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A.S. Degree, Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Degree Type: A.S.
Major Code: LEGAL-AS
CIP: 1722030200
Former CIP: 1722010300

Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as provided by law.

This American Bar Association (ABA) approved program is designed to prepare qualified persons to work under the supervision of attorneys. The goal is to help students play essential roles as valuable members of legal teams in various settings, including law firms, courts, corporations, banks and government offices.

Students receive a balance of excellent academic instruction and hands-on applications in a technology-enhanced environment. The program provides a diverse educational foundation in a variety of legal areas while assisting students in developing specialized skills. The required internship program allows students to gain actual work experience in a legal setting. Students who desire to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant Exam are prepared through the curriculum, training and experiences offered by the program. Specific courses may provide transfer opportunities to four-year institutions.

Major Courses
AvailablePLA1003Fundamental Law
This course will provide an understanding of the rationale of the laws that affect the student every day. This is a survey course in which the student will study a variety of substantive areas of the law and legal principles, utilizing critical thinking and examining challenging issues.
3
Not availablePLA1104Legal Research and Writing I
The student who successfully completes this course should have a knowledge of law sources and experience with their use. The student will learn the basics of legal research and perform research in the principle sources of law: cases, statutes, constitutions, court rules and administrative regulations. The student will also accomplish research in secondary authorities, will execute proper legal citations and will participate in the high technology of legal research. Lab fee required.
4
Not availablePLA2114Legal Research and Writing II
This course provides students with the methods, techniques and procedures for the research and preparation of legal memoranda, trial and appellate briefs and other forms of legal documents. The student who successfully completes this course should have the ability to render argument in forceful, lucid prose and to understand the values of adversarial and objective writing. The student will understand the basics of the American legal system, appreciate that judicial decision-making is not always to be emulated and distinguish between legal traditions which are both valued links and hindrances to writing. Lab fee required.
3
Not availablePLA2203Civil Litigation Procedures I
This course is a study of the principles of litigation and the rules of procedure for federal and Florida courts, including pleadings and practice. The student who successfully completes this course will understand the organization and structure of the civil litigation system and appreciate the different judicial forums. The student will develop an understanding of the litigation process, its goals, the rules of procedure and the constitutional provisions which influence the litigation process. Lab fee required.
3
Not availablePLA2273Torts
This course is a study of the various classifications and functions of tort law, including intentional and negligent torts, causation, proximate cause and defenses. The student who successfully completes this course will develop an understanding of the elements of tort causes of action and the legal defenses to such causes of action. The student will examine the practical aspects and issues involved in personal injury law, understand the asserting of legal claims, recognize appropriate remedies and draft related documents.
3
Not availablePLA2610Real Property
This course includes an overview of property law in general and Florida law in particular. Students who complete this course will understand the mechanics of various commercial and private property transactions and mortgage foreclosures. Students will appreciate the theories/concepts of legal descriptions, ownership, title searches, acquiring and transferring, appraising, financing, closing, leasing, condominiums and cooperatives, environmental law, taxation, ethics and drafting of appropriate legal documents.
3
Not availablePLA2700Professional Responsibility
This course will provide the student with an opportunity to examine and evaluate the ethical obligations and professional responsibilities of a legal assistant. The student who successfully completes this course will have a basic understanding of ethical legal conduct, a thorough comprehension of the importance of ethics to the law, a solid understanding of the major issues in ethics and the rules governing those issues and the ability to apply that developing ethical sensitivity and knowledge to a variety of hypothetical and real-life situations.
3
AvailablePLA2763Law Office Management
This course will prepare the student for responsibilities associated with the management of a law office. The student will examine the structure of a law office, time and records management, billing methods, technology and computers, administrative procedures, client relations, office operating procedures and professionalism in the workplace. The student who successfully completes this course will understand the practical and ethical issues of law office organization and functions through the visitation to a law firm/agency, interviewing of employees and preparation of oral and written reports.
3
Not availablePLA2800Family Law
This course includes an examination of general and Florida laws of marriage, divorce, annulment, separation, adoption, custody, legitimacy, support, guardianship and the juvenile. The student who successfully completes this course will have a basic knowledge of what family law is and the skills to use that knowledge to apply legal standards and draft documents used in the practice of family law.
