About the course
This certificate program is designed for individuals who are seeking a career change and the skill-set for a successful transition into the paralegal profession. The Duke Paralegal Studies Program is a comprehensive course of study designed to train students in the aspects of the profession most in demand and most desired by attorneys. The classroom program has been designated as a “qualified program” by the NC State Bar and graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the NC State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam. The program is taught by licensed, practicing attorneys.
The program currently meets virtually (through Zoom) several nights a week and occasional Saturdays for a little over 4 months and a total of 300 course hours. A minimum of an US level two-year associate degree is required for application for this program.
The skill-based format of the Duke Paralegal Program provides students with practical training in preparation for the workplace. When students finish our program they are ready to enter the workforce as a paralegal. Each student finishes the program with a client file filled with documents prepared as part of their studies. The client file will serve as a showpiece during interviews and provide students with an end product that represents the skills they acquired through their studies in the program.
Here are some advantages of the classroom program:
- Students who successfully complete the program are qualified to apply to take the NC Paralegal Certification Exam
- Enrollment in a paralegal program that has had more students successfully take the NC Paralegal Certification Exam than any other paralegal program
- Students can embark on a new legal career in only 5 months
- Access to Lexis Advance and Westlaw Next legal research sites with video and classroom tutorials. Graduates have access to Lexis Advance for one year after graduation.
- Learn from several different instructors, who are all experienced, practicing attorneys
- Curriculum created for paralegals by paralegals to teach the skills most sought after and in demand within the legal industry
- Website support includes lecture notes, writing labs, video tutorials, quizzes, and mock exams
- Exam review session available at no additional cost for student prior to sitting for the NC Paralegal Certification exam
- Paralegal Certificate awarded from Duke Continuing Studies upon successful program completion
- Graduate site provides access to online resources, tutorials, and templates
- Upon successful completion of program, Duke sends your transcript to NC Bar at no extra charge
Curriculum & Course Details
The Duke Paralegal Studies Program is a 300 hour course of study designed to train students in the aspects of the profession most in demand and most desired by attorneys. The program has been designated as a “qualified program” by the NC State Bar and graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the NC State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam.
The Duke Paralegal Certificate Program curriculum is based upon criteria established and approved by the NC State Bar. Therefore, the program meets the certification requirements of the State of North Carolina.
It is incumbent upon out-of-state students to ensure that the program meets the requirements for paralegal certification and/or education training in their state of residence or intended state of employment. The Duke Paralegal Certificate Program will not assume responsibility for providing additional curriculum or contact hours to meet other state requirements.
Below is the course curriculum for the Classroom-based program.
Essential Skills for Paralegals
- Fundamentals of the Profession
- Evidence and Investigation
- Legal Research and Writing
- Pleadings and Discovery
- Motion Practice
- The Legal Environment
- The Law Office
- Legal Ethics
- North Carolina Courts
- Federal Courts
- Legal Technology
- Extra-Judicial Processes
Substantive Legal Studies
Contract Law - A rocket-sled ride through basic Contract Law, this course introduces students to fundamental contract theory and terminology. Topics covered include contract formation, modification, breach, and remedies. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify key theoretical concepts and apply simple analysis to contract problems.
Tort Law - Tort Law deals with a class of civil wrongs or harms to people or property. Students in this class will learn about negligence actions, intentional torts, and the process of civil litigation. Emphasis will be placed on the practical skills that paralegals need to help attorneys prepare to prosecute or defend civil matters from pre-filing through trial to post-trial motions.
Family Law - Students will embark upon exploration of Family Law to: (1) understand the fundamental elements of Family Law, (2) identify core legal issues within the field, and (3) understand the duties of the paralegal in the Family and Matrimonial arena.
Real Property Law - This course has two main goals: to familiarize students with the basic concepts of Property Law and to introduce students to the practice of title searches and loan closings. The study of Real Property Law provides a basis for the work in a Real Estate practice. At the end of this course, successful students will be able to conduct their own title search from a home computer and be ready to understand the workings of a real estate firm.
Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.