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Paralegal Studies Certificate


The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is designed to train students in all aspects of pagalegalism. The goal is to provide a noncredit educational experience of the highest quality presented in an intensive weekend format. The newly enhanced paralegal program is dedicated strictly to those relevant areas required for students to become competant paralegals, when combined with actual work experience.

Now in its 30th year! Paralegal training can lead to career advancement and job opportunities in the growing fields of litigation support and legal transactions, as well as in corporations and law firms, banks, courts, government agencies, title companies, accounting and engineering firms, medical offices and the construction industry.


Benefits:
 
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for trained paralegals and legal assistants are projected to increase by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028.
  • Certificates provide evidence to current and potential employers of successful completion of a top-quality, noncredit educational program in preparation to join the paralegal field or for career advancement.
  • Out of 200 careers cited in a recent article, the paralegal profession rated second in overall employment satisfaction
  • Successful program completion may qualify for contact hours from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is taught by attorneys Kerry Doyle and Alex Morey — both of whom have extensive experience in Nevada’s state and federal courts, and in transactional law. Guest experts provide further orientation to law office procedure and functions, online research, trial preparation and presentation, and other topics.

This program is offered as a 12-week hybrid program consisting of weekly asynchronous online modules, and in person meetings on select weekends, as noted below. The program is designed to meet the needs and abilities of a diverse range of students, from experienced paralegals to those with expertise in other careers and no prior legal experience. Students will enhance their existing skills and knowledge to an advanced level based on individual needs and abilities.

Participants will develop skills to accurately identify legal issues, research relevant law and apply the law to factual situations. Writing skills are developed in a highly effective practice-oriented approach from legal correspondence and memos through motion and pleading exercises.

Course Format and Certificate Requirements:

This is a 12-week hybrid program consisting of asynchronous online weekly modules, designed to be completed in the week they are offered, and in-person meetings offered on select weekends. To receive a certificate in Paralegal Studies, program participants must satisfactorily complete all online modules the week they are due, and attend at least 90% of the face to face weekend sessions. This program may be taken independently and requires no formal admission to the University.

Program Requirements

You will need an up-to-date computer with internet access and a valid email address to participate in this course. A camera, microphone and speaker are ideal to allow participation in any online synchronous sessions. Assignments will require word processing software and PDF editing software. Instruction will be based in Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat DC, and you must purchase and have these programs installed on your computer to participate effectively in the program and complete assignments.
 

Program Modules

Each online weekly module begins on a Tuesday. Previous work can be accessed and viewed anytime, although assignments must be submitted for the week prior to the beginning of the next course week. While course materials will be available for continued reference up to four weeks after the program ends, assignments must be turned in the week they are due (and 90% of in-person meetings attended) to receive your certificate.

Students can expect to spend about 11 hours per weekly module engaged in the online portion of the course, with the exception of Modules 3, 6, 9 and 12. The program meets at the Redfield Campus for Modules 3, 6, 9 and 12, so the corresponding online modules will contain only minimal readings to complement the weekend sessions.

*Note that Modules 3, 6, 9 and 12 will be delivered IN PERSON on the dates specified in the course section(s) at the bottom of this page. A virtual attendance option is available for interested students.

Online Weekly Module 1

  • Paralegal profession
  • Career opportunities
  • Introduction to Westlaw and LexisNexis Advance
  • Legal terminology

 Online Weekly Module 2
 
  • Law office management skills
  • Maintaining client files
  • Becoming an informed consumer of legal services
 

*Online Weekend Session
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, UNR Redfield Campus.
Refer to Online Module 3 for supplemental readings

  • Exploring the role of the paralegal
  • Maintaining personal and professional digital security
 

Online Weekly Module 4

  • Ethics and professional responsibility
  • Understanding and preventing conflicts of interest
  • Protecting privileged information
  • Avoiding unauthorized practice of law
 

Online Weekly Module 5

  • Organization and structure of the court systems
  • Sources of American law
  • Introduction to civil procedure
  • Preparing documents for e-filing
 

*In-person Weekend Session
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, UNR Redfield Campus.
Refer to Online Module 6 for supplemental readings

  • Exploring law library resources
  • Trial preparation and the role of the jury
 

Online Weekly Module 7

  • Legal research and writing
  • Case law research and analysis
  • Case briefing
  • Summarizing depositions and documentary evidence
 

Online Weekly Module 8

  • Principles of evidence
  • Drafting discovery requests
  • Preparing evidence for trial
 

*In-person Weekend Session
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, UNR Redfield Campus.
Refer to Online Module 9 for supplemental readings.

  • Electronic discovery tools
  • Discovery best practices
  • Conducting interviews and investigations
 

Online Weekly Module 10

  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Basics of Constitutional law
 

Online Weekly Module 11

  • Calendaring court deadlines
  • Basics of Contracts and Torts
  • Identifying causes of action
  • Drafting pleadings
 

*In-person Weekend Session
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, UNR Redfield Campus.
Refer to Online Module 12 for supplemental readings.

  • Basics of Family law
  • Judges’ guidance for paralegals

For more information, contact exsonline@lists.unr.edu