Paralegal Studies

Division: Business and Computer Information Systems

The Fullerton College Paralegal Studies Program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) offers an Associate in Science Degree and a Certificate to qualified students. The goal of the program is to educate students to become paralegals who perform effectively in a variety of legal settings and adapt to changes in the ever-evolving field of law. This program prepares the student for a career as a paralegal working under the supershy;vision of an attorney in either the public or private sector.

The objectives of the program are as follows:

  • To maintain a program that is dedicated to quality education and occupational competency for the paralegal student in the field of law;
  • To ensure that students receive specific instruction and training in the skills necessary to succeed in any legal environment;
  • To offer an ever-expanding curriculum which provides not only a broad understanding of the substantive law, but demonstrates and teaches the practical application of this knowledge in today’s legal environment;
  • To stress the importance of upholding the general principles of ethics, professional responsibility, and the prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of law;
  • To periodically review and revise the curriculum in response to the recommendations of the Fullerton College Paralegal Studies’ Advisory Committee, the demands of the legal community and the American Bar Association, as well as statutory provisions contained within California’s Business and Professions Code;
  • To provide the student with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge taught in the program by offering the student the ability to enroll and participate in an internship, thereby providing the student with a modicum of legal experience before entering the job market.

Students who wish to transfer course work into the Fullerton College Paralegal Studies Program from another ABA-approved program will be able to transfer in no more than six (6) units of legal specialty classes provided the course is the same as a course offered at Fullerton College and awards exactly the same amount of units. Students who wish to attain an Associate in Science Degree or a Certificate from Fullerton College’s Paralegal Studies Program must complete the 24 units of required courses for the major at Fullerton College.

Marcus Wilson (Program Coordinator)

PLEG 090 F Contemporary Issues in the Law 1-3 Units

18 hours lecture and 54 hours lab per term. This course offers timely and contemporary law-related topics designed to enhance job skills, expand the students¿ knowledge of the legal environment, and increase employment opportunities. Unit credit may range from one to three units in any given semester. Consult the class schedule to verify specific topic area and credit offered in a particular semester. (Degree Credit)

PLEG 090CF Entertainment and Sports Law 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course examines the legal aspects of the entertainment and professional sports industries. Students will examine the unique legal implications inherent in television, film, music, live performance, professional sports and collegiate athletics. Students will learn the interrelationships between entertainment attorney, artist/athlete, agent, personal manager, business manager, producer, director and other key entertainment personnel.

PLEG 090DF Intellectual Property 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course examines the law of trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets as it protects the results of human creative endeavors. Topics will include: filing the appropriate legal paperwork necessary for protection of creative ideas and concepts, differentiating between trademarks, service marks and collective marks, protecting against infringement, dilution and unauthorized use, exploring international protections and pitfalls and examining the impact the internet has on intellectual property protections.

PLEG 090EF Elder Law 1.5 Units

27 ours lecture per term. This course will examine issues regarding law and procedure for the aging population; financial planning covering advanced directives, wills, power of attorney, trusts; interviewing; patient's rights in healthcare decisions; entitlement programs; managed care; social security and elder abuse.

PLEG 101 F  Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course is a practical introduction for those seeking a career as a paralegal. Topics include an overview of the law and our court system, the fundamentals of legal research and writing, an introduction to the use of computers in a law office, professional ethics, and the role of the paralegal in the modern law office. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 104 F  Introduction to Legal Research and Terminology 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course is an introduction to the terminology unique to the practice of law and the legal environment, and to the techniques and procedures utilized in conducting effective legal research. Topics include an overview of the legal system, legal terminology for all major areas of law, understanding the purpose and function of primary and secondary authority, basics of legal research, and techniques for updating the law. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 105 F  Introduction to Legal Writing 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F and ENGL 100 F or ENGL 100HF with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course is an introduction to the practical writing skills and necessary analytical skills required in the law office. Topics include analysis of cases, analysis of statutes and administrative regulations, drafting and generating objective documents used in the legal environment, and generating and drafting persuasive documents submitted by attorneys to the trial and appellate courts. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 116 F Computers in the Law Office 3 Units

54 hours lecture and 18 hours lab per term. This course acquaints the student with the computer basics and the popular Microsoft Office Suite in use in legal offices. Students will learn Microsoft Office components including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook, and the Windows operating system as they are used in the day-to-day life of paralegals. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 201 F Civil Litigation I 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course examines civil court procedures before trial and is designed to provide expertise in drafting legal documents from the inception of the civil action through the pleading stage. Topics include parties to the action, jurisdiction and venue, the summons, defaults, pleadings, and attacking the pleadings. Students are also introduced to the law of evidence. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 202 F Civil Litigation II 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F and PLEG 201 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course continues the study of civil procedures from pretrial through trial, appeals, and collection, emphasizing the drafting of discovery documents. Students gain practical experience in all stages of a civil case. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 203 F  Tort Law (formerly Personal Injury) 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better.

54 hours lecture per term. This course will examine those topics that are important in a personal injury practice, including pre-litigation investigation, employment of experts, evaluation of damages, settlements, arbitration, and preparing for trial. All torts including intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and product liability are covered. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 204 F Family Law 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of family law practice. Students become familiar with family law forms and the preparation of various family law matters. Topics include the initial client interview, preparing pleadings, child and spousal support, custody and visitation, marital property rights and obligations, trial preparation, enforcement procedures, and post-judgment modifications. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 205 F Probate, Wills and Trusts 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of estate planning and probate practice. Through drafting simple wills and trusts and by lecture, students will become familiar with the specialized documents and procedures of probate practice. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 206 F Bankruptcy Law and Procedure 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better.

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of bankruptcy law and practice. Students will become familiar with bankruptcy forms and the federal bankruptcy courts. Topics include: the role of the paralegal in bankruptcy, bankruptcy and research, Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the bankruptcy code, and examining bankruptcy cases. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 207 F  Computer-Assisted Legal Research 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides the student with an opportunity to explore and master legal research databases available through on-line and Internet services. In particular, this course will emphasize LEXIS/Westlaw on-line service, Internet accessibility to law libraries, and the use of CD ROM technology in conducting legal research. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 208 F Workers' Compensation Law 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of Workers' Compensation practice. Students become familiar with Workers' Compensation forms and the preparation of various Workers' Compensation matters. Topics include a study of the Workers' Compensation system, client interview, initiating benefits to the injured worker, discovery proceedings, vocational rehabilitation, trial preparation, appellate procedure and professional ethics. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 209 F  Criminal Law and Procedure 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F, with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of criminal law and practice. Students will become familiar with the substantive and procedural aspects of criminal proceedings in both state and federal courts. Topics include: the role of the paralegal in prosecution and defense of criminal defendants, researching and drafting criminal court documents, constitutional ramifications in criminal courts, and sentencing procedures. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 210 F Paralegal Internship 2-4 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F and PLEG 105 F and PLEG 201 F and PLEG 202 F, with a grade of C or better.

18 hours lecture and 60-180 hours of unpaid employment or volunteer work per term in a legal office. Each 60 hours per term of unpaid supervised employment is required for one unit of credit. This course provides vocational learning opportunities for a student through employment in a law office. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 211 F  Real Property Law and Procedure 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of the law of real property and practice. Students will become familiar with the substantive and procedural aspects of real property law and the transactional requirements of conveyance. Topics include: the role of the paralegal in real estate practice, the appraisal and financing of real estate; researching and drafting real estate litigation and transactional documents, including but not limited to escrow instructions; sale, purchase and exchange agreements, deeds, deeds of trust, promissory notes, leases, and other instruments. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 212 F Medical Records Review 2 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better.

