Certified Paralegal (Voucher Included)

Paralegals play a vital role in the legal profession. These qualified professionals take on a variety of tasks ranging from legal research to drafting legal documents in traditional law office settings and in the corporate, government, and public arenas. Formal training is a critical part of preparing for a career as a paralegal.

The Paralegal course will help you gain the skills you need to enter the paralegal workforce. You will learn how to conduct legal research and legal interviews, how to...

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12 Months / 225 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

University of the District of Columbia

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Course code: GES2034

What you will learn

  • Learn the fundamentals of the U.S. legal system
  • Master how to perform legal research and interviews
  • Prepare yourself to take the Certified Paralegal certification exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
  • Understand the basics of litigation communication skills
  • Soft skills for workplace effectiveness
  • Learn necessary skills required to thrive within the legal industry
  • Learn legal research skills with access to Westlaw

How you will benefit

  • Jump-start your career as a paralegal
  • Receive a membership to the National Association of Legal Assistants and access to NALA's Certified Paralegal Exam Review and Practice Exam
  • Prepare a professional resume and portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 225 course hours
  1. The Paralegal in the Legal System 
  2. Paralegal Employment 
  3. On-the-Job Realities and Soft Skills 
  4. Regulations of Paralegals 
  5. Attorney and Paralegal Ethics 
  6. Introduction to the Legal System 
  7. Introduction to Legal Analysis 
  8. Legal Interviewing 
  9. Investigation in a Law Office 
  10. Litigation Case Management 
  11. Legal Research 101 and Advanced Legal Research 
  12. Legal Writing 
  13. Introduction to the Use of Computers 
  14. Introduction to Law Office Administration 
  15. Tort Law, Product Liability, and Consumer Law 
  16. Contracts, Insurance, and Property Law 
  17. Estates and Family Law 
  18. Laws Affecting Business 
  19. Criminal Law 
  20. NALA Certified Paralegal Exam Preparation
  21. Capstone 

Casey Thompson

Casey Thompson is a licensed attorney in Texas. Before he started teaching, his major areas of practice were business and corporate law, entertainment law, and intellectual property rights. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Tech University and holds a law degree from the Texas A&M School of Law. Along with his online paralegal courses, Thompson also teaches at the college level in the areas of state and federal government.

Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to start a career as a paralegal. It is also recommended that you have basic computer skills, including proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite and fundamental keyboarding skills. A strong grasp of English grammar conventions, such as spelling, punctuation, and composition, is also recommended.

To meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the NALA Certified Paralegal exam, you must meet one of the following requirements: You must have 60 semester hours, of which at least 15 hours* (225 clock hours) are from paralegal studies or hold an associate's degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in any field, or have seven years of experience as a legal assistant under the supervision of a member of the Bar. Please review the exam requirements before enrolling in this course.

*Note: (15 semester hours = 225 clock hours) - This course is 225 hours and can be combined with 45 semester hours to meet the 60 semester hours required in option 1(e). If you do not have 45 semester hours, you will need to meet eligibility with category 2 or 3)

Certification Requirements:

If you plan to pursue the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal (CP) credential, you must meet one of the NALA Certification Eligibility Requirements. We recommend determining eligibility before enrolling in this course. If you do not meet the eligibility requirements, this Legal Secretary course will prepare you for an entry-level legal career that can build up to the paralegal role.

NALA Certification Eligibility Requirements

You must meet one of the following requirements outlined in Categories 1, 2, or 3 at the time of filing an application form to be eligible for the CP certification exam through NALA.

1. Graduation from or completion of a paralegal program:

  • (a) approved by the American Bar Association; or
  • (b) an associate degree program in paralegal studies; or
  • (c) a post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
  • (In addition to the official school transcript, a candidate must submit an original course catalog or an original letter from the school registrar or program director attesting that the program is a post-baccalaureate certificate program requiring a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite.)
  • (d) a bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or
  • (e) a paralegal program that consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

(Candidates applying under Category 1(e) may combine college hours from more than one institution. The candidate must have graduated from a paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours.) Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the application form.)

2. A bachelor's degree in any field plus one year of experience as a paralegal or successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of substantive paralegal courses.

(Those applying under the provision allowing for additional course work in lieu of the one-year work experience must submit an official school transcript showing completed course work.)

3. A high school diploma or equivalent, plus five (5) years of experience as a paralegal plus a minimum of twenty (20) hours of substantive continuing legal education completed within the two-year period prior to application for the examination. Evidence of substantive continuing legal education credit is documented by the supervising attorney/employer attestation that must be signed as part of the application form or by submitting certificates of completions for CLE taken.  No further documentation is required.

(Candidates applying under Category 3 may combine on-the-job experience from more than one employer, as applicable. Evidence of continuing legal education credit is documented by the attorney/employer attestation that must be signed as part of the application form or by submitting certificate of completions of CLE taken. No further documentation is required.)

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Office (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Introduction to Paralegalism
  • Paralegal Today: The Legal Team at Work
  • Access to Westlaw: Legal Solutions
  • After successful completion of the course and financial obligation you will receive access to the Certified Paralegal Exam review self-study courses, which includes:
    • Membership
    • Access to the self-study courses

Please note: You will receive a digital book if the physical book is on backorder.

Yes, you will be prepared to sit for the Certified Paralegal exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and receive an exam voucher after successful completion of the course and financial obligation. Proctor fees may apply, which are not included.

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

Our courses are designed to accommodate various learning preferences. Depending on the course structure, you may get different forms of support. Self-paced courses are designed to be user-friendly and independent, minimizing the need for external support. In courses with instructors, our direct platform support feature includes opportunities for questions, discussions, and remediation, with email and phone support available for select courses. Our student advising team is available to guide you on program requirements and administrative requests, but they do not provide assistance with course content. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support for success, whether it's through self-paced exploration, direct communication, or guidance from our advising team.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

NALA Certification Eligibility Requirements

You must meet one of the following requirements outlined in Categories 1, 2, or 3 at the time of filing an application form to be eligible for the CP certification exam through NALA.

(a) approved by the American Bar Association; or

(b) an associate degree program; or

(c) a post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or

(In addition to the official school transcript, a candidate must submit an original course catalog or an original letter from the school registrar or program director attesting that the program is a post-baccalaureate certificate program requiring a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite.)

(d) a bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or

(e) a paralegal program that consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

(Candidates applying under Category 1(e) may combine college hours from more than one institution. The candidate must have graduated from a paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours.) Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the application form.) *

Note: This course is currently worth 225 clock hours, which is equivalent to 15 semester hours of substantive legal courses. For Category 1 of eligibility, students who have previously completed 45 semester hours could then take our program to end up with a total of 60 semester hours. If a student does not have 45 semester hours to pair with our program, they would have to meet eligibility with Category 2 or 3.

(Those applying under the provision allowing for additional course work in lieu of the one-year work experience must submit an official school transcript showing completed course work.)

(Candidates applying under Category 3 may combine on-the-job experience from more than one employer, as applicable. Evidence of continuing legal education credit is documented by the attorney/employer attestation that must be signed as part of the application form or by submitting certificate of completions of CLE taken. No further documentation is required.)

National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) is America's foremost organization dedicated to paralegals. It works toward upholding the standards of the profession by providing continuing legal education, certifications, and professional development for legal assistants throughout the country. Earning NALA's Certified Paralegal credential will not only demonstrate your knowledge to employers, but also your professionalism. Enroll in a paralegal course certified by NALA today, and you'll be on your way to a rewarding career in the legal industry.
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