Paralegal Studies Certificate
The Paralegal Institute offers an opportunity for you to add a competitive edge to your pursuit of a position in the Paralegal field by offering a Paralegal Certificate program. We also offer Paralegal Continuing Education programs that can help you keep that competitive edge as you pursue advanced career opportunities.
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Time to Complete*:
*Estimated time includes instructional hours only and does not include certification exams or study time
Once you successfully complete the courses outlined below and meet the requirements**, you will be eligible to sit for the National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA) Certification Exam. Click here to learn more about Membership Types through NALA.
We offer open enrollment within our Paralegal programs, thus you may register at any time. We give you up to one year to complete the Paralegal Certificate program. However, completion of the Paralegal Certificate program depends solely on the study schedule you set for yourself. We recommend that you maintain a consistent submission of lessons.
- Paralegal Today
- Legal Research
- Legal Analysis and Writing
- Litigation and Trial Practice
- Business Organizations
- Torts: Personal Injury Litigation
**(e) A paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (900 clock hours or 90 quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.
Note: An applicant may combine college hours from more than one institution. The applicant 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. https://www.nala.org/certification/exam-application-and-qualifications
What courses are in the Paralegal Certificate program?
The following courses are included in the Paralegal Certificate program. Courses are released one at a time to maximize learning. The Paralegal Certificate program has a total of 21 credit hours. Each course must be completed in 8 weeks.
|Course ID||Course Name||Credit Hours|
|LGS100||Paralegal Today||3 Credit Hours|
|This course is the core of the paralegal program. Students will learn the past, present, and future of the paralegal profession, including the paralegal defined, educational options, techniques for marketing skills and career opportunities. Instruction on ethics and professional responsibility, the organizational structure of the legal workplace, and office culture and politics will prepare students for the challenges of today’s paralegal. Students receive a formal introduction to law by examining sources of American law, the court system and alternative dispute resolution, substantive law in its various forms, as well as administrative law and government regulation. Legal procedures and advanced skills involving civil litigation and trial procedures, conducting interviews and investigations, using primary and secondary sources to legal research, the emerging technology of computer-assisted legal research, in addition to legal analysis and writing, provide valuable insight and a solid foundation for the future legal assistant.|
|LGS108||Legal Research||3 Credit Hours|
|This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal research. The student will learn research tools and techniques necessary to find actual laws as well as how to use the various secondary materials that assist in the research process. Some of the topics covered are case reporters, digests, codes, annotated codes, annotated reporters, citators, loose-leaf services, legal encyclopedias, treatises, and computerized research services.|
|LGS208||Legal Analysis and Writing||3 Credit Hours|
|This course is a requisite for the capable legal assistant and the ability to prepare professional legal documents. This comprehensive course provides the student with in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of legal analysis and writing. Students will first examine an overview of the legal system, including analytic principles and the legal process. They will learn the specifics of legal analysis, including statutory analysis, case law and briefing, identifying and stating the issue, case application and counter analysis. Emphasis on application of these key principles in legal writing will allow students to prepare interoffice memorandums, court briefs and general legal correspondence.|
|LGS110||Litigation and Trial Practice||3 Credit Hours|
|This course provides comprehensive coverage of the civil litigation practice for legal experts and paralegals. It provides detailed information on the litigation process from the pre-suit investigation to the appeal. Special emphasis is made on the role of the lawyer and those responsibilities that may be delegated to the legal assistant. Attention is given to litigation principles, lawyer and client relationship and ethics, gathering evidence, deposition, preparation for a civil trial, structure of a civil trial, judgments, and appeals.|
|LGS206||Business Organizations||3 Credit Hours|
|This course prepares paralegal students for the practical aspects of the law of business organizations. It covers all issues that are typically encountered in working with business clients. Topics include the types of business organizations, formation of a corporation, corporate financial structure, employment and compensation, and operating and maintaining business entities.|
|LGS301||Torts: Personal Injury Litigation||3 Credit Hours|
|This course explores civil wrongs, and studies will illustrate and explain the different types of tort recoveries that are allowed by law. Students learn the elements required to prove each tort, defenses that may be posed, and a step-by-step strategy for the preparation and settlement for each type of action. Topics include tort theory based on negligence, products liability, libel, slander, and malpractice.|
|LGS107||Contracts||3 Credit Hours|
|This course provides paralegal students with a well-organized, functional approach to the law of contracts. Paralegal students learn an approach for analyzing contract problems they will need for their professional assignments. Topics include the type of law to apply to contract transactions, when a contract is formed, when it is enforceable, a plaintiff’s allegation of breach, a defendant’s response to an allegation of breach, and the remedies available for a breach of contract.|
*California requires 24 credit hours to fulfill the educational requirements for a Paralegal. If you are inquiring from California, or plan to work in California, you can add one of these courses to your Diploma:
- Criminal Law
- Administrative Law
- Real Property
- Immigration Law
- Trust, Wills, Estates
- Intellectual Property
- Environmental Law
- Bankruptcy Law
- Social Security Disability
Each course is $195 per credit hour.
|Total Sales Price||$4,745|
- Full Payment Plan: Pay in full for a total program price of $4,445 and save $300!
