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									Paralegal Studies




A Guide for
New Students
Spring 2010

Available on the web at
www.cod.edu/paralegal
Contents




Welcome ............................................................... 1
Frequently Asked Questions ............................... 2
Helpful Websites .................................................. 4
MyCOD, Online Communication Tool ................ 8
Course Sequence for AAS Degree ...................... 10
Course Sequence for Certificate..........................12
Frequently Asked Questions
About ABA Approval .......................................... 14
Admission Requirements....................................15
Paralegal Practicum ............................................ 16
Articulation Agreements ....................................17
Job Information and Tips for
Using Recruiting Agencies ................................. 18
“No Excuses” Pledge: A Commitment
to Excellence ....................................................... 20
Welcome
Welcome to the Paralegal Studies program at College of DuPage. This brochure
is intended to provide new and current program students with information to
help answer questions, provide resources, and give general information.
You have made a great choice by coming to the College of DuPage and this
program. The paralegal profession is challenging and rewarding, and, according to
the U.S. Department of Labor, growing much faster than other occupations due
to the growing awareness of the value that paralegals can add to the law office.
Enclosed in this packet, you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions,
as well as Curriculum and Suggested Course Sequences, Program Admission
information, Practicum information, and current articulation agreements, all
excerpted from the Paralegal Studies program web site at www.cod.edu/paralegal.
Also, you will find helpful web sites, taken from the Library’s web site at
www.cod.edu/library/libweb/Wagner/paralegal/paralegalinternet.htm; as well
as information about COD’s Student Portal, MyCOD. Finally, information on
finding jobs and job web sites is provided in this booklet.
If you have further questions regarding the program, please consult the web
site at www.cod.edu/paralegal or Program Coordinator Sally Fairbank.
Thank you for your interest in the Paralegal Studies program. We hope you
enjoy your studies at College of DuPage.




Sally N. Fairbank, J.D., M.S.Ed.
Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL
(630) 942-2955
Fairbank@cod.edu




                                                        www.cod.edu/paralegal   1
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the skills and traits of a successful paralegal?
A: Successful paralegals are highly organized and detail-oriented. They enjoy
problem-solving and can work well independently. They have excellent
communication skills, and particularly, superior writing skills. They are
accomplished in the use of technology. They are good at listening and following
directions. They work well with the public and understand the necessity
of maintaining client confidentiality. They act and dress professionally.
Some employers suggest that paralegals should have a “thick skin” because
attorneys can be short-tempered and abrupt when business needs are
pressing. Individuals who work best in office situations with a great deal of
encouragement and positive reinforcement may not be happy as paralegals,
particularly in smaller law offices.
Q: What do paralegals do?
A: While specific paralegal duties vary depending on the work setting, paralegals
frequently conduct client and witness interviews, investigations and legal
research, draft legal documents and correspondence, assist in trial preparation
and at trial, and assist in real estate, probate, and corporate matters. All
paralegal duties are conducted under the supervision of an attorney.
Q: What are the job requirements for working as a paralegal?
A: Employers’ requirements vary widely. Some require a post-degree
paralegal certificate in addition to a four-year college degree, others may
accept a two-year associates’ degree, and still others may not require any
formal paralegal education as long as the individual has law office experience.
Frequently, employers seek a paralegal with a combination of formal paralegal
coursework at a college or university plus paralegal experience in a law office.
Strong communication and analytical abilities, plus skill in using technology
applications that are common in law offices (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and
legal research technology) are usually preferred and may be required.
Q: What are paralegals prohibited from doing?
A: Paralegals may not provide legal services to the public, except as provided by
law. Paralegals are prohibited from establishing attorney/client relationships,
setting legal fees, signing legal pleadings, giving legal advice, and representing a
client in court (unless specifically authorized by the court).
Q: Where do paralegals work?
A: Paralegals work in a variety of settings, including law firms, corporate law
departments, government agencies, and business organizations, including
banks, title companies, and insurance companies. Some paralegals also
do freelance work for attorneys on special projects. Any work setting is
permissible as long as attorney supervision of paralegal work is provided.


