Paralegal Studies

Post-baccalaureate certificate in as little as 9 months.

Paralegals work in all facets of the legal system - in large and small firms, in courtrooms, in government and in corporate legal departments. Attorneys recognize the valuable contribution paralegals make in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the legal system. Accordingly, paralegals perform legal research, conduct interviews, draft documents and complete many tasks critical to the efficient operation of law offices. It should be noted that paralegals cannot give legal advice or represent a client in a court of law nor engage in other forms of unauthorized practice of law.

The Institute for Legal Studies at Sullivan University began in 1979 and offers programs of study that lead students to challenging and rewarding careers as paralegals. Most paralegal courses are taught by attorneys who not only understand the complexities of the law, but also can instruct students on the practical skills needed to be paralegals.

In addition, the legal reference section of the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center provides access to law books, materials and computerized databases such as LexisNexis® and Westlaw® that enhance the learning potential of all paralegal studies students.

The goals and objectives of The Institute for Legal Studies are to educate students effectively and efficiently for employment as paralegals and to provide graduates with viable employment in the legal field commensurate with their Sullivan University education. All Paralegal Studies programs are approved by The American Bar Association.

Locations: Louisville Lexington

Program Information

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Legal Objectives 01

Objectives

To educate students effectively and efficiently for employment as paralegals and to assist graduates in finding viable employment in the legal field.

Graduates of the Institute for Legal Studies will possess nine competencies*:

  1. Identify and assess ethical and professional responsibility issues.
  2. Define and use legal terminology
  3. Differentiate federal and state court structure and procedures.
  4. Conduct factual investigations in an organized manner.
  5. Conduct legal research in an organized manner.
  6. Analyze and interpret the law in an organized manner.
  7. Prepare legal documents, including pleadings, memoranda and legally operative forms.
  8. Demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for the legal field.
  9. Use legal technology and determine its impact on the practice of law.

*Advanced competencies in these areas are required of Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies degree graduates.

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Program Highlights

Ours is one of a limited number of paralegal programs in the country approved by the American Bar Association.

The Paralegal Studies curriculum emphasizes practical skills development, such as legal research and legal writing, that is grounded in a firm understanding of litigation, corporate law, real estate law, estate planning, and more.

Our program's stature within the legal community, which is fostered through our involvement with the Kentucky Paralegal Association and local paralegal associations in Louisville and Lexington, gives our students and graduates an advantage.

Students can draw on the expansive legal reference section within the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center for their studies and research, and also enjoy success to our LexisNexis® and Westlaw® databases.

FAQ's

Paralegal Studies students should possess the following qualities:

  • Writing or communication skills needed day to day; professional business and legal writing skills are a must
  • Personality traits/soft skills the industry looks for:
  • High personal standards
  • Positive work ethic
  • Self-confidence
  • Persistence
  • Assertiveness
  • Initiative
  • A need to know
  • An ability to collect, organize, review, evaluate, and draw conclusions
  • Dedication to continuing education and skill development
  • Being a self-starter
  • Technical/hard skills used:
  • Electronic research skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to conceptualize
  • Ability to prioritize
  • Time management skills
  • Research skills
  • Document drafting skills
  • Computer skills


Legal Courses 01

Courses

Length: 9 months
Time length for program will vary depending upon the number of courses taken per term, developmental courses when required, transfer credit accepted, lack of continuous enrollment, etc.

Course
Title
Credit Hours
PLS 114
Introduction to Law and the Legal System
4.00
PLS 134
Legal Research
4.00
PLS 144
Legal Writing
4.00
PLS 154
Tort Law
4.00
PLS 184
Business Organizations and Commercial Practice
4.00
PLS 204
Criminal Law
4.00
PLS 214
Estate Planning and Administration
4.00
PLS 224
Litigation
4.00
PLS 234
Real Estate Law
4.00
PLS 244
Domestic Relations/Family Law
4.00
PLS 262
Basic Legal Ethics
2.00
PLS 272
Paralegal Externship or Research Project
2.00
PLS 284
Computers in the Law Office
4.00
AOM 120
Word Processing I
4.00
CSC 118
Computer Applications I
4.00
Course:
PLS 114
Title:
Introduction to Law and the Legal System
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 134
Title:
Legal Research
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 144
Title:
Legal Writing
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 154
Title:
Tort Law
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 184
Title:
Business Organizations and Commercial Practice
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 204
Title:
Criminal Law
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 214
Title:
Estate Planning and Administration
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 224
Title:
Litigation
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 234
Title:
Real Estate Law
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 244
Title:
Domestic Relations/Family Law
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
PLS 262
Title:
Basic Legal Ethics
Credit Hours:
2.00
Course:
PLS 272
Title:
Paralegal Externship or Research Project
Credit Hours:
2.00
Course:
PLS 284
Title:
Computers in the Law Office
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
AOM 120
Title:
Word Processing I
Credit Hours:
4.00
Course:
CSC 118
Title:
Computer Applications I
Credit Hours:
4.00
Total Credit Hours: 56.00