- Private Student Loan: Finance your education with low down payments and customized terms!
All academic and financial obligations to the school must be made prior to release of final transcripts and diploma. For full admission requirements visit: Admission Procedures.
Brighton also works with many employers’ Tuition Reimbursement Programs as well as various Workforce Development and Vocational Rehabilitation programs. To find out if you qualify for these programs, call our office at 1.800.865.0165 for more information.
|Change of Program||$50|
|Returned Check/Declined Check||$25|
Unless a third-party funding source is covering your material costs, you are responsible for purchasing your own textbooks and/or materials. You can purchase from any vendor of your choosing and Brighton will supply you with a list of preferred vendors that offer competitive pricing. We recommend purchasing textbooks one course at a time since updated versions are released periodically. The estimated cost based on our ebook supplier is $287 for this program. This price may vary depending on the vendor you choose.
Maintenance of a nation’s system of laws is a large and important responsibility that takes an ever-growing group of trained professionals. While lawyers have long had assistants who over time became familiar with the law, it was not until 1968 that the American Bar Association first officially recognized the paralegal profession.
The paralegal field began and grew for two main reasons:
There is a great deal of legal work that falls into the area of procedure, which paralegals may carry out, as opposed to substance, which attorneys must execute and for which they must take responsibility. There is a growing demand by individuals and businesses for more legal services at a lower cost. This is, in part, accomplished through the use of qualified assistants to attorneys: paralegals.
The paralegal provides a much needed service in an important profession. As a paralegal, you will enjoy the respect given to professionals who solve difficult problems in the lives of great corporations and ordinary people. You will be working with other like-minded and dedicated professionals in any of a variety of interesting and stimulating situations. You may research cases in a law library or on a computer network, gather information by telephone, establish case files, interview experts or witnesses, carry out investigations, or draft legal documents. Depending on where you work, you may travel state-, nation-, or world-wide.
What type of job could you get once you have completed one of our paralegal programs?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the paralegal profession will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014, which provides graduates from our Paralegal Diploma program to choose from any number of career opportunities in private practice, public government, courts, and freelance contract work. The following is a listing of some positions that may be appropriate for a graduate after completion of our paralegal program.
Private law firms specializing in:
- Administrative Law
- Civil Rights Consumer Law
- Contract Law
- Criminal Law
- Environmental Law
- Estate Planning
- Family Law
- Healthcare Law
- Immigration Law
- Labor Law
- Personal Injury
- Real Estate Law
- Corporate Legal Departments
- Human Resources Analyst
- Insurance Companies
- Real Estate and Title Insurance Firms
- Banks and Financial Institutions
- Community Legal Services
- Risk Management
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Department of Treasury & Defense
- Attorney General’s Office
- Copyright Examiner
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Internal Revenue Service
- Security Exchange Commission
- Worker’s Compensation Commission
- Court Clerk
- Court Administrator
- Victim’s Rights Advocate
- Probation & Parole Supervisor
- Dependents & Estate Claims Examiner
- Municipal Courts
- State District Courts
- State Appellate Courts
- Federal Courts
- Bankruptcy Courts
- Freelance Contract Work depending on State laws
- Social Security Disability Document Preparation
- Court Analyst
- Criminal Investigator
- Nurse Paralegal/Legal Nurse Consultant
- Paralegal Placement Counselor
Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce their costs, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants. In these cases, paralegals and legal assistants can take on a “hybrid” role within the firm, performing not only traditional paralegal duties but also some of the tasks previously assigned to legal secretaries or other legal support workers. Law firms also are attempting to reduce billing costs as clients push for less expensive legal services. Due to their lower billing rates to clients, paralegals can be a less costly alternative to lawyers despite performing a wide variety of tasks once done by entry-level lawyers. This should cause an increase in demand for paralegals and legal assistants.
You could find paralegal jobs in the following settings:
- Law Firms
- Large Corporations
- Finance and Insurance Firms
- Consulting Firms
- Healthcare Providers
Earnings*According to the U.S. Department of Labor, The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants in May 2015 was $48,810. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,670, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,010.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm.