Curriculum: Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal Studies

November 15, 2022
January 09, 2023
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All coursework for the Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal Studies is completed online and taught by practicing attorneys. Our students have the flexibility to study on their time while acquiring skills that will take their careers to the next level.

Our program is approved by the American Bar Association. Paralegal education programs that are approved by the ABA have consistently proven a high standard of education in the paralegal field.

Related Degrees & Programs

In addition to our online Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal studies degree, the University of Cincinnati also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Law & Paralegal Studies, a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Law & Paralegal Studies, and a post-associate Certificate in Law & Paralegal Studies.

Note: Prospective students should be aware that a paralegal education is not the equivalent of a law school education. Graduates of paralegal programs are NOT qualified or eligible to take the bar examination. Academic credit for paralegal courses are not transferable for advanced standing in law school. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

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

Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

Course Title / Description Credit
First Year Exp in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
Course: PRFS1001
Credit: 1
PRFS 1001 is a first-year experience course to help students to transition to campus successfully. It focuses on helping students to navigate campus resources, develop academic habits and soft skills such as critical thinking and time management, and apply their knowledge and skills to successfully transition to UC and college life. Students in this course are also paired with academic coaches and meet one-on-one throughout the semester.
Introduction to Legal Studies
Course: PARA1001
Credit: 3
This course offers an introduction to the United States legal system, the concept of legal reasoning, and the ethical considerations arising in the practice of law. The course examines the structure and functions of the state and federal judicial systems, civil and criminal procedure andthe substantive areas of contractual law and tort law. The course will focus on the history of our judiciary and its impact on our society. Students will be encouraged to analyze legal theories and make applications of research findings to their lives. Critical analytical skills will be developed by focusing on concepts such as liberal or conservative bias, and judicial activism.
Legal Research & Writing I
Course: PARA1011
Credit: 3
This course provides an understanding of the law library, including computer assisted legal research. Students will learn to use a variety of primary and secondary research material, as well as their organization, and inter-relationships. Skill in researching various legal problems will be developed and students will learn basic legal writing skills.
English Composition
Course: ENGL1001
Credit: 3
English Composition 1001 is a writing-centered course that emphasizes the careful reading, analytical thinking, and persuasive strategies inherent in researching and writing within an academic community. Students learn that rhetorical knowledge is the basis of composing while learning to write with purpose, audience, context, and conventions in mind. Students develop rigorous academic research practices: how to locate and evaluate primary and secondary sources relevant to their line of inquiry and position their own ideas in conversation with public writing. Students also engage in regular self-reflection: articulating what they know, what they can do, and how to apply their knowledge and skills in various contexts.
Law Office Technology
Course: PARA1013C
Credit: 3
This course will provide the student with an overview of computer technology applicable to law office management, document production, scheduling(including docket control), litigation support and case management software (relational databases). This course includes hands-on computer assignments utilizing various legal software packages commonly used in the legal and business community. It is designed to train paralegals with the theoretical and practical skills to enable them to work in legal environments that utilize computers.
Family Law
Course: PARA1014
Credit: 3
This course will provide an introduction to the principles of Family Law including the history of marriage, and the rights and obligations arising from a marital relationship. Consideration will begiven to validity of marriage, divorce, cohabitation, the financial consequences of the ending of a family relationship, the resolution ofdisputes involving children and protection from domestic violence. Theoretical questions such a "what is a 'family'" will be examined with a focuson human behavior, society's values, and overall policy goals. Students will analyze statutes and apply them to factual situations. This will include the determination of child support and spousal support awards, valuation of property, property division and settlement.
Introduction to Effective Speaking
Course: COMM1071
Credit: 3
This course introduces the principles of and practice in composition and presentation of speeches. Topics include speaker and audience relationship, organization of speeches, active listening skills, use of appropriate language, use of technology as an enhancement of speech, managing speech anxiety and developing a natural verbal and nonverbal delivery style.
Civil Litigation I
Course: PARA2021
Credit: 3
This course will provide an introduction to the civil litigation process from the initial investigation through its completion. Students will be introduced to the functions of the federaland state court systems and to the concepts of jurisdiction and venue. Students will gain experience reading and understanding the Ohio and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the local rules of several courts. Students will learn how, when, where, and why a civil lawsuit may be initiated. During the course, the role of paralegals in the civil litigation process and theskills needed by litigation paralegals will be discussed. Students will be introduced to pleadings and to motion practice, and will have the opportunity to draft pleadings used in civil litigation.
