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Learning Center Experience
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 the largest provider of online legal studies programs in the United States†, the School of Legal Studies has helped over 6,500 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:
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.
Online Start Date
Jul 03, 2013
Online and Campus Start Date
Jul 31, 2013
Online Start Date
Aug 21, 2013
This is an introductory course that will
familiarize students with the role of the paralegal in both the
workplace and the American legal system. The course is designed
to expose students to current trends and issues in the
profession, the regulation of the profession, the professional
associations available to the paralegal, as well as the ethical
considerations associated with the legal profession. Students
will also receive basic introductions into the various areas of
legal practice, such as law office organization, legal research,
and litigation and advocacy. This course will provide students
with a good introductory overview of the paralegal's role and
contribution to today's legal system.
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
Students enrolled in a paralegal studies
program: PA 101; students enrolled in a legal studies program: LS
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
Legal assistants and paralegals must always
consider the duty owed to the clients. Are the clients protected
against having confidential information revealed? What are the
duties and responsibilities regarding the ethical conduct of the
paralegal? This course discusses these areas and presents canons,
codes of ethics, ethical and procedural practices in a law
office, licensing and certification, and
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
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.
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.
Learn More about Kaplan University Tuition and Fees
Kaplan University Learning Center students will only complete a portion of this 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.
Learn more about grants and Kaplan University Scholarships and that may help reduce the cost of your education.
Kaplan University tuition reductions (including active-duty, spouse, and veterans military 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 active-duty 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.