Pre-Law and Paralegal
Paralegal Program Overview of Goals & Objectives
The objective of the Marist Paralegal Program is to offer organized and comprehensive training in the theory, information, and skills required to qualify as a paralegal, in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Bar Association. The program is offered within the context of the educational purpose of the College and its commitment to liberal arts, humanist, value-oriented curriculum. Our program meets its objectives in a number of ways Faculty in the program are drawn from the Marist faculty, and from practicing lawyers and law office administrators in the Mid-Hudson area. The program encourages a generalist orientation among its students, while stressing specific competency in paralegal studies. Program matriculates may satisfy the program generalist requirement by having a baccalaureate degree, by being enrolled in the College‘s baccalaureate program contemporaneously with the Paralegal Program or by having at least 36 general education college credits. Students acquire competency in the Paralegal Studies by being required to complete successfully the following courses: Introduction to Law, Introduction to Legal Research & Writing, Family Law, Criminal Law, Real Property and Title Search, Business Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Civil Litigation and Practice. In addition, students can choose from a variety of elective courses, including Law Office Management. Moreover, an internship program permits students to work for a variety of law offices in both the public and private sectors.
1. The Marist College Paralegal Program strives to enhance the development of paralegal students into professional paralegals:
a.) The Marist College Paralegal Program seeks to impart knowledge of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations’ Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility as well as New York State specific rules of professional conduct that apply to unauthorized practice of law and regulate the acts that paralegals can perform.
b.)The Marist College Paralegal Program seeks to inform students that the profession of paralegal is one that requires continued education and commitment to professional development.
c.) The Marist College Paralegal Program provides students with an overall knowledge of the American Judicial System, New York State Judicial System, and the role of paralegal in the private and public sector.
2. The Marist College Paralegal Program strives to enhance the development of strong legal research skills across the paralegal curriculum:
a.) The Marist College Paralegal Program prepares students to function as a paralegal in researching federal and state case law, statutory law, and regulations.
b.)The Marist College Paralegal Program prepares students to research effectively in a traditional law library, utilizing both primary and secondary sources efficiently.
c.) The Marist College Paralegal program prepares students to use LexisNexis Academic and WESTLAW to conduct computer-assisted legal research.
d.) The Marist College Paralegal Program prepares students to utilize the “finding tools” as (Shepards Citators, Keycite, Shepards On-Line, Westlaw’s Electronic Digest, West’s Digest 4th) law library resources.
3. The Marist College Paralegal Program is dedicated to student’s enhancement in the area of writing across the Paralegal Curriculum.
a.) At Marist, students are required to write and re-write assignments so that the critical skills of proofreading and citation checking are emphasized.
b.) Students must draft civil pleadings, criminal and civil motions, family court petitions, provisions for last will & testament, trust provisions, language for land transfer documents, and surrogate court petitions for probate and intestate distribution.
c.) Students are required to present legal research findings in a well-organized objective memorandum of law. The objective memorandum of law must include: question presented, brief answer, facts and a discussion section.
d.) Students are given specific client objectives to fulfill in each drafting exercise.
4. The Marist College Paralegal Programs strives to prepare each student to function as a paralegal in a law office. Each course teaches a balance of theory and practice so that students understand why they need to do “x” as well as how to complete the project
a.) At Marist, students are taught to function as a paralegal for the seller, purchaser, and/or lender at a transfer of real estate.
b.) At Marist, students are taught the land recording statute in New York State and receive practice in hands-on title searching at the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office.
c.) Students are taught interviewing techniques for criminal law, civil litigation, family law, will drafting, and probating a will. The importance of checklists in each area is also emphasized.
d.) At Marist, students are taught the rules of practice in the state and federal courts.
e.) At Marist, students are taught the relevant law office technology for the area of law that they are studying.