Paralegal Studies Program Information
Courses in the paralegal studies program provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to work as a paralegal in civil litigation, bankruptcy or estate planning law firms; an understanding of ethical rules and regulations applicable to legal professionals; an overview of legal theory; and a practical introduction to legal research and writing.
A paralegal is an individual who, although not a member of the legal profession, is qualified through education, training, and/or work experience to be employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency, or other entity. The paralegal performs specifically delegated substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of an attorney. Some of the services that the paralegal provides for an attorney include legal research; development of law office systems; client interviews; drafts; pleadings; case briefs; legal calendaring; preparing discovery for litigated cases; preparing drafts of wills and trusts; and maintaining client records and files.
The paralegal program at Irvine Valley College prepares students to assist attorneys as paralegals in administrative agencies, corporations, insurance companies, private law firms, government and other legal environments. Emphasis is on training students in the practical application and development of up-to-date paralegal related job skills. In addition, the program introduces students to legal theory.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the paralegal program, students will be able to
- Employ legal terminology competently and generally define the major legal systems and the functions of the law in American society.
- Explain and cite examples of the ethical rules and concerns in the legal profession.
Most paralegals are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government offices. In these organizations, they can work in many different areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate.