Paralegal Studies Program Policy and Guidelines

  • Chris DeGisi, Program Director
    cmd@fdu.edu; (973) 443-8990
  • Jessica Presco Georgianni,
    Associate Director of Enrollment Services
    presco@fdu.edu; (973) 443-8618
  • Cheryl Connelly, Program Coordinator
    cbc@fdu.edu; (973) 443-8882

Office Location and Hours

Main contact information
973-443-8690
paralegal@fdu.edu
www.fdu.edu/paralegal

Florham Campus:
Danforth Hall, 2nd Floor
Monday to Friday 9 AM to 2 PM
Tuesday 5 PM to 6:30 PM

Metropolitan Campus:
Dickinson Hall, 1st Floor, Continuing Education Suite
Continuing Education office: Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM
Or by appointment (2-3 days per week)

Financial Assistance

There is a deferred payment plan available to students as well as several loan programs.
Additionally, students are eligible to apply to the Federal Credit Union on either campus for unsecured loans. Contact Jessica Presco Georgianni, Associate Director of Enrollment Services at 973-443-8618 for more information. Please note, it is the student's responsibility to obtain and compile all documents required as part of the financial assistance process. Regardless of the funding sources, all students will be required to sign a promissory note unless paid in full at the inception of the Program.

Purchasing Books

Florham Campus: located in the Student Center 973-443-8656
Teaneck/Hackensack Campus: located in Alumni Hall 201-692-2093
Eatontown MCGC: you may purchase your books at either the bookstore or books may be purchased on-line at www.fdum.bkstr.com  

Libraries

Florham Campus:
Friendship Library 973-443-8515                                
Morris County Library 973-285-6930
Teaneck Campus: 
Weiner Library 201-692-2279
Hackensack Location:
Business Library (Dickinson Hall) 201-692-2608

Emergency Phone Numbers

Florham Campus - Campus Security: 973-443-8888
Florham Park Police Department 973-377-2811
Florham Park Fire Department 973-377-2811
Madison Police Department: 973-593-3000
Madison Fire Department 973-443-3020

Teaneck/Hackensack Campus - Campus Security: 201-692-2222
Teaneck Police Department 201-837-2600
Teaneck Fire Department 201-837-2085
Hackensack Police Department 201-646-7777
Hackensack Fire Department 201-646-7778

Student Identification Cards

Florham and Teaneck Campuses
Students need to obtain identification cards from campus security at the Madison and Teaneck Campuses. The acceptance letter you received by mail includes your student identification number. Otherwise, please contact the Paralegal Studies Administrative Offices at 973-443-8690 to obtain your student identification number by phone. This number is required when obtaining your student ID card.

Parking Information

Florham Campus:
Students may park in the designated parking lots; Lots 2,3 & 8. The Visitor's Permit is included in the student start pack and must be displayed on your vehicle dashboard when on campus. See the following link for a campus map: http://www.fdu.edu/studentlife/2013/florhammap.pdf

Teaneck/Hackensack Campus:
Students must obtain a parking decal as a commuter student from campus security and may park in any lot nearest to Dickinson Hall, with the exception of the Faculty and Staff parking lot. This parking lot is only accessible to students after 5:00 p.m.

Computer Labs

Florham Campus: Dreyfuss Hall 973-443-8689
Teaneck/Hackensack Campus: University Hall (Teaneck) and
Dickinson Hall (Hackensack) 201-692-7111

All Paralegal Students will need to create username and passwords on several FDU Systems:
1.     WebMail – FDU email
2.     WebAdvisor – https://webadvisor.fdu.edu  – Instructors will post their grades, Student are able to obtain an unofficial transcript.
3.     WebCampus/Blackboard – https://webcampus.fdu.edu – Instructors may post course documents, assignments, resource material on Blackboard. Use the same logon information as WebMail. It will be the student’s responsibility to print out the necessary documents in preparation for their classes.
4.     Novell – FDU Lab(s) only

The acceptance letter you received by mail includes the student identification number required to create a WebMail account. This is important to do ASAP. A student is welcome to continue with the others systems by downloading the “How To” Sheets from the www.fdu.edu/paralegal  page under Student Resources.

