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Paralegal Studies

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

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$0 Application Fee
$0 Transfer Credit Evaluation
$0 Textbooks & eBooks

About This Program

Study the basics of legal terminology, research, and writing, as well as U.S. legal theory and concepts by earning an undergraduate paralegal studies certificate at American Public University (APU).

Coursework in APU’s paralegal certificate provides a strong foundation for responsibilities related to law, administration, and legal support services. As a student in APU’s paralegal studies certificate online program, you’ll gain exposure to a wide spectrum of legal functions including attorney-paralegal communication, research, investigation, trial preparation, legal document drafting, and office management. The program also exercises your critical thinking and analytical skills.

APU is part of the American Public University System, which is an officially recognized member of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC Member Number 5070).

NOTE: While paralegals perform many of the same tasks as lawyers, they are prohibited from carrying out duties considered to be the practice of law, such as setting legal fees, giving legal advice, and presenting cases in court.

What You Will Do

  1. Apply legal research methods and techniques that are used in the practice of law
  2. Develop skills in legal reasoning, identifying, and effectively using legal resources and writing legal documents
  3. Evaluate the importance of secondary sources in legal research
  4. Describe the primary rules in legal research, as well as each of their sources and purposes
  5. Distinguish how advice, persuasion, and advocacy enter into legal research

Degree at a Glance

Number of Credits
24
Cost Per Credit
$285 | $250*
Courses Start Monthly
Online

Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Choose 24 credit hours from this section.

Course ID: 2886

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This is the foundation course for the program. This course requires no previous legal background and introduces the student to the paralegal profession, the legal system, legal research, writing, and analysis, and other aspects of the law and the law office. This course will provide practical problem exercises of the type faced in an office environment; help the student develop the requisite paralegal skills; and presents a variety of the ethical issues and perspectives that paralegals face today. The overall theme is to address a broad range of paralegal topics in a contemporary law office environment.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2897

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This course gives the students a broad overview of the litigation process and the specific role of the paralegal. This course is an introduction to and the exploration of the process related to civil litigation and the procedures normally the responsibility of the paralegal in preparing materials for trial. Coverage will include information gathering, interviewing, organizing, and preparation of materials for trial. It includes general information on the litigation process and practical exercises to help the student learn to implement the role of the paralegal, such as how to conduct an initial fact finding interview. The course will give an overview of the structure of the court system.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 2900

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This course is a study of real estate law, with emphasis on those portions of real estate law that are essential to the processes and functions of the real estate purchase, administration, financing, land use regulation, financial instruments, leases, and property rights. The law of real estate has traditionally consisted of laborious manual searches to ensure good title. The internet provides real estate attorneys and legal assistants with new tools and procedures for conducting real estate transactions. This course will prepare the student for these concepts and will introduce the student to the new world of the Internet as related to real estate law.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2901

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This course will examine the practical aspects of criminal law and procedure as they pertain to the work of the paralegal. The course covers the nature of criminal liability, the elements of various crimes, and defenses to criminal accusations. The course will also cover criminal procedure, from search and seizure through trial and appeal. Constitutional issues relating to search and seizure, self-incrimination and other matters are explored in depth. Students learn how to prepare relevant legal documents.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 2570

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This course will assess the methods used to locate necessary legal materials and be able to evaluate the appropriate citations of those materials. The paralegal aspects are reviewed and distinguished from other judicial case briefings. The course will introduce legal analysis methods and the preparation of appropriate techniques for researching legal issues and cases. Critical definitions of legal terminology are analyzed and used in preparation of legal materials such as memoranda, client letters, and other relevant documents. The course presents the student with techniques for effective writing in the legal environment.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2558

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This course is an overview of civil practice and procedure and will examine the process that courts must follow when hearing cases of a civil nature. During the course of study, students will learn how a lawsuit is commenced, what kind of service of process is required, the types of pleadings, motions, and orders allowed in civil cases, the timing and manner of depositions and discovery, the conduct of trials, the process for judgment, various available remedies, and how the courts and clerks must function. The course focuses on the legal skills involving interviewing and counseling for civil cases, the drafting of legal documents for civil cases, and legal ethics focused specifically on civil cases. Course topics include civil trial practices of pleadings, motions, discovery, pre-trial conferences, jury selection, trial protocols, and appellate strategies.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4295

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This undergraduate course introduces students to the ethics and professional responsibilities of the legal profession. Emphasis is given to the strict regulation of the practice of law and accompanying reasons, as well as the standard of care expected by those who work in the field. Important ethical issues, such as marketing, client relationships, fees, and communications are explored. Students will analyze the model rules and their practical applications.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4189

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This undergraduate course is the study of the work of administrative agencies in the executive branch of the United States government with some additional material on administrative agencies in state and local governments. Administrative law and policy touches virtually every person in the United States virtually every day of the year. It is the administrative agencies that fill in the "details" of government policy. Indeed, administrative agencies are so important and so powerful that they are frequently referred to as the "fourth branch of government. "This course will examine the position that agencies occupy in our constitutional system of government by carefully detailing the respective roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. The course will be mainly concerned with administrative procedure (i.e., agency rulemaking and adjudication, agency investigations, agency sanctions) but because it is almost impossible to distinguish between substance and procedure, the procedural elements of administrative law will be illustrated and discussed in the context of a specific agency action--e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency's actions on carbon emissions and global warming. The course will analyze the work of the "independent regulatory commissions" as well as those agencies that are completely under the control of the President of the United States. Both the legislative and judicial branches of our government have a large impact on administrative law, so the actions of Congress in creating and watching over the agencies and the actions of the courts in adhering to the rule of law for agency action ("judicial review of agency action") will be vital components of the course.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Sep 6
Register by Sep 3

Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e., GED).
  • Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application. View steps to apply.

Materials Cost

Technology fee: $65 per course | $0 for active-duty military, National Guard members, and Reservists.

Need Help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or info@apus.edu.

Quality Education Should Be Affordable

So you can focus on the opportunities ahead, without the financial burden of more expensive schools who are not as invested in your success. Learn more about paying for school.

Consumer Information

Department of Education and State Disclosures

For information on costs, median debt, state licensure requirements and more, view the gainful employment disclosures and the program disclosures for Maryland residents.

 

*Cost Per Credit Hour

To minimize out-of-pocket costs, U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, National Guard members, and Reservists receive a tuition grant that caps undergraduate, master's degree, and graduate certificate tuition at $250/credit hour. In addition, a university book grant provides no-cost textbooks and ebooks for all undergraduates and military-tuition-grant-eligible master’s-level students.
See all military student benefits.