36 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of analyzing medical records. Students will be instructed on how to interpret, analyze, and organize complex information found in medical records. The legal implications of medical records for the medical profession will be analyzed as they relate to litigation. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 213 F Employment and Labor Law 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides students with an overview of the legal relationship between employer and employee and a basic understanding of employment and labor related law and its impact on the employer/employee relationship. The student will study both federal and state laws applicable to the employer/employee relationship. Areas covered include the basis for the employer/employee relationship, pre-employment concerns, legal aspects of the employment relationship, discrimination issues, discrimination actions, termination of the employer/employee relationship, the collective bargaining process, employee unions, union certification and de-certification and ethical issues. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 214 F  Contract Law and Procedure 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of the law of contracts and contract law practice and procedure. Students will become familiar with the substantive and procedural aspects of the law relating to contracts and the transactional requirements for the creation, administration, modification, and termination of contracts. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 215 F Discovery in Electronic Age 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides students with an overview of managing document production and organization during litigation. The student will learn how to handle a client's documents, obtain documents from opposing parties and non-parties, index and organize documents as they are received, utilize computer-assisted litigation support programs and use documents at trial. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 216 F Computers in the Law Office II 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course acquaints the student with the computer basics and application software that is unique to the legal environment and utilized by legal personnel. Students will be exposed to an array of legal software programs that maximizes efficiency in the legal community. Types of programs reviewed include, but are not limited to, programs for document preparation, case management, docketing, retrieval, billing and calendaring system. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 217 F Immigration Law 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course is a practical examination of the immigration and nationality laws of the United States involving a history of immigration migration, the evolution of the country's policies toward aliens and the interplay of the administrative agencies involved in the administration and enforcement of those laws: Justice Department, Labor Department, State Department and Homeland Security. Subjects will include applying for residence and work visas, attaining citizenship, granting of asylum and avoiding deportation and related proceedings. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 218 F Entertainment and Sports Law 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course is a practical examination of the field of entertainment and sports law in the United States. Students will examine these unique industries from a legal standpoint. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the interrelationships among the various occupations inherent in the business of entertainment and sports. Students will be exposed to contracts that govern both industries and will learn how to draft, interpret and litigate those contracts. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 219 F Intellectual Property 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course is a practical examination of the law of intellectual property, namely, trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. The methods by which each is created, procedures to register or protect each, duration of rights, protection from infringement, and new and international developments for each of these fields of intellectual property is explored. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 220 F Elder Law 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F with a grade of C or better.

54 hours lecture per term. This course examines issues regarding law and procedure for the aging population; financial planning covering advanced directives, wills, power of attorney, trusts; interviewing; patient's rights in healthcare decisions; entitlement programs; managed care; social security and elder abuse. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 221 F  Ethics for Paralegals (formerly PLEG 090FF) 2 Units

36 hours lecture per term. This course is designed to acquaint the student with the rules of professional conduct and ethical requirements for a paralegal in today's legal environment. California State Rules, the A.B.A. Model Rules and Codes, and the N.F.P.A./N.A.L.A. Codes of Ethics will be explored. Students will examine such issues as attorney supervision of paralegals, unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, advertising and solicitation, attorneys' fees and fiduciary duties, competence, malpractice, and ethical conduct issues in litigation. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 223 F  Advanced Legal Research and Writing 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PLEG 101 F and PLEG 104 F and PLEG 105 F with a grade of C or better

54 hours lecture per term. This course is an advanced practical writing skills course. Topics include drafting and generating persuasive documents, specifically motions, writs, and trial/appellate briefs. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 225 F Law Office Management 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course is an introduction to the role of the paralegal in law office management. Topics include: the managerial challenges in the legal environment; historical development of law firm management; the four principal managerial activities and roles of the office administrator; comprehensive understanding of financial resources, human resources, and supervision unique to the legal environment. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 226 F Constitutional Law 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of the United States Constitution including a focus on the powers and limitations granted by Articles I, II, III, and the individual rights protected in the Bill of Rights. (CSU) (Degree Credit)

PLEG 227 F International Law 3 Units

54 hours lecture per term. This course provides an overview of the sources of public and private international laws. Topics include what constitutes international law: various treaties, the laws and regulations of the European Union, the ICJ and ICC, NAFTA, the role of the United Nations and other current events. This course fulfills the Multicultural Education Requirement for graduation. (CSU) (Degree Credit)