Stony Brook University
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Course Curriculum

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Paralegal Certificate Program

Now Available in Both In-Person and Online Formats!

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Students will be trained to interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, prepare legal documents, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of law in which paralegals are in most demand.

There are no prerequisites to take the course, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. This program will help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills. 

Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and will receive 8.4 Continuing Education Units.

Courses are held on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. All classes are held in the Social and Behavorial Sciences (SBS) building, in room N112.


Instructors
This program is nationally coordinated by SPD's educational partner, the Center for Legal Studies, which has been offering paralegal programs nationally since 1980. The course is taught by attorneys.


Textbooks
Textbooks must be purchased separately and may be purchased by calling the Center for Legal Studies at 1.800.522.7737. The cost for textbooks is in addition to the fee for the course and can be obtained on the certificate course webpage.

Required Textbooks for the Paralegal Certificate Course (Live lecture, on-campus courses)

  • Introduction to Paralegalism, 7th Edition by William Statsky, $139
  • Paralegal Career for Dummies, by Scott and Lisa Hatch, $20.00
  • Paralegal Certificate Course Workbook, by Margaret J. Kirk, $49
  • Uniform System of Citation, most recent edition, $45
  • Sample Pages: Illustrations of Organization and Research Techniques in West Group Publications, most recent edition, $20
  • Legal Document Preparation Manual for the Paralegal Certificate Course, $49
  • Federal Civil Rules Booklet, most recent edition, $20

Recommended Textbook

  • Oran's Dictionary of the Law, 4th edition, $35, ISBN: 978-1-4180-8091-4.

Westlaw

Westlaw is one of the primary online legal research services for lawyers and legal professionals in the US. All students are required to subscribe to Westlaw. Westlaw and all textbooks are available for purchase from The Center for Legal Studies.


Course Curriculum
For questions regarding course content and registration, please call the Center for Legal Studies at 1.800.522.7737.

Session 1— "Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process": This first session focuses on the history of American jurisprudence, the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of litigation. Discussion will cover pre-trial, trial and post-trial procedures as well as an in depth coverage of legal ethics. At the end of the first session of class, students will know how to prepare a Complaint/Petition, Answer, Third Party Complaint/Petition, and Motion for Summary Judgment.

Session 2—"Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate": This session covers the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrative evidence will also be explained. At the end of the second session of class, students will prepare discovery matter such as Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and Request for Production of Documents.

Session 3—"Identifying Relevant Authority": During this session, students will learn how to identify relevant law, determine the differences between primary and secondary authority, and between mandatory and persuasive authority, and learn how to find and apply authority to hypothetical factual situations.

Session 4—"Introduction to Legal Research": Students will learn research techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs. Primary and secondary source materials will be discussed, and a concise approach to legal research will be developed.

Session 5—"Legal Research Practice": Legal research skills will be applied this session with emphasis on shepardizing statutes and case law and learning to use computerized legal research terminals. Numerous research assignments will be given, discussed, and critiqued. The West Key Number System® will be learned thoroughly.

Session 6—"Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure": This final session will concentrate on the preparation and critique of legal memoranda, including an Interoffice Memorandum of Law and Appellate Brief. Principles of appellate procedure will also be reviewed. Proper citation format will be covered along with a discussion of job hunting techniques and job leads for those seeking their first employment as paralegals.


Sign Me Up!
The course number for the Paralegal Certificate Program is NCE 425. The fee is $1189 (fee includes research and writing manuals, form pleadings and motions, and sample Memoranda of Law, but not required textbooks, or parking fees).

IN-PERSON SCHEDULE

All in-person classes meet Saturday & Sunday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. All classes are held in the Social and Behavorial Sciences (SBS) building, in room N112.

2013-2014 LIVE LECTURE SCHEDULE
 

Fall 2013: NCE 425:D - October 5- November 17, 2013 
*No classes will be held on October 12 & 13 in observance of Columbus Day.
WINTER 2014: January 18, 19, 25 & 26; February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23, 2014.
SPRING 2014: March 22, 23, 29 & 30; April 5, 6, 12, 13, 26 & 27; May 3 & 4, 2014.
*No classes will be held on April 19 & 20 in observance of Easter.
SUMMER 2014: June 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29; July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2014.
*No classes will be held on July 5 & 6 in observance of Independence Day.
FALL 2014: October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26; November 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16, 2014.

Register Now

If you are taking the course on-site, you'll need directions to your class.

ONLINE SCHEDULE

Please refer to the course webpage for schedules, registration and book orders.

2013-2014 ONLINE SCHEDULE

FALL 2013 I: August 26 - October 11, 2013
FALL 2013 II: October 21 - December 6, 2013
SPRING 2014 I: January 13 - Feb 28, 2014
SPRING 2014 II: March 10 - April 25, 2014
SUMMER 2014 I: May 5 - June 20, 2014
SUMMER 2014 II: June 30 - August 15, 2014
FALL 2014 I: August 25 - October 10, 2014
FALL 2014 II: October 20 - December 5, 2014

Register Now

If you would like additional information on the paralegal certificate program, please contact the Center for Legal Studies at 1.800.522.7737 or visit their website.

 

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© Copyright School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University.
Last modified on 2/20/14.