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Online Paralegal certificate program curriculum

Our online Paralegal certificate program curriculum provides a comprehensive foundation in the paralegal field. Equipped with practical, job-relevant skills—and having customized your course to fit your goals—you’ll be ready to stand out in a competitive job market or apply your credit toward further legal education.

Required courses

P01 - Introduction to Paralegalism I  

This survey course provides an introduction to the paralegal profession. Career opportunities will be examined, as well as the training and educational requirements demanded of the paralegal. Civil litigation and criminal law will be explored. The entire trial process — from filing a complaint to the appeals process — will be studied in depth. The history of American laws and the structure of the U.S. court system are also highlights of this course.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the roles and duties of the paralegal.
  • Distinguish between the rules of ethics that govern attorneys and those that govern paralegals.
  • Explain how law firms are structured O Discuss the role technology plays in a law office.
  • Outline the history, sources, and functions of U.S. law.
  • Describe the federal and state court systems.
  • List the steps in a trial.
  • Discuss the protections afforded by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Credit Hours: 3

P02 - Introduction to Paralegalism II  

The paralegal's role in investigation and interviews highlights the beginning of the course. Legal research and writing will be examined throughout. Then this survey course moves into specific legal subjects. Torts; property law, including intellectual property (IP); contracts and e-commerce, family law; and labor law will be explored in depth.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Explain the importance of the initial contact with clients and witnesses.
  • Explain the process of identifying legal issues, material facts, applicable law, and reaching a conclusion after applying the law to the facts.
  • Describe the types of damages available to plaintiffs in tort and product liability lawsuits.
  • Discuss the elements of a contract.
  • Distinguish between real and personal property O Explain how courts determine child custody and support issues.
  • Discuss the scope of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and major legislation that impacted workers' rights.
  • Discuss the protections afforded to intellectual property (IP).

Credit Hours: 3

Course electives

P03 - Torts  

This course explores tort law. Negligence, intentional torts, and strict liability torts will be examined, as well as the affirmative defenses defendants can raise. Premises liability and business-related torts will also be covered. The common law history of tort law and modern remedies for resolving such disputes will be examined as well. The entire trial process — from filing a complaint to the appeals process — will be studied in depth.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • List the elements of tort.
  • Explain how a lawsuit gets started and the rules that govern its progression.
  • Discuss the concept of duty of care and how it can be breached.
  • List the elements of the intentional torts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of a right to privacy, defamation, conversion, trespass to land, and trespass to chattels.
  • Outline the elements of negligent misrepresentation and fraud.
  • Explain the defenses of necessity, consent, and mistake.
  • Explain the concept of strict liability O Describe the concept of vicarious liability and how it comes into play.

Credit Hours: 3

P04 - Civil Litigation  

Civil procedure is the rules and procedures that must be followed in filing and conducting a civil lawsuit. This course discusses assisting the law office with matters concerning jurisdiction, venue, preparing basic pleadings, discovery documents, pre-trial and post-judgment motions, managing the case file, attending to service of process, and assisting in the courtroom.
Credit Hours: 3

P05 - Criminal Law and Procedures  

This course takes a close look at the U.S. criminal justice system. The steps involved in a criminal prosecution are covered from start to finish, including appeals. Types of crimes and the elements required to commit crime are explored as well. This course also examines the U.S. Constitution and the rights afforded to criminal defendants. The paralegal's role as assistant to either the prosecutor or criminal defense attorney is highlighted throughout the course.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Describe various categories of crime and their respective elements.
  • Define various degrees of murder.
  • Discuss kidnapping and human trafficking issues.
  • Explain why some crimes are classified as social crimes.
  • Explain why treason, sedition, and espionage are such serious offenses.
  • Discuss the Common Law defenses of self-defense, necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact, mistake of law, and consent of the victim.
  • Discuss the U.S. Constitutional provisions of the Fourth Amendment that protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • List the steps in a criminal trial.

Credit Hours: 3

P06 - Real Estate Law  

This course covers real property and common types of real estate transactions and conveyances. The course also covers preparation of legal instruments including deeds, contracts, leases, deeds of trust, and mortgages. Recording statutes, title examinations, and the real estate closing are also presented.
Credit Hours: 3

P07 - Law Office Management  

This course provides insight into the practical side of operating a law office. The roles and duties of the legal team are explained. Later lessons discuss the unauthorized practice of law, calendaring, docket control, and case management. The role ethics plays is examined throughout. The course concludes with a discussion of marketing and the legal library.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the duties and titles of each member of the legal team.
  • Identify the functions of legal administration.
  • Discuss ethical codes that apply to paralegals and attorneys.
  • Discuss factors that will promote successful client relationships.
  • Differentiate between timekeeping and billing.
  • Explain why paralegals need a rudimentary understanding of law office accounting.
  • Discuss how to calculate court deadlines and schedule important meetings.
  • Identify cost saving practices for legal libraries.

Credit Hours: 3

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Get an edge on the competition

As the paralegal field continues to grow, so too will the number of qualified candidates attracted to a thriving career path. As an Ashworth College student, you can get ahead of the game with practical, industry-informed training and a host of exclusive Career Tools. That includes personalized career guidance, resume writing workshops, one-on-one interview coaching, and more. With The Ashworth College Central Network, you’ll also have the opportunity to build your personal brand and enhance your job search using the latest digital platforms.

Closing the case on career prep

The Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is more than just a semester toward the next degree level, it's your launch pad for career growth. Make every lesson count by taking advantage of the career services provided by the Ashworth College Central Network. From the moment you enroll, you gain access to a complete toolkit of resume and letter templates so you can pitch your new job skills before your coursework is done. After you graduate, feel free to revisit your account any time. Learn more on the Career Services page.

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412