Paralegal Certificate

View courses and cost per credit for our Paralegal certificate. Courses, course names, and cost per credit may vary by location. Download your state specific catalog for more information.

This program is designed for learners who have already earned an Associate's or Bachelor's degree, and would like to earn a post-degree certificate in the paralegal field.

Choose your state or online to see your full course listing:

Course listings are subject to change. Please see our course catalog and/or addendum for most current listings.

Paralegal Certificate Course List

Major and Core Courses

Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Students will examine the American legal system from a variety of perspectives. They will survey topics including essential history, the working structure of government, issues of court procedure, and specific legal concepts. In addition, they will investigate the role of the paralegal in the legal system, and the impact of legal ethics on the paralegal. Paralegal students will gain a foundation for further paralegal study, and students from other disciplines will gain an appreciation of the legal system's impact on their disciplines. Students will prepare a resume as part of this course.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: PL100
Credits: 4

Civil Litigation and Procedure I

Students will examine the lawyers and paralegals' roles in handling civil cases and the means by which the objectives of litigation may be achieved. Strategy and mechanics of civil procedure will be explored in depth, and students will be required to prepare complaints, motions, and answers.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL121
Credits: 4

Civil Litigation and Procedure II

Students will continue to develop and refine litigation skills. The course will focus on discovery, pre-trial procedure, trial procedure, post-trial procedure, and initial appellate documents.

Prerequisite: Civil Litigation and Procedure I

Course ID: PL122
Credits: 4

Contracts: Managing Legal Relationships

This course will provide students with a practical approach to the law of contracts. The class discussions and assignments will include analyzing contracts, breach of contracts, and the remedies provided for a breach of contract.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: PL142
Credits: 4

Paralegal Ethics

This course provides a strong theoretical and practical foundation for solving ethical dilemmas. Students will gain a realistic picture not only of what ethical questions arise in paralegal studies, but also how to resolve these issues with sound moral decisions and proper responses.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: PL145
Credits: 4

Law Office Technology: Cyberspace and the Paralegal Profession

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of how to use computer technology to accomplish tasks performed by paralegals in a law office. Students will be introduced to and given the opportunity to utilize law-oriented computer software applications. Students will be exposed to exercises designed to provide the skills utilized by paralegals in file management, time, and docket management and computer-based legal research and document movement.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL226
Credits: 4

Torts: Auto Accidents and Other Legal Injuries

This course examines the fundamentals of tort law and provides a basic understanding of the principles of tort litigation. Through classroom discussions, projects and supervised library research, students will develop an overview of causes of actions in torts and their relevancy to the paralegal.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL228
Credits: 4

Family Law

This course is designed to teach the student to handle client interviews, to draft necessary pleadings and supporting documents, and to perform research relative to the practice of family law and domestic relations matters. The student will develop an understanding of the law relating to marriage, cohabitation, divorce, annulment, custody and support, adoption, guardianship and paternity. Students will draft pleadings and documents including antenuptial and property settlement agreements.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL230
Credits: 4

Legal Research

This course introduces the Legal Research process for paralegals. An overview of legal source materials and how and when they are incorporated in the legal research process will be examined. Students will develop information literacy skills specific to the Paralegal field by working with primary sources, like state and federal enacted law and secondary sources, like legal encyclopedias, treatises, and state specific practice books. Students will develop skills such as legal application, analysis, and synthesis skills by identifying and classifying the best sources that apply to legal problems. Students will evaluate the relevance of sources for specific problems and critically evaluate the level of authority of various legal sources.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: PL235
Credits: 4

Legal Writing

After examining the sources of law and the structure of the federal and state court systems, students will be introduced to case and statutory analysis and to an understanding of the role of the paralegal in performing substantive legal analysis and writing tasks. They will learn how to analyze and synthesize written opinions. Students will use the results of their research from the Legal Research course in connection with at least three (3) significant writing projects, including memoranda of law. High level communication skills will be developed to effectively communicate in writing to different potential readers, including clients, attorneys in an office, trial court judges, and appellate panel judges. Analysis and preparation of high level legal content as well as formatting, citation rules, and other items needed for writing in this field will be developed. Students will organize an appellate brief which requires specific, rule based, formatting and structural content. This content includes items such as tables of cases and other authorities, a table of contents, statement of the case, argument, and conclusion.

Prerequisites: Legal Research; English Composition

Course ID: PL240
Credits: 4

Electives (choose 1 course, for 4 credits)

Real Estate Law

This course provides the basic concepts of the law of real property enabling the student to perform connected duties in a law office, title company, or financial institution. Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to prepare purchase and sales agreements, deeds, mortgages, closing statements with perorations and other real estate related documents. The student will have a working knowledge of title searches and a thorough understanding of closing procedures. The student will also become familiar with mortgage foreclosures, landlord/tenant law, and zoning regulations.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL215
Credits: 4

Corporate Law

This course will provide students an overview of the formation, operation, and dissolution of the corporate entity. Stockholders rights and remedies as corporate owners will be examined. Corporate documents and corporate formalities will be discussed.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Law and the Legal System

Course ID: PL216
Credits: 4

Chose either Track I or Track II

Track I

Paralegal Internship

This course provides the student with the opportunity to gain practical work experience under the supervision of an attorney. The student must periodically submit written reports to the supervising instructor describing his/her experiences during the internship. The student is evaluated by his/her supervisor at the conclusion of the internship.

