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Paralegal Associate in Applied Science

Business Paralegal

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

View the Semester Map for Paralegal Associate in Applied Science 

The A.A.S. degree program for Paralegal prepares students with the necessary skills to become highly trained paralegals to meet the needs of corporations, law firms and offices, and other sectors where law-related work is performed. The A.A.S. requires 24 hours of credit from the General Education Core and 39 credit hours of core paralegal courses for a total of 63 credit hours. Students completing an A.A.S. in Paralegal are employable in any area where law-related work is conducted.​  Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. 

The Wright College Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Details: Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Career Pathway

Credit Hours (CH)

63

Program/Plan Number

304

Funding Options

Open For Enrollment

Yes
 

Courses

+-

Prerequisites

 CH

General Education Requirements

21  CH

​Students should select Logic OR Introduction to Philosophy OR Ethics.

Students should select General Course Social Science I OR General Course Social Science II.

Students should take an IAI approved HD Humanities course (3 CH).

Students should refer to the General Education Requirements for AAS degrees and speak to an advisor. The AAS model includes the State of Illinois Human Diversity requirement.
English
ENGLISH 101
Composition 3
Development of critical and analytical skills in writing and reading of expository prose. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
ENGLISH 102
Composition 3
Continuation of English 101. Introduces methods of research and writing of investigative papers. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in English 101.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
Philosophy
PHIL 105
Logic 3
This course introduces students to methods of reasoning, inference and argument. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
PHIL 106
Introduction To Philosophy 3
Introduction to philosophical methods of inquiry through analysis and evaluation of influential philosophical ideas. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
PHIL 107
Ethics 3
Introduction to representative ethical systems; approaches to problems of values and conduct. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
Political Science
POL SCI 201
The National Government 3
Development, organization, and functioning of the American national government; origin, growth, and interpretation of the Constitution; and legislative, executive, and judicial processes; administrative development, controls, organization and activities. Successful completion of this course may be used to fulfill the graduation requirement to pass the United States Constitution examination. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
Social Science
SOC SCI 101
General Course I Social Science 3
A survey of subject matter and concepts selected from the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
SOC SCI 102
General Course II Social Science 3
A survey of subject matter and concepts selected from the disciplines of economics, geography, history, and political science. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright
Speech
SPEECH 101-1
Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
Theory and practice of oral communication; development of poise and confidence, delivery, and speech organization; public speaking practice; small group discussion, and development of standards of criticism. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 based on prior coursework or CCCRTW, COMPASS, ACT, or SAT test scores, or Consent of Department Chairperson.
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright

Program Core Requirements

33  CH
​Introductory courses may be taken concurrently.
Business
BUSINES 147
Intro to Paralegal Studies 3
This course is the first of the required courses in the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It provides an overview of the American legal system. It explores essential knowledge in the paralegal field, including the basic skills, concepts, and reasoning processes for success in a paralegal career. This course explores basic paralegal roles and responsibilities and specific limitations as they relate to the legal system and the law office environment. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 and Eligibility for college-level Math -OR- Math 99 with a grade of C or better -OR- consent of department chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 148
Civil Litigation 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It introduces the student to procedural concepts of the civil litigation process in state and federal courts with an emphasis on Illinois and federal civil codes. It examines the role of the paralegal from the initial phases of the pre-trial investigation and discovery through the appeals process while emphasizing legal theory and practical skills. This is a writing intensive course. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 and Eligibility for college-level Math -OR- Math 99 with a grade of C or better -OR- consent of department chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 149
Family Law 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It is an overview of the basic principles of family law and domestic relations, with an emphasis on Illinois law. It examines the areas of marital contracts, divorce, annulment, issues affecting children, and other legal matters relating to domestic relations. It also covers client interviews, the drafting of necessary pleadings and supporting documents, and the performance of basic research relating to family law and domestic relations as well as the role of the paralegal in family law. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Eligibility for English 101 and Eligibility for college-level Math -OR- Math 99 with a grade of C or better -OR- consent of department chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 150
Legal Research and Writing I 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It provides an overview of the fundamentals of legal research and writing. This course covers the use of primary and secondary source materials to research legal questions. It examines different types of legal documents and provides training in legal analysis. The course also includes principles and techniques of legal writing and their application to legal correspondence and documents as well as the role of the paralegal in legal research and writing. This is a writing intensive course. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in English 102 AND Business 220 AND Business 223.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 219
Real Estate Law for the Paralegal 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program. It introduces the fundamentals of real estate law, with the emphasis on Illinois law, and provides a basic understanding of the elements of the real estate industry. The course covers real property law, categories of ownership, legal descriptions, contracts, financial aspects, and special issues in real estate law. It examines the real estate transaction from the beginning of the process to the closing. It emphasizes the drafting of legal descriptions of property, preparing closing documentation and performing a title search. It also examines the role of the paralegal in a law office, financial institution, or title company. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in BUSINESS 147 AND BUSINESS 148.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 220
Criminal Law for the Paralegal 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program. It explores the Illinois and federal court systems as well as defines the categories of crime and the types of legal defenses. It introduces the concepts involved in criminal proceedings and explores the stages of criminal litigation from the arrest through post-trial procedures. It enables the student to understand all procedural aspects of criminal cases and the role of the paralegal in aiding an attorney in trial preparation, the trial itself, and post-trial procedures and appeals. This is a writing intensive course. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in BUSINESS 147 AND BUSINESS 148.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 222
Business Law for the Paralegal 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It provides the student with an in-depth analysis of the law pertaining to types of business organizations, contract formation, resolution of contract disputes and the impact of the Uniform Commercial Code on traditional contract theory. The role of a corporate paralegal is covered as it relates to the business environment. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in BUSINESS 147 AND BUSINESS 148.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 223
Tort Law 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It examines the fundamental elements of tort law and the principles of tort litigation. It introduces the different categories of torts and focuses on the role of the paralegal in tort litigation from the point of view of both the plaintiff and the defendant. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 147 AND Business 148.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 224
Wills, Trusts and Probate 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS Program/plan 304. It covers both the theoretical and practical knowledge needed in the estate planning and probate processes. It covers wills, trusts, and estate administration. The course emphasizes the role of the paralegal in the drafting of estate planning documents and carrying out probate procedures. Emphasis is placed on applicable Illinois law and Federal tax laws. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 149, 219 and 222.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 225
Legal Research and Writing II 3
This course is one of the requirements of the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It is a continuation of Legal Research & Writing I and provides a more in-depth, hands-on exploration of legal research, writing, and analysis. It provides additional experience in legal research, reasoning, analysis, and writing. This course continues to explore the various legal reference sources, both traditional and non-traditional. It continues to develop legal reasoning skills and strategies to analyze legal authority in case law. This is a writing intensive course. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in BUSINESS 150.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
Computer Information Systems
CIS 120
Intro to Microcomputers 3
Fundamental concepts of computer information systems as applied to microcomputers in business and personal use; includes hands-on experience with a variety of microcomputer software. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course. Allowed Repeatable Course: Not more than three credit hours will be counted towards the CIS/IT degree requirements. Additional earned credit hours up to six will be counted towards elective credit and requires the consent of Departments Chairperson. ARC: 3 times.
Prerequisites:
IAI Approved
Offered at: Harold Washington Harry S Truman Kennedy-King Malcolm X Olive-Harvey Richard J. Daley Wilbur Wright

