AAB Legal Assisting
Legal assistants, also called paralegals, perform many tasks in legal offices while working under the supervision of attorneys.
Their responsibilities may include:
• Legal and factual research
• Interviewing clients and witnesses
• Reviewing and organizing material for cases
• Drafting legal documents and forms
• Functioning as a member of a legal team
Jobs for the legal assistant vary in scope and nature from small to large law firms, financial institutions, corporations, law courts, insurance agencies, banks, department stores, credit departments, and health care facilities. It is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the United States today.
A paralegal’s job title may reflect the type of law practiced by their employer, for example, administrative law, banking, bankruptcy, or corporate paralegal. Paralegals are also employed in the areas of criminal, domestic relations, employee benefits, environmental, family, health care, insurance, oil and gas, and worker’s compensation law as well as in estate planning and litigation.
Positions in the federal government which may require a paralegal background include: clerk of courts, civil service retirement claims examiner, compliance inspector, contract representative, criminal investigator, customs inspector, customs patrol officer, dependents and estates claims examiner, equal opportunity assistant, general claims examiner, insurance examiner, internal revenue officer, legal clerk, mediator, railroad retirement claims examiner, securities compliance examiner, social insurance claims examiner, unemployment compensation claims examiner, veterans claims examiner, and worker’s compensation claims examiner.
Nontraditional career positions which require either paralegal skills or a paralegal background, but may or may not utilize the terms ”paralegal” or ”legal assistant,” include: administrative assistant, case manager coordinator, case manager, computer litigation support, executive assistant, human resources staff analyst, legal research aide, litigation manager, project coordinator, resource coordinator, and title clerk.
Goals of the Program
The legal assisting program has clearly established goals designed to meet the unique needs of our students, potential employers of our graduates, and the mission of Shawnee State University. Our goals are as follows: (1) to graduate ethically responsible legal assistants who work under the direction and supervision of attorneys and who are conscious of the prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of law; (2) to create and maintain a program responsive to the needs of its constituency; (3) to strive to qualify graduates who will contribute to the advancement of the profession, rather than to serve only the purposes of one institution or locality; and (4) to develop the student’s sensitivity to emerging concepts regarding the role of the legal assistant in the effective delivery of legal services in both the private and public sectors of our society.
The legal assisting courses at Shawnee State are not theory courses, but rather practical ”how to” courses taught by attorneys and judges who have specialized in the area in which they teach.
Because most of the legal assisting (BULA) courses are taught by attorneys and judges, these courses are most often offered in the evening sections.
Suggested Course Sequence
First Year Fall Term
· ENGL 1101 Discourse and Composition (A) OR
ENGL 1102 Discourse and Composition (B)
· BULW 2500 Business Law I
· BULA 2640 Computer Applications and the Law
· BULA 1010 Introduction to Legal Assisting
· SOCI 1101 Introduction to Sociology OR
SOSC 1110 Foundations of Sociology
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 16-18
First Year Spring Term
· ENGL 1105 Composition and Argumentation
· BULW 2600 Business Law II
· BULA 2510 Legal Research and Writing I
· BULA 2720 Ethics for the Legal Assistant
· BULA 2620 Introduction to Civil Litigation
· MATH 1020 Intermediate Algebra
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 18
Second Year Fall Term
· BUAC 2010 Introduction to Financial Accounting OR
BUAC 1010 Accounting Principles I
· BULA 2520 Legal Research and Writing II
· BULA 2610 Tort Law: Personal Injury Litigation
· BULA 2630 Introduction to Contracts & Restitution
· BULA 2690 Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure
· BULA 2650 Family Law
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 18
Second Year Spring Term
· BUAC 2030 Introduction to Managerial Accounting OR
BUAC 1020 Accounting Principles II
· BULA 2700 Evidence
· BULA 2660 Wills, Trusts, and Estate Admin
· BULA 2790 Legal Assisting Practicum
· PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology
· GOVT 2250 Introduction to Political Science
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 15
Total Credit Hours Required - 68