Community Law

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PAR 220

       Course Name: Community Law

       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 develops skills and competencies needed to recognize legal problems and comply with the procedures relating to various government agencies. Content includes federal housing and landlord-tenant law; mental and civil commitments; welfare laws; labor law; social security law; consumer protection law; and the paralegal's role in community law.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. recognize legal problems.
  2. make the appropriate legal referrals.
  3. demonstrate the ability to recognize the areas of the law where the law allows a paralegal to represent clients.
  4. exhibit knowledge of the administrative process and the manner in which a paralegal can best represent a client in those areas where the law allows.
  5. demonstrate an understanding of landlord/tenant law, federal housing law, mental and civil commitments, welfare law, labor law, social security law, worker's compensation law, and consumer protection law.
  6. exhibit a knowledge of the law as it relates to the collection of support payments.
  7. show an understanding of the process of judicial review of administrative actions.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

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.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Housing
    1. Eviction
    2. Enforcement of Housing Code
    3. Reducing Your Property Tax
    4. Discrimination
    5. Public Housing
    6. Section 23 Leasing
    7. Urban Renewal
    8. 235‑236 Housing Program
    9. Rehabilitation Loans
    10. Remedies of Homebuyer for Defective Conditions
  2. Public Assistance
    1. Supplementary Security Income
    2. Public Assistance from the Department of public Aid
    3. Food Stamps
      1. Available Income
      2. Benefits of Program
      3. Appeals
      4. Emergency Assistance
      5. Hardship Program
    4. Work Requirements
  3. Community Law Statutes
    1. National Labor Relations Act
    2. Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
    3. Civil Rights Act
    4. Occupational Safety Act
    5. Workman's Compensation Act
  4. Social Security and Medicare
    1. Applying for Social Security
    2. Processing of Applications
    3. Retirement Benefits
    4. Disability Payments
    5. Family Payment
    6. Stoppage of Payments
    7. Medicare
  5. The Administrative Process
    1. Administrative Rulemaking
    2. Administrative Adjudication
    3. Administrative Investigation
    4. Discovery against Administrative Agencies
    5. The Right to a Hearing
    6. The Role of Administrative Agencies
    7. Administrative Jurisdiction and Powers
  6. Judicial Review of Administrative Action
    1. Forms of Review
    2. Conditions for Review
    3. Scope of Review
    4. Unreviewable Administrative Action
    5. Intervention and Consolidation
    6. The Fact Finding Process
    7. The Decision Making Process
    8. Estoppel
    9. Res Judicata
    10. Continuing Jurisdiction
  7. Community Advocacy
    1. The Role of a Community Organizer
    2. Where the Community Seeks Vigorous Protection
  8. Involuntary Commitment
    1. Involuntary Commitment to Mental Institutions
    2. Interrogatories at Hospitals
  9. Collection of Support Payments
    1. Support Payments
    2. Recoveries from Suits
    3. The Protective Payee
    4. Defenses
    5. Methods of Collection
  10. Ethical Concerns Unique to Governmental Agencies

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussions
  3. Guest speakers
  4. Films, videotapes and filmstrips

Course may be taught as face-to-face, 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.

Haders, Paralegal’s Guide to Administrative Law, Anderson, 1994.
Adams, Basic Administrative Law for Paralegals, Aspen, 1998.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Objective Examinations (Midterm and Final)
  2. Quizzes
  3. Written assignments
  4. Classroom participation

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.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.