Legal Studies

Program Competencies for LAW

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of substantive and procedural legal principles.
  • Perform legal analysis, research, and writing.
  • Develop effective communication skills (oral and written).
  • Use computer technology as it applies to law.
  • Exhibit administrative and employment skills applicable in a law office setting.
  • Demonstrate ability to perform pre-trial tasks including interviewing, client intake, basic investigation, and drafting of pre-trial discovery.
  • Draft basic legal documents such as wills, mortgages, and leases.

Technical Standards1 for LAWC and LAW

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering into this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information verbally and in a printed format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Complete forms using a typewriter or similar office machine.
  • Input data into a computer.
  • Comprehend data from a computer screen, transcribe notes (dictation), and conduct library and Internet research for a minimum of a three-hour period of time.

Paralegal Certificate (LAWC)

Students will learn the fundamental skills necessary for an entry-level position in a legal setting such as a law office, courthouse, administrative agency, corporate in-house counsel office, or insurance company. This certificate introduces students to the paralegal field, to several areas of substantive law, to the basics of legal analysis and research, and is a good introduction to MWCC’s Paralegal Studies Degree.

Year 1
FallCredits
ENG 101English Composition I 3
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
BUS 211Business Law I 3
LAW 101Introduction To Law (Formerly PLS 101) 3
Spring
Restrictive Electives (see list below)  9
LAW 110Litigation (Formerly PLS 110) 3
LAW 250Legal Research and Writing I (Formerly PLS 250) 4
 Total Credits: 28

Restrictive Electives

Credits
LAW (any course)
ACC 101Principles Of Accounting I3
ACC 102Principles Of Accounting II3
BUS 212Business Law II3
CIS 121Spreadsheet Applications3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management3
CJU 133Criminal Law3
CJU 134Criminal Procedure3
ECO 101Macroeconomics3
ECO 102Microeconomics3
ENG 106Technical Writing3
ENG 239Creative Writing: Fiction3
ENG 240Creative Writing: Poetry3
HIS 121History Of The Constitution3
MKT 142Marketing3
MKT 241Advertising3
POL 250Political Thought In America3
PSY 246Psychology And The Law3

See the legal studies general information for technical standards.

Campus/format

Click here for information on the campus/format.

Helpful hints

Students enrolling in the Paralegal Practicum must contact the program coordinator for approval and available options by calling 978-630-9359.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options

For career options, please click here.

Earning potential

$33,920 to $54,690.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

New: Legal Studies Degree (LAW)

This degree prepares students for a paralegal position in a legal setting such as a law office, courthouse, administrative agency, corporate in-house counsel office, or insurance company. Students will learn to gather and analyze facts relevant to legal disputes, perform legal research, draft legal documents, and prepare witnesses and evidence for presentation at legal proceedings. An effective paralegal must have a firm grasp on both substantive and procedural law, excellent communication skills, and the ability to think analytically and logically. This program provides you with the skills necessary to perform specifically delegated substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer.

Year 1
FallCredits
LAW 101Introduction To Law (Formerly PLS 101) 3
LAW 104Introduction To Family Law (Formerly PLS 104) 3
ENG 101English Composition I 3
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
General Elective 1 3
Spring
ENG 102English Composition II 3
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics (or higher) 4
BUS 211Business Law I 3
Restrictive Electives (see list below)  6
Year 2
Fall
LAW 110Litigation (Formerly PLS 110) 3
LAW 250Legal Research and Writing I (Formerly PLS 250) 4
LAW 262Estate Planning (Formerly PLS 262) 3
POL 211Massachusetts And The Federal System 3
Health Elective (see list below)  2-4
Spring
LAW 106Introduction To Real Estate Law (Formerly PLS 106) 3
LAW 270Legal Studies Seminar (Formerly PLS 270) 3
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
Science Elective 2 3-4
Restrictive Elective (see list below)  3
 Total Credits: 61-64
1

General Electives: See General Electives exceptions.

2

Science Electives: BIO, BTC, CHE, EAS, EGM, NRD, PHY
A four credit lab science is strongly recommended for transfer

Restrictive Electives

Credits
LAW (any course)
ACC 101Principles Of Accounting I3
ACC 102Principles Of Accounting II3
ACC 224Taxation3
BUS 212Business Law II3
CIS 121Spreadsheet Applications3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management3
CJU 133Criminal Law3
CJU 134Criminal Procedure3
ECO 101Macroeconomics3
ECO 102Microeconomics3
ENG 106Technical Writing3
ENG 239Creative Writing: Fiction3
ENG 240Creative Writing: Poetry3
HIS 121History Of The Constitution3
MKT 142Marketing3
MKT 241Advertising3
POL 250Political Thought In America3
PSY 246Psychology And The Law3

Health Electives

Credits
BIO 101Introduction To Nutrition (formerly NUT101)3
BIO 103Human Health And Disease3
BIO 112Biology Of Cancer3
BIO 230Nutrition, Health, And Sustainability3
CHC 101Complementary Health Care3
CHC 102Foundations of Yoga3
CHC 108Transforming Stress3
CHC 220Mind-Body-Spirit Connection3
EXS 102Principles Of Anatomy And Kinesiology3
EXS 201Exercise Science And Nutrition4
PER 126Fitness And Wellness2
PER 127Weight Management through Walking and Resistance Training2
PER 130Health, Fitness, And Wellness3

See the legal studies general information for program competencies and technical standards.

Campus/format

Click here for information on the campus/format.

