Paralegal Studies Certificate
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Strengthen Your Legal Career or Start a New One!
JMU’s Paralegal Studies Certificate program is ideal for legal assistants and staff wishing to augment their training and experience with a professional credential — or career changers with little to no legal experience seeking a profession with strong compensation.
Are you interested in enhancing your professional credibility, employment prospects, and income potential in the legal industry? If so, the JMU Paralegal Studies Certificate is for you!
James Madison University’s Paralegal Studies Certificate is specially designed for working adults.
Our program is offered in a convenient online format and combines the theoretical and practical sides of law. Students log into live, instructor-led classes twice a week, where they participate in class discussions. This program of study is convenient for you as an adult learner so that you can start your legal career in just a few short months.
The skills, training, and knowledge acquired in this program include an advanced understanding of legal procedures, ethics, and substantive law as well as research, communication, and writing skills
Paralegal Certificate Program Courses
Career Preparation - The Career Preparation sections provide up-and-coming paralegals with the tools they need to compete for jobs. This course also provides an introduction to the paralegal profession and workforce.
As part of the Career Preparation classes, you will complete a paralegal career portfolio. The paralegal career portfolio is a collection of written assignments from the paralegal program along with your résumé and cover letter. It is a visual tool that highlights skills employers want - this is an opportunity to showcase your formal training potential employers.
Introduction to Law – provides an overview of the environment in which a paralegal works, in addition to legal writing and citation, the operation of the court system, the role of government in the legal system, and the basics of attorney/paralegal ethics.
Legal Research & Writing – provides the foundation for finding legal authority, conducting legal analysis, and writing a basic legal memorandum. During this course, students will conduct legal research through LexisNexis’ online database. Paralegal Studies Certificate students will identify and distinguish the difference between primary and secondary authority, and author a legal memorandum.
Civil Litigation – prepares students to work in the context of civil litigation. Note that Virginia’s legal system is similar to many other states, and this knowledge is applicable outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the course, students will learn both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (applicable in all federal courts) and the Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.
Contract Law – provides an introduction to the broad area of contract law, the basics of contract law, and the elements necessary to create a valid contract. During this course, students in the Paralegal Studies Certificate program will learn the basic requirements of an enforceable contract, contract performance, and remedies available upon the breach of a contract..
Who should attend
- Legal staff wanting to advance their careers by completing a formal paralegal studies education
- Career changers looking for a profession with strong earning potential