Paralegal Studies Courses: Fall 2021



Paralegal Studies

PAR 210: Law for Society

3 Credit Hour(s)

Fulfills core competency: Civic Responsibility; Contextual Integration; This course will introduce students to the various functions of law through example - reading cases, reading trial transcripts, reading statutes, and reading regulations. Through reading engaging forms of the law in the context of societal issues, students will be exposed to how society has chosen to solve certain problems and the adequacy of those solutions. Students will also learn how to pursue legal remedies and therefore learn the workings of the legal system; for example, the difference between trial and appellate courts, the difference between civil and criminal law, and how a case works its way through the legal system. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of legal reasoning by learning how to brief cases, including how to identify the legal rule relied on in a case and the holding of a case. (UG)


PAR 240: Introduction to Legal Skills for General Practice

3 Credit Hour(s)

This introductory course allows student to learn legal topics and legal skills that are common in a general, or non-specialized, law practice. Within the framework of substantive law, students will learn foundational skills such as factual investigation, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting interoffice legal memos summarizing investigations and interviews, and the relevant legal rules including discovery rules, ethics, and evidence. Identification of legally relevant facts will be a key point of focus. These skills will be developed within the substantive legal context of negligence, business corporations and family law. Class time will include hands-on instruction from experts in the field and in-class exercises in interviewing and factual investigation. Assignments will include drafting legal documents such as motions, interoffice legal memos summarizing investigations and/or interviews, and business incorporation documents. (UG)


PAR 250: Paralegal Clinic

3 Credit Hour(s)

This is an experiential Service Learning course, supplemented by weekly focused class instruction on legal skills and cultural context, that brings students together with lawyers who are representing the under- served in Buffalo. Students will be placed in various court settings (such as help desks) and not-for-profit offices that provide civil legal services for refugees and immigrants. Students will work under the supervision of an attorney, assist the legal staff, and assist the public. Class work will focus on professionalism in the legal profession, ethics, and practical legal skills such as time keeping, and client interviews and cross-cultural communication. Class work will also focus on readings and discussion on contextual information on poverty and immigration law and connecting those readings to the day-to-day experience of clients and their legal issues. In order to maximize the experiential learning experience and assist the placement host as much as possible, the student will work approximately 50 hours during the semester, and the class will meet 1 hour per week to review a variety of practical legal skills, including legal writing, client interviewing, legal research. Class time will also be used to discuss how individual experiences are linked to systemic problems in the areas of poverty and immigration law. Strict standards on professionalism, attendance, and punctuality will be enforced. (UG)


PAR 301: Legal Research and Writing

3 Credit Hour(s)

Writing Intensive. This course teaches legal analysis, legal writing and problem-solving using the premier legal database WestlawNext which is typically used in law offices. Students learn to use a variety of electronic legal sources, perform legal research, analyze legal problems, and write legal documents, primarily case briefs and legal memos. Students also learn to locate and use both primary and secondary legal research sources, including federal and state cases, digests, statutes, treatises, encyclopedias, law reviews, citators and legal practice manuals. Ethics will be discussed throughout the semester relating to specific scenarios in legal work. Prerequisites: PAR 210 and a minimum grade of B in CMP 101; or declared Pre Law minor and minimum grade of B in CMP 101, or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 302: Law Office Computer Technology

3 Credit Hour(s)

Lawyers and paralegals increasingly rely on law practice-specific technology to produce more efficient and reliable legal services. Law Office Technology is an advanced computer-based course which will develop students' overall comprehension of complex computer systems, develop their practical skills, and develop their understanding of the practice of law and of legal ethics. The purpose of this course is to develop students' understanding of computer networks, cloud usage and computer hardware components. This course will also develop students' practical skills in a wide-ranging variety of legal software, including law office software for document assembly, case management, docketing, time and billing, electronic discovery, litigation support, and trial presentation graphics. Finally, this course will also advance students' skills in common software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, in order to develop advanced skills that are particularly necessary in a law office setting. (UG)


PAR 303: Litigation

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course will introduce students to the realm of civil litigation - how our civil legal system works, and the roles of attorneys and paralegals in a civil litigation practice. This course will focus on helping students develop an understanding of how a civil lawsuit progresses from the date of the controversy through completion of a trial, and will also help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary for litigation practice. Students will learn practical legal skills such as drafting pleadings, drafting discovery requests and responses, performing legal research, analyzing legal issues, and factual investigation. The course will also review the ethical rules for attorneys and paralegals in New York, and apply these rules to typical scenarios in litigation. Prerequisites: PAR 210 or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 304: Contract Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

Cross-listed as BA304. This course provides an introduction to the law of contracts, including analysis of the basic elements of contract formation, defenses to contract performance, breach of contract and remedies, drafting and interpretation of contracts. Students will develop their legal analysis and legal writing skills through practical projects typically required in law offices. Writing projects will require legal research. Ethics will be discussed throughout the semester relating to specific legal scenarios. Prerequisites: PAR 210 or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 305: Real Property Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

