Legal Assistant

Program Plan

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Catalog 2014-15: AAS.LEAS

Catalog 2013-14: AAS.LEAS

Catalog 2012-13: AAS.LEAS

Catalog 2011-12: AAS.LEAS

Legal Assistant
3.0 credits LEAS-120: Introduction for Paralegals
An introduction to the role of the paralegal including such topics as regulation of the legal profession, legal ethics, law office management, human relations skills, legal terminology, techniques of interviewing, and methods of discovery.
Prerequisites: ENGL-099 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Co-requisites LEAS-121 and LEAS-127 strongly recommended.
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-121: American Law for Paralegals
This course is designed to introduce the paralegal student to the American legal system. The course begins with historical and philosophical foundations of the American legal system in order to better understand the policies and concepts of the legal system. The course then focuses on state and tribal legislative processes and administrative agencies. The course provides an introduction to the structure of the federal and state court systems and the method by which lawsuits are initiated and resolved.
Prerequisites: ENGL-099 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Corequisites LEAS-120 and LEAS-127 are strongly recommended.
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-122: Torts - Practice and Pleading
Theory and practical application of the law of torts. This course will present the common law basis of tort law. New Mexico and the Navajo Nation common law will be studied by analyzing the establishment of a prima facie tort claim. Students will learn about torts through a study of the elements of the different causes of action. The fundamentals of drafting legal documents normally associated with torts are addressed, both in lecture and in writing assignments.
Prerequisites: ENGL-111 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Corequisite LEAS-123 required. Corequisite LEAS-126 recommended.
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-123: Legal Research and Writing
This course is an introduction to legal research and writing. Students will learn how to use a law library as a source of legal references, how to analyze law and facts, and how to organize and write a basic type of interoffice memoranda using acceptable legal analysis. This course will require the use of acceptable grammar and writing skills.
Prerequisites: ENGL-111 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Corequisite LEAS-122 mandatory. Corequisite LEAS-126 recommended.
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-124: Civil Litigation
This course will focus on the various stages of the civil litigation process. This will include the initial client interview, the process leading to the filing of a civil lawsuit, its resolution by settlement or trial, and a brief review of the appellate process. The New Mexico and Navajo Nation rules of civil procedure will be studied, which includes the analysis of their similarities and differences. The course emphasis will be on the actual preparation of the documents, with a major focus on the discovery phase of the civil litigation process. This course will demonstrate how each stage of civil litigation builds, relates, and is dependent upon the others.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-121, LEAS-122, and LEAS-123.
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-125: Wills, Probate and Estates
This course will cover drafting of wills, the administration of estates; the various probate proceedings, and an introduction to estate taxation. This course will also cover unique aspects of probate practice in the Navajo Nation.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-120, LEAS-122, and LEAS-123.
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-126: Criminal Law
An introductory study of the philosophy, development and social basis of U.S. criminal law. Topics include the classification of crime, the elements of crime, parties to a crime, defenses to criminal prosecutions, and pertinent judicial decisions. This course will also cover criminal law and procedures as practiced on the Navajo Nation.
Prerequisites: ENGL-111 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Corequisites not required but strongly recommended.
Corequisites: LEAS-122, LEAS-123
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-127: Contract Law
This course in intended to provide the student with an in-depth exposure to and analysis of law pertaining to contract formation and the resolution of contract disputes. This course will also study Article 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code. Along with the principles of general contract law and Article 2 and 2A, the course will present the similarities and differences of general contract law and Article 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code of Navajo law. Permission of instructor required.
Prerequisites: ENGL-099 and (RDNG-099 OR RDNG-113) or appropriate English and Reading Accuplacer scores. Corequisites not required but strongly recommended.
Corequisites: LEAS-120, LEAS-121
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-128: Evidence
This course is a survey of the Federal Rules of Evidence and an advanced learning experience in the application of the more complicated rules of evidence in the courts of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. Introduces the student to admissibility of evidence by a study of all of the core evidence concepts with particular emphasis on relevance, hearsay and impeachment. Reference will also be made to opinion evidence, scientific evidence, and authentication. The course will also cover objections to evidence at the time of trial, at depositions, and at the point of answering discovery.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-122, LEAS-123, and LEAS-124.
