Paralegal Studies (PLS)

PLS F102      Introduction to Paralegal Studies
3 Credits

Offered Fall and Spring

Sources of law in the American tripartite system of government, with emphasis on state and federal court systems. Substantive law is studied, including administrative law, business organization, civil procedure, contract, criminal, employment, family, probate, real estate and tort law. Introductory instruction in legal writing and legal research using online legal research databases.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F105      Ethics for Paralegals
3 Credits

Offered Spring

Examination of the ethical obligations owed by both lawyers and paralegals to their clients, other lawyers, the court systems where they work and the general public. Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct and the canons of ethics promulgated by the two nationwide paralegal associations.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F201      Practical Paralegal Skills
3 Credits

Offered Spring

The practical skills required of a paralegal in the job market, including drafting legal documents, pleadings and office correspondence, fact gathering through interviewing and investigating, use of the Internet for legal research, pretrial procedures, focusing primarily on civil rules 30, 33, 34, 35 and 36, and assisting at trial.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F203      Torts
3 Credits

Offered Spring

Study of the essentials needed to effectively assist an attorney in the filing or defense of claims based on personal injury and property damage. A basic vocabulary of legal terminology associated with tort law is studied together with important statutes and case law. Emphasis on Alaska law.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F210      Civil Procedure
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Basic vocabulary and concepts essential to effectively assist an attorney with the procedural aspects of civil litigations.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F213      Criminal Law for Paralegals
3 Credits

Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Study of both the substantive criminal law and the rudiments of criminal procedure, focusing on both Alaska law and procedure and important constitutional considerations associated with due process, search and seizure and Fifth Amendment rights. Learn and work with a basic vocabulary unique to criminal law and procedure.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Special Notes: Does not substitute for JUST F352.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F215      Contracts/Real Property
3 Credits

Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Basic vocabulary and concepts essential to effectively assist an attorney with the preparation of contracts and real property transactions.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F240      Family Law
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Basic vocabulary and concepts essential to understanding family law and assisting a practicing attorney in matters involving marriage issues, premarital contracts, annulment, divorce, dissolution, property division, child custody, support and visitation.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F242      Employment and Administrative Law
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Legal principles which define the relationship between employers and employees. Includes obligations imposed by Federal and Alaska state statutes and administrative regulations. Includes how administrative agencies are created and how they provide administrative law through promulgation of rules and regulations and through quasi-judicial decisions.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F250      Probate Law
3 Credits

Offered Spring

Basics of probate law and the uniform probate code. Includes the preparation and interpretation of wills, administration of decedent's estates, intestate succession laws, guardianships and other related probate matters. Focus on Alaska statutes and probate rules.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F260      Legal Technology
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Examination of technology used in the law office. Includes computer hardware and software. This course focuses on producing word-processed documents and spreadsheets, creating databases, and using computer-assisted legal research, the Internet, electronic mail, litigation support, case management, electronic discovery and bookkeeping/billing software in the legal field.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F270      Constitutional Law for Paralegals
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Exploration of constitutional law as it applies to the day-to-day work of a paralegal in criminal law, civil procedure, family law, administrative/employment law and personal injury litigation. Examination of the seperation of powers among the branches of the federal government; federalism and the states' rights; economic and property rights; and individual freedoms and protections under the Constitution, with an emphasis on due process.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F275      Business Organizations
3 Credits

Offered As Demand Warrants

Benefits and shortcomings of the three basic business forms: corporation, partnership, and sole proprietorship. How to form each business form, how to operate it according to relevant laws and regulations, and how to dissolve the business.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F280      Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Legal research skills using law library methods, computer-assisted legal research and the Internet. Read and understand authorities from three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Emphasis on precedent from Alaska and federal court systems. Includes writing skills from drafting of law office correspondence to preparation of court pleadings and briefs.

Prerequisites: PLS F102.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F285      Advanced Legal Writing
3 Credits

Offered Fall and Spring

Expand on writing skills previously learned by drafting documents regularly assigned to practicing paralegals, such as pleadings to be filed in court, motion practice, office correspondence, and interoffice legal memorandums. Focus on issue identification, legal analysis and critical thinking skills.

Prerequisites: PLS F102; PLS F280.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

PLS F299      Paralegal Studies Internship
3 Credits

An internship involving a minimum of 150 hours of work under the supervision of an attorney, and, when available, a practicing paralegal for that attorney in a local law office or law-related situation. Must seek approval of faculty advisor for admittance.

Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 75% of paralegal studies degree requirements with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA or approval of UAF faculty advisor.

Special Notes: Students meet as a class only once; All subsequent classes or meetings with UAF faculty advisor are arranged by individual student(s) and advisor.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 0 + 0 + 10