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Paralegal Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

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The NSU Law Paralegal Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program gives you the edge in the highly demanding, engaging career as a paralegal with attorney offices throughout the U.S. The program directs your talents and focus toward assisting public and private sector attorneys in preparing for hearings, trials, and maintaining positive communication with clients.

The focused curriculum concentrates on the skills needed to become a working professional in the high-demand paralegal role for law firms.

What makes the NSU post-baccalaureate certificate unique?
  • Offered fully online, 9 credits must be taken in a synchronous format.
  • Offered through the Shepard Broad College of Law, the faculty includes full-time professors, lawyers, judges, and magistrates who have demonstrated both top-notch teaching ability and expertise in their subject matter.
  • Evening classes (in-person & online) are also available to accommodate a variety of schedules.
  • The certificate programs can be completed in one year or less.
  • Sample Schedule
Current NSU students pursuing a non-paralegal studies undergraduate degree can concurrently register for the certificate.

*The NSU Paralegal Studies Certificate is approved by the Approval Commission of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals. 

 Gainful Employment Disclosure 

The page and documents communicate information regarding academic operations for the Fall 2020 term. There are many logistics and specifics regarding full building operations still being considered by our Faculty/Staff Fall 2020 Taskforce, who began work back in April 2020. Please understand that the world we are operating in is constantly in flux. NSU Law administration believes it is important to share this big picture information with you to help you with your planning. We have made these plans under the direction of the University, health and safety guidelines, and student feedback. 

While NSU Law Paralegal Certificat students are primarily online it is important that we share this information with you in the event you need to visit campus.

NSU COVID-19 Return of the Sharks Protocol July 2020

Return of the Sharks Student Guide

University Fees & Statement of Fee Description July 13, 2020

Resurgence of COVID-19 Protocol July 13, 2020

Force Majeure July 13, 2020

NSU Image Use Statement July 13, 2020

 

Building Logistics July 17, 2020

 

The Paralegal Certificate is available to any student who has successfully completed an undergraduate (BS or BA) degree. The paralegal profession is highly demanding and requires its professionals to have a strong commitment to their clients, lawyers, and the legal system.

Students are required to complete 30 credits of Paralegal Studies courses. Upon successful completion of the coursework, students are required to submit a paralegal portfolio at an exit interview with the program coordinator prior to certificate conferral.

Paralegal Studies (LEGS) courses offered online require proctored exams at approved sites. The American Bar Association requires that a minimum of 9 credits of coursework be taken in a synchronous format (online and at the same time as the on-campus course).

Students admitted to the Paralegal Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program may transfer up to 12 credits of "legal specialty" courses taken at an American Bar Association approved program. A course considered for transfer must have been taken no longer than five years prior to entry into the Paralegal Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program, must be substantially similar to an existing NSU paralegal studies course, must have been passed with a grade of "C" or higher, and must be approved by the paralegal studies program coordinator.

Sample Schedule

LEGS 1150 - Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession (3 credits)

Topics will include the structure and decisional processes of the American legal system, sources of law, methods of dispute resolution, the roles of the attorney and the legal assistant, legal analysis, interviewing techniques and ethics for legal assistants. This course is not required for those students who have taken LGST 2500.

LEGS 2100 - Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)

Students will study primary and secondary sources of law, obtain legal research and writing skills, learn how to use a law library, and obtain computer-assisted legal research training.

LEGS 2200 - Computer Applications for the Legal Profession (3 credits)

Theory and application of programs for computers that are used in the legal profession. Hands-on experience with microcomputers and specialized software utilized by the legal profession. 

LEGS 3050 - Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credits)

This course covers the study of both substantive criminal law and criminal procedure for the paralegal student. Students will learn the elements of major crimes and defenses. Students also will examine the constitutional aspects of criminal procedure, including searches, seizures and arrests; interrogation; the pretrial process; trial; sentencing; and appeal. Prerequisite: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500. 

LEGS 3260 - Real Estate Practice I (3 credits)

Topics will include interests in real property, contracts, deeds, mortgages and other encumbrances, mortgage foreclosures, title searches, title insurance, and leases. Students will prepare closing documents for a residential real estate transaction. Prerequisite: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500 or MGT 2150.

LEGS 3300 - Torts and Civil Litigation (3 credits)

This course covers tort law, including such topics as intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, products liability, defamation, and defense to torts. Students also will examine the civil litigation process, including evidence, the rules of civil procedure, discovery, jury selection, and pre-trial work. Students will prepare pleadings and pre-trial discovery. Prerequisite: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500.

