Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

Gavel in front of American flag
Designed to give you the skills needed to assist attorneys in
day-to-day firm management and case preparations.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Nationally, the median wage for paralegals and legal assistants is $50,410 per year. Paralegals and legal assistants typically work for law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies providing support to lawyers.  They perform tasks such as conducting legal research, drafting documents, and maintaining and organizing files.   The Center for Continuing Education offers two different program formats (in person and online) to prepare you to enter this field. 

 

 

The CCE Paralegal Studies Certificate Program was developed in conjunction with local attorneys to meet the needs of local law firms.  All of the in-person courses are taught by attorneys from the local community.  This provides the students with not only high quality instruction but also the opportunity to obtain practical knowledge, learn best practices and develop contacts in this region.  Local law firms regularly approach our program for possible applicants when they are looking for interns or new employees.  Students in the program have the opportunity to develop an internship to meet their particular interests as an elective course.

There are no requirements, including University admission, for entering the paralegal studies certificate program and students can begin their certificate during any term of the year.

Program Format

To successfully complete the requirements of the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, students must:

  • Complete nine required courses
  • Complete seven elective courses 
  • Complete the required course work within five years

All classes meet one night per week for two to three hours, depending on the course or instructor, and most do not start prior to 6 p.m. 

 

Curriculum
Core Courses: Elective Courses
Introduction to the Legal System Contract Law
Paralegal Discovery & Analysis Family Law
Legal Research & Writing  Wills, Estates & Trusts: Probate Law
Evidence Bankruptcy Law for Paralegals 
Law Practice Management Personal Injury Law
Civil Procedure Law of Real Property
Ethics & Professional Responsibility Legal Aspect of Business Organizations
Criminal Law  Environmental Law
Criminal Procedures Medical Records Review & Management
  Technology in the Law Office
  Social Security and Disability Law
  Internship

 

Courses are offered in a two year rotation, however, the schedule of classes could be altered as a result of instructor conflicts or availability, needs of a large number of program students, or the addition of new courses. Students should always review the website for classes available each term. 

Currently, there are two scholarship opportunities available for students entering or currently enrolled in the USA Center for Continuing Education's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program.  

Bruce McCall Endowed Memorial Scholarship for Paralegal Studies

The Bruce McCall Endowed Memorial Scholarship for Paralegal Studies was established to assist students entering or enrolled in the USA Special Courses Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. This annually awarded scholarship is an excellent opportunity for students demonstrating high academic achievement to receive financial assistance toward completing program course work.

Taylor-Martino Endowed Scholarship for Paralegal Studies

The Taylor-Martino Endowed Scholarship in Paralegal Studies has been created through a generous contribution of the legal firm Taylor Martino. This scholarship will be awarded to students from Mobile and surrounding counties who demonstrate high academic achievement in previous coursework in the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. 

The Center for Continuing Education recognizes that people may have various constraints which may make the in-person Paralegal Studies Certificate Program not a viable option.  Accordingly, we have partnered with an online partner to allow students to pursue their dream.  

The Paralegal Online Training Program will prepare you for success in this growing career field. You’ll learn about the U.S. legal system, how to conduct legal research and legal interviews, how to perform legal analyses, and more. Your training will prepare you to become a legal secretary or paralegal and to take the Certified Paralegal certification exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).   

All materials are included in the cost of this program. Upon successfully completing, you will receive a voucher to sit for the Certified Paralegal exam.

Joy Aull, Program Director
(251) 460-7200
jaull@southalabama.edu

Melani Hill"The paralegal internship option was the perfect way to see the connection between what I learned in the classroom and the real legal world." - Melani Hill, 2013 Paralegal Studies Certificate Graduate