computer proficiency, and legal research techniques. Legal theory and related practical applications are integrated throughout the program, as are how to manage practical ethical dilemmas commonly encountered as working paralegals, and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers. A paralegal is qualified by education, training, or work experience to work for a law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, performing specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals are also referred to as Legal Assistants in some legal settings. Except as specifically authorized by the Supreme Court of Arizona, persons not admitted to the State Bar of Arizona are prohibited from practicing law. An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) is also available.

The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), Standing Committee on Paralegals, (321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654-7598).

Details

Details iconImportant information you’ll need when applying for admission:
Field of Interest
Behavioral Science and Human Services
Type
Certificate
Academic Plan
Paralegal Studies (CER)
Academic Plan Code
5384
Total Credits Required
40-43
Catalog Year
2020-2021
What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Analyze ethical challenges confronting paralegals and orally present a recommended course of action.
  2. Draft a civil complaint, an answer, and a motion for summary judgment pursuant to the controlling Rules of Civil Procedure for filing with the court having jurisdiction over the matter.
  3. As part of a team, draft discovery documents pursuant to the controlling Rules of Civil Procedure for service on the opposing party; organize discovery items for use at trial.
  4. Draft memorandums of law and legal correspondence that are consistent with the adopted English style manual and usage guide.
  5. Review and draft contracts suitable for client review that incorporate the legally-required clauses necessary to execute the contract.
  6. Conduct legal research and summarize results in memoranda and legal correspondence that is free of error; cite authority pursuant to the adopted legal citation manual.
  7. Analyze causes of actions, defenses, and potential damages in tort cases under Arizona law and present the findings in writing free of error following the adopted analytical format.
  8. Evaluate the utility, form, and function of legally-recognized forms of business organizations and draft documents suitable for filing with the appropriate government entity to create the business organization.
  9. Use industry-standard technology to perform pre-trial and in-trial litigation support tasks within the time frame and at an accuracy level commonly encountered in a law office.
  10. Perform mock interviews of persons and conduct factual investigation related to a civil case in accordance with the rules of professional responsibility.
Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this certificate may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based annual median wages* for this program. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information.

* Wage information sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program. Updated May 2019.
Admission Criteria

Formal application and admission to the program is required.
In addition, students wishing to enroll in the Paralegal Studies Program must complete a Verification of Eligibility form to be officially accepted in the program. Contact a Paralegal Studies advisor.

Admission to the Certificate option requires that students possess an Associate's Degree or higher from an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency acceptable to the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your Student Center to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include AAA/CPD150, AAA/CPD150AC, CPD104, and AAA115/CPD115. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BPC110 or
CIS105
Computer Usage and Applications or Survey of Computer Information Systems Or permission of Instructor CS 0–3
LAS101 Introduction to Law 3
LAS109 Civil Procedures I Critical course Gateway course 3
LAS131 Legal Writing Critical course 3
LAS211 Legal Research 3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS110 Civil Procedures II Critical course 3
LAS203 Ethics and Professional Practice 3
LAS204 Contract Law 3
LAS212 Tort Law 3
LAS225 Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing 3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS214 Business Organizations 3
LAS229 Litigation Technologies 3
RE LAS Restricted Electives 3
LAS237 Civil Interviewing and Investigation 3
LAS280 Paralegal Studies Portfolio Capstone 1

Restricted Electives

A list of program electives for this pathway map
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS100 The Paralegal Profession 3
LAS115 Criminal Trial Procedure 3
LAS208 Probate 3
LAS217 Family Law 3
LAS220 and
LAS221AB
Paralegal Internship Seminar and Paralegal Internship 3
LAS261 Bankruptcy 3
LAS265 Regulatory Compliance 3

Part-time Sequence

Part-time status is 11 credit hours or less.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BPC110 or
CIS105
Computer Usage and Applications or Survey of Computer Information Systems Or permission of Instructor CS 0–3
LAS101 Introduction to Law 3
LAS109 Civil Procedures I Critical course Gateway course 3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS131 Legal Writing Critical course 3
LAS211 Legal Research 3
LAS110 Civil Procedures II Critical course 3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS203 Ethics and Professional Practice 3
LAS204 Contract Law 3
LAS212 Tort Law 3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS225 Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing 3
LAS214 Business Organizations 3
LAS229 Litigation Technologies 3

Term 5

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 5
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
RE LAS Restricted Electives 3
LAS237 Civil Interviewing and Investigation 3
LAS280 Paralegal Studies Portfolio Capstone 1

Restricted Electives

A list of program electives for this pathway map
Course
Number
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
LAS100 The Paralegal Profession 3
LAS115 Criminal Trial Procedure 3
LAS208 Probate 3
LAS217 Family Law 3
LAS220 and
LAS221AB
Paralegal Internship Seminar and Paralegal Internship 3
LAS261 Bankruptcy 3
LAS265 Regulatory Compliance 3
Course Area Key

Gateway Course = Generally the first major-specific course in a pathway.

Critical Course = A course that is highly predictive of future success in a pathway.

Disclaimer

Students must earn a grade of "C" or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s curriculum website for the Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies (http://aztransmac2.asu.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MCCCD.woa/wa/freeForm?id=136731).

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Other Versions

The pathway map presented above is for the current catalog year and is the intended pathway map for new students. Other versions of this pathway map from different catalog years are available below:

Catalog YearEffective Dates
2019-20205/28/2019 – 5/25/2020