LAWS255 Ethics for the Paralegal

Department of Business Studies: Paralegal/Law

I. Course Number and Title
LAWS255 Ethics for the Paralegal
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
LAWS100 (C or better) and LAWS140 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
This course utilizes a learning management space to supplement course materials.
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course examines ethical requirements under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. The course covers the regulation of attorneys and paralegals, the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, advertising, solicitation, fees, client funds, competency, and professionalism.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. explain professional responsibility within the legal profession;
    2. identify violations of ethical principles; and
    3. analyze conduct in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Students are assigned readings from the text and web sources which illustrate the ethical considerations listed in the course goals. There are written assignments which include practical paralegal projects, as well as a research project on the subject matter presented through the text. The following topics are covered:

    1. Regulation of the Legal Profession
    2. Unauthorized Practice of Law
    3. Confidentiality
    4. Conflicts of Interest
    5. Advertising and Solicitation
    6. Fair Fees and Client Trust Accounts
    7. Competence and Negligence
    8. Zealous Representation
    9. Duty of Integrity
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    Students complete a midterm and a final exam assessing their knowledge of ethical considerations and professional responsibility. They also complete written assignments demonstrating their knowledge of the ethical obligations and concerns for the paralegal, as well as a research project with an ethical case problem.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    The textbook, specified in the individual instructor's syllabus, serves as the resource for the written exercises and lecture materials. There is an online discussion board which adds to the materials provided in the text. The students also use Westlaw and library resources to research their ethical problem case.

Approval/Revision Date: Approved 9/2014; New Core 8/2015