Paralegal/Law

Introduction to Paralegal Studies

LAWS100

A survey course encompassing the varied duties of a paralegal as practiced in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. This course describes work done by legal assistants in the areas of litigation, civil procedure, family law, criminal law, commercial law, corporate law, estates and trust, and creditors’ and debtors’ rights.

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 Practice/Litigation Procedures

LAWS140

Civil Practice/Litigation Procedures is a college level course that provides a student with knowledge of theory, procedure and mechanics of the lawsuit from fact gathering through judgment enforcement, with emphasis on the Pennsylvania Court System. Students will be introduced to the litigation process through the use of sample cases.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Elder Law

LAWS150
EXPERIMENTAL

This course covers ethical considerations and the paralegal’s role as a member of the law team preparing documents, such as advance directives, wills and guardianships. Attention is focused on patients’ rights in health care decision making, Medicare and Medicaid, managed care, long term care insurance, living facilities, and financial planning.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Wills, Trusts, and Estates

LAWS160

Probate, Estate, and Fiduciary Code as amended and applied in Pennsylvania with emphasis on wills, trusts, administration of estate from death, through preparation and filing, to inheritance and estate tax return, accounting and distribution of assets. Adoption, living wills, durable powers of attorney, and appointment of guardians are covered.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Criminal Procedure for the Paralegal

LAWS165
EXPERIMENTAL

This course offers an overview of criminal procedure for the paralegal by focusing on criminal investigation, legal pleadings, discovery, and trial preparation. Law office management will also be stressed. Students also learn about bail arraignment, alternate resolutions, pretrial motions, trial skills, sentencing, and ethical challenges.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 (C or better) or LAWS110 (C or better)

International Law

LAWS170
EXPERIMENTAL

International Business law is designed to be a basic course covering the law of international trade, licensing and investment. Students will be exposed to international business and the basics of the practice and procedures involved in the buying and selling of goods in foreign countries, through the case study method.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Business Organizations: Paralegal

LAWS180

An overview of corporations pursuant to the Pennsylvania Corporation Law, and partnerships pursuant to the Uniformed Partnership Act, as well as sole proprietorships in businesses. An analysis of the rules and reasons as they apply to the individual in business as either a sole proprietorship, corporation, or partnership.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
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

LAWS210

Instruction in ownership, contractual limitations, property right protection, reality and personality fixtures; fee simple, life estates and remainder interests, tenancy, partnership and corporate realty; liens, such as mortgages, judgments and attachments, contracts, and their complexities, deeds, bonds and mortgages, leases, transfer and closing of title, and conveyancing.

3 credits
Prerequisite: REAL101 and REAL102; or LAWS100 or LAWS110 or permission of the Department of Business Studies
Corequisite: None

Advanced Real Estate Law and Conveyancing

LAWS215
EXPERIMENTAL

This course provides an in depth review and understanding of real estate related contracts and the drafting of such contracts and other documentation, including leases and condominium documents. Also reviews zoning matters, judgments and liens, mortgages and title insurance, and the roles of fiduciaries, brokers, and title agents.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS210
Corequisite: None

Legal Research and Writing

LAWS220

Introduction to the tools used in legal research, including statutes, cases, treaties, encyclopedia, and computer search techniques. Students will be asked to research actual case type problems and prepare written memorandum of law.

3 credits
Prerequisite: either LAWS100 or LAWS110; and either COMP110 or OADM110
Corequisite: None

Advanced Legal Research and Writing

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. Includes preparation of effective written persuasive presentations in acceptable legal format.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS220 and either LAWS100 or LAWS110; or permission of the Department of Business Studies
Corequisite: None

Bankruptcy

LAWS235
EXPERIMENTAL

An overview of the federal bankruptcy law, its purposes and procedures with special emphasis on asset liquidation, business reorganization, and individual income rehabilitation plans. The course will further explore the relationship of debtor, creditor, and trustee.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None

Negligence and Personal Injury: Paralegal

LAWS240

An overview of personal injury and negligence law in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in which a paralegal will practice personal injury investigation, preparation of legal pleadings, preparation and analysis of discovery materials, and preparation for trial. Principals and practices of law office management will also be stressed.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS140 and either LAWS100 or LAWS110
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. 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.

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

Computers in the Law Office

LAWS260

A general introduction to the use of computers and of legal specialty computer software programs in the modern law office. The course includes hands on computer exercises using professional software programs frequently used in the law office by paralegals.

3 credits
Prerequisite: either LAWS100 or LAWS110; and either CISC100 or CISC110
Corequisite: None

Paralegal Internship

LAWS285

Students gain practical work experience either in a private or public law office, corporate or government legal department, or other appropriate law-related setting 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. successful completion of at least fifteen (15) credit hours in paralegal courses that includes LAWS140 (C or better) and LAWS220 (C or better);
  2. a GPA of 2.0 earned at Bucks County Community College; and
  3. transfer students who have successfully completed the above course requirements at another college or university must submit an official transcript to the Paralegal Area Coordinator for evaluation before enrolling into the course

Corequisite: None

Administrative and Municipal Law

LAWS290
EXPERIMENTAL

Introduction to the laws involving administration of government by various departments, agencies, boards, and commissions that implement and enforce government law and policy, including the laws and procedures affecting the administrative decision-making processes on a local, state, and federal government level.

3 credits
Prerequisite: LAWS100 or LAWS110
Corequisite: None