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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 hearing, 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. The coursework is highly experiential, emphasizing exercises, case studies, and real-world course content to help students master the key paralegal functions and better understand the profession of law. Offered through the Shepard Broad College of Law, the faculty include full-time professors, lawyers, judges, and magistrates who have demonstrated both top-notch teaching ability and expertise in their subject matter. 

The American Bar Association approved track combines both live classroom courses and online courses. An alternative track provides the same coursework in an all online version. (The online version is not approved by the American Bar Association.)

Courses are generally offered in the evenings, enabling students to complete the program in less than one year.

Current NSU students pursuing a non-paralegal studies undergraduate degree can concurrently register for the certificate.

 Gainful Employment Disclosure 

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 10 credits of coursework be taken in a traditional, ground-based format (i.e., not online).

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.

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

2018-2019 ESTIMATED EXPENSES (EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2018)
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 $450 $225
Paralegal Certificate Program $755/credit hour $755/credit hour
Registration Fee (per term) $30 $30
Application Degree Fee $100 $100
Cap and Gown (if attending commencement ceremony) Specialist Regalia pricing information Specialist Regalia pricing information

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.

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 price 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.

 

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. 
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