The Paralegal Studies Program

The Paralegal Studies Program 6 MONTH DAY PROGRAM or 12 MONTH EVENING PROGRAM APPROVED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ Florham Campus Madison, NJ Monmouth County Graduate
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The Paralegal Studies Program 6 MONTH DAY PROGRAM or 12 MONTH EVENING PROGRAM APPROVED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ Florham Campus Madison, NJ Monmouth County Graduate Center Eatontown, NJ Call: 877-FDU Website: paralegal.fdu.edu In as little as 6 months, you can begin a career as a Paralegal, one of the Nation s fastest growing and high demand professions. Metropolitan Campus, Teaneck, NJ Florham Campus, Madison, NJ Monmouth County Graduate Center, Eatontown, NJ 6 Month Day or 12 Month Evening Programs Employment Assistance Provided Objectives that provide our students with: A focused, applications-based curriculum that will prepare them for successful careers. A curriculum in a convenient time frame that accommodates non-traditional schedules. The guidance and services necessary to successfully complete their studies. Outstanding practical experience and communication skills, and to develop them professionally. Effective financial planning and payment options to facilitate the completion of their studies. The necessary guidance and skills for a successful employment search, along with individual employment assistance. Those who should consider the Paralegal Studies Program: Interested in the legal profession and the challenges it offers; Looking for practical skills to enhance your liberal arts degree and launch your professional career; Seeking additional training for a career change or job promotion; Considering law school, but are uncertain about the time and money it requires; or Ready to return to the work force and obtain a position in a high demand field. The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU I Page 1 What area are you interested in? Law Office Positions Government Positions Corporate Positions Bankruptcy Paralegal Case Manager Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Inspector Administrative Hearing Representative Employment Law Paralegal Clerk of Courts Banking Paralegal Family Law Paralegal Contract Administrator Corporate Paralegal Investigator Copyright Examiner Employee Benefits Paralegal Legal Research Specialist Criminal Investigator Foreclosure Processor Litigation Paralegal Customs Inspector Human Resources Staff/ Analyst Paralegal Equal Opportunity Compliance Specialist Mediation Specialist Patent Law Paralegal Legislative Analyst Litigation Manager Regulatory Specialist Loan Facilitator Securities Compliance Examiner Project Manager Probate Paralegal Real Estate Law Paralegal Workers Compensation Law Paralegal Labor Relations Specialist Veterans Claims Examiner Risk Management Specialist Working in America s Legal System Paralegal, Lawyer s Assistant and Legal Assistant are all titles used interchangeably to describe individuals who work side-by-side with attorneys and other professionals in the practice of law. While attorneys assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals. Whether in the office, in the library or in court, paralegals are active in nearly every aspect of law. Working under an attorney s supervision, your job responsibilities can include interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting and processing legal documents, and conducting legal research. One of a paralegal s most important tasks is helping attorneys prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. They also identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases. After they analyze the information, paralegals may prepare written reports that attorneys use in determining how cases should be handled. Page 2 I The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU Unlimited Career Options The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014 Edition, states the employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 17 percent between 2012 and 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment opportunities for paralegal professionals are plentiful in law firms, and are increasing in corporate legal departments, banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, government agencies and a wide variety of businesses. Preparation as a paralegal can open the doors to a wide range of career options. Many paralegals use the professional experience and practical working skills they gain on the job to advance to managerial-level positions as paralegal supervisors and legal administrators. Others apply their knowledge to their work in such fields as banking and personnel, including trust officers and human resource managers. Others find that their paralegal experience paves the way into law school and a career as an attorney. (Some students even help defray the cost of law school by working as a paralegal while attending classes gaining valuable professional contacts in the process.) Success Stories Our graduates have advanced to exciting and rewarding careers. Here are just a few of our success stories... Senior Paralegal This graduate began working as an entry-level paralegal in one of the State s largest law firms. After several years at this firm, she was promoted to Senior Paralegal and has certain supervisory responsibilities within her department. Now an Attorney While working as a paralegal for several years, this graduate attended law school in the evening and is now a practicing attorney. Contract Administrator As a Contract Administrator, this graduate is responsible for the negotiation and administration of contracts with corporate clients for a leading insurance carrier. The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU I Page 3 Six reasons why so many students choose Fairleigh Dickinson University s Paralegal Studies Program 1. When choosing a Paralegal Program, always look for this Mark of Quality: Approved by the American Bar Association The American Bar Association takes an active role in establishing professional standards for legal assistants and gives its approval to qualified paralegal training programs. FDU s Paralegal Studies Program received the American Bar Association approval in 1990 and was reapproved in 1997, 2000 and Three attractive and easy-to-reach locations The Program is offered through the Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies in Bergen, Morris and Monmouth Counties: Metropolitan Campus: Located in Bergen County, just five miles from the George Washington Bridge. Florham Campus: Near historic Morristown and many of Morris County s leading corporate centers. Monmouth County Graduate Center: Located on Route 35, just North of the Monmouth Mall. 3. Convenient day or evening programs that allow you to study or work full-time You can complete the Day Program in just 6 months. Classes meet Monday through Thursday mornings (9:30am-12:30pm). Occassional Fridays (9:30 AM 12:30 PM) are scheduled as make-up dates. The Evening Program is designed to accommodate students who wish to continue full-time employment during the course of the program. About twelve months in duration, the program meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:30-9:30pm). Occassional Saturdays (9:30 AM 12:30 PM) are scheduled as make-up dates. 