3
AvailablePLA2949Cooperative Education Internship in Legal Assisting
This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to apply classroom theory to practical, work-related applications. Seminars may be a component of this course and regular contact with the assigned faculty advisor is required. Students may earn cooperative education credits based on the completion of the required work experience and satisfactory completion of assignments including, but not limited to, seminars and a project. This course may be repeated based upon the student’s academic program.
3
Choose six credits from the following list:
Not availableBUL2242Business Law II
This course is a study of law as it pertains to agency, partnerships, corporations, real and personal property, wills and estates, insurance and negotiable instruments.
3
Not availablePLA2222Civil Discovery
This course explores the rules and methods of discovery ranging from depositions to the evolving area of electronic discovery. The student who successfully completes this course will have the ability to obtain discovery that is relevant to the subject matter of a pending case. The course will provide the student with the ability to use the rules and methods of discovery to conduct the investigative stage of a case prior to trial. Techniques will be developed for obtaining discovery through written interrogatories, requests for production of documents or things, requests for admission, physical and mental examinations and depositions.
3
Not availablePLA2223Civil Litigation Procedures II
This course is a continuation of the study of the principles of litigation and the rules of procedure for federal and Florida courts, including pleadings, practice and discovery. The student who successfully completes this course will have hands-on experience in the gathering and preparation of evidentiary materials, drafting of legal documents and courtroom presentation and procedures. Students are divided into litigation teams and prepare for and participate in mock trial events. Lab fee required.
3
Not availablePLA2303Criminal Litigation
This course includes a study of the definition and classification of criminal offenses, the principles of criminal responsibility and the legal procedures in a criminal prosecution. The student who successfully completes this course will have an understanding of the elements of crimes, have performed hands-on research, have drafted documents and have participated in oral trial presentations regarding a hypothetical criminal case.
3
Not availablePLA2483Administrative Law
This course defines administrative law, explains the creation and structure of federal and state administrative agencies, explores agency discretion, scrutinizes rules and regulations and studies investigations. The student who successfully completes this course will understand the representation of citizens at agency hearings and proceedings, be able to research agency statutory and case law, be able to communicate agency procedures to clients and be able to articulate the concept of judicial review as applicable to agency decisions.
3
AvailablePLA2600Wills, Trusts and Estate Administration
This course includes a detailed study of testacy and intestacy, preparation of wills and codicils, fundamentals of execution and probate administration. The student who successfully completes this course will understand and apply the legal requirements for the proper preparation, execution and probate of wills and trust instruments. Students will understand the types of estates under Florida Law/the Uniform Probate Code and how to complete the necessary forms to accomplish the probate goal of marshalling assets, identifying legal creditors and paying legal claims and distributing probate assets.
3
Not availablePLA2612Real Estate Law and Property Transactions II
This course is an advanced, comprehensive course in real estate law, property law and property transactions. "Traditional" learning is integrated with computerized data research and document preparation. Students will be prepared for working with law firms, real estate agencies, land title insurance companies, banks and other mortgage lending institutions. Students will be prepared to complete commercial and residential real estate transactions from contract of sale through document preparation, closing, recordings, disbursement of funds and follow-up.
3
AvailablePLA2730Advanced Computer-Assisted Legal Research
This course will prepare students to conduct online research using a variety of modalities and databases including, but not limited to, Lexis, Westlaw, LoisLaw, Fastcase, Google and Bing. Successful students will develop competencies with respect to Boolean searches as well as those conducted in natural language. Those successfully completing this course will be able to effectively search using key numbers and headnotes, Shepherds and Keycite, as well as the various equivalents. Students will learn to narrow and focus searches using subject matter and procedural terms, specific dates and time frames, courts, attorneys and parties.
3
Not availablePLA2930Selected Studies in Law
In this course topics of current interest and other areas of law are presented in group instruction. This course may be taken four times for credit.
3
Support Courses
AvailableBUL2241Business Law I
This course is a study of law as it relates to the sources of law, courts and court procedures, torts, crimes and contracts.
3
AvailableCGS2100COffice Applications
This course focuses on the concepts and operation of the main components of word processor, electronic spreadsheet, database management and presentation software programs. Students will gain fundamental knowledge of a major software suite and learn skills that have practical applications in real world situations. Lab fee required.
