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Introduction to Law & Legal Practice


Course Details

This course can only be taken as part of the Certificate in Paralegal Studies .

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About this Course

The American legal system is extremely large and complex. In this course, we’ll give you a broad overview of this system — how it functions and the specific roles of judges, juries, paralegals and attorneys within it. You’ll explore how the rights of citizens are enforced through courts and legal procedures. And you’ll get a fundamental introduction to the wide variety of topics covered throughout the certificate program.


  • The major sources of law
  • Respective powers of the federal and state court systems
  • Key concepts of jurisdiction and venue
  • The basic structure of a lawsuit from complaint to appeal 
  • How to draft basic causes of action, identify available remedies and include appropriate defenses and responses


  • Practice briefing cases
  • Prepare a memorandum to summarize the key components of a client's legal problem
  • Draft a summons, complaint and answer 

Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. The number of courses offered each quarter varies depending on how many quarters the program covers. See below for details.

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