Legal Studies (LAW)

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.