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2000-2001 Catalog

Office Management and Secretarial
Legal Assisting (2299)

Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science

The legal assisting program is for students who wish to seek employment in the legal or criminal justice field as paraprofessionals or for legal secretaries presently employed who wish to assume paraprofessional duties in their field.

FCCJ’s program is structured to meet the needs of the legal profession in the state of Florida, as developed in response to a survey of local attorneys, which showed a great need for trained para-professional specialists in the field.


Courses are taught by practicing attorneys or other professionals skilled in their field. An advisory committee composed of attorneys and other professionals meets periodically to make suggestions and recommendations for the entire program.

NOTE: While legal assistants are not permitted by law to give legal advice, they do work under the direct supervision of attorneys, performing specifically delegated duties necessary in the effective delivery of legal services to the client. Note: Students desiring to enter the legal assisting program must have a personal interview with the legal assistant coordinator prior to enrollment.

The program culminates in a professional internship (PLA 1949 Cooperative Education Work Experience). All other professional core courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the internship. In this course, students will work not less than 120 hours in a law or law-related office. In addition, students will meet weekly to share work experiences and receive final preparation for paraprofessional practice.

Students have two degree alternatives in this program: The associate in science (A.S.) and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.). If you intend to pursue further education at the university level, you should enroll in the A.S. option. If you intend to go directly to work after completing your associate’s degree, consider the A.A.S. While the A.A.S. will not provide you with the transfer benefits of the A.S., the A.A.S. will provide you with the skills required to begin working in the field immediately upon graduation. If you are unsure of which option is best for you, please see an advisor for further counseling.

Requirements and Recommended Course Groupings

The following is a presentation of required courses in recommended course groupings for this program. These groupings are only a suggested guide, and there is no requirement to follow these precisely. The availability of courses, the studentís testing and academic performance and other factors may alter the studentís actual course completion sequence. Students of this program may register for courses in any grouping as long as the student has met any prerequisites for the course.

Course Grouping One
(First term load for full-time students; 2-5 terms for part-time students.)

 
Course Number and Title
Credits
ENC 1101 English Composition I
3
BUL 2130 Business Law I — The Legal  Environment of Business
3
CGS 1570 Microcomputer Applications 
3
PLA 1003 Introduction to Legal Assisting 
3
Credit Hours
12

Course Grouping Two
(Second term load for full-time students; 2-5 terms for part-time students.)

 
Course Number and Title
Credits
*Mathematics
3
*Social and Behavioral Sciences Area A
3
PLA 1104 Legal Research and Writing I
3
PLA 2273 Tort Law
3
Credit Hours
12

Course Grouping Three
(Third term load for full-time students; 2-5 terms for part-time students.)

 
Course Number and Title
Credits
*Humanities 
3
PLA 1080 Legal Interviewing and  Communicating
3
Professional Elective (see list below) 
6
PLA 2114 Legal Research and Writing II
3
Credit Hours
15

Course Grouping Four
(Fourth term load for full-time students; 2-5 terms for part-time students.)

 
Course Number and Title
Credits
General Education Elective from Social  and Behavioral Sciences
3
****OST 2335 Applied Business Communications
3
PLA 2763 Law Office Procedures
3
PLA 2803 Family Law
3
Professional Elective (see list below)
3
Credit Hours
15

Course Grouping Five
(Fifth term load for full-time students; 2-5 terms for part-time students.)

 
Course Number and Title
Credits
SPC 2600 Fundamentals of Speech  Communication
3
PLA 2203 Litigation
3
Professional Elective (see list below)
1
**PLA 1949 Cooperative Education Work Experience I
3
Credit Hours
10
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS
64

Professional Electives
(Select from the following.)


***ACG 2021 Financial Accounting

***CCJ 2250 Constitutional Law

***PLA 2433 Business Organizations

OR

BSC 2085C Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BSC 2086C Human Anatomy and Physiology II

***BUL 2242 Business Law II

CGS 1060 Introductory Computer Concepts

CGS 1580 Introduction to Desktop Publishing

CGS 2470 Computer Aided Drafting and Design

CGS 2512 Spreadsheet Concepts and Practices

CGS 2525 Introduction to Multimedia

CGS 2542 Database Concepts for Microcomputers

CIS 2401 User Support and Software Evaluation

HSC 1531 Medical Terminology

MAN 2800 Small Business Management

OST 1581 Professional Development in the
Work Environment
OST 2771 Word Processing for Windows I

OST 2773 Word Processing for Windows II

***PLA 2880 Constitutional Law

***PLA 1931 Selected Topics in Legal Assisting

***PLA 1933 Selected Topics in Legal Assisting

***PLA 1303 Criminal Law and Procedure for
Legal Assistants
***PLA 1423 Contract Law 

***PLA 2236 Alternative Dispute Resolution

***PLA 2263 Evidence for the Legal Assistant

***REE 2430 Real Estate Law 

***PLA 2465 Debtor/Creditor Law

***PLA 2484 Administrative Law

***PLA 2603 Wills, Trusts and Estates

***PLA 2793 Technology in the Law Office

***PLA 2949 Cooperative Education
Work Experience II 
RMI 1522 Personal Insurance (INS-22)

RMI 1523 Commercial Insurance (INS-23)

RMI 1612 Principles of Casualty Insurance and
Surety Bonding 
RMI 1613 Principles of Property Insurance

*Refer to A.S. degree General Education Requirements.
**An approved elective may be substituted for this course if students have verifiable, related work experience of not less than 12 consecutive months.

***Students are required to select a minimum of six credit hours from these courses.

****ENC 1102 may be substituted with the permission of the Legal Assisting Program Director.

NOTE: Students earning an A.S. degree must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics course. Students earning an A.A.S. degree must take MAT 1033 or a higher level mathematics course.

 
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