Academic Catalog

Paralegal Studies, Certificate of Proficiency (CPLG)

Department website: https://www.dccc.edu/academics/academic-divisions/business-computing-social-science/paralegal-program

Effective: Fall 2016

The Paralegal Studies, Certificate of Proficiency Program can only be completed by individuals who hold an associate or bachelor’s degree, as this is an advanced certificate. If you do not hold one of these degrees, we invite you to select our Associates in Applied Science, Paralegal Studies.

This program is approved by The American Bar Association (ABA). The Certificate in Paralegal Studies is intended to provide graduates with a strong foundation in the areas of legal research and writing, contracts, torts, criminal law and property law. Graduates are likely to find employment as paralegals under the direction of attorneys (to do otherwise would be practicing law without a license) in law firms, legal departments of large corporations, insurance companies, title companies, legal service companies and federal, state or local courts and governmental agencies.

Unauthorized Practice Law: No person shall engage or assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Conduct legal research to identify the appropriate laws, judicial decisions, regulations and other legal literature to specific legal problems and use critical thinking to analyze results of such research.
  • Draft memoranda, briefs and other legal documents applicable to the field of law being studied.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the paralegal’s role in 
    1. trial preparation,
    2. trial proceedings and
    3. settlement negotiations.
  • Investigate and develop the facts of a case, maintain relevant case files and maintain and organize relevant case file documents, such as correspondence, pleadings, reports and briefs
  • Identify and analyze the ethical issues that arise for the Paralegal Professional.
  • Apply modern technology to the performance of legal work and tasks.

The College will award a certificate of proficiency to students who complete 30 credits of an approved career program. These credits will not normally include physical education, developmental, basic and/or continuing education courses and will usually consist of 24 credits in the career specialty and six credits in general education. At least 50 percent of the credits must be earned at Delaware County Community College. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. At least six credit hours must be in courses that are awarded grade points.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
PLG 100 Introduction to the Paralegal Profession 3
PLG 110 Legal Research and Writing I 3
PLG 130 Technology in the Law 3
PLG 240 Criminal Law and Procedure 3
 Hours12
Second Semester
PLG 120 Legal Research and Writing II 3
PLG 140 Contract Law 3
PLG 220 Real Estate Law 3
PLG Elective 3
 Hours12
Third Semester
PLG 210 Civil Litigation and Tort Principles 3
PLG 199
Paralegal Experience and Legal Ethics
or Paralegal Practicum and Legal Ethics
3-4
 Hours6-7
Fourth Semester
PLG 211 Civil Litigation and Tort Applications 3
ACC 100 Applied Accounting 3
 Hours6
 Total Hours36-37

Notes

PLG Elective:

Select six (6) credits from:
PLG 200Family Law3
PLG 230Estates, Trusts and Wills3
PLG 241Administrative Law3
PLG 242Business Organizations3
PLG 243Bankruptcy Law3
PLG 244Labor and Employment Law3
PLG 246Elder Law3

A maximum of twelve (12) PLG (legal specialty) credits may be transferred in from an ABA accredited college or university.

No more than nine (9) specialty credits may be awarded for Credit for Prior Learning assessment by portfolio or exam.

Students must take at least nine (9) semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

This program is approved by The American Bar Association (ABA). The Certificate in Paralegal Studies is intended to provide graduates with a strong foundation in the areas of legal research and writing, contracts, torts, criminal law and property law. Graduates are likely to find employment as paralegals under the direction of attorneys (to do otherwise would be practicing law without a license) in law firms, legal departments of large corporations, insurance companies, title companies, legal service companies and federal, state or local courts and governmental agencies.

Unauthorized Practice Law: No person shall engage or assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.