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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

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National Paralegal College | Evaluated Learning Experience

Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics (PLG-109)

Location: 
Various, distance learning format.
Length: 

Varies; self-study format.

Dates: 
January 2008 - Present.
Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: research ethical rules by utilizing the American Bar Association's "Model Rules of Professional Conduct" and access the rules of professional conduct applicable in any jurisdiction throughout the country; describe the role of the paralegal vis-a-vis the attorney that he/she is working for; apply the distinction between "practicing law" and performing tasks permitted to a paralegal in order to avoid "unauthorized practice of law"; outline the process through which paralegals determine what client information is classified as confidential; describe when, to whom, and in what matter confidential client information may be disclosed; determine the point at which an attorney-client relationship has been formed; list duties of zeal and loyalty that legal professionals owe to their clients; describe various factors that constitute a "conflict of interest"; apply the ethical rules regarding the "business of law" (i.e., promotion and advertising); assess whether a fee charged by a law firm is reasonable or unethical overcharge; and outline the rules governing proper communication with the presiding judge.

Instruction: 

This course covers the basic principles governing the ethical practice of law for both lawyers and paralegals and provides students with necessary tools for identifying and resolving ethical problems and provides practical tips to implement in everyday practice. Major topics include: regulation of attorney and paralegal conduct; confidentiality; unauthorized practice of law;conflicts of interest; handling of client funds; advertising; billing; fee splitting;disciplinary procedures and malpractice. Evaluation criteria include: required readings, essay assignments, class participation, and final exam.

Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Ethics or Business Law  (1/13) (3/18 revalidation).

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