Inclement Weather

When the NJ campuses are closed due to bad weather, the FDU Alert system will be used to notify the University community. In order to review and maintain your contact information, you must first logon to WebAdvisor (http://webadvisor.fdu.edu/), select the Student menu, and then click on the FDU Alert system link. A subsequent screen will allow you to enter personal contact information including work phone, cell phone, SMS (cell phone text) address and non-FDU e-mail.

You can also contact our office for class cancellation information.
Florham Campus: 973-443-8690 or Public Safety at 973-443-8888
Teaneck/Hackensack Campus: 201-692-2639 or Public Safety at 201-692-2222

Class Schedules

Day Classes run for approximately 6 months from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Occasional Fridays (9:30am-12:30pm) are scheduled as make-up dates.
Evening Classes run for approximately 12 months from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Occasional Saturdays (9:30am-12:30pm) are scheduled as make-up dates.

Courses

  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law (Includes exposure to Family Software-Divorce Financials, CIS)
  • Ethics
  • Legal Research & Writing (Incldes exposue to WestlawNext and Lexis/Nexis Academic)
  • Corporate Law
  • Real Estate
  • Estates, Trusts and Wills
  • Legal Specialty Course (Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Advanced Contracts, Bankruptcy Law (Includes exposure to Best Case® Bankruptcy Software) , Elder Care Law, Employment Law, Environmental Law, Federal Practice & Procedure (Includes exposure to Federal E-Filing-PACER), Franchise Law, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property, Landlord/Tenant Practice, NJ Land Use Practice, NY Practice and Procedure, Torts (Personal Injury), Workers' Compensation)

Students are assigned one legal specialty course as part of the Program. Students may choose to register for a different legal specialty course outside of the one assigned, space-permitting, for a $75 registration fee. Students may choose to take an additional legal specialty course, space-permitting, at an additional charge of $461.31 plus a $75 registration fee, which must be paid in full before the start of the course. No discounts apply to the cost of the legal specialty course.

Course Materials

Instructors may post additional handouts, course materials or assignments on Blackboard. Refer to the instructions on how to set-up WebMail and WebCampus accounts.

Resources

  • Libraries
  • Computer Labs (Room assignments to be announced)
  • Learning Centers
  • Continuing Education Courses – Fee charged for each additional legal specialty course taken - open to students and graduates.

Career Services (Voluntary)

  • FDU on-line job search website
  • External Experience Opportunities, Part-Time positions, Full-Time positions, Temporary positions
  • Pre-employment Seminars (Resume Writing and Interviewing Techniques)
  • Individual Counseling, Resume Critique, Job Search Strategies, Mock Interviews

Shortly after beginning the Program, you will attend a series of pre-employment seminars that provide instruction in resume preparation, job search strategies, and interviewing techniques. Additionally, private consultants and mock interviews are available. Attendance at these seminars is voluntary.

Academic Release

In order to provide potential employers, law school services, or other persons with information pertaining to your academic performance in the Program, students must sign an academic release granting us permission to release such information. If a student wishes to make a change to the release on file, the student must retrieve that form and replace it with a new one.

Attendance and Lateness Policy

Students are required to attend lectures as mandated by the American Bar Association.
Students must maintain a certain amount of individual class hours in order to fulfill these requirements. Any student that misses more than 3 classes in Civil Litigation, Corporate Law, or Real Estate Law, more than 2 classes in Criminal Law, Family Law, Legal Research & Writing, Estates Trusts & Wills, or the Legal Specialty course, and/or more than 1 class in Ethics will automatically be required to repeat the course and charged the current rate for the course.

At the discretion of the instructor, any student that arrives late for class or leaves early on a consistent basis and/or in an excessive manner will be penalized. Students will receive an absence for every three late arrivals to or early departures from class.

Assignments

It is the responsibility of the student to keep a copy of their assignments submitted during class and the original graded assignment that is returned to the student.

