Criminal Justice & Law

Paralegal Ethics

The legal profession is subject to ethical laws and considerations that Paralegals encounter every day on the job.  Whether collecting fees, billing clients or soliciting new clients, legal professionals are required to adhere to state ethical laws governing how this industry operates in order to protect both the clients and the legal professionals.  Beyond billing and the business of representation, these laws also apply to issues of confidentiality and evidentiary privilege, to whom – lawyer/paralegal – these privileges extend and the various ethical considerations that may arise throughout the zealous representation of a client.  Ethical considerations are confronted every day on the job and it is imperative for paralegals to be aware of the issues presented as well as the operational and procedural safeguards put in place to mitigate any potential concerns.

The legal industry relies heavily on paralegals for their experience and general training in these fields.  For any new Paralegal looking to enter the workplace or for experienced Paralegals perhaps moving to a different practice, an overview of these common substantive areas is extremely useful to ensure you’re ready to go from the start.

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of professional responsibility in the legal field and how these laws apply to paralegals, specifically. In addition to the general legal ethical concepts presented in the course, students will research individual state professional responsibility rules as they apply to the overall field and to the paralegal role. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to recognize an ethical issue, categorize it, and research the possible solutions to the issue.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Summarize the role of the paralegal in the American legal system
  • Recognize the regulation of the legal profession as a distinct set of laws and rules
  • Explore the meaning of the unauthorized practice of law
  • Examine issues related to misrepresentation
  • Analyze the application of the duty of confidentiality
  • Analyze issues related to confidentiality
  • Examine issues related to evidentiary privileges
  • Examine issues related to conflict of interest and the duty of loyalty
  • Examine issues related to advertising
  • Analyze issues related to solicitation
  • Examine issues related to legal fees
  • Examine issues related to paralegal fees
  • Examine issues related to client trust accounts
  • Examine issues related to competence and negligence
  • Examine issues related to zealous representation
  • Examine issues related to the duty of integrity and the duty to report
  • Examine issues related to health in the legal profession


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