Cross-listed as BA305. This course is an introduction to real estate law and practice. Students will be required to not only learn the basic law but to problem-solve and draft documents that are typical to legal practice in this area, and will develop their legal analysis and legal writing skills. The course covers New York Real Estate statutes and the areas of law include property rights, types of land ownership/estates, easements, agreements for sale and closings, financing, conveyancing. Students will do a real estate closing as their final project. Ethics will be discussed throughout the semester relating to specific scenarios in legal work. Prerequisites: PAR 210 or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 306: Tort Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the legal causes of action and elements for negligence, intentional torts to people and property, strict liability, product liability, nuisance and Workers' Compensation. You will also be introduced to the legal defenses for negligence, strict liability, and product liability. We also review the specifics of a medical malpractice and personal injury practice, which includes medical terminology, the discovery and review of medical records, composing medical chronologies and the tort litigation process before trial. You will get practical, hands-on experience in legal analysis and drafting documents typically used in this area of practice, and practice legal skills such as client interviews and factual investigation. A consistent theme will be legal ethics and ethical practice habits for attorneys and paralegals in this area of law. Prerequisite: PAR 210 (UG)


PAR 307: The Criminal Trial

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course will focus on criminal trials and will provide students with an overview of the criminal trial process from arrest through appeal, an understanding of substantive New York Penal Law and New York Criminal Procedure Law. Students will focus on applying this knowledge and will learn practical legal skills in legal research, legal analysis and drafting typical legal documents used in criminal trials. The substantive portions of New York Penal Law will include common criminal offenses and defenses, criminal procedure and various trial processes, Constitutional principles, and basic philosophical underpinnings of criminal law. The students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of lawyers and paralegals in criminal cases, including ethical duties and constrictions. Prerequisites: PAR 210, PSC 117 and upper division status in program, or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 308: Family Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course is designed to provide an overview of family law legal issues for paralegal students by instruction in substantive law, New York Family Law, and instruction to develop practical legal skills. Students will develop the practical legal skills such as case briefing, legal research regarding family law issues, legal analysis of family law issues, both from the text and the written project, and drafting of legal arguments on both sides of an issue. Prerequisite: PAR 210 (UG)


PAR 320: Paralegal Studies Working With Refugees And Immigrants

3 Credit Hour(s)

Fulfills Service Learning requirement. This course requires Paralegal Studies students to develop their practical law office skills at the same time as they are exposed to refugees from different parts of the world. The students will be working with refugees under the supervision of an attorney and will be responsible for clear and effective communication in order to accomplish and effectively resolve problems encountered by refugees. Practical skills may include assistance with client interviews, record maintenance, problem solving, document organization, factual investigation, and other general legal services. Prerequisites: PSC 230 or PAR 210 and open to all students who have taken Law for Society or permission of Instructor. (UG)


PAR 340: Legal Communication

3 Credit Hour(s)

Fulfills Writing Intensive. This course is an introduction to professional legal writing that will focus on developing student written and verbal communication in the legal context. Students will draft and then revise 4-5 legal writing assignments, including case briefs, legal correspondence, summaries of depositions and medical records, and legal analysis exercises such as an interoffice legal memos and motions. Students will also have the opportunity to develop verbal reporting and presentation skills by reporting research findings and presenting recommendations in class. For each assignment, students will have the opportunity to revise their written work according to feedback from the instructor. In class, students will review, identify and discuss purposes of different types of legal writing, as well as do writing exercises and legal research using free online resources. (UG)


PAR 350: Professional Responsibility and Ethics Paralegals and Lawyers

3 Credit Hour(s)

Many of us will at some point need legal services. Using readings based on both professionalism theories and actual and hypothetical cases, this course will examine the ethical/professionalism issues that are common areas of concern to anyone providing or receiving legal services. Among the topics covered will be development of ethical and professional principles in law, introduction to theories and models of decision making regarding professional responsibility, duties owed by paralegals and lawyers (to the client and to the legal system as a whole), competence and diligence, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, unauthorized practice of law, cost of and access to legal services, disciplinary procedures and judicial ethics/professional responsibility. Prerequsite: PAR 210 and PAR 301. (UG)


PAR 401: Elder & Estates Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course teaches students about the legal issues of the elderly such as powers of attorney, health care proxies, advance directions, wills and will drafting. Students will learn substantive New York law (Estates, Powers and Trusts Law and the New York Surrogate Procedure Act), and practical legal skills that include the application of the law, such as spotting legal issues, performing legal research, and drafting legal documents. Specifically, students will draft a will, a power of attorney, a health care proxy, and various legal research memos. Students will learn about will probate, estate administration, and the function of Surrogate Court. Students will also perform legal research in order to propose specific solutions to simulations in this field. This is an advanced course because of the complexity of the subject matter, which is primarily statutory, and the level of analysis and application required to research legal issues and propose legal solutions. This course specifically prepares students for high-level independent work unde rht supervision of an attorney . Prerequisite: PAR 210 (UG)