4. Instruction by accomplished professionals The faculty is comprised of experienced attorneys and members of the judiciary who specialize in the area of law which they are teaching. Many faculty members are associated with some of the leading law firms and corporations in the region. 5. Opportunities for on-the-job experience An optional professional volunteer program is available to students which provides practical hands-on experience that supplements classroom lectures and reading. A limited number of volunteer positions are available with law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies throughout the State. The employer selects students and arranges work schedules. 6. Counseled by a leading Board of Advisors The quality of the Program is greatly enhanced by a distinguished Board of Advisors. The Board is instrumental in adapting the latest developments in the legal field to the Program s curriculum, and in providing continued input on employment opportunities. Its members also serve as important contacts for securing the finest faculty and lecturers available. Page 4 I The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU A Closer Look at the Curriculum Course Descriptions The 300-clock hour Paralegal Studies curriculum provides training in the practical aspects of law. It is a non-credit, certificate program designed to prepare you for a smooth transition from the classroom to the office in settings ranging from law firms, corporate legal departments, banks, insurance companies and government agencies. Students take courses in the following legal topics: 1. Civil Litigation Following completion of this course, graduates will have an understanding of the role of the paralegal in general and in the context of civil litigation in particular. The course introduces basic tort and contract law, together with certain jurisdictional considerations. Graduates will learn how to prepare pleadings, motions, discovery, as well as participate in pretrial and trial activities while working under the supervision of an attorney. 2. Criminal Law The graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, will be able to assist the attorney in client interviews; draft pre-trial motions; assist in conducting discovery; assist in trial preparation; and draft post-conviction pleadings. 3. Family Law The graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, will be able to interview a matrimonial client; draft a summons and complaint; draft and answer interrogatories; assist in discovery; organize and digest information obtained through discovery; assist the attorney in preparing for depositions; assist the attorney in trial preparation; draft settlement agreements; participate in motion practice; and draft final judgments. 4. Legal Research and Writing The graduate will become familiar with the American legal system, including the courts and the legislature; judicial reports (including federal and state reports); constitutions, statutes and ordinances; basic citation forms, case finding techniques in digests, encyclopedias, annotated law reports; other secondary research tools including Shepard s Citations; miscellaneous research aids and non-legal research aids; case analysis and briefing; memorandum format and writing; legal brief writing and use of computerized legal research. The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU I Page 5 5. Ethics This course presents an overview of the ethical considerations facing a paralegal. Included are discussions of the unintentional violation of the ethical duties placed directly on attorneys and indirectly on paralegals. The graduate will be introduced to the applicable disciplinary rules and learn to function ethically under an attorney s supervision. 6. Corporate Law Graduates learn the distinguishing legal attributes of various types of business organizations including the sole proprietorship, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporate forms. Under the supervision of an attorney, graduates should be able to evaluate when and how each form of business might be advisable for particular clients; identify and evaluate the obligations, responsibilities and potential liability of business owners and management; and perform fundamental tasks necessary for the formation, legal maintenance, regulatory compliance and dissolution of various types of business entities. 7. Real Estate and Mortgages The graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, will be able to draft deeds, contracts of sale, and leases; prepare closing statements utilizing appropriate formulae and complete a HUD-RESPA form; assemble evidence for quiet title and foreclosure actions; deal with title guaranty representatives regarding title search and the abstract ; and draft mortgages and deeds of trust. 8. Estates, Trusts and Wills This course presents an overview which enables a graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, to assist in preparation of documents associated with estate planning, participation in the collection of assets, valuation of assets and maintenance of records; drafting of wills and trust forms for attorney and client review; assisting with estate administration of a Personal Representative including preparation of correspondence, tax returns for the decedent and estate; drafting periodic statements for estates and trusts; preparing of court documents; distribution of tax waivers and related activities. Page 6 I The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU Legal Specialty Courses Students are required to take one legal specialty course in order to complete the program. Students are assigned one legal specialty course as part of the program. If students choose to take an additional legal specialty course, a fee will be charged for each additional course. Students may switch to another legal specialty course offered in another section if that course better suits their career goals, space permitting. Additional legal specialty courses are always being added to our curriculum. Administrative Law This course presents basic concepts of administrative law and procedure in federal and state agencies, with emphasis on the paralegal s role in the administrative