2
Q: What is the job market for paralegals?
A: The paralegal job market is growing rapidly. Nationally, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics projects employment for paralegals to grow by 22 percent
by the year 2016. www.bls.gov/oco/ocos114.htm#outlook. In Illinois, the job
market for paralegals is also projected to grow by 22 percent by the year
2016. lmi.ides.state.il.us/projections/statefiles/IL0616LTOcc.pdf. In DuPage
County, the projected growth rate for paralegals within the same time period
is 28%. lmi.ides.state.il.us/projections/countyfiles/lt/occupational/DuPage.pdf.
However, as is noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “this occupation
attracts many applicants, creating competition for jobs.” www.bls.gov/oco/
ocos114.htm#outlook. Experienced, formally trained paralegals who have
been successful in their paralegal studies classes and have strong writing and
technology skills will have the best job prospects.
Q: How much money do paralegals make?
A: Paralegal salaries vary greatly depending on education, training and
experience, as well as the type and size of the employer and the geographical
location. Nationally, based on May 2008 data, the median annual wage for
paralegals is estimated at $46,120. www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm. In
DuPage County, wage data for the third quarter of 2008 indicates that the annual
earnings for entry-level paralegals was approximately $42,713. For experienced
paralegals, the annual earnings in DuPage County for the same time period were
approximately $62,891. lmi.ides.state.il.us/wagedata/countyfiles/DuPage.pdf.
Q: How long does it take to complete the Paralegal Studies program at COD?
A: The length of the program varies depending upon the program in which you
are enrolled. COD has two program tracks, one for students seeking a college
degree (AAS degree program), and another for students who already have either
a two-year or four-year degree and are seeking a post-degree Paralegal Certificate
(Certificate Program). Students without previous college credit who attend
school full-time (15 to 18 credit hours per semester) can obtain an Associate in
Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies in two years. Students with a college
degree who attend school full-time (12 to 15 credit hours per semester) can
obtain a Paralegal Certificate in one year. We do not require students to proceed
through the program at any set pace. Some students find they prefer to attend
school part-time, and may take only one or two classes a semester.
For more questions and answers, visit www.cod.edu/paralegal.




                                                         www.cod.edu/paralegal     3
Helpful Websites
Legal Research Tools
Justia | From the founder of FindLaw, this web site provides links for a wide
variety of legal resources in selected legal practice areas.
www.justia.com

Legal Research Institute | Created at Cornell University, this web site is a
wealth of legal information.
www.law.cornell.edu

Miller-Motte Technical College Library’s Links | Provides links to many of
the web sites here, as well as articles for individual specialities.
mmtccharleston.com/library/paralegal.html

WestLaw | Comprehensive and useful for case law and statutes, this web site
does require a password to use.
www.westlaw.com

Zimmerman’s Research Guide at LexisNexis | This web site provides links
and definitions for just about every subject dealing with law.
www.lexisnexis.com/infopro/zimmerman/default.aspx

Paralegal Organizations and Communities
National Association of Legal Assistants | NALA is a paralegal association
that provides reliable information about the industry.
www.nala.org

National Federation of Paralegal Associations | This paralegal web site is
reliable and informative.
www.paralegals.org

LexisNexis Paralegal Community | Join the community of paralegals
through LexisNexis.
http://law.lexisnexis.com/communityportal/default.aspx?g=QfsTyLJ1USs=

Paralegal Gateway | This web site provides articles, professional advice, chat
and resume tips for paralegals.
www.paralegalgateway.com/home.html

Illinois Paralegal Association | IPA is the Illinois chapter of the NFPA.
www.ipaonline.org

The Estrin Report | A blog for professional paralegals.
http://estrinlegaled.typepad.com/




4
Legal Citation
Basic Legal Citation | This article is about the basics of how to cite a case.
www.law.cornell.edu/citation/index.htm

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Law.com Dictionary | A legal dictionary at Law.com.
http://dictionary.law.com

Nolo’s Legal Glossary | A glossary of legal terms in plain English.
www.nolo.com/glossary.cfm

Wex Encyclopedia and Dictionary | WEX is Cornell’s free legal dictionary and
encyclopedia.
http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Main_Page

Court Web Sites
Federal Judicial Center | This web site explains the federal courts.
www.fjc.gov

