Paralegal/Law

Introduction to Paralegal Studies

LAWS100

This is a survey course encompassing the varied duties of a paralegal as practiced in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. This course describes work done by paralegals in the following areas: civil procedure, administrative law, legal research, and legal writing.

3 credits
Prerequisite: None
Corequisite: None

Divorce and Family Law

LAWS101

This course covers the principles of the Divorce Code of 1980 in Pennsylvania courts, and a comparison with other states. Emphasis is on divorce law, antenuptial agreements, separation agreements, child custody issues, child support, alimony, tax consequences of divorce, and adoptions.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Civil Litigation and Practice

LAWS140

This course provides students with an overview of the theory, procedure and mechanics of a lawsuit from fact gathering through judgment enforcement, with an emphasis on the Pennsylvania Court System.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Elder Law

LAWS150

This course gives an overview of all areas of the law which concern the elderly client such as elder abuse, living facilities, insurance, estate planning and healthcare. Attention is focused on drafting documents such as advance directives, Power of Attorney, wills, trusts and guardianships.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Wills, Trusts, and Estates

LAWS160

In this course, students examine the legal principles and ethical considerations of probate, wills, trusts and the fiduciary code as applied by the Orphans Courts in Pennsylvania. Students also learn how to prepare and file probate and estate planning documents. Students also discuss ethical issues that affect the estate client.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Criminal Procedure for the Paralegal

LAWS165

This course offers an overview of criminal procedure for the paralegal by focusing on crimes against persons, crimes against property, summary offenses, misdemeanors and felonies, as well as state and federal crimes.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

International Law

LAWS170

This course offers an overview of international trade, licensing, investment, collections, and letters of credit. Students analyze and contrast the risks of international versus domestic business. Students also examine procedures for buying and selling goods in foreign countries.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Business Organizations: Paralegal

LAWS180

This course provides an overview of corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships in businesses. Students also learn the court procedures and tax implications associated with sole proprietorships, corporations or partnerships.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Paralegal Trial Procedure and Practices

LAWS205
EXPERIMENTAL

Using a realistic case file, the student works through the intense trial advocacy process from conceptualizing the trial, including strategy and tactics, preparing a trial notebook, filing pretrial motions, and performing exercises exploring procedural and evidentiary issues.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) and LAWS140 (C or better)

Real Estate Law and Conveyancing

LAWS210

This course addresses various topics in real estate law, including estates, titles, acquisition, agreements of sale, encumbrances, conveyancing, and bonds. Other topics include liens, deeds, and mortgages.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) OR REAL101 (C or better) AND REAL102 (C or better);
Corequisite: None

Advanced Real Estate Law

LAWS215

In this course, students examine advanced real estate law and the documents used in sophisticated residential and commercial transactions with concentration on financing, option contracts, title insurance, zoning, and the vocabulary of these advance transactions.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) and LAW210 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Legal Research and Writing I

LAWS220

This course provides an introduction to the tools used in legal research including statutes, cases, treaties, encyclopedia and computer search techniques. Students research actual case problems and prepare written memorandum of law. Students also learn how to file research materials and use state and federal legal reporter services.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) AND EITHER COMP110 (C or better) OR MGMT135 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Legal Research and Writing II

LAWS225

This course emphasizes the systematic study of electronic legal research and critical analysis of legal issues, location, and evaluation of appropriate legal authority and application of such authority to the resolution of hypothetical factual situations. Students learn how to prepare persuasive presentations in acceptable legal format.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) AND LAWS220 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Bankruptcy

LAWS235

This course provides an overview of the federal bankruptcy law, its purposes and procedures, with special emphasis on asset liquidation, business reorganization, and individual income rehabilitation plans. Other topics include the relationship of debtor, creditor and trustee, ethics, litigation, and the collection process.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Tort Law for the Paralegal

LAWS240

This course provides an overview of tort law including intentional torts, personal injury, negligence law and strict liability. Students learn how to prepare legal pleadings and discovery materials. Other topics include ethics, and trial preparation.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) AND LAWS140 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Ethics for the Paralegal

LAWS255

This course examines ethical requirements under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Specific topics include attorney regulation, and paralegals, the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, advertising, solicitation, fees, client funds, competency and professionalism.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) and LAWS140 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Computers in the Law Office

LAWS260

This course provides a general introduction to the use of computers and legal specialty computer software programs in the modern law office. Students use hands on computer exercises using professional software programs frequently used by paralegals, including billing software, spreadsheets and litigation support software.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) AND CISC100 (C or better) OR CISC110 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Paralegal Internship/Capstone Course

LAWS285

In this course, students gain practical work experience either in a private or public sector under the supervision of an attorney or experienced paralegal in day-to-day, on-site office work. This course also includes internship seminar sessions.

3 credits
Prerequisite:

  1. LAWS100 (C or better)
  2. Successful completion of at least fifteen (15) credit hours in paralegal courses that includes LAWS140 (C or better) and LAWS220 (C or better); and
  3. A GPA of 2.0 earned at Bucks County Community College

Corequisite: None

Administrative and Municipal Law

LAWS290

This course provides an introduction to the laws involving the administration of government by various departments, agencies, boards and commissions that implement and enforce law and policy. Students learn the laws and procedures that affect the administrative decision-making processes on a local, state and federal government level.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)
Corequisite: None

Special Topics in Law

LAWS295
EXPERIMENTAL

This special topics course provides an introduction to various emerging legal issues. Topics vary by semester, and include developing areas of law and/or areas of law which are subject of frequent re-interpretation. This course is designed to enhance students' written communication skills through various writing exercises.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better)