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Law Office Management

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PAR 222

       Course Name: Law Office Management

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PAR 101 and PAR 110, both with minimum grade of C. Recommended: PAR 113 and PAR 210 or consent of program coordinator.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers law office management, relying on the system analysis approach to examine design, methods, and processes necessary for integrating the paralegal into the hierarchy of the organization of a law office. Emphasis is on defining functions of the lawyer, paralegal, and legal secretary.

IV.   Learning Objectives

1. define the managing process in the context of a law office.
2. discuss the concept of the law office environment.
3. demonstrate an understanding and comprehension of law office communication services.
4. show the ability to distinguish the roles of the attorney, paralegal, and other variables in the selection process for hiring law office personnel.
5. define paralegal job specifications and exhibit the ability to write a paralegal job description.
6. identify the characteristics of patterned, direct, indirect, and stress interviews in law office practice.
7. demonstrate satisfactory interview techniques.
8. discuss effective employer employee relations.
9. prepare a substantive legal area system for the law office incorporating the roles of attorney, paralegal, and legal secretary and appropriate ethical standards for the paralegal.
10. prepare a law office policy and procedural manual.

V.    Academic Integrity

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Details of the Code of Academic Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook.

VI.   Sequence of Topics

1. Historic Review
    A. Managerial Process
    B. Organizational Process
    C. Systems Analysis
2. Definition of the Paralegal's Role
3. Word Processing Concepts
    A. Communication Services
    B. Technical Aids
4. Testing Programs
    A. Achievement Tests
    B. Intelligence Tests
    C. Aptitude Tests
    D. Personality Tests
5. Selection of Paralegals
    A. Criteria for Selection Process
    B. Job Specifications
    C. Job Descriptions
    D. Screening Interview
6. Types of Interviews
    A. Patterned Interview
    B. Indirect Interview
    C. Direct Interview
    D. Stress Interview
7. Criteria for Paralegal Job Analysis
    A. Job Descriptions, Gathering Data
    B. Questionnaire
    C. Interview
    D. Observations
    E. Combinations
8. Description of the Paralegal Job
    A. Preparation of Law Office Policy Manual
    B. Procedural Manual
    C. Functional Manual
9. Ethical Concerns of the Paralegal

VII.  Methods of Instruction

1. Audio visual techniques
2. Lecture
3. Discussions
4. Nominal group techniques
5. Guest speakers
6. Films, videotapes, and film strips
Course may be taught as face-to-face, media-based, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

1. Reading Assignments
2. Writing Assignments

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

1. Objective examinations (including midterm and final)
2. Written assignments
3. Class projects
4. Classroom participation
5. Product assessment of law office policy, procedural manual, and substantive law office system

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.