Request Information

Legal & Law Programs ►Paralegal Certificate Program with Externship


Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity



The Paralegal

Paralegals play one of the most important roles in the legal industry. Though individual attorneys are ultimately responsible for the legal work they produce and the strategies they devise, many tasks “ from legal research and writing, source citing, filing, and others “ are delegated to paralegals. As such, it is imperative for successful Paralegals to have a fundamental understanding of the substantive and procedural elements applicable to the specific areas of law where they'll be working so that they can build on a solid foundation of knowledge starting from the first day. 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.


The Paralegal Program

This program offers an in-depth view of the role of paralegals play within the American legal system. Examining the myriad of skills used by paralegals everyday alongside the typical legal working environment, students will explore the common areas of law in which they'll likely be working, the various ethical considerations that may arise as well as the sources of law they'll reference every day. Students will be offered an offered an overview of traditional state and federal courts as well as the implications and uses for alternative dispute resolution. Students will also be introduced to various career opportunities available to trained paralegals.
This program also 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 program, students will be able to recognize an ethical issue, categorize it, and research the possible solutions to the issue.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Introduction to the Paralegal Profession
  • Introduction to Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Use Microsoft Office

THE PARALEGAL PROFESSION

  • Describe the primary responsibilities of the paralegal in the American legal system
  • List professional qualifications for a paralegal
  • Give examples of how "soft skills" can increase the effectiveness of a paralegal
  • Compare different types of legal work settings
  • Give examples of paralegal tasks common to most environments
  • Give examples of paralegal tasks related to particular legal specialties
  • Describe the importance of proper billing and accounting practices
  • Identify the types of accounts a law practice may require

PARALEGAL CAREERS

  • Identify the types of paralegal educational programs
  • Describe the professional associations available to the paralegal
  • Explain the benefits of networking
  • Describe career opportunities for paralegals
  • Explain how a resume is tailored for a legal environment
  • Prepare a resume for a paralegal position

ETHICS OF THE PARALEGAL PROFESSION

  • Identify guidelines for avoiding unauthorized practice of law by paralegals
  • Compare ethical regulation of attorneys with regulation of paralegals
  • Describe efforts to regulate the paralegal profession
  • Recognize unethical recording of accounting and client payments
  • Determine the appropriate ethical response to various legal scenarios
  • Discuss how to protect client confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest

SOURCES OF AMERICAN LAW AND THE COURT SYSTEMS

  • Outline the basic history of the American legal system and its laws
  • Describe the sources of law in the United States
  • Name the courts included in a typical state court system
  • Relate the parts of the federal court system
  • Describe the role of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Compare the jurisdiction of federal and state courts
  • Describe techniques that support good listening skills in a client interview
  • Explain how to prepare for a client interview
  • Prepare a checklist for a client interview
  • Describe the steps in conducting an investigation
  • Identify the parties involved and their roles in the investigation process
  • Describe how to select material and expert witnesses

INTERVIEWING AND INVESTIGATING SKILLS

  • Describe techniques that support good listening skills in a client interview
  • Explain how to prepare for a client interview
  • Prepare a checklist for a client interview
  • Describe the steps in conducting an investigation
  • Identify the parties involved and their roles in the investigation process
  • Describe how to select material and expert witnesses

LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING

  • Develop a research plan for a legal question
  • Develop search queries for computer-based research
  • Contrast traditional paper-based research with online research methods
  • Describe ways to update research to reflect current legal developments
  • Research a legal matter
  • Compare the writing style used in briefs and memoranda
  • Identify the purpose of using citations in legal writing
  • Describe the purpose and components of legal briefs and memoranda of law
  • Write legal briefs
  • Draft internal memoranda of law
  • Use citations in legal documents

CIVIL LITIGATION AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • List the major pleadings and the parties involved
  • Identify the main forms of discovery
  • Identify the types of pretrial motions
  • Describe the purpose of a settlement conference
  • Describe the usual phases of a trial
  • Identify the trier of fact for jury and non-jury trials
  • Describe the process of appealing a decision
  • Describe the possible decisions of an appellate court
  • Identify the types of alternative dispute resolution
  • Give examples of when to apply each type of alternate dispute resolution

