Madonna Professor Publishes 8th Edition of Paralegal Textbook

paralegal today textbook cover

LIVONIA, MICH. – Mary Meinzinger Urisko, J.D., director of Madonna University’s paralegal studies program, has published the eighth edition of the textbook titled The Paralegal Today; an introduction to law and paralegal studies. Meinzinger Urisko, of West Bloomfield, originally coauthored the textbook with Roger Miller twenty-five years ago. A much-needed resource in 1995, it is still a key text for many paralegal instructors today.

Before publishing her book, Urisko found that many paralegal books were written by non-lawyers and sometimes contained legally inaccurate information. “The paralegal profession was just over twenty years old when we started writing the book,” said Meinzinger Urisko. “There were very few textbooks for use by paralegal program instructors, and the introduction-to-law textbooks that existed did not cover substantive law subjects such as torts, contracts, or criminal law,” she said.

Since its publication, The Paralegal Today has been updated to reflect the evolution in how legal services are provided. While more and more services are delivered online, Meinzinger Urisko points out that clients still generally prefer the assurance that comes from personal contact. In keeping with these developments, the book’s Eighth Edition, covers the traditional topics needed in paralegal education, and also features the many online tools now available. Meinzinger Urisko continues to use this textbook, which includes online supplements through Cengage Publishing, to teach introductory paralegal studies courses at Madonna University.

Madonna’s paralegal courses are being offered online, in both live/synchronous, and asynchronous online formats. Students enjoy personal instruction in small classes with experienced instructors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects much faster than average employment growth for paralegals between 2019 and 2029. Program graduates are employed in local corporate legal departments, large and small law firms, and state and federal courts and government agencies. 

Madonna University’s paralegal studies program is approved by the American Bar Association and has maintained its status for more than 35 years. The program offers the only bachelor's degree in paralegal studies in Metro Detroit, along with an associate's degree and post baccalaureate certificate. Bachelor’s degree completion programs are offered through the Macomb and Henry Ford University Centers.

Some of Madonna University’s Paralegal Studies Course Offerings:

  • Legal Research and Writing I introduces the basics of legal research and the preparation of basic legal documents, such as complaint, case brief, memorandum of law and motion, and brief for summary disposition.
  • Law, Society and Politics examines the social, political, and historical contexts of laws as a social institution. Students will examine historical, political, and societal perspectives on why law is made, how it is made in legislatures and the courts, and how it shapes what individuals do on an everyday basis.
  • Legal Research on the Internet introduces basic concepts for performing legal and factual research on the Internet for use in legal applications. Federal legal research, as well as factual research such as locating individuals and businesses, obtaining records, and accessing websites will be covered.
  • Domestic Relations covers divorce law, including interviewing, counseling, investigation; drafting, serving and filing of legal papers, determination of jurisdiction, Friend of the Court Act and property settlements.
  • Real Estate which includes the topics of interviewing and data collection, title work, mortgage work, taxation, drafting of purchase and sale agreements, closing, liability, insurance.
  • Legal Research and Writing II offers additional research practice and focuses on federal legal sources, and provides the fundamentals of drafting various federal court documents.
  • Law Office Economics and Technology focuses on law firm utilization of computers and specialized legal software to achieve the economic practice of law. Students will earn the National Society for Legal Technology Legal Tech certificate.

For more information, email Mary Urisko at murisko@madonna.edu .