Examinations & Make Up Exams

Students must be present for all examinations unless prior arrangements are made with your instructor and the Associate Dean of Legal Studies. Unless otherwise authorized by the Associate Dean of Legal Studies in advance of the class, any student not taking an exam on the scheduled exam date and/or not turning in a take-home exam or assignment on a scheduled date will have his/her numeric grade reduced by 10 points for every day the exam and/or assignment remains outstanding. In cases of illness, a physician’s note must be provided in order to avoid the point reduction. Instructors may not make alternate arrangements and are to direct any student with such inquiry to the office. Teaneck and Florham: students should contact Rita De Lillo (973) 443-8512.

Failure and Incompletes

If any student has not completed the coursework and/or examinations in the timeframe provided, the student will receive an incomplete for the course. Make up exams and assignments will be handled as stated above. Any student who has received an incomplete and has not taken a make up exam in a timely manner and/or has failed a course (a grade below 65) must repeat the course as soon as possible but no later than a period of one year and will be charged the current rate for the course.

Notification of Grades

Grades are posted on-line and can be viewed on WebAdvisor. Refer to the instructions on how to set-up a WebAdvisor account. Students will not receive grades over the phone. Student grade evaluations that further explain the composition of the grade are mailed to students approximately three weeks after taking the examination. Students may arrange to review mid-term and final examinations by appointment.

Appeal of a Final Grade

Students may appeal final grades if they feel such action is warranted. Students must contact their instructor to discuss and attempt to resolve grading issues within 14 days of the grade being posted. Thereafter, the instructor will provide the student a determination concerning their grading issue. If the student wants to appeal the determination of the instructor, the student must write to the Program Administration identifying in detail the nature of the appeal within 14 days of receipt of the instructor’s determination. Upon review of all materials submitted, the student will receive a determination from the Program Administration. Within 14 days of receipt of the Program Administration’s determination, the student may appeal to the Office of the Dean of Petrocelli College. Failure to abide by the 14 day limitation in any step of the appeal process shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal. The appellate process ends at the Office of the Dean.

Removal from Program

A student may be removed from the Program for academic reasons including but not limited to a breach of academic integrity, falsification of admissions documentation, cheating, or for any dishonesty involving assignments or exams and/or for receiving failing grades in courses. The FDU Academic Regulations state what constitutes academic dishonesty: “Academic dishonesty includes, but is not necessarily limited, to the following: 1. Cheating – Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in any academic exercise or examination…. 5. Complicity – Facilitating any of the above actions or performing work that another student presents as his or her assignments….”  Removal from the Program may be warranted for other reasons as determined by the Program Administration.

Evaluations of Instructors and Instructor Evaluations of Students

Students are asked to evaluate their instructors after each class and feedback is considered by the administration. Instructors evaluate each student and provide feedback on the quality of outside assignments, communication skills, class participation and overall performance.

Seating Policy

Every student is entitled to one seat on a first come, first served basis. There are no assigned seats. If you occupy an additional seat for coats, bags, etc., you will have to remove those items upon request in order to allow a student to sit there. Seating is available for the student only. Students are not allowed to bring guests to attend class. The seating policy must be adhered to in its entirety. Those that violate this policy and create an environment not conducive to learning will be excused from class and referred to the Dean of Students.

Taping of Classroom Lectures

 Only with the permission of the instructor may students tape classroom lectures.

Eating and Drinking in Class

Faculty members will decide whether to allow the consumption of food or beverages during class. If allowed, students should be aware of their responsibility for cleanliness and avoid classroom disruption.

Cell Phones

Cell phones must be turned off or operate on a vibrate mode during the entire
class period. Text Messaging and Phone Calls are not allowed in the classroom. No exceptions. The cell phone policy must be adhered to in its entirety. Those that violate this policy and create an environment not conducive to learning will be excused from class and referred to the Dean of Students.

Legal Advice

Students are prohibited from seeking legal advice from the faculty. This prohibition does not foreclose a student from retaining a faculty member as counsel once the course is completed and final grades are posted, but, rather eliminates the discussion of personal problems in class.

Change of Name, Address or Phone Number(s)

It is the student's responsibility to inform us of any change of name, address or phone number(s).