Prerequisite: Students must be enrolled in their last or second-to-last quarter

Course ID: PL290
Credits: 5

Track II

Paralegal Capstone

"This course will provide students with an opportunity to integrate learning, skills, and theoretical knowledge from the Paralegal program in the form of real-world paralegal activities simulated in the online environment. Interview videos will be reviewed and analyzed, paralegal files completed, and ""electronic office"" and ""paperless office"" methods will be practiced."

Prerequisite or Co-Requisite: Law Office Technology: Cyberspace and the Paralegal Profession; Students must be in their last or second-to-last quarter.

Course ID: PL280
Credits: 5

General Education Courses

English Composition (Required course)

English Composition

This course is designed to guide students in understanding the writing process and developing their ability to write and express ideas in an organized, unified, and coherent manner. Students will produce college-level writing that reflects awareness of rhetorical strategies, writing purpose, student voice, and appropriate grammar, punctuation, and usage skills. Through reading, writing, discussion, research, and collaboration, students will practice effective writing and apply course concepts.

Prerequisite: Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G124
Credits: 4

Math/Natural Sciences (Select 1 course)

Structure and Function of the Human Body

This course provides a working knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. A general introduction to cells and tissues is followed by study of the anatomy and physiology of the skeletal and muscular systems. The student is introduced to the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and endocrine systems.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: G150
Credits: 4

Scientific Literacy

In this course students will explore the role that science plays in the world. Students will survey different natural sciences such as: biology, health sciences, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology; as well as analyze specific case studies from these fields. Throughout the course students will develop their scientific reasoning skills. They will learn about the scientific method as well as how to detect common fallacies and misuses of science.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: G152
Credits: 4

General Education Mathematics

This course introduces students to topics from modern mathematics that are relevant to everyday life and not typically covered in the standard college math sequence. Students will be exposed to a variety of mathematical tools from diverse branches of mathematics. They will utilize these tools to solve interesting real-world problems. Topics may include, but are not limited to, game theory, graph theory, the mathematics of growth, applications of geometry, probability, and statistics.

Prerequisite: Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G180
Credits: 4

Introduction to Human Biology

Students will explore fundamental concepts of human biology. They will examine cell structure and function, body systems, and biochemistry. They will also learn basic concepts of genetics and evolution. Students will explore the relationship of human populations and the ecosystem. Students will complete laboratory exercise coordinated with course content.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: G215
Credits: 4

College Algebra

This course provides students with the skills to achieve mastery of algebraic terminology and applications including, but not limited to, real number operations, variables, polynomials, integer exponents, graphs, factoring, quadratic equations, and word problems.

Prerequisite: Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G233
Credits: 4

Introduction to Astronomy

Examines astronomical phenomena and concepts, including the solar system, stars and galaxies, planetary motions, atoms and radiation, and the origin and evolution of the universe.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: G239
Credits: 4

Introduction to Geology

Examines basic geologic principles from a physical or historical perspective. Includes such topics as the formation of rocks and minerals; internal and external processes modifying the earth's surface and phenomena; and the evolutionary history of the earth, including its life forms, oceans and atmosphere.

Prerequisite: none

Course ID: G245
Credits: 4

General Education Elective**

Foundation Courses

Reading and Writing Strategies

This course develops students' reading and writing skills in preparation for college-level coursework. Through review of grammar, punctuation, and the writing process, students will enhance their ability to compose sentences, paragraphs, and short essays. The study of active reading strategies will provide students with the tools necessary for comprehending collegiate level texts.

Prerequisite: Placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: B080
Credits: 4

Practical Math

Mathematics is learned through communication. In this course, students will learn to communicate how problems are solved and how solving problems can be applied in real-world settings. Students will have opportunities to learn multiple problem solving strategies. This course also provides practice and skill problems.

Prerequisite: Placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: B087
Credits: 4

Total Certificate Credits

General Education Credits: 12

Major and Core Credits: 49

Total Certificate Credits: 61*

* Credit totals do not include Foundation Courses. Students must either demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in Foundation Courses through a Rasmussen College entrance placement exam or by successful completion of Foundation Courses.

**Students must complete one additional general education course (with a course designator of G) or transfer in the equivalent.

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    Our on-time completion and placement rates exceed the national averages of 22% and 74%, respectively. With our SUPPORT+ team members working one-on-one with you, including our student advisors and career services advisors, we help support your success. Contact a program manager to learn more about how you can become a Rasmussen College graduate.

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