Paralegal Certificate

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

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The certificate is a part-time 21 credit hour evening classroom-based program allowing those currently working to obtain certification to advance their career. Paralegals improve the efficiency, speed, economy, and availability of legal services, thus meeting the need for more cost effective legal services. Typical work activities include preparing materials for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. They also draft contracts, investigate the facts of cases, organize and track legal files, and are involved in the preparation of tax returns and maintenance of financial office records. Paralegals are typically employed by law firms or governmental agencies; however paralegals may also be employed by corporations, insurance companies, hospitals, title companies and community legal service agencies.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary program. The program is usually completed in two and one-half years, but there is a one year accelerated program, for those individuals meeting the eligibility requirements. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may use this certificate to fulfill the CLAS minor requirement.

Certificate Requirements

All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated.

The Paralegal Studies Studies Certificate Program requires 21 credit hours of coursework in political science, English, and business for completion. Students must be admitted to the paralegal program to register for paralegal courses.

Prerequisites (6 cr.)
  • ENG-W 131 Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I
  • CSCI-A 106 Introduction to Computing

Required Political Science Courses (15 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 211 Introduction to Law
  • POLS-Y 221 Legal Research and Writing for Paralegal Studies
  • POLS-Y 222 Litigation for Paralegal Studies
  • POLS-Y 224 Property Law for Paralegal Studies
  • POLS-Y 229 Estate Law for Paralegal Studies

Required English Courses (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 233 Intermediate Expository Writing

Required Business Courses (3 cr.)
  • BUS-X 102 Freshman Seminar in Business
    VT: Business Organizations for Paralegals

Additional Requirements

In addition to completing the above courses, students must also complete two six-hour mandatory seminars (which meet for six hours on a given Saturday during the semester) and four of five three-hour seminars (which meet during regularly scheduled class times).

Six-Hour Seminars

  • Client Interviewing Seminar
  • Law Office Technology and Systems Seminar

Three-Hour Seminars

  • Paralegal Methods in Business Organizations Seminar
  • Paralegal Methods in Estate Planning
  • Paralegal Methods in Litigation Seminar
  • Paralegal Methods in Probate Seminar
  • Paralegal Methods in Real Property Seminar

Academic Bulletins

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