U.S. Supreme Court | This is the web site for the U.S. Supreme Court. It
includes rulings and oral arguments.
www.supremecourtus.gov

DuPage County Courts | Court information and online forms for the 18th
Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, IL.
www.protectdupage.org/courts/

Illinois Courts | This is the main page for all the court systems in Illinois.
www.state.il.us/court/

Oyez | A wealth of information about the U.S. Supreme Court, including audio
recordings of oral arguments.
www.oyez.org

Codes, Statutes and Case Law
The Public Library of Law | Includes case law (back to 1997), statutes, codes,
Supreme Court decisions and court rules.
www.plol.org

FindLaw | This comprehensive web site includes case law, statutes, codes,
forms and find-a-lawyer option. Free registration allows access to more.
www.findlaw.com



                                                          www.cod.edu/paralegal   5
Helpful Websites
Codes, Statutes and Case Law
Quimbee Case Law | This web site has an extensive database of case law.
www.quimbee.com

Federal District Case Law | This free web site of Federal District case law
provides a wealth of information.
www.websupp.com

U.S. Government Links
The Law Library of Congress | The Library of Congress Law Library with links
to other helpful legal web sites.
www.loc.gov/law/public/law/html

U.S. Code Search | This is a database of U.S. code that can be searched.
http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

U.S. Constitution | This annotated U.S. Constitution can be helpful for studies
about the Bill of Rights.
www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/

U.S. Department of Justice | This is the USDOJ’s web site, including
publications and cases.
www.usdoj.gov/01whatsnews/01_1.html

Illinois Web Sites
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission | Illinois attorney
registration look-up, how to file a complaint and ethics.
www.iardc.org

DuPage County Bar Association | DuPage County Bar Association offers
WestLaw training classes to paralegals and students. Useful for finding member
web sites.
www.dcba.org

Professional Associations
American Bar Association | Includes the ABA Model Rules as well as links to
local bar associations.
www.abanet.org

ABA Committee on Paralegals | Standing Committee of the ABA for Paralegals
contains useful information for paralegals.
www.abaparalegals.org


6
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility | Center for Professional
Responsibility. Links dealing with legal ethics.
www.abanet.org/cpr/links.html

Magazines
National Paralegal Reporter Magazine | Paralegal magazine published by the
National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
www.paralegals.org

Facts & Findings Magazine | Paralegal magazine published by the National
Association of Legal Assistants.
www.nala.org/Facts_Findings.htm

Legal Assistant Today Magazine | Paralegal magazine independent of NFPA
and NALA.
www.legalassistanttoday.com

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | Access to actual online publication not available
unless you are a subscriber to the printpublication. Useful for job ads, however,
which don’t require a user name and password.
www.chicagolawbulletin.com

Miscellaneous
Public Speaking | Provides great tips for public speaking.
http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/2007/10/31/25-skills-every-public-speaker-should-
have/

Interview Questions | Tips for interviewing that can be used in a variety of
situations.
http://insightcompanies.com/toughqna.html

Business Entity Comparison Chart | Chart that compares business types.
www.themoneyalert.com/Corp-Entity-Table.html

LawNerds.com | How to write a case brief using the IRAC method.
www.lawnerds.com/guide/irac.html
ABA Ethics Search | Legal professionals can submit hypothetical legal ethical
questions and receive an answer. Also contains articles on ethics.
www.abanet.org/cpr/ethicsearch


All links in this section are from the Paralegal Internet Resource Guide
www.cod.edu/library/libweb/Wagner/paralegal/paralegalinternet.htm


                                                        www.cod.edu/paralegal    7
MyCOD, Online Communication Tool
Many teachers use the College of DuPage MyCOD web site to communicate
with students, post grades, announcements, and assignments. The Paralegal
program also has an office on the Portal that is used to post Announcements
and Bookmarks.
To access MyCOD:
•	Go to the COD main page at www.cod.edu, and scroll to the bottom the page.
•	Click on MyCOD Student Portal.
•	When at the log-in page, enter your ID and password (instructions are on the
  log-in page for first-time users).
MyCOD is the way that many teachers communicate with their students. You
can find the e-mail address for your teacher by scrolling to the My Classes box
on the MyCruiser tab and clicking on the class listed. Within that class’s page,
you will see the teacher and their contact information listed. Members of the
class have their e-mail addresses listed under E-mail Members. Please note,
however, that most teachers in the Paralegal Studies program are part-time
faculty members, and may not use MyCOD as their means of communication.
Make sure to check the syllabus and confirm with the instructor how they
would like to be contacted.

