Self-Study Courses Page

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Discovery

Discovery is the investigative stage of a case that is conducted prior to the trial. It provides parties with opportunities to verify their understanding of the facts of the case, to find out what witnesses know about the dispute, and to explore the other side’s legal theories. Well-conducted discovery allows parties to clarify the issues for trial, anticipate the opponent’s strategies, and accurately evaluate the likelihood of success at trial. Paralegals have significant responsibility for discovery. Paralegals working in this area should be able to:

E-discovery

Electronic discovery is the process of identifying and producing relevant, electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation. Advances in technology and exponential growth of reliance on ESI over traditional paper documents are continually increasing the scope, expense, and prominence of e-discovery in litigation. As the volume of ESI continues to expand, the costs to preserve, collect, review and produce it in litigation will only increase in the future.

Estate Planning

An estate is made up of all the property a person owns, or has an ownership interest in. Estate planning is a multi-faceted process designed to make arrangements for the accumulation and preservation of wealth during a person’s life, and disposition of the property after the person’s incapacity or death. A comprehensive estate plan can ensure a client’s ability to:

Family Law - Adoption and Assisted Reproduction

Adoption and assisted reproduction is a developing and dynamic practice area. In the United States, starting in the 1960’s, contraception became widely available, abortion became legal, and the number of viable assisted reproduction methods increased, which led to the number of children available for adoption to decrease. We found ourselves redefining “family” and responding by overhauling the law of this new “family.”

Family Law - Child Custody, Support and Visitation

This course concentrates on practice and procedure in the area of child custody, support, and visitation. Federal courts traditionally abstain from family law matters, considering state legislatures and local courts better suited for resolving family issues. As a result, state law is the primary law affecting the support and care of children in the United States.

Family Law - Dissolution Case Management

Against a background of Constitutional and federal law, state law is the primary law of marriage and divorce in the United States. Basic principles and models of divorce, including alimony, child custody, and property division, remain fairly consistent through all states and territories. Applicable law, rules, procedures, and terminology may vary significantly from state to state and within states from city to city. “Custody” and “alimony” in one court may be “parenting time” and “spousal support” in another.

Family Law - Division of Property and Spousal Support

This course concentrates on practice and procedure in the area of alimony and property division.

Judgment and Legal Analysis

This course covers techniques in legal analysis, including categorization of facts and evidence. In addition, the practical aspects of the paralegal’s relationship with the lawyer, the legal secretary, the court, and other law firms are discussed. Exercises are presented covering reading comprehension, data interpretation, and document preparation. This course includes essay questions and extensive use of examples and illustrations. Instructor grading of essay questions and feedback is also a feature of this course.

Leadership Basics

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Legal Ethics

This course covers ethics and professional responsibility for paralegals, emphasizing key ethical principles and rules affecting paralegals and the utilization of paralegals by attorneys. The course is organized into 4 modules, as follows:

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