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

  • Identify the role of administrative law in the legal system
  • Compare the possible legislative, executive, and judicial powers of agencies
  • Describe an agency's duty to disclose
  • Outline the process for judicial review of agency actions

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

  • Describe the elements of a crime
  • Outline the various types of crimes
  • Identify the participants of crime from a fact pattern
  • Describe inchoate crimes
  • Explain constitutional protections and defenses
  • Outline the stages of criminal proceedings

TORTS

  • List examples of intentional torts
  • Define negligence
  • Explain the four elements of negligence
  • Define negligence defenses
  • Define strict liability

CONTRACTS

  • Identify the elements of a contract
  • Explain the six contracts subject to the statute of frauds
  • Outline the methods available to discharge a contract
  • Summarize the various contract remedies available
  • Define a Uniform Commercial Code sales contract

PROPERTY

  • Define personal and real property
  • Describe the different types of ownership interest in real property
  • Summarize the methods of transferring ownership of real property
  • Explain the landlord-tenant relationship
  • Describe the types of intellectual property

FAMILY LAW

  • Describe pre-marriage legal concepts
  • Identify marriage requirements
  • Distinguish between annulment and divorce
  • Identify the laws pertaining to property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support
  • Identify documents necessary for a divorce

ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE

  • Describe the different types of wills
  • Describe when the intestacy statute applies
  • Outline probate procedure
  • Distinguish a living will from a health care proxy
  • Differentiate between the various types of trusts
  • Identify how trusts are terminated

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

  • Define agency relationship
  • Identify the parties to an agency
  • Define sole proprietorship
  • Describe the difference between general and limited partnership
  • Define Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Describe the different classifications of corporations
  • Explain the roles and duties of shareholders, officers, and directors in corporations

THE PARALEGAL IN CIVIL LITIGATION

  • Identify typical members of the legal team
  • Define the primary role of each member of the legal team
  • Describe the role of the paralegal in various legal environments
  • Explain the rules governing paralegal participation and certification in your jurisdiction
  • List the types of skills required for a litigation paralegal
  • Outline the tasks typically performed by paralegals in civil litigation
  • Summarize the ethical rules governing civil litigation in your jurisdiction
  • Apply ethical rules governing civil litigation in your jurisdiction to a case study

CLIENT INTERVIEWS AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Define the purpose of an interview with a client or witness
  • Apply the steps in preparing for an interview of a client or witness
  • Choose appropriate checklists and other tools to document an interview with a client or witness
  • Describe the appropriate environment, dress, and approach to use in the interview with a client or witness
  • Develop an interview strategy to include introduction, questions, signs of stress you will look for, and how you will make the client or witness more comfortable and cooperative
  • Analyze a sample interview to determine its strengths and weaknesses
  • Locate official reports relevant to a civil case
  • Identify the location of the incident
  • Identify tangible evidence related to a civil case
  • Diagram a timeline of the incident
  • Identify material witnesses and potential witnesses in a case study

ORGANIZING AND MANAGING CIVIL LITIGATION

  • Describe various types of case management software
  • Identify the components of a case notebook
  • Build a timeline to track deadlines throughout the case management process

EVIDENCE

  • Summarize the Federal Rules of Evidence
  • Differentiate between admissible and inadmissible evidence
  • Recognize each type of evidence
  • Determine the appropriate use for each type of evidence
  • Select appropriate evidence to support a civil case

SETTLEMENT AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)

  • Describe the settlement documents commonly used in civil cases
  • Outline the types of alternative dispute resolution often used in civil cases
  • Identify the damages relevant to a civil case
  • Prepare settlement documents for a civil case

PLEADING, COMPLAINT, SUMMONS, AND SERVICE

  • Describe the purposes of the types of pleadings often required in civil cases
  • Describe the components of a complaint
  • Prepare a notice pleading complaint for a civil case
  • Prepare a summons for a civil case

RESPONSES TO A COMPLAINT

  • Describe the components of an answer to a complaint
  • Prepare an answer to a complaint

INTRODUCTION TO DISCOVERY

  • Define privilege
  • Explain attorney-client privilege
  • Describe the difference between attorney-client privilege and common interest privilege
  • Explain the work product doctrine and its exceptions and limitations
  • Describe the five forms of discovery
  • Describe the sequence and timing of discovery
  • Identify information subject to mandatory disclosure
  • Identify information in a civil case that is subject to mandatory disclosure
  • Prepare the information in a civil case that is subject to mandatory disclosure for the opposing legal team