Paralegal Office:
Announcements of general program interest are posted on the Paralegal
Office, such as new job postings and information about classes. When a new
Announcement is posted, you will see a yellow megaphone icon.
•	On the MyCruiser tab, scroll until you see the My Community
  Announcements box.
•	Within this box, there should be a heading that says Office Announcements/
  Paralegal.
•	If you click on • Paralegal it will bring you to the Office page. In order to access
  the Paralegal Office, you may have to click • Paralegal once again.




8
Bookmarks:
Particularly useful is the Bookmarks section of MyCOD. Similar to “Favorites,”
this section contains web sites of paralegal employers and other useful
web sites.
•	On the left side of this page, there is a heading that says “Bookmarks.” It is at
  the bottom of a list that looks like this:




        ➜

•	Click on “Bookmarks” to access the useful web sites that are listed on this
 “Bookmarks” page.
If you have not been added to the Paralegal Office, contact the program
coordinator. As long as students are enrolled in Paralegal classes, they are part
of this office. Students who are pursuing the Paralegal program but who are
enrolled in General Education or other non-Paralegal classes during a particular
semester will have to contact the coordinator to be added to the list.
When opening attachments from Announcements, look to see where the
attachment is saving. That way, when the download box closes, you will know
where to find it. Most often it will be on your Desktop.




                                                          www.cod.edu/paralegal       9
Course Sequence for AAS Degree
Paralegal Studies AAS Degree Program
The proposed associate degree program will consist of 67 to 70 credit hours,
including 19 hours of general education classes, 18 hours of legal specialty
core courses, 15 hours of program electives, and15 to 18 hours of additional
course work designed to provide subject matter instruction and to develop
professional, vocational, and technical skills. The following is the recommended
sequence of courses showing semester credits and designation as general
education (GE) or program elective (E). Program requirements are indicated by
an asterisk (*).

First Semester
English 1101(GE) – English Composition I #* .......................................................... 3
Plgl 1100 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies #* ...................................................... 3
Buslw 2211 – Business Law I #*................................................................................ 3
Math 1218 (GE) – General Education Mathematics or any IAI Math course, or
Math 1100 Business Math (requires additional class: *
Psychology 1100 or Sociology 1100) ....................................................................... 3
CIS 1150 – Introduction to Computer Information Systems * ................................... 3
                                                                                                             15

Second Semester
Political Science 1101 (GE) * ................................................................................... 3
Plgl 1150 – Drafting Legal Documents * ................................................................... 3
Biology 1110 or Chemistry 1105 or Earth 1101 *
(or any other IAI-approved lab science course) GE................................................4
Program Elective (E) ............................................................................................... 3
OFTI 1200 – MS Office for Professional Staff * ........................................................ 3
                                                                                                                   16

Third Semester
Plgl 1200 – Civil Litigation ♦* ................................................................................. 3
Speech 1100 (GE) ♦*............................................................................................... 3
Plgl 1500 – Introduction to Legal Research and Writing +♦* ................................... 3
Philosophy 1110 or Philosophy 1114 Business Ethics (GE) * .................................. 3
2 Program Electives (E) ...........................................................................................6
                                                                                                                 18




10
Fourth Semester
2 Program Electives (E) ...........................................................................................6
Plgl 2550 – Paralegal Practicum •* ........................................................................... 3
Plgl 1250 – Legal Ethics and Law Office Organizations * ......................................... 3
OFTI 2600 – Professional Development * ................................................................ 3
Plgl 2100 – Advanced Legal Research and Writing +§*............................................. 3
                                                                                                                 18

Program Electives (Five required)
Plgl 2200 – Criminal Law and Procedure
Plgl 2250 – Corporations and Other Business Organizations
Plgl 2300 – Estate Planning and Probate Law
Plgl 2350 – Family Law
Plgl 2400 – Intellectual Property Law
Plgl 2450 – Real Property Law
Plgl 2500 – Tort and Insurance Law
CrimJ 1151 – Constitutional Law
CrimJ 1153 – Rules of Evidence

# Courses must be taken before application can be made for Program admittance.
♦ Courses must be taken before enrolling in Practicum.
+ Students must have been accepted into the program in order to enroll in class or obtain written
permission of coordinator.
• Students must have been accepted into the program completed PLGL 1200 and PLGL 1500 and
complete the Practicum Application in order to obtain the written consent of instructor before
enrolling in class.
§ Prerequisite of Introduction to Legal Research and Writing required before enrolling in course.




                                                                                www.cod.edu/paralegal 11
Course Sequence for Certificate
Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
The certificate program is available to students who have earned an associate
degree (A.A. or A.S.) or higher or equivalent.1 Students with an associate in
applied science degree (A.A.S.) may also be admitted provided that the general
education and other coursework completed is equivalent to that required by
College of DuPage’s A.A.S. degree program in paralegal studies.2
The certificate will consist of 27 credit hours, including 21 hours of program
requirements designed to provide subject matter instruction and to develop
professional, vocational, and technical skills, and 6 hours of program electives.
The following is the recommended sequence of courses showing semester
credits and designation as program elective (E) (which are in development.)
Program requirements are indicated by an asterisk (*).

First Semester
Plgl 1100 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies #* ....................................................... 3
Buslw 2211 – Business Law I #*................................................................................ 3
Plgl 1200 – Civil Litigation ♦* ................................................................................. 3
Plgl 1500 – Introduction to Legal Research and Writing +♦* ................................... 3
Plgl 1250 – Legal Ethics and Law Office Organizations * ......................................... 3
                                                                                                                15

Second Semester
Plgl 2550 – Paralegal Practicum •* ........................................................................... 3
Plgl 2100 – Advanced Legal Research and Writing +§*............................................. 3
2 Program Electives (E) ...........................................................................................6
                                                                                                                  12
1
  Other degrees will be evaluated for equivalency.
2 Students with an A.A.S. degree whose coursework is not equivalent to coursework required
by College of DuPage’s A.A.S. degree program in Paralegal Studies will need to take additional
coursework that corresponds to the coursework required by the college’s A.A.S. degree in paralegal
studies, in addition to the 27 credit hours required for the certificate.




12
Program Electives (2 required)
Plgl 2200 – Criminal Law and Procedure
Plgl 2250 – Corporations and Other Business Organizations
Plgl 2300 – Estate Planning and Probate Law
Plgl 2350 – Family Law
Plgl 2400 – Intellectual Property Law
Plgl 2450 – Real Property Law
Plgl 2500 – Tort and Insurance Law

Recommended but not required:
CIS 1150 – Introduction to Computers
OFTI 1200 – MS Office for Professional Staff
Or other classes to enhance technology skills.

# Courses must be taken before application can be made for Program admittance.
♦ Courses must be taken before enrolling in Practicum.
+ Students must have been accepted into the program or obtain permission of Coordinator in order
to enroll in class.
• Students must have been accepted into the program, completed PLGL 1200 and PLGL 1500, and
complete the Practicum Application in order to obtain the written consent of the coordinator
before enrolling in class.
§ Prerequisite of Introduction to Legal Research and Writing required before enrolling in course.




                                                                   www.cod.edu/paralegal 13
Frequently Asked Questions
About ABA Approval
Q: Is COD’s paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association
(ABA)?
A: No, it is not approved by the ABA at this time, although it has been
structured to be consistent with ABA guidelines. COD submitted its application
for ABA approval in August, 2008, as soon as it was eligible to do so under the
ABA guidelines for approval of paralegal education programs.
Q: How long will it be before a determination by the ABA is made?
A: Because there are many steps to the ABA program approval process, it can
take between twelve and eighteen months from the first submission of the
application until a determination as to whether approval will be granted. The
earliest possible date for ABA approval of COD’s paralegal program is fall of 2010.
Q: Does the lack of ABA approval at this time put COD paralegal students at
a disadvantage among local employers?
A: No, it does not. COD enjoys an excellent reputation in DuPage County and
the surrounding areas, and this reputation includes the paralegal program.
Employers who have reviewed our program, hired our students as paralegals,
or served as site mentors for our student interns, express a great deal of
satisfaction in the quality of the program and its ability to prepare students
to work as paralegals. In addition, employers familiar with the ABA approval
process know that newer programs like COD’s cannot be approved until after a
certain period of time has elapsed. Therefore, the lack of ABA approval does not
reflect poorly on COD’s program or its students.




14
Admission Requirements
For AAS Degree (Program for those without a college degree):
Once admitted into the college, prospective paralegal program students can
apply for admission into the Paralegal Studies A.A.S. degree program after
taking the following three prerequisite courses:
English 1101
Paralegal Studies 1100
Business Law 2211
 These classes must be completed with a grade point average of 2.5 or better.
 After completing these courses with the requisite grade point average, students
 apply to the program by completing a program application, including a written
“Statement of Goals,” and submit a resume, three professional or personal
 letters of reference (not from family members), and copies of all college
 transcripts. These items must be provided to the program coordinator. Upon
 submission of the completed program application, the applicant must meet
 with the program coordinator to review the application materials. Admission
 into the Paralegal program is granted on a continual basis and can take place
 any time during the student’s course of study.

For Certificate Program (for those with a qualifying two-year or four-
year college degree [AA, AS, BA, BS] or equivalent):
Official college transcripts must be forwarded to the college admission
office. Once admitted to the College, prospective students can enroll in first
semester courses, and can apply to be accepted into the Paralegal program.
To be accepted into the program, students must complete the following two
prerequisite courses:
Introduction to Paralegal Studies
Business Law 2211
These classes must be completed with a grade point average of 2.5 or better before
program acceptance can be granted. Students who take both these classes in their
first semester may apply to the program in their first semester and be accepted
provisionally, with the understanding that final program acceptance cannot take
place until first semester grades are available. To apply to the program, students
complete a program application, including a written “Statement of Goals,” and
submit a resume, three professional or personal letters of reference (not from
family members), and copies of all college transcripts. These items must be
provided to the program coordinator. Upon completion of these requirements,
the applicant must meet with the program coordinator to review the application
materials. Admission into the Paralegal program is granted on a continual basis
and can take place any time during the student’s course of study.


                                                        www.cod.edu/paralegal 15
Paralegal Practicum
The Paralegal Studies Program Practicum is a three credit hour course in
which eligible paralegal students report to an assigned site and work under
the supervision of an attorney for a minimum of 120 hours over the course
of a semester in exchange for course credit. The Practicum has a classroom
component with periodic seminars conducted by the program coordinator over
the course of the semester. The work schedule for performing work at the work
site shall be agreed upon between the individual student and host site at the
start of the semester.
To ensure that students participating in the Practicum possess a certain level
of skill and knowledge, students must have been admitted to the paralegal
program and have completed the following paralegal and business law courses:
PLGL 1100, Introduction to Paralegal Studies, BUSLW 2211, Introduction to
Business Law, PLGL 1200, Civil Litigation, and PLGL 1500, Introduction to Legal
Research and Writing. Thus, before participating in the practicum, eligible
students have learned the basics of our local legal system; they can conduct
legal research; can draft documents, memoranda and motions, and have an
understanding of the ethical principals important to the practice of law. Most
Practicum students are in their last semester of the program and will have
also completed specialty courses in areas such as family law, real estate, torts,
criminal law and procedure, or corporate law.
It is expected that a law firm or agency supervising a student shall provide the
student with the opportunity to engage in meaningful paralegal work within
the normal bounds of the organization’s business under the supervision of
an attorney. It is further expected that the supervising attorney will provide
feedback to the student and program coordinator regarding the performance
of tasks assigned, by way of editing/correcting student work and completing
a brief evaluation form at the end of the semester. In cases where the student
is currently employed at the practicum site, the supervising attorney agrees
to assign paralegal tasks to the student that are outside the student’s ordinary
scope of duties in order to broaden the student’s experience while enrolled in
the Practicum.
Students will find their own internship site using a self-directed search with
resources provided by the coordinator. Students will sign agreements regarding
client confidentiality, professional conduct and liability.
We are very grateful to our site hosts for giving our students the opportunity to
grow professionally under their supervision and prepare to enter the workforce
with practical experience as a contributing member of a legal team. We wish to
thank them very much for their support of our program.



16
Articulation Agreements
Current and Developing Articulation Agreements
The College has made arrangements with the institutions listed below
for articulation agreements for students in our program. A.A.S. degree
students who are interested in obtaining a four-year degree can contact these
institutions for further information.

Roosevelt University – Chicago
For students transferring to their four-year Paralegal Baccalaureate Degree
Program, Roosevelt will accept 12 credits in Legal Specialty Courses. For more
information about articulating with Roosevelt University, please contact Carrie
Lausen at clausen@roosevelt.edu.

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
For students transferring to SIU’s Technical Resource Management Program,
students can transfer their full A.A.S. degree. For more information about
Southern Illinois University’s articulation agreement, please contact Brad
Simpson, at brad@siu.edu or Lisa Lindhorst, at lisalind@siu.edu.

Robert Morris College – Chicago and Naperville
Students transferring to Robert Morris College will have the opportunity to
join the Bachelor’s of Professional Studies Law Office Management Program.
Students can transfer their full A.A.S. degree to this program. For more
information contact Julio Trujillo, at jtrujillo@robertmorris.edu.

Lewis University – Bolingbrook
An articulation agreement is in the final stage of negotiation with Lewis
University that would allow A.A.S. students to transfer all credits from COD in
order to receive a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies. For more information,
contact Huma Zia at ziahu@lewisu.edu.

Governor’s State University – University Park and Naperville
An articulation agreement is in development with Governor’s State University
to transfer COD’s Paralegal A.A.S. degree in full to a bachelor’s degree in
Psychology. For more information, contact Jose Reyes, at j-reyes@govst.edu or
Jan Ulner, at j-ulner@govst.edu.




                                                        www.cod.edu/paralegal 17
Job Information and Tips for
Using Recruiting Agencies
There are many resources for students to find jobs as legal assistants and
paralegals, including the following:
College Central Network: To access, go to www.collegecentral.com/dupage and
register. You will then be able to access both jobs listed in the area as well as
nationally.
Craigslist: To access, go to http://chicago.craigslist.org/lgl/ and view the jobs
listed. Some helpful tips for Craigslist and other job search web sites are:
When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
•	Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
•	Tell a friend or family member where you’re going
•	Take your cell phone along if you have one
•	Consider having a friend accompany you
•	Trust your instincts
•	Deal Locally with folks you can meet in person - follow this one simple rule
  and you will avoid 99 percent of the scam attempts on Craigslist.
•	Never wire funds via Western Union, Money Gram, or any other wire service -
  anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
•	Fake cashier checks and money orders are common, and banks will cash them
  and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.
•	Craigslist is not involved in any transaction, and does not handle payments,
  guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or
 “seller certification.”
•	Never give out financial information (bank account number, Social Security
  number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
Further tips and information can be found at: www.craigslist.org/about/scams.
The Law Bulletin: The Law Bulletin Legal Employment Weekly is a good source
for information about job openings for paralegals.
http://jobs.lawbulletin.com/ELEW.pdf

The Career Services Center at COD is a resource for career assistance,
including resume writing, cover letters and interview tips. The Center is located
in the Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1490.
DuPage County Bar Association: For a nominal $10 charge, you can let
employers know you are job searching by posting your resume on the DuPage
County Bar Association classified advertising page. You can also review the
other resumes posted on this site to get ideas of different ways to write a
professional resume. Thanks to DCBA Executive Director Glenda Berg Sharp for
sharing this information with our paralegal students.
www.dcba.org/public/positions_wanted_staff.htm

18
Chicago Tribune articles that include Paralegal as a growing profession:
www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-561-Who-is-Hiring-10-Cutting-Edge-
Jobs/?lr=cbcb_ct

www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-1096-Job-Search-Six-Jobs-for-Associate-
Degrees/?lr=cbcb_ct


Tips for Using Recruiting Agencies
•	Used effectively, a recruiting agency can pair you with a great job.
•	You should have a resume prepared, but the agency may reformat it.
•	Agencies will typically send you to interviews that are a good fit, but you can
  turn down an interview.
•	Many agencies operate exclusively online, but still function differently from a
  job search site – a recruitment agency will actively pair you with jobs and set
  up interviews.
•	Become picky about what references you list. Some agencies use “checking
  references” as a way to sell their services.
•	Be prepared for a background check. Many agencies require this.
•	Give private information only when necessary. This prevents your information
  from falling into the wrong hands, and from your information being sold for
  advertising.
•	A recruiter’s customer is the employer, not you, the employee.
•	A recruitment agency is paid by the employer when a suitable candidate
  is hired.
•	The employee (you) do not have to pay the recruitment agency.
•	Provide as much information as possible to build up your skills – classes, work
  experience, likes and dislikes.

These tips were gathered using information from the following web sites:
www.associatedcontent.com/article/26697/what_you_must_know_about_
employment.html?cat=31

www.careers4graduates.org/vacancies/vfrecag.phtml

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/searchfirms/a/headhunter.htm

www.articlesbase.com/career-management-articles/the-benefits-of-using-a-
recruitmentagency-to-find-you-a-job-644430.html




                                                        www.cod.edu/paralegal 19
“No Excuses” Pledge
 College of DuPage Paralegal Studies Program
 Class Rules and Enforcement Policy
“A Commitment to Excellence”
 Adopted by the Paralegal Advisory Council, April 29, 2009
 (The “No-Excuses” Pledge)

Welcome to a College of DuPage Paralegal Studies class.
In order to prepare you for your new profession, the paralegal program at COD
has rules and expectations. Abiding by these rules helps to guarantee that you
will conduct yourself in a professional manner and produce a high quality work
product. Accordingly, you are expected to learn the rules and requirements for
each class you attend.
Class rules regarding deadlines, formatting, assignment submission,
attendance, tardiness, use of electronic devices during classes, preparation
for class, etc., will be consistently applied. Consequences for failure to follow
these rules, which usually consist of point deductions, are set forth in the
course syllabi, which you are responsible to read and understand. Those
consequences will be imposed except in extraordinary situations such as would
be accepted by a court of law. Examples include death or serious illness of an
immediate family member, severe and prolonged illness of the student, or an
Act of God. The burden is on the student to prove that the exception applies.
For other situations, such as computer difficulties, car or parking problems,
oversleeping, work or family conflicts, etc., there will be no exceptions to
the rules, and the consequences stated in the course syllabus will apply. A
misunderstanding of assignment or test instructions will not excuse failure
to follow those instructions. Before submitting an assignment or taking a test
you are responsible for ensuring that you understand the instructions and for
obtaining clarification of any instructions you do not understand.
If situations persist throughout the semester which result in point deductions
and your grade begins to suffer, it may be advisable for you to withdraw from
the class rather than incur a low grade. Please note that class withdrawals may
affect a student’s financial aid award, but this is your responsibility to resolve
with the financial aid office, and does not affect the enforcement of class rules
and procedures by the instructor.
The paralegal profession is a field that can be exciting and challenging. It values
integrity, preparation, fairness and the impartial application of rules. In short,
it values a commitment to excellence.




20
A Commitment to Excellence
By enrolling in a Paralegal Studies class, I am considering, or have chosen to
pursue a career as a paralegal in which the rule of law is valued. Therefore, I
make the following Commitment to Excellence during the course of this class
and all other classes I take in the College of DuPage Paralegal Studies program
by declaring that:
I will follow the rules set forth in the syllabus for this class;
I will be responsible for my own work in this class and my progress in the
paralegal program; I will faithfully attend and participate in class;
I will make no excuses for late or missing assignments; for my failure to
follow assignment instructions; or for any other difficulties I may face with
completing assignments or attending class;
I will not expect to be given any special consideration for delays, failure, or
difficulties with course work or class requirements, except as provided for in the
Paralegal Class Rules and Enforcement Policy;
I am committed to excellence!




PRINT NAME



SIGNATURE OF STUDENT                                      DATE
For More Information

Sally N. Fairbank,
J.D., M.S.Ed.
Paralegal Studies
Program Coordinator

(630) 942-2955
Fairbank@cod.edu
www.cod.edu/paralegal


College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL




Information in this booklet was
assembled by Mallory Mohring under
the guidance of Sally N. Fairbank

								
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