Introduction to Paralegal Studies is a survey of the U.S. legal system, the substantive and procedural law of Massachusetts, and the role of the paralegal in the legal profession. Topics include professional ethics, civil and criminal procedures, constitutional law, as well as basic legal analysis, research, and writing. In addition, the course will provide an overview of substantive law's areas of practice: family law, real estate law, criminal law, estate planning, business law, torts, contracts, and bankruptcy law. Three lecture hours per week.
1. Identify typical responsibilities of the paralegal and other legal professions. 2. Identify and describe the functions of trial and appellate level courts in federal and judicial systems. 3. Demonstrate how a civil claim is processed through pretrial, trial and appellate states. 4. Demonstrate how a criminal charge is processed through arrest, indictment, trial and appellate stages. 5. Identify potential and actual situations of conflict of interest and breaches of law and confidentiality.