Ways to Learn

  • Hybrid
  • On Campus

Quick Facts

  • 1-year full-time
  • 6 quarters part time
  • 39 units
  • Evening classes

Overview

Now as much as ever, our communities are in dire need of socially conscious law practitioners able and willing to defend the rights of the underserved and to represent the interests of the marginalized on issues of vital importance.

JFK University’s American-Bar-Association-approved Paralegal Certificate Program gives you the chance to play a key role in the fast-paced, high-stakes, and hugely impactful legal profession.

In as little as one year, you could be making a difference working in a professional legal environment as a highly valued and respected team member.

Note: Paralegals cannot provide legal advice except as directed by an attorney nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client.

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Highlights

  • Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Embedded into a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies completion degree
  • Faculty members that are also successful practitioners in the field
  • A full law school and law library at your fingertips
  • Internship opportunities that pave the way toward your career

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students completing the Paralegal Certificate will be able to do the following:

Demonstrate proficiency in legal writing and analysis.

Describe and assess the ethical obligations and limitations of legal professionals in specific factual situations.

Demonstrate proficiency in legal research, both online and in the library.

Demonstrate proficiency in drafting of discovery.

Apply analytical and creative thinking skills.

Watch what happens when you say yes.

Why JFKU

Experienced Faculty Members who Practice what they Teach

Unlike many other paralegal certificate programs, JFK University offers courses taught by practicing attorneys who possess vast experience in the subject areas they teach. These faculty practitioners expose students to a broad array of perspectives, while giving them the benefit of specialized knowledge that comes only with years of work in the field.  

Internships that Offer Real-World Experience

Our ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate Program offers optional internship opportunities at local law firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. By supplementing their classroom education with on-the-job learning and networking, students who take advantage of these internships leave our program with an edge on the job-seeking competition.

A Full Law School at Your Fingertips

Unlike other paralegal studies programs, our students have the resources of a full law school at their disposal. Complete access to the law library, invites to on-campus events, and abundant networking opportunities await. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with JD candidates on real public-interest legal cases in the College’s highly regarded community law clinics.

Curriculum

REQUIREMENTS

All certificate courses must be taken in residence – no transfers are accepted.

The 39-quarter unit curriculum includes 12 legal specialty courses, of which nine are required courses and two are elective.

Fall
Units
PLS 3001 Introduction to Law
4
This course provides students with an overview of the American legal system and introduces students to various legal fields and topics. Legal vocabulary and legal writing will be emphasized. This course will also provide an overview of the role of paralegals in a work environment while concentrating on the various regulations and ethical guidelines governing the work of paralegals.
PLS3005 Tort Law
4
This course will introduce the student to the broad area of civil tort law including negligence, intentional torts, strict liability, product liability, and nuisance. Privileges and defenses to various torts will also be introduced. Students will acquire the knowledge to define and evaluate tort law to specific factual situations.
PLS3004 Legal Ethics
2
This course provides an overview of the legal ethics facing paralegals today. This course will extensively cover the ethical rules governing paralegals developed by the American Bar Association in conjunction with the various local and state regulations pertaining to the professional work of paralegals. Emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of real-life ethical dilemmas encountered by paralegals in the workforce.
Winter
Units
PLS 3002 Legal Research
4
This course provides an introduction to legal research. It is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge of research materials and tools including giving the student a working knowledge of the use of primary and secondary sources with emphasis on research strategies. Students will learn how to locate sources of law, the use of proper citation method, how to Shepardize case law, and research codes and statutes. This course will also focus heavily on the use of computer-assisted legal research.
PLS 3003 Legal Writing
4
This course is the advanced writing course, reinforcing the art of analyzing legal problems, writing clear and concise legal memoranda and briefs. This course will emphasize the writing component of the paralegal profession by requiring the student to research various legal problems and communicate their findings in their proper written format.
Legal Specialty Focus Course
4
Spring
Units
PLS 3008 Litigation I
4
This course is designed to introduce the student to civil litigation in federal and state courts. The rules of civil procedure will be the focus, with emphasis in the drafting of complaints, answers, and motion practice. Students will be responsible for the drafting of numerous legal documents by way of practical exercises. Additionally, this course will provide students with various interviewing and investigating skills relevant to paralegal work in a law office setting.
Legal Specialty Focus Course or Internship
4
Summer
Units
PLS 3010 Legal Technology Applications and Management
4
This course is designed to introduce students to various types of technology often used in legal environments. The student will interact directly with the technology throughout the course. The student will be exposed to the management of a law office, including software utilized by firms.
PLS 3009 Litigation II
4
This course covers evidence, discovery, trial preparation, trial practice, appeals, and non-judgment matters. Students will continue building expertise in drafting legal documents and will develop skills in organizing documents and preparing for trial including the use of technology.
PLS 3011 Paralegal Capstone
1
This is the capstone course for the Paralegal Certificate Program. Students will use their skills and knowledge acquired throughout the curriculum to interview clients, prepare pleadings and discovery, and perform legal analysis through the drafting of legal memoranda.
Winter
Units
PLS 3002 Legal Research
4
This course provides an introduction to legal research. It is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge of research materials and tools including giving the student a working knowledge of the use of primary and secondary sources with emphasis on research strategies. Students will learn how to locate sources of law, the use of proper citation method, how to Shepardize case law, and research codes and statutes. This course will also focus heavily on the use of computer-assisted legal research.
PLS 3003 Legal Writing
4
This course is the advanced writing course, reinforcing the art of analyzing legal problems, writing clear and concise legal memoranda and briefs. This course will emphasize the writing component of the paralegal profession by requiring the student to research various legal problems and communicate their findings in their proper written format.
Legal Specialty Focus Course
4
Summer
Units
PLS 3010 Legal Technology Applications and Management
4
This course is designed to introduce students to various types of technology often used in legal environments. The student will interact directly with the technology throughout the course. The student will be exposed to the management of a law office, including software utilized by firms.
PLS 3009 Litigation II
4
This course covers evidence, discovery, trial preparation, trial practice, appeals, and non-judgment matters. Students will continue building expertise in drafting legal documents and will develop skills in organizing documents and preparing for trial including the use of technology.
PLS 3011 Paralegal Capstone
1
This is the capstone course for the Paralegal Certificate Program. Students will use their skills and knowledge acquired throughout the curriculum to interview clients, prepare pleadings and discovery, and perform legal analysis through the drafting of legal memoranda.

Maybe Lasts forever. Yes changes the world.