Paralegal Studies, BAPL

Offered in: Chicago

Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines a liberal arts/general education background with law-related specialty courses that provide students with communication, critical thinking and analytical skills. The Paralegal Studies Program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1976, and offers courses which provide training in legal terminology, procedures and a variety of legal practice areas giving students a solid foundation with which to begin their career. This program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career as a paralegal or other related positions in the legal field and is also an excellent choice for students interested in attending law school. Upon successful completion of their degree requirements, students earn both their Bachelor of Arts degree and a Paralegal Certificate.

Paralegals perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have a solid understanding of legal concepts, and they perform a wide range of tasks including conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, gathering facts, researching the law, managing databases, assembling records, analyzing documents, drafting legal pleadings, drafting discovery items such as complaints and interrogatories, and maintaining conflict-of-interest systems. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document organization, witness preparation, and research. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Program Goals

The goals of the Paralegal Studies Program are for its students to:

1. Understand the basic concepts of substantive and procedural law including the operation of the legal system and the theory of law
2. Be able to work competently as a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney
3. Understand the ethical obligations of a paralegal

Curriculum

The program surveys paralegal employers, current students, and graduates on a regular basis to receive their insights on the curriculum and the needs of the legal community. The program also receives guidance from its board of advisors, composed of leading educators and members of the legal community. Students will know legal terminology, concepts and procedures and will gain skills to draft a variety of legal documents. Students learn how to conduct legal research, both manually and online using Lexis and Westlaw (commonly used legal databases). They will learn, through hands-on training in a computer lab, litigation support and e-discovery applications. Students will also be better prepared for the rigors of law school and will participate in an internship course as part of their curriculum.

Admission

Students may begin taking Paralegal Studies courses after completing 60 credit hours of coursework, with the exception of PARA 101 INTRODUCTION TO LAW and PARA 301 ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM. Students may take PARA 101 INTRODUCTION TO LAW in their freshman year. Students may take PARA 301 ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM in their sophomore year if they have completed the University Writing Requirement and have a 2.5 or higher grade point average. During the semester in which students will be completing the first 60 credit hours of their degree or prior to taking PARA 301 ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM, they must submit an application to the Paralegal Studies program. At this time, it is recommended that students have at least a 2.5 grade point average. The application form is available on the program's website https://www.roosevelt.edu/ETS/Programs/ParalegalStudies/Bachelors.aspx

Standards

  • Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours at Roosevelt and maintain a 2.0 grade point average to graduate.
  • Students must successfully complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of coursework at the 300 level at Roosevelt.
  • Pursuant to American Bar Association Guidelines, students must take at least 10 credit hours of legal specialty courses (PARA courses) through traditional classroom instruction. The program is not available in a fully online format.

Lambda Epsilon Chi, National Paralegal Honor Society

Roosevelt University maintains a chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a national paralegal honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education. Members are inducted in April and October of each year and receive a commemorative certificate and membership pin. Their names are entered into the permanent records of the Lambda Epsilon Chi national paralegal honor society.

Requirements

The major requires 30-hours of paralegal courses, including 27 credit hours of core courses and one, 3-credit hour paralegal elective course. The major includes an internship course in which students gain real-world work experience in a legal environment.  Paralegal elective courses run on a rotating basis throughout the academic year determined by market demand and student interest. Not all elective courses are offered every semester. Grades of C or higher are required in all Paralegal (PARA) courses.

Major Requirements

Core
PARA 301ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM3
PARA 302LEGAL RESEARCH3
PARA 303CIVIL LAW3
PARA 304PRE-TRIAL LITIGATION3
PARA 305COMMERCIAL LAW3
PARA 306TRIAL & POST-TRIAL LITIGATION3
PARA 325LEGAL WRITING3
PARA 329LEGAL TECHNOLOGY3
PARA 330PARALEGAL INTERNSHIP3
Electives in Paralegal
Select one of the following:3
REAL ESTATE
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
CORPORATIONS AND LLC LAW
BANKRUPTCY LAW
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW
PARALEGAL INTERNSHIP II
INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW
Total Credit Hours for the Major - 30
Complete the Core Curriculum90
Total Credit Hours120

Core Curriculum

Introductory Courses
ACP 101FIRST YEAR SEMINAR (required for students who enter RU with fewer than 12 credit hours)3
ACP 110PRIMARY TEXTS3
ACP 250GROUNDS FOR CHANGE3
PARA 101INTRODUCTION TO LAW3
Other Requirements
Functional Area:
Related courses in a discipline or interdisciplinary area selected in consultation with an advisor.18
General Education Requirements:
Three courses in Humanities9
Three courses in Natural Sciences9
Three courses in Social Sciences9
General Education Requirements (University Writing Requirement):
RU Assessment test determines if additional courses are required.
ENG 101COMPOSITION I: CRITICAL READING & WRITING3
ENG 102COMPOSITION II: INTRODUCTION TO ACADEMIC RESEARCH3
General Elective:
To be selected from any area: additional courses to complete the 120-hour requirement21
Mathematics:
MATH 095DEVELOPMENTAL MATHEMATICS3
MATH 110QUANTITATIVE LITERACY3
Total Credit Hours90

Transfer of Paralegal Courses

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies who have completed 15 or more hours of Paralegal Studies courses from an ABA-approved paralegal program (with a grade of C or better) that are no more than 6 years old, will be required to take only 18 hours of upper-division (300-level) paralegal courses. The 18 hours of Paralegal courses will be selected in consultation with an academic advisor in the Paralegal Studies program. Credit hours earned for the Paralegal Studies courses at the previous program may transfer as general elective requirements.