3
Choose one:
AvailableACG2021Principles of Financial Accounting
This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of financial accounting. Topics include the accounting cycle, analysis of financial statement transactions, financial statement preparation, accounting for assets, liabilities, equities, revenues and expenses. Accounting for entities including partnerships and corporations is introduced.
3
AvailableAPA1111COffice Accounting I
This course provides instruction and practice in the fundamentals of accounting. Selected topics include accounts payable and receivable, cash control systems, worksheets, financial statements, adjusting and closing entries, purchases and cash payments, sales and cash receipts and payroll. This course may be used to provide a foundation for Financial Accounting. Activities are recorded manually and in an accounting software program. Lab fee required.
3
AvailableECO2013Principles of Economics (MACRO)
This is an introductory course covering the nature, scope and methods of economics, economic concepts and economic institutions. Emphasis is placed upon production, consumption, determination of prices, distribution of income, fiscal policy, national income determinants, money and banking and comparative economic systems. This course partially satisfies the writing requirement of S.B.E. 6A-10.030.
3
AvailableECO2023Principles of Economics (MICRO)
This course deals primarily with economic problems. Emphasis is given to markets, production functions, economic role of government, agricultural problems, labor-management relations, imperfect competition, interest and capital, economic security, international trade and finance and economic development. This course partially satisfies the writing requirement of S.B.E. 6A-10.030.
3
Note: Students transferring to the University of Central Florida Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, under the Articulation Agreement, must take one of the above economics courses when a choice of courses is provided.
General Education Courses
AvailableENC1101English I
This is a course in the process of expository writing. Students will read essays and compose papers that are unified, organized, logically developed and supported, clearly stated and well-focused. Research techniques are introduced and incorporated into at least one composition. This course partially satisfies the writing requirement of S.B.E. 6A-10.030. Students must pass the core assignments with a grade of "C" or higher.
3
AvailableENC1102English II
In this course students develop the ability to read literary texts critically, to think logically and creatively and to write and research effectively. Students must pass the core assignments with a grade of "C" or higher. This course partially satisfies the writing requirement of S.B.E. 6A-10.030.
3
AvailableSPC1608Introduction to Oral Communication
The purpose of this course is to improve the basic skills of speaking and listening. Class exercises emphasize preparing and delivering public speeches, speaking with clarity and variety and listening with literal and critical comprehension.
3
Humanities General Education course3
Note: Students transferring to the UCF Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, under the Articulation Agreement, must select one of the following courses for the Humanities General Education course: ARH2050, ARH2051, PHI2010, LIT2120, REL2300 or THE1020.
Mathematics or Science General Education course3
Note: If you choose a Science General Education course, due to state law, you must also complete any college preparatory mathematics course(s), if any were required by your entry-level test scores, before you can be awarded an associate degree.
Note: Students transferring to the UCF Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, under the Articulation Agreement, must select one of the following courses for the Mathematics General Education course: MGF1106, MAC1105, MAC1114, MAC2233, MAC2311, MAC2312, or MAC2313.
Social Science General Education course3
Note: Students transferring to the UCF Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, under the Articulation Agreement, must select one of the following courses for the Social Science General Education course: SYG2000, PSY2012 or ANT2000.
Total Credits:64
Note: The transfer of credits from other institutions to apply toward this degree is restricted. A copy of these restrictions is available on the Legal Studies website, at the office of the Legal Studies Program Manager and at the Admissions/Registrar's office.
Note: Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees are designed to prepare graduates for immediate entry into their chosen career field. A.S. degree graduates may transfer into certain baccalaureate programs. Students planning to transfer to baccalaureate programs should consult with Student Affairs counselors, advisors or specialists to make sure required courses are taken and entry requirements are met for the college/university program of their choice.

Textbook information will be available online for each term's courses 45 days prior to the first day of classes for the term.

Each course offered by Seminole State is listed alphabetically and organized by the course prefix, catalog number and description. The courses in this catalog are identified by prefixes and numbers that were assigned by Florida's Statewide Course Numbering System, a system used by all public postsecondary institutions in Florida and 32 non-public institutions. Seminole State controls the description, credit and content of its own courses.

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Dr. Jordan F. Camenker
407.708.2594
Fax: 407.708.2383
Office: V-007J

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