Additional Requirements

 CH

Elective Program Requirements

6  CH

​Students should select two courses from the following:

Business
BUSINES 227
Elder Law 3
This course is an overview of legal issues that are increasingly relevant as the older population increases. It covers a variety of legal documents and the many legal situations which affect the elderly. It also covers topics such as asset management, estate planning, health care, personal planning and protection, resources of both public and private agencies and organizations, and the court systems. It examines the role of the paralegal in interacting with elderly clients as well as in using the various resources available in elder law. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 149, 219 and 222.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 228
Environmental Law for the Paralegal 3
This course examines the fundamental concepts of environmental law. It emphasizes both state and federal laws and regulations enacted to preserve and protect the environment. It covers the specific areas of air quality control, water quality control, toxic substance control, waste management, and hazardous releases. It also covers energy policy, natural resources, international environmental law, and current environmental issues. It focuses on the role of the paralegal in environmental law. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 219 and 222.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 229
Immigration Law 3
This course provides an overview of the federal immigration system and the concepts and procedures of immigration law for the paralegal. It examines immigration law and regulations as well as practical applications in immigration law including the naturalization process, visa procedures, and the right and obligations of aliens in the United States. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 219, 220, 222, and 223 or Consent of Department Chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 238
Legal Ethics for the Paralegal 3
This course is an elective in the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It provides the student with an overview of ethical considerations arising in the paralegal profession. This course discusses the regulation and discipline of attorneys and paralegals, issues related to confidentiality and conflicts of interest, unauthorized practice of law and other ethical issues that pertain particularly to paralegals. Students will discuss general ethical considerations and will work directly with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in (Business 147 and 148), or Consent of Department Chairperson
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 239
Business Organizations & Agency Law 3
This course is an elective in the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304. It provides the student with an overview of the formation and operation of business enterprises, exposes the student to types of business organizations and to the law surrounding principal/agent relationships. Student will learn about sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations. The role of a corporate paralegal is covered as it relates to the benefits and disadvantages of each type of entity as well as the formation, dissolution and recordkeeping for each of these entities. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 222 or Consent of Department Chairperson
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright

Area of Focus

 CH

Focus Electives

 CH

Additional Program Elective Requirements

3  CH
​Students should select one course from the following:
Business
BUSINES 226-1
Internship for the Paralegal 3
This course is an elective in the Paralegal AAS program. It is designed to enable students to combine classroom training with practical paralegal work experience through supervised on-the-job training in a public or private legal setting. Periodic seminars are held to discuss experiences, concerns, and topical questions. Students are required to keep journals of their internship experience. A minimum number of hours of on-site time are required for this course. Internship placement must be approved by the Program Coordinator. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Successful completion of all other Paralegal AAS Program requirements with a grade of C or better and consent of Department Chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
BUSINES 240
Computers in the Law Office 3
This course is an elective in the Paralegal AAS program/plan 304 and can be taken in lieu of the internship requirement. A general introduction to the use of computer software programs in the modern law office. Office organization, legal terminology, fees and billing procedures, e-filing, scheduling and calendaring, preparation and maintenance of case files, preparation of law office forms, and an introduction and survey of a variety of legal specific software and legal web resources are involved in this course. Students will develop a greater appreciation for computers by learning how computers can help paralegals complete tasks and assignments. This course includes hands on computer exercise using professional software programs and web resources used in the law office by paralegals. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisites:Grade of C or better in Business 223, or consent of Department Chairperson.
Offered at: Harold Washington Wilbur Wright
Total Minimum Credit Hours
 

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