Certificate in Paralegal Studies

This program prepares students for employment as paralegals/legal assistants in private law firms, courts and government agencies, corporations, businesses, and organizations conducting legal related work. Students learn law and legal principles, legal research and writing, case management, interviewing and investigating, preparation of legal documents, law office administration, and legal ethics. Students seeking this certificate will be most successful in finding employment if they already have significant work experience in an office environment or prior college credits. Students without such background should consider completing the A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies instead of the Certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Explain the structure of the American legal system and how legal cases are processed
  • Analyze legal problems by conducting legal research, interpreting law, and composing persuasive written and oral legal arguments
  • Compose basic legal pleadings, legal memoranda, and correspondence related to case processing
  • Demonstrate evidence-gathering techniques for obtaining discovery and interviewing clients and witnesses
  • Explain the paralegal’s role in providing office support that maintains the legal field’s ethical and professional standards

Class Requirements

CORE REQUIREMENTS: (35 HRS.)

ENGL 111              Composition and Rhetoric (3) [and]

ENGL 112              Composition and Literature (3) [or]

ENGL 119              Professional Communications (3)

LEGL 111               Introduction to American Law for Paralegals (3)

LEGL 112               Introduction to the Paralegal Profession (3)

LEGL 115               Torts, Practice and Procedure (3)

LEGL 121               Legal Research and Writing I (3)

LEGL 231               Evidence Law (3)

LEGL 240               Constitutional Law (3)

LEGL 241               Legal Research Writing II/Westlaw (4)

LEGL 250               Civil Litigation (3)

OFTC 111               Business Software Essentials (4)

*It’s highly recommended that students take LEGL 111 and 121 in their first semester.

RELATED REQUIREMENTS: (9 HRS.)

CRJS 203                Criminal Law and Procedure (3) [or]

CRJS 204                Law and the Professional Investigator (3) [and]

Any LEGL courses 200 and above, including LEGL 114*

Recommended in last semester: LEGL 298 Internship (3)

*LEGL 114 is primarily for students enrolled in the Legal Secretary or Law Office Administrative Assistant Certificates.

NOTE: See “First-Year Student Success Course Requirement” on Page 8.

TOTAL 44 CREDITS MIN.