Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate

If you're interested in making a transition into the legal field, this paralegal 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.*  

Our Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate online program concentrates on building practical skills that could give you a competitive edge. In this program you will explore how to communicate effectively in a legal environment, conduct legal research, and evaluate legal sources. 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 paralegal certificate 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.

Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program Highlights

This paralegal certificate program will familiarize you with the role of the paralegal in the workplace and in the American legal system, preparing you for the real-world responsibilities of the career. This program focuses on:

  • Communication: Communicate effectively in legal environments.
  • Ethics: Apply ethical decision making to paralegal practice.
  • Critical Thinking: Apply critical thinking to paralegal practice situations.
  • Practice: Analyze theoretical and practical concepts in areas of legal specialization.
  • Legal Research: Conduct different types of legal research.
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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

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 paralegal certificate program can 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 also be transferred to other Kaplan University degree programs.

How Do I Get Started?

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.

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Oct

Online and Campus Start Date

October 18, 2017

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November 08, 2017

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Online and Campus Start Date

December 06, 2017

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Online and Campus Start Date

January 03, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

January 31, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

February 28, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

March 21, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

April 18, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

May 16, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

June 06, 2018

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July 05, 2018

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August 01, 2018

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August 22, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

September 19, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

October 17, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

November 07, 2018

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Online and Campus Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: All Tracks

  • Certificate Requirements

    Total Certificate Requirements Credits: 36

    Total Program Credits: 36

    • LS 100: INTRODUCTION TO THE LAW AND LEGAL PROFESSION Change

      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.
       

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      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.
    • PA 110: CIVIL LITIGATION Change

      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 motions.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 201: INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL RESEARCH Change

      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 research.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Prerequisites: CM 220 and PA 205

      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.
    • PA 205: INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ANALYSIS AND WRITING Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any College Composition I course

      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.
    • PA 253: LEGAL ETHICS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 305: LAW OFFICE MANAGEMENT Change

      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.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.

    Choose Your Courses Below

    • PA 221: WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATE PLANNING Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 250: FAMILY LAW Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 260: CRIMINAL LAW Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 261: BANKRUPTCY AND DEBTOR-CREDITOR LAW Change

      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 presented.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.
    • PA 300: REAL ESTATE LAW Change

      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.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 100

      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.

Curriculum: Concentration

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Kaplan University is committed to helping you find more ways to save on college tuition. Our Tuition Cap, military reductions, and transfer and experiential learning credits are some of the ways we can help lower the cost of your tuition and help you graduate sooner.

Ways to Save

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Helpful Information

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*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), 2015-2016 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Legal Professions and Studies, on the Internet at nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Kaplan University compared to other Title IV, 2- and 4-year degree-granting institutions.