South Suburban College
South Suburban College

Paralegal Courses

Numbers in parenthesis are credit hours/semester and actual hours/week in class.

Where special course fees are required in addition to tuition, they are noted at the end of the individual course description. These fees are subject to change without prior notice.


PLA 101 - Fundamentals of Paralegalism (3, 3)

This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the various functions of the legal assistant in the American legal system and to build a foundation of basic knowledge and skill development which is necessary for someone seeking a career in the paralegal/legal assistant field.

PLA 103 - Law Office Technology (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

This course focuses on technology in the law setting. Emphasis will be placed on completion of assignments demonstrating proficiency in various applications used in a law office as well as demonstrating proficiency with the issues created by technology in the law office. This course is designed to give the student both substantive and practical knowledge of law office technology and the issues that such technology creates. Consequently the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 201 - Evidence and Investigation (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

The course deals with discovery and preparation for trial. It includes the use of private investigators, techniques of preserving evidence, legal discovery tools and evidentiary rules governing discovery. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Evidence and Investigation. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 202 - Litigation (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

This course offers instruction on civil and criminal litigation procedures commencing from the initial client interview to and including the trial. Emphasis will be placed on procedures authorized under the provisions of the code of civil procedure. Special emphasis will be placed on the content and preparation of documents used in civil and criminal law suits. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Litigation. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 203 - Legal Research and Writing I (3, 3)

Prerequisite: Student must successfully complete ENG 101, PLA 101, and BLW 201 with a cumulative GPA of 2.66 and admission to the program.

Practical training in the process of legal writing, research and analysis in two semesters. Hands-on approach to fact gathering, including interviewing; organization and interpretation; identifying basic legal theories and issues; briefing reported decisions; conducting traditional law library research; introduction to conducting electronic legal research; legal analysis and communicating applicable law via routine internal memorandum of law and opinion letters; and drafting routine legal correspondence, routine documents, pleadings, and discovery tools.

PLA 204 - Paralegal/Legal Assistant Internship (3, 11)

Prerequisite: Completion of PLA 101, BLW 201, BLW 202, SPE 108, PLA 201, PLA 202, PLA 203; admission to the program and approval of internship site by instructor. PLA 205 may be taken concurrently.

For students in the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program. Required for students during their last semester of the program. Students gain on-the-job training in a coordinator approved or current employment approved business and/or a legal related site. Students will work a minimum of 210 hours over the course of the semester (15 hours per week for a period of 14 weeks during the fall or spring semester, or 26.25 hours for a period of 8 weeks during the summer semester).

PLA 205 - Legal Research and Writing II (3, 3)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of PLA 203

A continuation of PLA 203, providing more in-depth, hands-on training in the process of legal writing, research and legal analysis so that the student is prepared to excel in the real world as a legal researcher and writer. Particular attention will be paid to: cover letter and resume writing, drafting of forms, opinion letters, and intra-office memorandum.

PLA 207 - Real Property Practice (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

Book principles of Real Property law, recording, title protection, legal descriptions, mortgages, deeds, closings, and leases. Emphasis will be placed on completion of instruments and other practicabilities of real estate law. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Real Estate. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 208 - Law of Family Relations (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

Course concerns basic understanding of Illinois family law, with emphasis on dissolution of marriage. Course also deals with the practicabilities, i.e., preparation of necessary documents, Cook County filing procedures and interview techniques. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Family Law. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 209 - Estate Planning and Probate Law (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

An introduction to the laws related to Estate Planning and Probate and training in the role of Paralegal as to estate planning and administration of estates, testate and intestate. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Estate Planning. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 210 - Criminal Law for the Paralegal (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

The course will provide the student with practical paralegal experience in investigation of the criminal case including preparation of documents, interview and preparation of witnesses and trial assistance. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Criminal Law. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 211 - Alternate Dispute Resolution for the Paralegal (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

This course will provide students with a description and overview of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, voluntary and mandatory court-ordered arbitration, negotiation, mediation, mediation-arbitration, private judging and early neutral evaluation. The course will focus on client needs regarding the use of ADR, and will explore the changing climate of litigation-oriented practices. Paralegal participation and ethical concerns will be discussed in the context of each of these alternatives. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 212 - Elder Law (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

An introduction to the field of Elder Law. Areas of concentration include Introduction to Elder Law, Health Care and the Elderly, Employment, Housing, Guardianship, Elder Abuse, and Assistance for the Elderly. This course is designed to give the student both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Elder Law. Consequently, the assessment of the student will be based on 50% practical application and 50% theoretical knowledge.

PLA 213 - Topics in Law (3, 3)

Prerequisite: PLA 101

Contemporary critical legal issues and trends. Analysis and evaluation of statutes, regulations, and cases as well as notable secondary authorities. The topics may vary each semester and include such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Constitutional Law, Bankruptcy, Workers Compensation, etc. This course may be repeated up to a maximum of nine (9) credit hours.

For more information, please contact Jason M. Cieslik, Coordinator of Legal Studies, 708-596-2000 ext. 2579.

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Main Campus: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
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