process. Paralegal students will learn both formal and informal advocacy techniques, including representing clients before administrative bodies. Substantive topics will include administrative delegation of power, rule making, agency discretionary powers, remedies, and judicial review. Procedural topics include agency operation, adjudication, hearing preparation, and administrative and judicial appeals. Advanced Contracts This course presents an overview of contract law with emphasis on the legal sources of law (common law and Uniform Commercial Code) with respect to contract formation and interpretation. The student will be introduced to tasks such as drafting contract provisions and interpreting the potential rights and liabilities of the client. Alternative Dispute Resolution This course introduces the student to the various types of alternative dispute resolution programs that are being used by the courts and parties independent of court-mandated programs, including mediation and arbitration. Furthermore, students are provided with a working knowledge of the rules, ethical considerations and other procedural issues that arise in dispute resolution arenas. Bankruptcy Law The graduate, under the supervision of a lawyer, will be able to assist in the preparation of documents associated with bankruptcy, including petitions for voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy, case management, marshalling assets, preparing for reorganization; draft creditors meetings minutes, proofs of claim and final orders. The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU I Page 7 Elder Care Law This course provides an introduction to the legal issues affecting the elder population including Federal and State law. An overview of issues concerning Medicare, Medicaid, Long Term Care, Power of Attorney, Guardianships, Health Care Proxies, Living Wills and Viatical Settlements will be covered. Employment Law An overview of the legal framework governing employer-employee relations will be explored. Topics include Employment Contracts, Wrongful Discharge, Work Place Torts, and Unemployment Compensation. Environmental Law The graduate will learn how to assist in preparing environmental complaints and other pleadings; working with environmental consultants and expert witnesses; maintaining environmental files; and organizing files for trial, while working under the supervision of an attorney. Federal Practice and Procedure This course presents an overview that enables a graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, to understand the process and procedure necessary to adjudicate a dispute in the Federal District Court system between parties arising from a private injury utilizing the rules and regulations contained in the Federal Rules of Procedure. Franchise Law This course is designed to provide an overview of the regulatory aspects of franchising. Franchising is a highly regulated and complex area of law requiring legal professionals to tread cautiously in counseling clients and prospective franchisees to become educated to make informed decisions before embarking into a franchise relationship. This course will provide insight into what constitutes a franchise, the benefits of a franchise business model, legal protections afforded to franchisees and the considerations a franchisor must make in the implementation and maintenance of a franchise system. The graduate will be introduced to the regulatory process from the perspective of a franchisor and be asked to perform paralegal level functions necessary to assist in the registration of a Franchise Disclosure Document. Page 8 I The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU Immigration Law This course provides an overview of immigration law, including family visa petitions, consular processing, adjustment of status, VAWA, relationship of immigration and matrimonial/criminal law, issues in criminal immigration, immigration court practice, employment and labor based visas, and naturalization. Practical exercises include preparation of basic immigration forms including affidavit of support, Alien Labor Certification, H1-B, and L-1. Basic explanation of refugee and asylum law; parole power of President, special legislation, e.g., TPS, NACARA is explored. Intellectual Property This course presents an overview of patents, trademarks and copyright law. Intellectual property law focuses on the marketplace activities of producing new products and services, thereby creating new intellectual property rights to be protected. The graduate will be introduced to tasks such as searching to determine whether a proposed trademark is available for use and registration or to determine who is record owner of a patent or trademark or copyright registration. Landlord/Tenant Practice An overview of New Jersey landlord/tenant law as it pertains to residential tenancies. Topics covered will include the creation and termination of a tenancy, grounds for eviction, the eviction process, housing discrimination, rent control and subsidized housing programs. Hot Topics that will be covered include the rights of a tenant when the property is in foreclosure, the distinction between a pet and a service animal and bed bugs. The Paralegal Studies Program at FDU I Page 9 NJ Land Use Practice The graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, will be able to prepare land use applications to the various New Jersey Municipal Land Use Boards and understand the various statutory requirements necessary to bring an application for land use development approvals. The paralegal will obtain an understanding of the organization, jurisdiction and function of the Municipal Land Use Agencies, be able to prepare municipal land use applications and hearing documents, in addition to becoming familiar with the various forms used for relief and the appeal process. NY Practice and Procedure This course presents an overview that enables a graduate, under the supervision of an attorney, to understand the process and procedure necessary to adjudicate a dispute in the NY State Court system between parties utilizing the rules and regulations contained in the New York Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). Torts (Personal Injury) This course presents an overview of the elements of torts and the defenses asserted to intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability torts. The graduate will be introduced to the legal analysis used in tort law and evaluating the evidentiary material and learn what the paralegal s role is in relation to tort litigation with an emphasis in pleading and discovery practice. Workers Compensation This course covers the procedures and statutory method of providing benefi
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