Paralegal Studies Degree (PLD)

This degree prepares students for a paralegal position in a legal setting such as a law office, courthouse, administrative agency, corporate in-house counsel office, or insurance company. Students will learn to gather and analyze facts relevant to legal disputes, perform legal research, draft legal documents, and prepare witnesses and evidence for presentation at legal proceedings. An effective paralegal must have a firm grasp on both substantive and procedural law, excellent communication skills, and the ability to think analytically and logically. This program provides you with the skills necessary to perform specifically delegated substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer.

Number Suggested Course Order

Cr

Semester Grade Prerequisites/Notes
ENG101 English Composition I

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
PLS101 Introduction to Law

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CIS127 Computer Technologies

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
PLS104 Introduction to Family Law

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
  General Elective

3

    Electives: Any course (see page 67 for

exceptions)

ENG102 English Composition II

3

    ENG101
MAT126 Topics in Mathematics (or higher)

3

    MAT096 or placement
BUS211 Business Law I

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
  Restrictive Elective

3

    Electives: Any PLS course; ACC101, ACC102, ACC224, BUS212, CIS121, CIS123, CJU133, CJU134, ECO101, ECO102, ENG106, ENG239, ENG240, HIS121, MKT142, MKT241, POL250, PSY246
  Restrictive Elective

3

    Note: See above Restrictive Electives
PLS110 Litigation

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
PLS250 Legal Research and Writing I

4

    ENG101
POL211 Massachusetts and the Federal System

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
PLS262 Estate Planning or

General Elective

3

    Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

Note: See above General Electives

  Health Elective

2/3

   

 

Electives: BIO101, BIO103, BIO112, BIO230, CHC101, CHC102, CHC108, CHC220, EXS102, EXS201, PER126, PER127, PER130
PLS106 Introduction to Real Estate Law

3

    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
  Science Elective

3/4

    Electives: BIO, BTC, CHE, EAS, EGM, NRD, PHY Note: A four credit lab science is strongly recommended for transfer
SPC113 Speech

3

    ENG101
  Restrictive Elective

3

    Note: See above Restrictive Electives
PLS270 Legal Studies Seminar

3

    BUS211, ENG102, PLS101, PLS104, PLS110, PLS250
                                                         Total: 60/62 credits

Campus/format: A majority of this program can be completed online or during the day or evening at the Gardner or Leominster Campuses.

Helpful hints: Students enrolling in the Paralegal Practicum must contact the program coordinator for approval and available options by calling 978-630-9359.

Transfer options: This program prepares students for immediate career entry. For a complete list of transfer agreement options visit MWCC’s transfer services website: http://transfer.mwcc.edu and www.mwcc.edu/3plusone.

Special requirements: Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options: Paralegal, law clerk, document clerk, or legal assistant in the private or public sector.

Earning potential: $33,920 to $54,690.

Program Competencies for PLD

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of substantive and procedural legal principles.
  • Perform legal analysis, research, and writing.
  • Develop effective communication skills (oral and written).
  • Use computer technology as it applies to law.
  • Exhibit administrative and employment skills applicable in a law office setting.
  • Demonstrate ability to perform pre-trial tasks including interviewing, client intake, basic investigation, and drafting of pre-trial discovery.
  • Draft basic legal documents such as wills, mortgages, and leases.

Technical Standards* for PLS and PLD

* For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see page 68.

Students entering into this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information verbally and in a printed format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Complete forms using a typewriter or similar office machine.
  • Input data into a computer.
  • Comprehend data from a computer screen, transcribe notes (dictation), and conduct library and Internet research for a minimum of a three-hour period of time.