Paralegal

PLGL 222 - Introduction to Law
Hours: 3
This course provides an overview of the law and the legal system. Topics include basic legal concepts and terminology in various areas of the law; structure, jurisdictions, functions, practices, and political impact of the judicial system at the local, state, and national levels; current issues in law; and ethical obligations of the paralegal. Prerequisites: PSCI 2305 with a minimum grade of C or PSCI 2306 with a minimum grade of C.

PLGL 223 - Legal Research
Hours: 3
This course is designed to aid the beginning student in acquiring and enhancing legal research skills. Topics covered include the techniques of legal research and writing, sources of the law and how each can be found; case analysis, legal citation, and legal bibliography; and ethical obligations of the paralegal in legal research. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 or concurrent enrollment or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 310 - Law Office Management
Hours: 3
This course is designed to acquaint the paralegal student with the fundamentals of law office management and organization. Topics include the organization and utilization of support personnel, time and billing systems, budgets, case and file management, calendaring and docket control, accounting systems, marketing, legal computer applications, ethical obligations of the paralegal in a law office, and career opportunities for paralegals. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and PLGL 223 or concurrent enrollment or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 311 - Constitutional Law for Paralegals
Hours: 3
This course is designed as an introduction to U.S. constitutional law for the paralegal student. Topics include federal governmental powers and the limitation of those powers, federalism, due process, Bill of Rights, and individual rights under the Constitution. Attention is given to the connection between everyday paralegal experiences and constitutional law. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and PLGL 223 with a minimum grade of C.

PLGL 312 - Bankruptcy For Paralegals
Hours: 3
This course introduces the student to bankruptcy law with emphasis on the paralegal's role. Topics include individuals and business liquidation and reorganization, debtor's and creditor's rights, litigation proceedings in bankruptcy court, legal concepts and terminology relating to bankruptcy law, ethical considerations for paralegals working in this area, and current computer applications utilized in bankruptcy practice. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 321 - Probate
Hours: 3
This course provides the student with a basic understanding of Texas Probate code and forms of administration of decedents' estates and guardianship. Topics include preparation of probate and litigation documents, inventories, claims against estates, annual and final accountings, introduction to will contest proceedings, county and district court filings, and ethical obligations and professional responsibilities of the paralegal working in this area. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 322 - Civil Procedure
Hours: 3
This course focuses on the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure while also giving students experience in the aspects of civil litigation in which a paralegal would be involved before trial. The student is introduced to rules regarding commencement of suits, citation, and pre-trail proceedings. The course also has a practical element requiring students to draft a petition, draft all types of discovery, and summarize a deposition. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 323 - Business Law for Paralegals
Hours: 3
This course provides the paralegal student with a basic and thorough understanding of laws governing the creation and operation of businesses. Topics covered include the formation of business entities (including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and other business structures), corporate filings, minute book preparation, ethical obligations of the paralegal working in this field, and computer applications being utilized in corporate law practice. Practical skills are emphasized through assigned drafting and formation projects. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 324 - Criminal Law & Procedure
Hours: 3
Criminal Law and Procedure. Three semester hours. This course presents the Texas Penal Code and Texas Rules of Criminal procedure. Topics include review of the criminal justice system, stages in criminal prosecution, investigation procedures, legal rights of the accused; documents preparation, ethical obligations of the paralegal working in criminal law practice, and the application of computer applications in criminal proceedings.

PLGL 325 - Family Law
Hours: 3
This course is structured around the study of the Texas Family Code, including the principles of divorce, annulment, and suit to declare marriages void, with an overview of child custody and property division. Students are exposed through practical assignments to the legal aspects of marriage/other relationships, duties and liabilities of husband/wife/children, child custody and support, adoption, guardianship, public records research, and the paralegal's role in alternative dispute resolution/mediation processes. Additional topics covered include ethical obligations, family law terminology, and application of electronic resources in family law practice. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 328 - Real Estate Law for Paralegals
Hours: 3
This course focuses on legal principles governing real estate transactions, with particular attention to sales contracts, deeds, mortgages, title insurance, and Texas community property and homestead laws. Emphasis is on the practical skills needed by paralegals to perform all types of real estate transactions, ethical considerations for a paralegal working in this area, and emerging computer applications and resources in real estate practice. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 426 - Paralegal Internship
Hours: 3
Basic internship for paralegals who lack experience in the legal field. Course integrates practical experience with the student's academic program through supervised work in an appropriate legal environment. Requires a minimum of 160 working hours. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 18 hours of paralegal specialty courses, not including PLGL 311, and consent of the program coordinator.

PLGL 427 - Torts and Personal Injury Law
Hours: 3
This course focuses on the fundamental common law and statutory concepts of tort law, with emphasis on the paralegal's role. Topics include intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, products liability, medical malpractice, special tort actions, including mass torts, immunities, and commonly employed defenses, and paralegal ethics. The course has a practical element requiring students to draft documents, such as a petition and motion for summary judgment, in addition to briefing cases. Students will become familiar with computer applications used in a torts practice. Prerequisites: PLGL 222 and 223 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the program coordinator.