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In addition to the programs leading to an Associate of Paralegal Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, National Paralegal College offers a course of study leading to a certificate in paralegal studies. This program is suitable for students who are looking to complete their training and enter the job market as quickly as possible, as well as for students who already have an associate's or bachelor's degree in another subject.

The amount of time required to complete the certificate program varies with student course load, as illustrated below.

Time required to complete the paralegal certificate program

  • For students taking 3 courses at a time:
  • 7 months
  • For students taking 2 courses at a time:
  • 9 months
  • For students taking 1 courses at a time:
  • 17 months

To earn a paralegal certificate, a student must earn a total of 24 credits, as follows:

    Optional, self-paced introductory course:
  • Four Paralegal Core Courses (12 credits):

Core legal courses

Online courseware These courses use online courseware. No textbook purchase is required.

    Four courses (12 credits) of additional legal studies elective courses from among these courses:

Elective legal courses

* These courses have recommended prerequisites.
** These courses have required prerequisites.
Online courseware These courses use online courseware. No textbook purchase is required.
Click the course name for more information.

Upon successful completion of the Certificate in Paralegal Studies program, students will be able to:

  • Locate and apply relevant state and federal statutes from every jurisdiction.
  • Research applicable federal and state case law using LexisNexis or a similar online legal database for any relevant issue.
  • Draft basic legal documents such as complaints, answers, contracts, etc. from scratch or from an existing template.
  • Perform legal tasks in an ethical manner in accordance with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Avoid unauthorized practice of law by distinguishing between tasks that must be done by an attorney and those that can be done by a legal assistant.
  • Prepare and write legal memoranda, motions, and other court documents for review by an attorney.
  • Assist in the civil litigation process by conducting various investigative and discovery-related tasks.
  • Draft interoffice memoranda for the purpose of advising or informing supervising attorneys.
  • Take and pass the CLA/CP exam given by the National Association of Legal Assistants, and earn the designation Certified Paralegal / Certified Legal Assistant.