LEGS 3360 - Wills, Trusts, and Estates I (3 credits)

Topics will include intestacy, wills, trusts, living wills, will substitutes, probate, estate administration, and estate and gift taxes. Students will prepare wills and estate administration documents. Prerequisites: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500. 

LEGS 3400 - Business Relations and Organizations (3 credits)

Topics will include contracts (the essential elements, defenses to enforceability, third party beneficiaries, and assignments), the Uniform Commercial Code, sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, and corporations. Prerequisite: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500. 

LEGS 3550 - Family Law (3 credits)

Topics will include prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, marriage, dissolution, equitable distribution, alimony, shared parental responsibility, child support, property settlement agreements, adoption, and paternity and juvenile law. Prerequisite: LEGS 1150 or LGST 2500. 

Any 4000-level LEGS course (3 credits)

NSU Law Paralegal Certificate Program Tuition Information

2020-2021 ESTIMATED EXPENSES  

5% Tuition discount is for NSU Paralegal Certificate students employed by NSU Law alumni. 

tuition information
Full-Time Students (4 or more credit hours) Part-Time Students (3 or fewer credit hours)
Application Fee (non-refundable) $50 $50
Student Services Fee $500 $250
Paralegal Certificate Program $1079/credit hour $1079/credit hour
Registration Fee (per term) $30 $30
Application Degree Fee $100 $100

Payment is due when registration is completed. If payment is not received 30 days after start of term, the student will be assessed a late fee. If payment is not received by the end of the term, the student will not be allowed to register for the next term or view final grades. Please visit the Bursar's website for more information on payments.

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Students may apply for financial assistance or view additional information about financial assistance by going to the NSU Student Financial Assistance Website.

You must be registered for a minimum of six credits (two courses) to be eligible to receive aid. In the case of a two part term, such as Winter or Fall, you may either register for two courses only in Part 1 or 2 or one course in Part 1 and one course in Part 2. However, you must be registered for both classes prior to the start of Part 1 to be eligible to receive aid.

A student must remain in good standing with the Bursar's Office. If the student's account is not clear of charges before a registration period begins, the student will not be permitted to register for classes.

Tuition and Student Service Fees do not cover the cost of textbooks. Textbook prices will vary from term to term, with some professors not requiring any textbooks; however, it is fair to estimate a few hundred dollars per term to cover the cost of textbooks.

Disclaimer: Tuition and fees are subject to change.


LEX Chapter Scholarship

NFPA Thomson Reuters Scholarship

NSU Scholarship Link

A paralegal, as defined by the American Bar Association, is "a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." The goal of the program is to prepare students for entry-level paralegal positions in the common areas of law practice. Paralegals are nonlawyers and therefore are prohibited from the unauthorized practice of law. This program trains paralegals and is not a program for training lawyers or legal administrators. 
Term Dates
Winter I January 6, 2020 March 1, 2020
Winter II March 9, 2020 May 3, 2020
Summer May 4, 2020 June 28, 2020
Fall I August 17, 2020 October 11, 2020
Fall II October 12, 2020 December 6, 2020
Winter I 2021 January March
Winter II 2021 March May

 


Sample Schedule

1. Who enrolls in the program?
The program is designed for students interested in the intricate workings of the law and how it relates to society. The program prepares the student in many facets of the legal system. Students interested in working in the court system, the government, in immigration services, guardian ad litem, consulting work, all benefit from the paralegal studies curriculum.

2. Does the paralegal Certificate program prepare students to practice law or to take a bar examination?

No, the Paralegal Certificate program does not prepare students to practice law or sit for a bar examination. The goal of the program is to prepare students for entry-level paralegal positions in the common areas of law practice. Paralegals are nonlawyers and therefore are prohibited from the unauthorized practice of law.

3. What are the admissions requirements?

The program is open to students who hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school. Students may pursue their undergraduate degree concurrently but cannot earn the certificate until their undergraduate degree is conferred.

4. Do I have to take the GRE or the LSAT?

No, you need not take a standardized test to be admitted to the Paralegal Certificate program

5. Is the program accredited?

Yes. The Shepard Broad College of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools. NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals.

6. Who is Nova Southeastern University?

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is the largest, private/independent university in Florida. NSU has provided traditional and distance educational options at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels to over 63,000 students since 1964.

