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If you've earned a bachelor's degree and you're interested in making a transition into the legal field, this certificate program is designed to help you build your knowledge of the profession and gain the foundational coursework to pursue a career as a paralegal or legal assistant.* In this program you will explore how to communicate effectively in a legal environment, conduct legal research, and evaluate legal sources.
Our Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate program online concentrates on building practical skills that could give you a competitive edge. You'll apply learned concepts to relevant legal arguments and examine ethics in legal environments. Courses include live seminars, discussion boards, and one-on-one instructor feedback. And, our professors are legal practitioners with real-world experience in legal services, law, and policy.
As one of the largest providers of online legal studies programs in the United States† , Kaplan University has helped over 6,500 legal studies graduates achieve their educational goals since 2001. This means that when you earn your certificate from Kaplan University, you join one of the most active and diverse alumni communities in the legal field.
Acquiring knowledge of the law and legal processes could help to increase your “job marketability.” In this certificate program you will have the opportunity to become familiar with the role of the paralegal in the workplace and in the American legal system to prepare for the real-world duties of the career. This program focuses on:
Access gainful employment information, including program length, tuition costs, financing options, and success rates.
If you have already earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, the Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate program at Kaplan University is designed to offer a convenient route to beginning a new career as a paralegal or a legal assistant.
This program is designed to provide you with the specialized knowledge necessary to seek employment as a paralegal or legal assistant in private law firms, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real estate and title insurance firms, banks, and government agencies. Paralegals are often hired to manage legal requirements for services in areas such as intellectual property, health care, international law, elder issues, criminal law, and environmental law.†When you are ready to further your education, credits earned in fulfillment of this certificate may be transferred to other Kaplan University degree programs.
Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules. Certain start dates may not be available at all ground locations; speak with an advisor for additional information.
Online and Campus Start Date
Jun 07, 2017
Online Start Date
Jul 05, 2017
Online and Campus Start Date
Aug 02, 2017
This course examines the foundation, organization, and structure of the American legal system with an emphasis on the careers available in the legal profession through an exploration of the roles and responsibilities in the legal field. Students will learn the professional and ethical practices needed to succeed as a legal support professional or as a legal specialist.
Total Program Credits: 36
The Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate program consists of a minimum of 36 or 37 quarter credit hours, depending on the student's choice of elective. Total program costs may vary.
This course introduces students to civil
litigation, the civil law process, rights, and procedures. Topics
include informal fact gathering and investigation, case
management and strategy, jurisdiction, the structure of the court
systems in the United States, parties, pleadings, and
One of the basic tasks performed by the
paralegal is legal research—finding the law. Accurate, concise,
and up-to-date information can be the difference between winning
and losing a lawsuit. Students who complete this course gain
specialized skills in the area of legal
Prerequisites: CM 220 and PA 205
Some of the tasks performed by a skilled paralegal are to summarize statutes or regulations, analyze the component parts of written opinions of appellate judges through briefing, identify the legal issues in a fact pattern, and apply the reasoning of relevant legal authorities to a fact pattern. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to analyze and synthesize legal authorities and draft correspondence and memoranda commonly used in the practice of law.
Any College Composition I course
Legal assistants and paralegals must always consider the duties owed to clients by both the lawyer and the paralegal. In this course, you will learn to evaluate ethical dilemmas you may encounter as a legal professional and appropriately apply the rules of professional responsibility to these situations. This course discusses the duties and responsibilities regarding the ethical conduct of the paralegal in the legal workforce, codes of ethics, unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and more.
Legal professionals are often called upon to
handle office management functions. Effective law office managers
save their offices time and money and become valuable members of
the legal team. The management skills covered in this course can
be applied to any office. This course guides students in creating
a procedures manual that can be used at the office and as a
portfolio of their work.
When it comes to debtors' and creditors'
rights, it is important to know both sides. This course presents
the law governing the collection of debts, the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, creditors' remedies, the Uniform
Fraudulent Conveyances Act, and exempt property. Chapters 7, 11,
and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are also
In this course, students learn about criminal
law. They learn about the elements and types of crimes, including
homicide, crimes against the person, crimes against habitation
and occupancy, crimes against property, sexual offenses, and
crimes involving more than one defendant. They also cover
criminal capacity and defenses to crimes. Finally, students are
introduced to criminal procedures followed in the United States
and the concept of probable cause.
This course presents major issues in family law such as the nature of marriage, antenuptial contracts, annulments, separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, tort action, adoption, property distribution, and current trends.
In this course, students will become familiar
with procedures and documentation of real estate transactions.
The course will address a wide range of issues and functions
within the field of real estate law, including ethics, types of
ownership, use, possession, mortgages, financing, taxation,
closings, and litigation.
Wills divide the property a person has accumulated during his/her life; precise legal requirements must be met when preparing wills. Topics include the basic elements of a will; types of wills; responsibilities of the personal representative; contesting, revoking, and terminating a will; the role of government; classes of trusts; rules governing trusts; and purposes of estate planning, probate, guardianships, and more. Tax ramifications are also discussed.
The 25% tuition reduction applies only to international students living outside of the United States. This discount does not apply to military students. Please check with your advisor to see if you are eligible.
Cost Per Credit
Number of Credits / Terms
Online & Learning Center
Some programs have additional associated fees that are not included in the price of tuition. Click here or check with an Admissions Advisor for more information.
Maine residents interested in enrolling in an online program: click here for tuition and fee information.
Learn More about Kaplan University Tuition and Fees
Kaplan University Learning Center students will only complete a portion of their program on site. You will need to complete at least 50% of the program requirements online, or through transfer credit awarded via prior learning assessment. If you have any questions about these requirements, please speak with an Admissions Advisor. Not all programs are available for enrollment at the Kaplan University Learning Center.
Learn more about grants and Kaplan University Scholarships that may help reduce the cost of your education.
Kaplan University tuition reductions (including military servicemember, spouse, and veterans tuition rates; scholarships; grants; vouchers; and alumni and alliance reductions) cannot be combined.
Kaplan University has significantly reduced many of our tuition rates and fees for servicemembers, their spouses, and veterans. Click here for more information.
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Paralegals are not lawyers and cannot practice law or give legal advice to consumers.
† Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2009-2010, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees Conferred, Law and Legal Studies on the Internet at http://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees granted by Kaplan University compared to other Title IV degree-granting institutions.
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