Curriculum: Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal Studies

July 01, 2021
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August 23, 2021
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

All of your 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 learning necessary skills to take their career to whichever level they aspire. Our program was created to ensure that each student is prepared and equipped with the necessary knowledge to succeed as they begin in their professional career.

Our online paralegal studies bachelor’s program is approved by the American Bar Association. Paralegal education programs that are approved by the ABA have gone that extra mile toward providing a consistent high standard of learning in the paralegal field. Not only do they need to meet defined, demanding standards for ABA approval; they need to be reapproved by the ABA on a regular basis to maintain their ABA-approved status.

Related degrees & programs

In addition to our online  Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal studies degree, the University of Cincinnati also offers an Associate’s in Law & Paralegal Studies and a post degree paralegal studies certificate.

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.

English Composition

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.

Family Law

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

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.

Law Office Technology

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.

Civil Litigation I

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

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

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.

Estate Planning & Probate

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.

Civil Litigation II

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 traditionaldiscovery process, electronic discovery, the evidentiary rules, trial preparation and process and the appellate process. The course will addressthe role of paralegals in the civil litigation process, the ethical considerations and skills needed by litigation paralegals.

Administrative Litigation

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

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

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.

Criminal Procedure

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 Paralegal Seminar

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.

Paralegal Internship

This course will provide the advanced student an opportunity to gain practical paralegal work experience in a business environment that is engaged in the delivery of legal services. Students will be required to perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney or paralegal. The predominant work of thestudent intern may include advanced paralegal tasks. There is also a classroom component to the internship for the purposes of evaluation, discussion, and presentation. Students must meet with the program director six weeks before the beginning of the semester in which they intend to take the practicum course and provide an updated resume.

First Year Exp in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services

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.

Intellectual Property

Provides historical study of the development of intellectual property law in the United States. Emphasizes the role of the paralegal in preparing applications for patent, copyright, and trademark protections with federal and state governments. Provides an overview of the role of the paralegal in preparing for litigation involving intellectualproperty law issues. Reviews ethical issues that arise in the intellectual property arena.

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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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