LAWS280 Cooperative Education - Paralegal

Department of Business Studies: Business Studies Department Archive

I. Course Number and Title
LAWS280 Cooperative Education - Paralegal Course No Longer Offered
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
200 work hours plus minimum of three (3) meetings
IV. Prerequisites
Students must satisfy all of the requirements listed, before the Co-op Coordinator will permit registration for this course.
  1. Successful completion of at least 15 credit hours in paralegal courses.
  2. Completion of the Course LAWS100 (C or better)
  3. Completion of the course LAWS220 (C or better)
  4. To be eligible for the Co-op, students must have a grade point average of 2.5 before enrolling in Co-op.
  5. In order to be eligible for Co-op, student must have completed at least 12 credit hours at Bucks and be registered in the Paralegal Studies Certificate or Degree programs. Students who have completed any of the course requirements at any colleges or university other than Bucks will be required to submit an official transcript to the Coordinator to determine whether the course or courses will satisfy the course requirements at Bucks.
  6. Certificate students must have completed 15 credit hours of paralegal courses, including LAWS100 (C or better) or LAWS140 (C or better) and LAWS220 (C or better).
V. Other Pertinent Information
Co-op Coordinator Richard Giannini Jr., Esquire Phone: (215)968-8297 Business Studies Department (215)968-8227
VI. Catalog Course Description
The student will be given an opportunity to gain some valuable experience with on-the-job training in a law office practice related to the student's academic preparation and career objectives.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    1. The student will have the opportunity to apply their formal education in a actual work situation.
    2. The student will be under the direct supervision of a practicing attorney or tinder the direct supervision of a practicing paralegal (legal assistant) while tinder the overall supervision of a practicing attorney.
    3. The student will be able to develop a set of individual goals to be accomplished during the work experience.
    4. The student will have a the opportunity to describe, analyze, and evaluate the organizational structure of the cooperating law office.
    5. The student will be able to identify the role and responsibilities of the paralegal (legal assistant) within the cooperating law office.
    6. The student will be able to develop a sensitivity for a mature approach to establishing an effective rapport with everyone in the cooperating law office, including lawyers, other paralegals (legal assistants) law clerks, legal secretaries, and clients.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. All students must attend and participate in all co-op meetings arranged by the Co-op coordinator.
    2. All students must work a minimum of 200 hours during the semester period in which the student is enrolled in the co-op course. If a student should be absent from work for more than a total of ten (10) hours during the semester the time must be made up.
    3. Students will maintain daily log book that should be made available to the coordinator at any time and will be turned in at the end of the student's work experience along with the term paper.The Daily Log should include the following:Date. This item should contain the date the task was performed. Time. Indicate the number of hours (or fraction thereof) spent performing the specific tasks. Type of Task. This item should very briefly state the task performed (e." research, memo writing, organizing, reviewing files, drafting forms, consultations with attorneys, filing documents, interviewing witness, interviewing client, etc.) Description/Comments. Very brief description of task (e.g. interviewed witness in Smith case, researched automobile negligence, assembled abstract for Jones closing). Brief closing on what was learned (e.g. witness hostile initially, but eventually gave account of accident that indicates contributory negligence by driver of the car).
    4. Term Paper - The requirement of a detailed term paper on the work experience is a vital part of the learning experience in the Program. Its purpose is to increase awareness and command of material presented during the program and relevant application thereof in actual law office situations. The paper must be more than a collection of tasks performed in the cooperating law office. It should clearly demonstrate understanding the relevance of the course objectives outlined on the first page of these instructions.
      1. Format: With few exceptions, there is no prescribed format. However, the following items must be incorporated into the paper on some logical basis (e.g. chronology, type of task, case, etc.):
        1. Statement of what skills were used, and an identification of where they were acquired (school or office)
        2. Statement of sources used to accomplish the task (e.g. which books, investigations, interviews, etc).
        3. In the context of course objectives, an evaluation of each task as to the benefit derived and the worth of the assignment to the sponsor. Include here an appraisal of how well particular course work prepared the student to handle the task.
        4. If you do legal research, include for each project:
          1. A brief narrative outlining the case and circumstances
          2. The issue researched
          3. The information or data searched for
          4. Findings
          5. Conclusion as the particular question involved and its relevance to the case.
        5. If observation or participation in a client interview, courtroom proceedings, attorney consultation or similar situation, include:
          1. Narrative outlining the participants and their identities
          2. Summary of the purpose of the meeting
          3. The outcome or action that was taken
      2. Form. The term paper and attachments (except Daily Log) must be typed. The entire project should be well organized and exemplify best writing skills. Communicate ideas, experiences, and reflections neatly and accurately, just as in any professional situation. The term paper will be evaluated by the Coordinator and by the supervising attorney. Other than this limited but necessary circulation of the project, its confidentiality will be respected. Each student will be evaluated by the employer with the criteria established by the Co-op Coordinator in conjunction with the employer standards of performance.
    5. Each student will submit a typewritten resume at the second co-op meeting.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    The resources of the law office including the library, members of the firm, and other office personnel will be used by the students to enhance their paralegal skills and knowledge of the law as applied to various cases handled by the law firm.

Review/Approval Date - 9/02; Revised 3/05