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Paralegal Studies 101: Career Overview

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Course Description

The paralegal field is highly rewarding for those who seek to be a part of the justice system. On a daily basis, the paralegal is the lawyer’s right hand. From the perspective of the law, paralegals are almost like junior lawyers in so far as they must know a lot of what the lawyers know as they will create and present documents for execution upon their lawyer's approval. Paralegals are detail-oriented people, and they will follow up on communications, confirm court dates, check client backgrounds, smooth client relations, help law office to law office relations, and check every detail and every reference in all of their lawyer's documents. In addition, they'll research applicable laws and case references, prepare all court documents, and generally keep their lawyer moving forward.

Trial paralegals also prepare the case interrogatories, file with opposing counsel for discovery, prep the client for deposition and accompany the attorney to court. Although the work is quite detailed, in practice, a paralegal's work is anything but secretarial and many have equal use of their attorney's secretary. Some paralegals also have legal assistants [junior paralegals] to whom they delegate details of their responsibilities.

This introductory Paralegal Studies course is designed to give you information you need to become a successful paralegal. It will take you through a survey of what is needed to become a paralegal, how you may choose to go about it, all of the business details which are generally not known until you are within a firm, and some of the social skills and information you will need to survive and thrive in a firm. If you already have your paralegal certification, then this course will be beneficial if you are seeking your first firm position. You will get an insider's scoop on common mistakes and pitfalls, and you will know how to avoid or overcome common faux pas.

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  • Self-Paced
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  • 6 Months to Complete
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IACET Accredited Provider
Universal Class, Inc. has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, Universal Class, Inc. has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is widely recognized as the Standard of good practice internationally. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, Universal Class, Inc. is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its courses that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

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Course Lessons

5/26/2016 1:39:45 PM
  • Lesson 1: So You Want to Be A Paralegal?

    This lesson will cover some of the practical things to consider or research before taking the leap into a paralegal course, or signing on with a firm.
  • Lesson 2: Qualifying, Education, and Certifications

    The initial and primary concerns of anyone who wants to become a paralegal are, "Do I qualify?" and "What type of education do I need?" These are important questions to be answered before setting sail into the world of legal services.
  • Lesson 3: Making the Cut: Getting Hired and Negotiating Your Salary

    This is a cardinal rule in negotiations: He who speaks first loses. At a time when you are seeking to win, don't let your tongue set you up for a loss.
  • Lesson 4: Unspoken Expectations and How to Get Promoted at Your Firm

    Everyone has expectations -- spoken and unspoken. Law firms are no different, since they are made up of people. The better paying the firm, the greater the expectations they have of you.
  • Lesson 5: Attorneys, Attitudes, Egos, and Your Managing Attorney

    First and foremost, it is helpful for a new paralegal to have a general understanding of their attorneys and what makes them tick.
  • Lesson 6: Language and Business Philosophy That Brings Favor From Attorneys

    Language and business philosophy are two things that an attorney focuses on in his everyday dealings.
  • Lesson 7: Things Paralegals Get Burned Over: Protocol and Scapegoats

    Protocol is the established, proper, and correct order of business and business communications in a firm that must comply with state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Lesson 8: Pecking Order Among Paralegals: How to Get Along With Your Interoffice Competition

    Unlike other modern businesses, the pecking order in law firms remains traditional in the sense that paralegals with the most years of tenure are the top chicks.
  • Lesson 9: Managing Your Case Load: Priorities and Management Styles

    How to sort and manage your case load will be the first major decision you will make that will determine the success and quality of your actual finished product.
  • Lesson 10: Research, Attorney Support, and Lexis Nexis

    When it comes to research on the client file, you are the "go-to person" for your attorney. He will count on your ability to find out what needs to be found out -- and then some.
  • Lesson 11: Your Firm's Case Tracking Systems; eCase, Paradox, etc.

    Each firm has a tracking system the paralegals use to centralize client cases and communicate with one another, especially between departments.
  • Lesson 12: Email, Phone Calls, and Filing

    There are particular things to know about each of these that are peculiar to the legal profession in that you, the paralegal cannot legally treat these things as you may otherwise in a different profession or type of business.
  • Lesson 13: Client Relations and Office-to-Office Relations

    There is nothing that is more of a touchy subject in a law firm than the firm's client relations.
  • Lesson 14: Attorney/Client Privilege and Your Role in It

    If this course is your first exposure to the world of paralegals, then you will be reminded along the path of your education or certification process, of the importance of the attorney-client privilege supported in all of our laws.
  • Lesson 15: Office Politics, Downsizing, and Firm Mergers

    You may think this segment wouldn't belong in a course on paralegal studies, or you may think office politics is just common sense. In some ways it is common sense.
  • Lesson 16: Year End Bonuses, Fringe Perks, Parties, and Dinners

    This is a short lesson with a few common sense words about the part of your paralegal career you will certainly enjoy, but which clearly is not owed to you.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
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  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Paralegal Studies 101: Career Overview
Course Number: 7550162
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development
CEU Value: 1.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a paralegal is.
  • Describe attorneys, attitudes, egos and your managing attorney.
  • Describe language and business philosophy that brings favor from attorneys.
  • Describe things paralegals get burned over - protocol and scapegoats.
  • Summarize how to get along with your interoffice competition.
  • Summarize priorities and management styles.
  • Describe research, attorney support and Lexis Nexis.
  • Describe email, phone calls and filing procedures.
  • Summarize client relations and office to office relations.
  • Describe attorney/client privilege and your role in it.
  • Summarize office politics, downsizing and firm mergers, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
An IntroductionAssignment5
Lesson 1 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 1: So You Want To Be A Paralegal?Exam14
Lesson 2 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 2: Qualifying, Education & CertificationsExam11
Lesson 3 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 3: Making the Cut: Getting Hired & Negotiating Your SalaryExam14
Lesson 4 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 4: Unspoken Expectations & How to Get Promoted at Your FirmExam14
Lesson 5 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 5: Attorneys, Attitudes, Egos and Your Managing AttorneyExam14
Lesson 6 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 6: Language and Business Philosophy That Brings Favor From AttorneysExam14
Lesson 7 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 7: Things Paralegals Get Burned Over: Protocol & ScapegoatsExam15
Lesson 8 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 8: Pecking Order Among Paralegals - How to Get Along with Your Interoffice CompetitionExam14
Lesson 9 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 9: Managing Your Case Load: Priorities and Management StylesExam15
Lesson 10 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 10: Research, Attorney Support and Lexis NexisExam14
Lesson 11 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 11: Your Firm's Case Tracking Systems; eCase, Paradox, etc.Exam14
Lesson 12 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 12: Email, Phone Calls & FilingExam12
Lesson 13 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 13: Client Relations & Office to Office RelationsExam14
Lesson 14 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 14: Attorney/Client Privilege & Your Role in ItExam14
Lesson 15 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 15: Office Politics, Downsizing & Firm MergersExam15
Lesson 16 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 16: Year End Bonuses, Fringe Perks, Parties & DinnersExam12
The Final ExamExam77
Total Points:702

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Student Testimonials

  • "The whole course was a plus!" -- Sidney P.
  • "This course painted a vivid picture of the working environment at a law firm." -- Karen R.
  • "Taking this course has changed my life and has inspired me to continue learning. What was most helpful was the comprehensive course content." -- Alexandria B.
  • "What a terrific instructor and very helpful!!" -- Elizabeth I.
  • "Instructor is excellent. She corrected me when i needed it." -- Delia F.
  • "Thank you for all the comments and recommendations." -- Ramona E.

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