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> Professional Certificate Programs > Paralegal Certificate Program

Paralegal Certificate Program  

Westfield State University, in partnership with The Center for Legal Studies, offers a variety of online courses for students interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal or working in a law office.

    • Paralegal Certificate course
    • Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course
    • Employment Law Certificate Course
    • Software Essentials for the Law Office
    • Legal Secretary Certificate Course

Paralegal Certificate Course


This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Students will be trained to interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, prepare legal documents, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of law in which paralegals are in most demand.

Sessions include:

     •Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process
     •Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate
     •Identifying Relevant Authority
     •Introduction to Legal Research
     •Legal Research Practice
     •Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure

There are no prerequisites to take the course, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. This program will help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills.

For more information or to register for this course, visit The Center for Legal Studies website by clicking HERE!


Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course



Students must complete six of the following fourteen topics in order to earn the Advanced Paralegal certificate. Topics may be taken individually.

Topics include:

     •Bankruptcy Law
     •Victim Advocacy
     •Advanced Legal Research
     •Alternative Dispute Resolution
     •Business Law and Practices
     •Estate Planning: Probate, Wills & Trusts
     •Criminal Law
     •Family Law
     •Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties
     •Water Law
     •Immigration Law
     •Education Law
     •Criminal Procedure
     •Intellectual Property

For more information or to register for this course, visit The Center for Legal Studies website by clicking HERE!


Employment Law Certificate course


Employment law is a branch of contract law that deals with relationships between employers and employees. This course will cover statutes such as the National Labor Relations Act, the Railway Labor Act, and other various statutes dealing with public employees. Topics to be included are master and servant, wages and hours, anti-discrimination in employment and minimum wages and maximum hours, as well as regulation of working conditions.

For more information or to register for this course, visit The Center for Legal Studies website by clicking HERE!


Software Essentials for the Law Office


This dynamic course is designed for legal professionals interested in improving their skills and knowledge of commonly used computer technology and programs within the law office. Course topics include: computer operating systems and peripheral devices; time tracking and billing software; database, case management and docket control software; litigation support software; electronic discovery, and trial presentation and graphics software. Hands on exercises will prepare students to work with popular programs such as MS PowerPoint, Practice Master’s Tabs 3, AbacusLaw, Summation iBlaze, Trial Director and LexisNexis Casemap & TimeMap, as well as understand the common functions and purposes of similar programs.

Common billing procedures and payment agreements, accurate time tracking, proper calendar and docketing procedures as well as the processes involved in electronic discovery will be addressed through a variety of exercises. In addition, students will be presented with real-life scenarios and asked to identify and examine ethical issues raised by the use of technology in a legal practice.

For more information or to register for this course, visit The Center for Legal Studies website by clicking HERE!


Legal Secretary Certificate Course


This intensive program is designed for both beginning and experienced secretaries who are interested in improving their skills and working more efficiently within the law office. Students will study such topics as: legal terminology; legal process; jurisdiction and venue; ethics; written communications including letters, pleadings, discovery, notices and motions; filing procedures, billing and accounting; time management; records management; overview of commonly used word and data processing programs; legal research; memoranda preparation, and citation format.

Students will receive an introduction to the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of the practice of law. Discussion will include the process of law as well as the specific legal terminology. Ethics are also covered.Also addressed are the particulars of law office management and technology in the law office. Students will be exposed to actual court documents and will prepare some of these documents as part of their homework.Time will be spent examining the intricacies of the law office, including office procedure manuals, billing techniques, and overall management techniques of the law office. Students will also be introduced to the basics of legal research and proper citation format. Job search strategies and placement possibilities will also be discussed.

For more information or to register for this course, visit The Center for Legal Studies website by clicking HERE!