7. How long will it take me to get my degree?

The Paralegal certificate usually takes one year to complete registering for full-time coursework. Students are encouraged to proceed at their own pace to successfully meet their professional, academic, and personal goals.  Sample Schedule

8. Can I work while I earn my degree?

Yes, the classes are offered online or in person throughout the year.

9. Does that mean I am totally free to check into and out of my online courses at any time?

It means that you are free to determine the times of day at which you wish to do your class work. The program is not, however, a free-form program permitting you to check in with each class infrequently. Rather, the courses provide a great deal of interactivity, requiring you to check into threaded discussion boards virtually each day. If attending all online, at least 9 credits of courses will need to be in a synchronous format

10. Where will I take classes?

All courses are offered via the Internet using a system called Canvas. On-campus courses are offered at the Shepard Broad College of Law on the NSU campus in Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Florida.

11. So how does each class work?

Each course will require you to work, along with your classmates on a series of modules. All students must proceed through the modules together. Within each module (which roughly represents about a week of course time), each student must complete a reading assignment, click into audio or video clips constructed by the professor, respond to problems on a threaded discussion board and submit an assignment (often in the form of a quiz). Classes are taught by full-time faculty members from the NSU Shepard Broad College of Law, as well as adjunct professors.

12. What type of technical support is offered to students?

Technical support is available through the NSU's Help Desk.

13. What types of courses will be taught?

Students must complete 30 credits. The curriculum can be found here https://www.law.nova.edu/paralegal-certificate/index.html.

14. What will I earn at the end of the program?

At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion from the Shepard Broad College of Law.

15. How much will this cost?

Tuition is $1038 per credit hour. Tuition and fees are subject to change. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

16. When does the program start?

The program starts five times per year: Winter (January and March), Summer (May) and Fall (August and October).

17. How do I get help checking out items from the library?

Contact the main library at NSU, Alvin Sherman Library, 954-262-4613, for a library loan. As a paralegal student, you also have complete access to all the resources at the Panza Maurer Law Library.

18. Can I take all of my classes online?

Yes, you may take all classes online, at least 9 credits of courses in a synchronous format. This means that you need to attend lectures online at the same time the class is taught live on campus.

19. Can I get a job in the field as soon as I start taking classes?

Yes, many students begin working in a variety of legal fields upon completing their first class.

20. What will my transcript read?

Certificate in Paralegal Studies Program.

21. Who is my advisor?

Jennifer McIntyre mcintyre@nova.edu and Professor Jessica Garcia-Brown will assist students for the duration of their program.

22. How do I register for classes?

Students will be given registration information before each term with suggested classes. Classes are also posted on the website. Students should register using the Webstar system. Contact your advisor for any further assistance.

23. What grading scale does the program use?

A = 93-100    C+ = 78-79
A- = 90-92     C = 73-77
B+ = 88-89    C- = 70-72
B = 82-87      D+ = 68-69
B- = 80-81     D = 60-67
F = below 60

24. What is a paralegal?

A paralegal, as defined by the American Bar Association, is "a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible."

25. What duties does a paralegal perform?

Paralegals supervised by a licensed attorney perform substantive and procedural aspects of legal work. Depending on the area of legal practice, a paralegals duty may include: interviewing clients, conducting legal research, assisting in discovery, drafting legal documents and correspondence, and managing the legal office.

26. Is there a paralegal studies honor society?

Yes, NSU has a chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a national paralegal honor society that inducts students with an overall GPA of 3.2 and a paralegal major GPA of at least 3.5 after completing 2/3 of the major requirements.

27. Why choose the paralegal program at NSU, Shepard Broad College of Law?

• All classes available online.
• Receive an education from a program housed in a law school. This program is one of two in the nation to be part of a law school.
• Access to endless legal and academic resources from an accredited law school.
• Faculty and mentors who are attorneys and judges.
• Flexible class schedule. Five start dates.
• The opportunity to conduct research and present at conferences with law faculty.

28. Will receiving a paralegal studies certificate prepare me for law school?

Receiving an education in paralegal studies will introduce you to a variety of legal facets and prepare you for the rigorous research and writing students face in law school. You will learn vital critical thinking and reasoning skills, as well.

29. Is there job placement for graduates?

NSU Career Development can assist in job placement opportunities.

30. Will graduates be able to sit for the NALA CLA exam?

The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers a voluntary examination for a certificate for a fee. Although not required by the State of Florida, paralegals choose to take the exam to enhance their professional portfolio. Completing the paralegal studies certificate qualifies the student to sit for the CLA exam.

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