Paralegal certificate programs are a popular option for those with existing degrees who are interested in law, but do not necessarily wish to go to law school. Paralegal certificates are designed to supplement an existing degree by providing the skills and background knowledge you need to join the legal field as a paralegal, legal assistant or other legal professional.
Most paralegal certificate programs can be completed in less than a year at an accredited paralegal school. Programs generally focus on law for a variety of fields, legal terminology, and the day-to-day responsibilities of paralegals.
Explore the paralegal certificate programs available below, and compare programs to see which is the best fit for you.
Paralegal Certificate Programs Enrolling Now
Benefits of Earning a Paralegal Certificate
Paralegal certificate programs provide the training needed to practice as a paralegal according to a typical paralegal job description. Paralegals may work with attorneys developing court cases, in corporate legal departments ensuring compliance and developing contracts, or in a myriad of other settings. A certificate program can provide the background needed to perform in any of these settings.
The primary benefit of pursuing a paralegal certificate over a degree program is that certificates do not include general education courses, meaning they can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. This allows you to enter the workforce sooner, and reduces your education investment while providing the means to a respectable salary.
Applying to a Paralegal Certificate Program
Most paralegal certificate programs require an existing degree, though some amount of professional experience may pass instead. Applying to a paralegal certificate program usually starts with completing an online application. Many schools require a written essay, a non-refundable admission fee, personal or professional references, and an in-person interview.
Paralegal schools are generally open about their admission requirements, so speak to their representatives for the specifics on each program.
Paralegal Certificate Curriculum
Some of the coursework you may expect to do in a paralegal certificate programs might include:
- Legal Terminology
- Business Law
- Criminal Law
- Tort Law
- Contract Law
Many paralegal certificate programs also require students to complete an internship. Internships provide students with hands-on experience working in a legal environment, and can look good on resumes as you apply to positions.