Corequisites: LEAS-219
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-219: Trial Advocacy
This is a capstone course designed to deliver basic trial advocacy skills together with the more advanced skills involved in analyzing, strategizing, and persuading. Knowledge and skills learned in the courses in American law, torts, legal writing, evidence, civil litigation, and criminal law will be used and applied in this course. The course will introduce problems in the making and handling of objections and evidentiary issues, the effective introduction and use of exhibits, the impeachment and rehabilitation of witnesses, and the examination of expert witnesses will be addressed. The course will introduce students to trial practice on the Navajo Nation, including peace maker courts.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-122, LEAS-126, and LEAS-124.
Corequisites: LEAS-128
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-220: Debtor/Creditor Rights
This course examines federal bankruptcy law, rules and procedures, including Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Act. The course will be approached from the point of view of both the debtor and the creditor to include preparation and analysis of the various bankruptcy petitions and schedules.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-221: Family Law
This course will examine the social philosophy underpinning the law governing domestic relations. The course will discuss court jurisdiction, pleading and practice before juvenile and domestic courts in state and Navajo Nation courts. The law office management of domestic relations cases will be introduced.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-120, LEAS-121, and LEAS-123.
Offered: FALL
3.0 credits LEAS-222: Collection and Subrogation
This course will introduce the students to the practice of law concerned with the establishment and collection of creditor claims coming into the office. The process of complaint and document drafting, forum selection, obtaining and collecting judgments, accounting for sums collected, and the protection of a judgment creditors interests will be studied. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act will be studied as it applies to attorneys and other third party debt collectors. Permission of instructor required.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-223: Personal Injury Pract: Legal & Medical
This course will deal with the legal and medical aspects of personal injury arising out of torts, workers compensation and social security claims. Permission of instructor required.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-224: Natural Resources: Oil, Gas, Min & Water
An introductory study of federal and state law pertaining to the acquisition, ownership, development, production and use of oil and gas, solid minerals and water rights. Emphasis on determining ownership on the basis of federal, state and county records. Permission of instructor required.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-225: American Indian Law
Review of the historical development of American Indian and tribal law, treaties, the impact of American Indian citizenship, and the U.S. government's role in present American Indian law. Includes the study of significant court decisions and jurisdictional questions, both civil and criminal.
Prerequisites: Take LEAS-121 and LEAS-123 or take NATV-110
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-226: Law Office Administration
Covers supervision of personnel, the role of support staff in the law office, law office economics, basic computer technology, office equipment and supplies, office procedures, goal setting and budgeting, and general personnel procedures and practices. Permission of instructor required.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-227: Corporation & Securities Law
This course will cover state Blue Sky Laws and will include an introduction to the rules and procedures governing the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The course will study state and SEC filings, registrations, stock issues and subscriptions. The law of insider trading will be discussed along with the other antifraud provisions of federal and state security laws.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-229: Consumer Law
The study of legal rights and obligations pertaining to consumer transactions. State consumer protection laws, the federal Magnuson-Moss Act, UCC warranties, product or liability, and federal truth-in-lending laws will be covered. The consumer protection statutes for the Navajo Nation will be studied. Permission of instructor required.
Offered: DMND Faculty Permission Required
3.0 credits LEAS-231: Business Organization Law
This course will cover the law of sales from Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, negotiable instruments from Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and Secured Transactions from Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. This course will provide a study of the various types of formations of business organizations from sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies to business organizations found on the Navajo Nation. The course will also cover poverty law, including bailments and the characteristics of real and personal property.
Prerequisites: LEAS-121 and LEAS-127 or BLAW-230
Offered: SP
3.0 credits LEAS-280: Cooperative Education
During student's second year of paralegal studies, student will, with the prior approval of the Paralegal Program Director, intern with an attorney or with an employer in a law related occupation. The program requires approximately 160-163 clock hours of internship. The student will be supervised and rated by the employer.
Offered: ALL Faculty Permission Required
1.0 - 99.0 credits LEAS-ELEC: Legal Assistant Elective