Real Estate Law
Course: PARA2023
Credit: 3
This course covers Ohio real estate law, including basic contract law as it applies to real estate transactions, estates and interests in real estate, types of ownership, documents required and used to facilitate real estate transactions, real estate purchase and sale financing, proof of title, agency license law, control and regulation of land, landlord-tenant law, fair housing, control and regulation of land, and decedents.
Corporate Law & Business Organizations
Course: PARA2024
Credit: 3
This course reviews the substantive law and practical implications for paralegals of agency, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships in a business environment. The course is designed to acquaint the student with the formation, formal structure, processes, and operations of corporations and other business entities.
Civil Litigation II
Course: PARA2022
Credit: 3
Students will learn the various components of the civil trial process, and the paralegal's role in that process, in a hands-on, skills-based approach. The course will focus on the traditional discovery process, electronic discovery, the evidentiary rules, trial preparation and process and the appellate process. The course will address the role of paralegals in the civil litigation process, the ethical considerations and skills needed by litigation paralegals.
Estate Planning & Probate
Course: PARA2025
Credit: 3
An introduction to basic wills and trusts conceptsand an examination of the law and procedure of preparing wills, administration of estates and general probate procedure. There will be a discussion and practice exercises in the areas of wills, living trusts, testamentary trusts, and taxplanning topics involving the marital deduction and the annual exclusion. The drafting of wills and trusts, preparation of probate documents, filing procedures, asset collection, estate management, and closing procedures will be covered. In addition, the course will introduce the student to patients' rights in health care decision making, entitlement programs, managed care and long-term care insurance, living facilities for the elderly, financial planning, social security, and elder abuse.
Administrative Litigation
Course: PARA2026
Credit: 3
This course presents concepts of administrative law and procedure in governmental agencies with emphasis on the paralegal's role in the process. Students will be introduced to the classifications of government agencies, how agencies get their authority to make and adjudicate rules, the limits of government agency authority, and the procedures for appealing agency decisions. Particular emphasis is placed on the following administrative agencies: Social Security, Immigration Ohio Workers Compensation, and the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.
Intermediate Composition
Course: ENGL2089
Credit: 3
Intermediate Composition is a writing-centered course that builds on what students learn in first-year composition and focuses students’ attention on theoretical underpinning of how meaning is made, understood, and communicated within and across various discourse communities and genres. The course emphasizes critical reading and writing, advanced research and analysis skills, and rhetorical sensitivity to differences in academic, professional, and public composing. This course challenges students to engage in substantive projects drawing on primary research and source analysis methods and asks students to document, communicate, and reflect on their research.
Investigative Techniques and Evidence
Course: PARA3001
Credit: 3
This course is an in-depth study of principles, methods, and investigative and interviewing techniques utilized to locate, gather, document and disseminate information. The emphasis will be on developing interviewing and investigative skills intended to prepare paralegals to communicate effectively and ethically. Students will also study the rules of Evidence as it relates to preparation of a case for trial including exhibits; the trial process, preparing witnesses for testimony; and motions to exclude evidence.
Children & the Law
Course: PARA3005
Credit: 3
This class will examine the way the legal system handles children in the family, school, the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, and political life. We will explore children as legal subjects having unique vulnerabilities, relationships, developmental needs, capacities and interests. We will also look at how children vary based on their age, stage of development, influences from childhood trauma, etc. Specific topics include developmental stages, parental rights; the age of majority; surrogacy; children born while their mother is incarcerated; bullying; free speech in school; school discipline; removal and foster care; juvenile delinquency; children as witnesses; special needs children, the Indian Child Welfare Act; and immigration rights for children. Students will be required to prepare a memorandum at the end of the semester on a related topic from our studies.
Criminal Procedure
Course: CJ4020
Credit: 3
The course material will include the constitutional aspects of criminal procedure. It will specifically examine the appellate process, the history and development of due process, the exclusionary rule, search and seizure, rules of arrest, pre-trial identification, bail, sentencingand interrogation.
Advanced Legal Research
Course: PARA4010
Credit: 3
Students will build upon practical legal research and writing skills learned in Legal Research & Writing I & II. They will develop their ability toput into written form results derived from identification/analysis of legal documents, pleadings, memorandums of law or briefs.
Advanced Paralegal Seminar
Course: PARA4020
Credit: 3
This is an advanced paralegal course to challenge the student to integrate their knowledge of theoretical concepts and practical application of legal research, litigation, property, torts. contracts and business law through case analysis and the completion of writing assignments.

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The University of Cincinnati is one of the first institutions to offer online courses. Innovation in education is at the forefront of what we do. We have expanded the convenience and quality of our online learning to online degree programs. Today, we offer nearly 100 degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

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