Certificate in Paralegal Studies

This program prepares students for employment as paralegals/legal assistants in private law firms, courts and government agencies, corporations, and other business/organizations conducting legal related work. Students learn law and legal principles, legal research and writing, critical thinking, 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 techniques for evidence gathering by interviewing clients and witnesses and obtaining discovery.
  • Explain the paralegal’s role in providing office support that maintains the legal field’s ethical and professional standards.

Class Requirements


ENGL 111         Composition and Rhetoric (3)

LEGL 111         Introduction to Law (4)

LEGL 112         Introduction to the Paralegal

Professions (3)

LEGL 115         Torts, Practice and Procedure (3)

LEGL 121         Legal Research and Writing I (3)

LEGL 231         Evidence Law (3)

LEGL 241         Legal Research Writing II/Westlaw (4)

LEGL 250         Civil Litigation (3)

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



Choose from the following:

LEGL courses 200 and higher*

LEGL 114         Legal Secretarial Skills (3)**

CRJS 203          Criminal Law and Procedure (3)


* LEGL law courses are preferred related requirements. Students with no paralegal work experience should take three credit hours of LEGL 298 Internship.

** 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.