Helpful hints

Students enrolling in the Paralegal Practicum must contact the program coordinator for approval and available options by calling 978-630-9359.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options

For career options, please click here.

Earning potential

$33,920 to $54,690.

Courses

LAW 101. Introduction To Law (Formerly PLS 101). 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to basic legal concepts, principles, and procedures. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the structure of the U.S. legal system, including the role of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches; the history of law in the United States; the role of attorneys, paralegals, law enforcement, and other legal professionals; basic categories of law; litigation principles; and alternative dispute resolution. In addition, students will be introduced to a wide variety of ethical standards that apply in the legal community. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 104. Introduction To Family Law (Formerly PLS 104). 3 Credits.

This course reviews the substantive and procedural law relative to divorce, adoption, guardianship, custody, and other family law matters within the jurisdiction of the Probate Court. Topics include the legal status of children, legal rights of women, and illegitimacy and paternity proceedings, as well as divorce procedures and child custody and support issues. Students will be introduced to contract law as its principles are specifically applied to ante nuptial agreements, separation agreements, and surrogacy agreements. Related areas of law such as juvenile, criminal, and tort law are also discussed, as are relevant administrative agency regulations. Legal concepts will be applied to particular factual situations, thus developing and enhancing critical skills such as analysis. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 106. Introduction To Real Estate Law (Formerly PLS 106). 3 Credits.

This course familiarizes students with the substantive area of real estate and property law. Fundamental legal principles are discussed in the context of business practices in the real estate industry. Topics include purchase and sales agreements, mortgages, leases, recording, easements, and deeds. The traditional law of property rights is discussed as well as recent developments in statutory and case law. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 110. Litigation (Formerly PLS 110). 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the law office and the steps and tasks involved in civil litigation, the process in which one person sues another person in a court of law to enforce a right or seek a remedy such as financial compensation. Students will learn the role of the litigation paralegal throughout an entire case. This includes investigation and gathering of facts, discovery, trial support, and judgment enforcement. Study will be made of the procedural rules that facilitate the fair resolution of conflicts and the substantive law that forms the basis of the rights and remedies protected by the civil litigation system. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 220. Insurance Law (Formerly PLS 220). 3 Credits.

This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles and doctrines of insurance law. The course develops general understanding of basic concepts and encourages the critical evaluation of the insurance law rules. Topics include fundamentals of insurance principles and basic legal doctrines. The student will gain an understanding of the public policy interests that influence specific laws, doctrines, or rules. Analysis is performed of court-formulated rules that regulate the relationship between insurers and persons who are applying for insurance, have acquired insurance, or are identified as beneficiaries under a contract of insurance. Particular emphasis is placed on problems presented by insurance for health or medical expenses and motor vehicles. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 230. The Law Of Torts (Formerly PLS 230). 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of torts law and civil wrongs that have caused harm to person or property. Specific causes of action, elements of torts, and prima facie cases are discussed in the context of the three categories of torts: routine personal injury; high-stakes personal injury; and mass latent-injury. An emphasis will be placed on the development of analytical skills and the application of legal concepts to particular factual situations. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 250. Legal Research and Writing I (Formerly PLS 250). 4 Credits.

This course introduces students to the basics of legal research and writing. Students will learn how to analyze a problem, develop a research strategy, access information using primary and secondary sources, and draft legal documents. A functional approach to research is stressed and emphasis is placed on development of the skills necessary to find and understand case law, statutes, administrative regulations, and constitutional law. Students will be introduced to both the computer-aided research, including the Internet and CD systems, and book-based research. Prerequisite: ENG 101.

LAW 251. Legal Research And Writing II (Formerly PLS 251). 3 Credits.

This course reviews and expands on the basic legal research sources and skill provided in LAW 250 Legal Research and Writing I. Students work specifically with legal research materials such as cases, codes, rules and regulations, and practice effective legal writing by creating legal documents. It provides students with a systematic approach to learning legal analysis, organization, and writing. The process is sequentially structured so that students may concentrate on mastering each necessary skill before proceeding on to another. Students are provided with an opportunity to develop their writing abilities with specific focus on the preparation of briefs, pleadings, and legal documents. Prerequisite: LAW 250.

LAW 262. Estate Planning (Formerly PLS 262). 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to wills, trusts, and estates. Topics include intestacy, estate administration, estate taxes, and the use of wills and trusts to plan disposition of one's estate. The probate process including the probating of a will, contested proceedings, and administration of an estate is studied. Students will draft associated legal documents such as wills and specialized trusts. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

LAW 265. Paralegal Practicum (Formerly PLS 265). 3 Credits.

Students will be placed in paralegal work environments such as private law firms, courthouses, state and local government agencies, or state and municipal government offices depending on their area of interest. In exchange for credit, students will complete a 120-hour practicum. Students will participate in a variety of activities normally associated with paralegal employment in the specific field chosen by the student. This typically includes obtaining client intake information, performing litigation support, conducting legal research, and preparing legal documents such as mortgages and deeds. Prerequisites: ENG 101, LAW 250 or permission of division dean.

LAW 270. Legal Studies Seminar (Formerly PLS 270). 3 Credits.

This course is structured to help students integrate knowledge from across the legal studies curriculum in preparation for the transition to working as paralegals or continuing their legal education. Students will integrate and apply knowledge related to substantive and procedural legal topics from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will integrate and apply knowledge, theory, and understanding developed from their previous coursework in the legal studies program. Students will complete at least one major research and writing project that will require at least one oral class presentation. Prerequisites: BUS 211, ENG 102, LAW 101, LAW 104, LAW 110, LAW 250.