Goals and Objectives

Program Goals:

The overall program goal is to prepare students for careers as paralegals working under the supervision of lawyers in the private and public sector.

The goals of the program are to:

  • educate students to be able to provide a broad spectrum of services needed by attorneys,
  • provide students with an in-depth understanding of substantive knowledge and legal procedure to complete detailed legal work under the supervision of lawyers,
  • provide adequate theoretical knowledge to communicate successfully with attorneys and clients in a general law practice,
  • be responsive to the needs of students with diverse educational background and work experiences who wish to upgrade their skills or train for a new profession, and
  • help meet the goals of those desiring further education by providing courses that may be transferred and applied toward a four-year degree.

Program Objectives:

  1. To prepare students with an overall general education that gives them substantive knowledge and develops communication, quantitative and analytical skills.
  2. To provide students with an understanding of the federal and state court systems.
  3. To provide students with substantive knowledge of a number of areas of the law.
  4. To prepare students to draft legal documents including:
    1. legal pleadings, such as a petition, answer, original notice and jury demand,
    2. discovery, motions and other legal documents, and
    3. affidavits, witness statements, fact summaries, case briefs, and letters.
  5. To prepare students to use technology to accomplish tasks in the legal environment, including electronic discovery.
  6. To prepare students to engage in legal and factual research using traditional and computerized legal research methods.
  7. To develop student's analytical and judgmental abilities by teaching deductive and inductive reasoning in the application of legal principles to fact situations that pose legal problems.
  8. To develop students’ organizational skill as they are applied to the legal setting.
  9. To develop students’ ability to communicate effectively in the professional legal environment.
  10. To develop students' understanding of the Iowa Rules of Professional Responsibility and how they apply to paralegals and attorneys.
  11. To provide students with the ability to make ethical decisions in the legal environment.
  12. To understand the emerging role of the paralegal and the place of the paralegal in expanding the delivery of legal services.
  13. To stay abreast of changes in the legal profession and incorporate the needs of the workplace into the curriculum.
  14. To maintain good relations with the Iowa State Bar Association and the Iowa Association of Paralegals and to work collaboratively with these groups to improve and increase the utilization of paralegals in the workplace.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.