Paralegal

Paralegal

A.S.

The Paralegal A.S. degree program is an excellent academic choice if you wish to become a paralegal or work in a law-related field. You will benefit from rigorous paralegal coursework as well as a transferable liberal arts education.

The Paralegal program has specific credit transfer requirements for paralegal courses in the A.S. degree and certificate. As a student in the program, you must prepare a petition for transfer of credits that shall be reviewed and approved by the Paralegal program coordinator unless the Paralegal program has documented prior approval of the paralegal course transfer.

Note: If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge, or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or on your chances to obtain federal, state, and other higher education financial aid.

Purpose

Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1978, the Inver Hills Paralegal program prepares our graduates to work under the supervision of attorneys in civil, criminal, and family law, as well as in the areas of litigation, probate and estates, real estate, and business organizations.

Program information

Lawyers often can deliver legal services more efficiently and economically with the aid of paralegals. Although not independently licensed to practice law, paralegals are professionals trained to assist lawyers in specifically delegated substantive legal work for which lawyers are responsible.

Outcome and objectives

Our graduates are trained in the following skill areas:

  1. Apply and interpret the law and legal procedures in rendering direct assistance to lawyers
  2. Conduct competent legal research, writing, and communication
  3. Prepare legal documents
  4. Analyze procedural and substantive legal problems
  5. Interview clients and witnesses
  6. Investigate and manage cases
  7. Demonstrate technological skills and familiarity with computerized databases

As a student in this A.S. program, you will complete the Paralegal Curriculum (30 credits) and Liberal Arts coursework (30 credits) for a credit total of 60.

Paralegals and program graduates do not practice law or give legal advice unless permitted by law.

2022-2023 Required Courses

Paralegal Curriculum

Course # Course Name Credit(s)
PA 1102
Introduction to Law and Contracts
4

Course Outline
Credits: 4
Introduces the student to state and federal court systems; civil and criminal law, including general contract law, tort law, and constitutional law; legal analysis, and the employment functions of paralegals and its ethical implications. Prerequisites: Placement in ENG 1108 or grade C or better in ENG 0099 and READ 0093/0094. Recommended: Students should enroll in ENG 1108 concurrently with PA 1102.

Prerequisites:


Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 1103
UCC and Business Organizations
4

Course Outline
Credits: 4
Introduces the student to the laws of sales, commercial paper, secured transactions, and the Uniform Commercial Code as well as agency and partnership, corporations and other business entities. There is an emphasis on the role of the lawyer and the paralegal in the formation of business entities which includes the preparation of related documents. Prerequisites: Grade C or better in PA 1102.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 1105
Criminal Justice System
2

Course Outline
Credits: 2
Introduces the student to the criminal justice system with special emphasis given to Minnesota law and procedure. Topics covered include: the Minnesota Criminal Code, police, attorneys, judges, constitutional rights, rules of evidence, plea bargaining, trials, and sentencing. Prerequisites: Placement into ENG 1108 or grade C or better in ENG 0099 and READ 0093/0094 or instructor or program director's permission. Recommended: Students should enroll in ENG 1108 concurrently with PA 1105.

Prerequisites:


Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 2201
Family Law
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Examines family legal issues involved in marriage, separation, dissolution of marriage, cohabitation, child custody, child and spousal support and non-support, property issues, paternity, adoption, and domestic abuse. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

PA 2202
Litigation and Trial Practice
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Examines selected aspects of the rules of evidence, principles of investigating and interviewing, practical applications of selected rules of civil procedure, discovery and preparation for trial and rules of professional responsibility. Particular emphasis is placed upon the role of the paralegal in the litigation process. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 2204
Probate Law
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Examines wills, trusts, intestate succession, probate proceedings and estate administration under Minnesota Law. Provides an overview of relevant federal and state tax law as it pertains to estates. Provides practical experience in drafting estate, probate and tax documents. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102 or permission of instructor or program director.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

PA 2205
Real Estate Law
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Provides the student with a general understanding of real property laws, the common types of real estate, and how to prepare certain routine real estate documents. The topics of mortgage foreclosure, contract for deeds, mechanics liens, title examination, and closings are also covered. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102 or permission of the Paralegal Director or Instructor.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 2220
Legal Research
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Provides an understanding of the law library and will assist the student in developing research skills through the use of digests, reporters, statutes, administrative materials and secondary materials. This course includes practice problems requiring legal research. The course also will include an introduction to computerized legal research. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 2222
Legal Writing And Analysis
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
Provides the student with experience in the development of analytical writing skills in the preparation of case and trial briefs, legal memoranda, investigative summaries, and general legal correspondence. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 2220 and ENG 1108. Recommended: Students should complete ENG 1111 or ENG 1114 prior to taking this course PA 2222.

Prerequisites:

  • ENG 0101 Composition I: Expository Writing
  • ENG 1108 Writing And Research Skills
  • LA 1110 Legal Research
  • PA 2220 Legal Research

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

PA 2289
Paralegal Internship
2

Course Outline
Credits: 2
Gives the preservice student practical work experience in the paralegal area. Provides the student with the opportunity to develop skills and abilities to understand law office's operation, apply the law and legal procedures, conduct legal research, write letters and memorandums, draft documents, contact clients or individuals, and maintain confidentiality and professional ethics. Prerequisites: Written permission of the Paralegal Program Director one semester in advance; C or better in PA 2220.

Prerequisites:

  • PA 2220 Legal Research

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022

Total Credits in Paralegal Curriculum 30

Liberal Arts

Course # Course Name Credit(s)
ENG 1108
Writing And Research Skills
4

Course Outline
Credits: 4
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 02
Provides instruction and practice in reading, researching, and writing for college. Prerequisites: Recommended by Accuplacer assessment or grade of C or higher in READ 93/94 and ENG/EAP 99.