PAR 402: Environmental Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

Students will develop a broad understanding of the roles of federal, state, and local environmental laws in a highly industrialized society and be introduced to relevant concepts in administrative, tort, and real estate law. Prerequisites: PAR 210 and upper division status. (UG)


PAR 403: Business and Corporate Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

Cross-listed as BA403. This course is an introduction to the law of corporations and requires students to problem-solve and analyze the different types of corporate forms found in legal practice. Students will learn New York corporate law including statutes covering the formation, operation, and dissolution of various kinds of business organizations. The areas of law include sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, the law of agency and employment agreements. Students will develop their legal analysis and legal writing skills. Ethics will be discussed throughout the semester relating to specific scenarios in legal work. Prerequisites: PAR 210 or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 404: Intellectual Property

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course is intended to provide the student with an in-depth analysis of the law pertaining to the fields of intellectual property: trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and unfair competition. The methods by which each is created and protected will also be explored. Prerequisites: PAR 210 and upper division status. (UG)


PAR 405: Immigration Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course will provide an overview of immigration law in the United States, with an emphasis on the practical application of that law in a law firm or corporate environment. Students will learn the skills needed to deal with a deadline-oriented caseload for a diverse clientele. Topics will include the basics of immigration and education, employment, family based immigration, refugee law and the procedures for applying for citizenship and asylum. Prerequisites: PAR 210 and upper division status. (UG)


PAR 406: Bankruptcy Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

Cross-listed as BA 406. This course is an introduction to the law of bankruptcy and requires students to apply the bankruptcy statutes to a variety of factual situations. Students will learn the federal bankruptcy statutes, and topics include voluntary and involuntary liquidations, discharge of debts, exemptions, creditor claims, trustee functions, reorganizations, and Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 plans. Students will develop their legal analysis and writing skills. Ethics will be discussed throughout the semester relating to specific scenarios in legal work. Prerequisites: PAR 210 or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 408: Administrative Law

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course teaches students to administrative law - a complex area with many different subjects in both federal and state regulations -- in federal and state agencies, with emphasis on the paralegal's role in the administrative and advocacy process. Students will learn both formal and informal advocacy techniques, including representing clients before administrative bodies and making legal arguments. Substantive legal topics will include administrative delegation of power, rulemaking, agency discretionary powers, remedies, and judicial review. Procedural topics include agency operation, adjudication, hearing preparation, and administrative and judicial appeals. In addition to substantive knowledge of state and federal administrative law, students will develop practical legal skills through legal research, writing projects, and trial simulations in specific areas of administrative law. Students will conduct a mock hearing and draft a legal brief in a specific area of administrative law. This is an advanced course because of the complexity of the subject matter, and the level of analysis and application required to research legal issues and propose legal solutions. This course specifically prepares students for high-level independent work under the supervision of an attorney.Prerequsite: PAR 210 (UG)


PAR 409: Advanced Litigation

3 Credit Hour(s)

This course is an extension of the Litigation class offered during the fall semester, and builds upon the substantive legal knowledge and practical legal skills learned in that class. Students will review the practical aspects of civil litigation including the pre-trial aspects of preliminary investigation, pleadings, motions, and discovery. This course will focus on trial and appellate practice and developing legal arguments. Students will be assigned significant legal writing and legal research projects that are typical for practicing paralegals, and there will be two drafts and a student-teacher conference required for two of the research and writing projects.. Ethics governing the legal profession and paralegals will be discussed and applied. Students also will be review and develop extensive knowledge of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). Prerequisites: PAR 210, PAR 301, PAR 303, or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 410: Advanced Research and Writing

3 Credit Hour(s)

Writing Intensive. This course is designed to build upon the research and writing skills introduced in Legal Research & Writing. Development of electronic research skills and analytical skills will be emphasized, and students will be assigned research and writing projects in various areas of the law. Prerequisite: PAR 301 , or permission of instructor. (UG)


PAR 450: Paralegal Internship

3 Credit Hour(s)

The paralegal internship is a wonderful means of experiential learning. This is a required course for Paralegal Studies majors which includes course work in professionalism skills and job search skills. Placements will be arranged with the assistance of the Program Director according to availability and interests of the student. Prerequisite: PAR 301, upper division status, and permission of instructor required. (UG)


PAR 460: Paralegal Studies Senior Project

3 Credit Hour(s)

Fulfills core competencies: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Information Literacy and Research and Presentation requirement. Writing Intensive. This course will require Paralegal Studies students to use the legal analysis skills they have acquired, and the writing skills they have acquired, to develop an original argument on a legal topic. Students will identify a legal issue that interests them, formulate a specific question, and answer that question with an argument based on their independent research. Constructing the argument will require sustained and in-depth research - both legal research using primary and secondary sources, and research into other disciplines. Students will have the opportunity to consult with an appropriate advisor in the Daemen (or other academic) community, as well as a legal practitioner (such as an attorney, a judge, a legislator, or a legal scholar). Students will also present their research and argument at the Academic Festival. Prerequisites: PAR301, PAR410. (UG)