ISSUES IN ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY

  • Summarize the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to electronic discovery
  • Outline the electronic discovery process
  • Identify ethical issues related to the electronic discovery process

INTERROGATORIE AND REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION

  • Describe documents used for discovery in civil cases
  • Prepare an interrogatory
  • Prepare a request for production

DEPOSITIONS AND OTHER DISCOVERY

  • Summarize the use of different types of depositions
  • Prepare a digest of testimony based on a deposition

TRIAL PREPARATION FROM POST-DISCOVERY TO PRETRIAL

  • Summarize the legal issues involved in civil trials
  • Describe the types of facts commonly presented in civil trials
  • Describe the components of a pretrial memorandum
  • Identify the elements of a trial brief
  • Summarize an issue related to a civil case
  • Compose a memo to an attorney

TRIAL

  • Outline the process of a civil case trial
  • Prepare a summary of an evidentiary issue presented as a motion at trial

POST-TRIAL PROCEDURES

  • Outline the civil case appeal process
  • Prepare a post-trial motion

ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGEMENTS

  • Outline the process of collecting and enforcing judgments
  • Explain the statutory limitations on collection efforts
  • Prepare a judgment satisfaction document
  • Gather case information
  • Assemble case information into an organized case notebook

OVERVIEW OF CONTRACT LAW

  • Describe the elements of a contract
  • Describe the types of contracts

FORMATION OF CONTRACTS

  • Describe the elements of a contract
  • Define terms related to the formation of a contract
  • Describe the process for reaching agreement on the terms of a contract
  • Write a generic contract

ASSENT AND CONSIDERATION

  • Describe the elements of a contract
  • Describe the types of contracts

PARTIES AFFECTED BY THE CONTRACT

  • Describe the elements of a contract
  • Define contractual capacity
  • Describe assignable contract rights
  • Determine appropriate responses to hypothetical situations related to contract law

FRAUD

  • Describe the differences between a legal and illegal contract
  • Define fraud
  • Define duress
  • Define undue influence

CONTRACTS IN WRITING

  • Identify the types of contracts that must be in writing under the Statute of Frauds
  • Describe the elements of a contract
  • Describe ethical standards in contract law

THIRD-PARTIES AND CONTRACTS

  • Describe assignable contract rights
  • Determine appropriate responses to hypothetical situations related to contract law

REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT

  • Explain when discharge of a contract incurs liability
  • Explain material and minor breach of contract
  • Describe monetary damages
  • Describe equitable remedies

CONTRACTS IN AN E-WORLD

  • Describe how to formulate a contract electronically
  • Describe remedies for breach of contract relating to the internet or electronic technology

THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE

  • Describe how the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs sales contracts
  • Describe how the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs lease contracts
  • Examine issues on which the common law overrides the UCC
  • Produce a UCC contract template
  • Prepare instructions for using a UCC contract template
  • Produce a common law contract template
  • Prepare instructions for using a common law contract template

PERFORMANCE OF UCC CONTRACTS

  • Describe the types of contracts
  • Define passage of title
  • Determine the party that bears risk of loss under various contract situations

REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF UCC CONTRACTS

  • Describe remedies for breach of a sales contract
  • Describe how the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs sales contracts
  • Determine whether a breach of contract occurs in a hypothetical situation
  • Determine appropriate damages for hypothetical situations in which breach of contract has occurred

WARRANTIES UNDER THE UCC

  • Describe express warranties
  • Describe implied warranties
  • Describe legal warranty disclaimers
  • Write a generic warranty form
  • Prepare instructions for using the warranty form

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TORTS AND CONTRACTS

  • Relate tort law doctrine to breach of contract
  • Describe remedies for breach of sales contract
  • Research a contract problem
  • Categorize problems in a contract case
  • Prepare a checklist for a memorandum of law
  • Write a memorandum of law for a contract issue

SPECIAL FORMS

  • Describe negotiable instruments
  • Describe agency contracts
  • Describe labor contracts
  • Explain actions that can be taken when using negotiable instruments
  • Describe the effect of bankruptcy on collective bargaining agreements

PURPOSE AND SOURCES OF CRIMINAL LAW

  • Describe English common law
  • Explain the major theories of law and schools of jurisprudence
  • Identify the sources of criminal law in the United States
  • Distinguish criminal law from civil law
  • Outline the U.S. judicial system
  • Outline the investigation, arrest, and pretrial components of the criminal process
  • Outline the process of a criminal case trial
  • Describe the appeal phase of the criminal process
  • Identify the conditions of serving a sentence
  • Outline criminal procedure
  • Summarize the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution
  • Describe how the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution are evident in criminal law and procedure

CRIMINAL OFFENSES

  • Identify types of computer systems used in a law office
  • Describe how an act or omission may be a crime Describe mens rea Describe actus reus Describe causation of criminal offenses

CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON

  • Define murder and its various degrees
  • Explore examples of inchoate offenses
  • Define manslaughter and its various types

OTHER CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON

  • Examine the variations of violence against the person
  • Describe the elements of each variation of violence against the person

CRIMES AGAINST THE PROPERTY

  • Explore rights associated with each type of property
  • Examine theft and its classifications
  • Define robbery
  • Define burglary
  • Define arson

CRIMES AGAINST SECURITY

  • Define treason with respect to the provisions in the U.S. Constitution
  • Explore terrorism with respect to the provisions of the Patriot Act of 2001
  • Research the rights of a U.S. president during times of war or armed conflict

CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE

  • Analyze the defenses for types and elements of perjury
  • Summarize the elements of and defenses to bribery charges
  • Research governmental controls to limit organizational corruption
  • Research how protests become criminal behavior

SOCIAL CRIMES

  • Examine the elements required to prosecute prostitution
  • Define public indecency
  • Describe the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on abortion
  • Summarize the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on sodomy

COMMON LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEFENSES

  • Outline defenses rooted in common law, statutory law, and the Constitution that are available to a criminal defendant
  • Analyze a crime scenario using various sources of law
  • Design a defense for a crime scenario using various sources of law

PARALEGAL ETHICS

  • Examine how attorney-client privilege, husband-wife privilege, priest-penitent privilege, and patient-counselor privilege may create ethical challenges in a criminal case
  • Research how conflict of interest impacts a criminal case
  • Examine how confidentiality may create ethical challenges in a criminal case
  • Explore how unauthorized practice of law is a crime
  • Explore how zealous representation could impact a criminal case

RIGHTS BEFORE ARREST

  • Explore the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Explore why probable cause and sufficient proof are required for a search warrant to be issued
  • Examine the exclusionary rule and how searches may be conducted without a warrant
  • Describe the law on using technology for searches

ARREST AND INTERROGATION

  • Research how the Miranda case impacts interrogation and confession guidelines during the arrest process
  • Examine when physical evidence can be compelled from a defendant without violating the right against self-incrimination
  • Explore the grand jury system

REPRESENTATION

  • Distinguish an arraignment from a preliminary hearing
  • Explore the right to counsel and the use of a public defender
  • Describe the right to a speedy trial

TRIAL

  • Analyze the provisions in the U.S. Constitution that require trial by jury in criminal cases
  • Define jury
  • Explain how members of a jury are selected
  • Explore the impact of pretrial publicity on a jury
  • Examine the intent of "beyond a reasonable doubt"

POST-CONVICTION RIGHTS

  • List capital crimes
  • Describe procedural safeguards required by the eighth amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Research the law of appeals and post-conviction relief
  • Examine the U.S. Supreme Court's position on life in prison for repeat offenders
  • Research the criminal law and procedure of a case
  • Analyze a criminal case for potential violations of constitutional rights
  • Critique the criminal law and procedure used in a criminal case
  • Summarize a criminal case

Note: This program can be completed in 6 months. However, students will have online access to this program for a 24-month period.

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There are several National Certification exams that are available to students who successfully complete this program.
    • National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal (CP) / Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.


National Certification

Upon successful completion of this program,students would be eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal (CP) / Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)exam and the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval,state registration or other state requirements for this program,students who complete this program will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam.Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified,eligible and prepared to do so.works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum


Although not a requirement,once students complete the program,they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location.works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.

Note:No refunds can be issued after the start date published in your Financial Award document.