Prerequisites:


Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

ENG 1111
ENG 1114
Research Writing    OR

The Research Paper
2-3

Research Writing
Course Outline
Credits: 2
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 02
Students will analyze primary and secondary sources and develop formal research writing in students' academic and/or professional disciplines including EMS, Paralegal, and Criminal Justice. Prerequisites: ENG 1108 or equivalent, with grade of C or better.

Prerequisites:

  • ENG 0101 Composition I: Expository Writing
  • ENG 1108 Writing And Research Skills

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

The Research Paper
Course Outline
Credits: 3
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 02
Emphasizes critical analysis of fiction or nonfiction texts, at least one book-length, resulting in a research paper that reflects analysis and synthesis of multiple sources. Prereq: Grade of C or higher in ENG 1108.

Prerequisites:

  • ENG 0101 Composition I: Expository Writing
  • ENG 1108 Writing And Research Skills

Corequisites: None
Future Offering:
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

COMM 1100
COMM 1110
COMM 2230
Interpersonal Communication    OR

Public Speaking    OR

Small Group Communication
3

Interpersonal Communication
Course Outline
Credits: 3
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 07
Is a course that helps students recognize that we live and work in relationship with others and must communicate effectively with them to achieve our goals. This class helps students acquire the skills to effectively communicate with family members, intimate others, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances. After reviewing relevant interpersonal theory, students will examine and identify their own communication attitudes and behaviors. Students will also learn and apply techniques for improving communication in their relationships through active practice. Students will participate in multiple activities, both in and outside the classroom setting, to build their interpersonal communication skills. This course is open to all students and meets the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) 8710.2000, Subp. 7, Standard 6C, D, F, & G.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering:

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

Public Speaking
Course Outline
Credits: 3
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 02
Is the introductory study of the theory and practice of public speaking. Public presentation skills are required for individuals to be successful in our workplaces, communities and many other contexts in today's society. Students will learn about the different types of public speeches commonly encountered and learn how to research, organize and write their ideas into clear and understandable forms of public communication. Students will also practice the delivery skills needed to present ideas effectively. Students will be required to speak and participate often and will also be required to present their speeches in a classroom setting with an audience of their peers and an instructor.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering:

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

Small Group Communication
Course Outline
Credits: 3
MNTC Goal Areas: 01, 02
Introduces students to the practice and theory of communicating in small group settings. Working in groups is an integral part of living in today's society. Community and workplace situations require us to be able to lead, participate, and follow effectively. Participating in this course will assist students in developing the leadership, conflict management, problem solving and discussion skills necessary to function in group settings. Students will apply small group communication theory in small, task-oriented groups and develop presentation skills to showcase their understanding of what it means to be an effective group member. Evaluating the effectiveness of their own and others' group communication behaviors is also required.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering:

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

COMM 2240
Intercultural Communication
3

Course Outline
Credits: 3
MNTC Goal Areas: 05, 08
Explores factors that influence communication between individuals of different cultures. In our global society we are increasingly called upon to communicate in a variety of intercultural contexts. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between cultural orientation and communication behaviors. Identifying their own cultural biases and assumptions will help students increase their awareness and tolerance of individual and group differences. Students will learn to demonstrate cultural sensitivity in interpersonal contacts and identify skills for interacting with people from culture groups other than their own. Students may not earn credit for both COMM 1114 and COMM 2240.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering:

  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 4)    OR

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 3)
WITH LAB
3

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 4)


Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 3)


Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 5)
3



Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

General Education Credits (MnTC Goal 6)
3



Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

General Education Credits (Any MnTC Goal Area)
8-9



Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

Total Credits in Liberal Arts 30

Paralegal Electives

Course # Course Name Credit(s)
PA 2206
PA 2208
PA 2212
Interviewing and Investigating Techniques for Paralegals    OR

Employment Law    OR

Personal Injury
2

Interviewing and Investigating Techniques for Paralegals
Course Outline
Credits: 2
Examines general techniques of interviewing and investigating with special emphasis placed on the practical aspects of interviewing witnesses and client, and investigating cases. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102 or instructor's permission.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1105 Criminal Justice System
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

Employment Law
Course Outline
Credits: 2
Provides an overview of the state and federal rules and regulations that govern the employment relationship. The topics of employment at-will shall be addressed, along with exceptions to the at-will doctrine. The course will also address the creation of implied employment contracts, wrongful discharge, employee privacy interests, and wage and hour regulations. Discrimination and sexual harassment will also be discussed with an emphasis on the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Students will study the Federal Title VII Civil Rights Act and its impact on the employment relationship. Recent legislative developments in the employment law arena will also be reviewed. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102 or instructor's permission.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

Personal Injury
Course Outline
Credits: 2
Examines selected major issues and themes in civil litigation involving personal injuries and wrongful death with primary emphasis on negligence and medical malpractice. Significant case law, statutes, rules, procedures, and evidentiary and e-discovery principles will be covered. Prerequisites: C or better in PA 1102 or instructor's permission.

Prerequisites:

  • LA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts
  • PA 1102 Introduction to Law and Contracts

Corequisites: None
Future Offering: None

Total Credits in Paralegal Electives 6
Total Credits: 60
‡ Select General Education electives from specified MnTC goal area or from any MnTC goals if none specified.

Paralegal Electives
The paralegal electives enhance students’ skills and increase knowledge in these areas of law, but do not count toward the required paralegal coursework to graduate. Students with paralegal experience may petition to substitute one 2-credit paralegal class from the paralegal elective classes  (except Law Office Procedures and Technology) for the 2-credit paralegal internship.