Woodland Park-based Berkeley College will begin offering a new Online Paralegal Certificate program starting Jan. 6, 2020. Within six months after they start, students can earn a certificate and have the option to apply their earned credits toward the associates or bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. The new online certificate program prepares individuals seeking to explore or advance their careers in the legal professions and offers a flexible option for gaining stackable credentials relatively quickly.
“Certificate programs such as this provide students with viable options to earn credentials that will advance their opportunities in the workforce as skilled professionals,” said Marsha Pollard, PhD, Berkeley College provost. The new certificate is offered through the Legal Studies program in the Berkeley College School of Professional Studies.
“The flexibility of the program accommodates varying interests and students will be able to complete the Online Paralegal Certificate program in as little as six months,” said Patricia Greer, Esq., chair, Legal Studies, Berkeley College School of Professional Studies. Legal occupations are projected to grow at 7 percent through 2028, as law firms try to increase efficiency of legal services and reduce their costs. “By combining practical knowledge from seasoned legal faculty with a rigorous academic component, the Online Paralegal Certificate program will help individuals to gain the competitive advantage that they need to succeed in the legal job market,” she added.
People who work as paralegals may find employment at small, medium or large law firms, in-house corporate counsel departments, banks and title companies, real estate agencies, insurance companies, government courts and prosecutors’ offices, as translators for law firms and courts, social service agencies and other nonprofit organizations, as well as museums, cultural centers and religious organizations.
Presented in seven-week online modules, the Berkeley College Online Paralegal Certificate program offers three options. The first is an 18-credit Core Paralegal Certificate. The next option is the Elective Paralegal Certificate comprising nine credits from three elective courses. The third option is the Advanced Paralegal Certificate that combines both programs.
Courses in the core curriculum include Introduction to Law, Contract Law, Professional Responsibilities and Legal Ethics, Legal Research and Writing, Torts and Civil Litigation. For the electives, students can choose three from a wide range that includes: Real Property Law; Immigration Law; Family Law; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Constitutional Law; Intellectual Property Law; Employment Law; Business Organization and Corporations; Advanced Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy; Law Firm Communications and Technology; Law Firm Administration and Management; Criminal Procedure; and Criminal Law.
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