Curriculum in this concentration will prepare students to perform various tasks, such as filing, legal research, and writing reports to assist and support lawyers. Most students study to become litigation paralegals to help lawyers stay informed with the goal of winning legal cases. They often perform many of the same tasks as lawyers and study the same subjects but cannot actually represent clients in any capacity.
Classes will teach students about the many facets of this profession, such as:
Legal Research and Writing
Coursework will prepare students to conduct legal research and draft documents needed for litigation, like memoranda. Students will learn to navigate research systems such as LexisNexis, as well as how to properly cite cases and compile legal histories.
Accredited institutions will offer courses in family law focusing on issues that can arise between people in the domestic realm. Students will study the laws related to marriage, divorce, child custody, and domestic abuse.
Litigation professors will teach students exactly how cases make it through court. They will prepare students to assist lawyers with every step of the legal process, especially in the discovery or exchange of information between all parties involved in a case.
Another branch of this subject focuses on the basic rules of evidence, so that students may one day assist lawyers with pretrial investigations. Students will learn how to determine what evidence is admissible in court according to the Federal Rules of Evidence.
During their studies, paralegal students will also discover how to prosecute any crime. Courses teach students how to properly research criminal codes and apply the elements to any crime, in any state. They will also explore the different defenses available to those accused of a crime.
Students in this concentration will also develop and refine valuable skills, such as:
Written and Verbal Communication
In order to be successful, legal professionals must know the best, most effective ways to organize and communicate information, which is why courses in this realm place such an emphasis on that. Whether they're working with lawyers, clients, or someone else involved in the legal process, paralegals must be clear and concise.
In addition to perfecting their verbal communication skills, students will be taught how to effectively write reports and pleadings, based on research. Individuals on this academic track will get the opportunity to perfect practical skills like typing and drafting documents, while simultaneously honing their technical skills.
Paralegals sometimes act as a liaison between lawyers and clients in order to gather information necessary for trying a case. Students can expect to gain the skills necessary to properly conduct interviews of clients and witnesses in the course of research.
Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Students will sharpen their reasoning by analyzing and interpreting case facts. They will learn to draw conclusions based on specific facts related to individual cases as well as legal precedence.
Judgment and Decision Making
Judgment and decision-making are two of the most important components of any legal professional. With so many details involved in trial preparation and execution, one needs a decisive, direct demeanor to stay on top of everything and get the job done. Much of the coursework students encounter while pursuing this concentration will prepare them for just that.
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