Certificate of Completion

In order to receive a Certificate of Completion and Final Transcript, a student must (1) complete all academic, administrative, and financial requirements of the Program, including but not limited to, payment of tuition and University parking fines, (2) ensure that all official transcripts from prior educational institutions and transcript evaluation for international degrees, if applicable, were received, (3) obtain a passing grade of 65 or higher in each course, and (4) participate in an exit interview with the Associate Dean of Legal Studies unless other arrangements have been made, and (5) all coursework must be completed within 5 years from the student's initial start date.

Students, who have successfully completed the FDU Paralegal Studies Program and can supply the Certificate of Completion demonstrating passing scores and the Certificate Award, may utilize this documentation to receive up to 18 undergraduate "free elective" college credits at FDU.  These credits can only be posted toward an FDU undergraduate degree after the completion of 6 (six) weighted FDU undergraduate college credits.

Receipt of the entire 18 credits is dependent upon the curriculum and the availability of free electives within that degree program. The student should be prepared to supply the Paralegal Certificate and scores with a copy of their FDU Degree Check Sheet and an official FDU transcript to Dr. Denise Hart, Director, Adult Education who will assist the student with the receipt of undergraduate college credit for this program. For information and assistance, students may call or email Dr. Hart at (201) 692-6508 or hart@fdu.edu.

Upon completion of the FDU Paralegal Studies Certificate, students can transfer in a maximum of 6 credits to the Master of Administrative Science program. Students must follow the application & registration process. After successful completion of their first semester in the MAS program, students will need to submit the Paralegal Studies Certificate to the MAS office for transfer credits in lieu of MADS 6719 ST: Litigation Preparation & Administration and MADS 6635 Legal Research Methods & Analysis.  For additional information, please contact the School of Administrative Science, (201) 692-7171 or mas@fdu.edu.

Students who attend other colleges and universities should inquire with the Advising Staff at said institution to determine if FDU’s Paralegal Program can be awarded college credit.

Transcript Requests

To order your Transcript, please go to the following link:  http://view2.fdu.edu/university-offices/enrollment-services/transcripts/

Leave of Absence

If a leave of absence is required due to serious illness or personal issues, please contact the Associate Dean of Legal Studies. A request for a leave of absence must be made in writing. A student who has been granted a leave of absence will be discontinued from the Program, unless the student returns within a year. Beyond a year, the leave of absence will convert to a withdrawal from the Program and students will be charged the current rate for any course that needs to be completed. All coursework must be completed within 5 years from the student's initial start date in order to receive a Certificate of Completion. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a very limited basis.

Student Services / Special Accommodations

In order to receive special academic or physical accommodations, a 'Disability Disclosure Form' must be completed and returned with all the documents which describe your disability (e.g. IEP from school, Doctor's report, Psycho-educational evaluation).

Florham Campus and Metropolitan Campus students submit forms to:
Mr. Craig Mourton, Assistant Provost
1000 River Road, T-RH2-09
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: 201-692-2477  Fax: 201-692-2469 

Withdrawal from the Program

Students must submit a written notice to the Associate Dean of Legal Studies via certified mail. The effective date of notification will be the date of receipt. Non-attendance does not constitute an official withdrawal. Any student wishing to withdraw or to rejoin the Program at a later time will have to secure permission from the Associate Dean of Legal Studies and will be charged the current rate for any course that needs to be completed. All coursework must be completed within 5 years from the student's initial start date in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.

Cancellation - Refund Policy

Students will be entitled to tuition refund or cancellation of charges for tuition, other than
the $25 application fee and $75 registration fee, in accordance with the following schedule:
Prior to the first day of class - 100% cancellation of tuition
During the first week of class - 90% credit for tuition charges only
During the second week of class - 80% credit for tuition charges only
During the third week of class - 60% credit for tuition charges only
During the fourth week of class - 40% credit for tuition charges only
During the fifth week of class- 20% credit for tuition charges only
Thereafter - No Refund 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Administrative Offices
Tel: (877) 338-5222    Fax: (973) 443-8524 
Email: paralegal@fdu.edu        Website: www.fdu.edu/paralegal