Certificate in Explore a Career as a Paralegal Online Course

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Start Now To Learn Explore a Career as a Paralegal Does working in a law office sound exciting? Would you like to do legal research, help with trial preparation, and be the "right hand" of a busy attorney? If so, consider a career as a paralegal! 

Careers in the legal field often require many years of training, but paralegals can enter the job market quickly. What's more, paralegals earn good salaries and have many opportunities for advancement. In addition, a skilled paralegal can do almost all of the jobs a lawyer does.

In this course, you'll discover what paralegals do and find out what you'll need to know in order to begin your own paralegal career. You'll start by getting an excellent grounding in legal terminology, contract law, and the tort system. Next, you'll learn how to perform legal analysis, conduct interviews and investigations, write legal briefs, and prepare for appeals. And finally, you'll get tips on internships and job-hunting. 

By the time you're done, you'll know if becoming a paralegal is the right career choice for you. In addition, you'll have the knowledge you need to land an entry-level job or train for a more advanced position. Course Fast Facts: Learn Explore a Career as a Paralegal  Online Course in only 6 weeks Approximately only 2 to 4 hours per week of study is required This course is delivered 100% on-line and is accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone Instructors lead each course and you will be able to interact with them and ask questions You can study from home or at work at your own pace in your own time You can download printer friendly course material or save for viewing off line You will be awarded a certificate at completion of this course How is Explore a Career as a Paralegal  Online Course studied? Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an...

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Requirements: Entry requirements Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills. Minimum education Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course. Computer requirements Students will need access to a computer and the internet. Minimum specifications for the computer are: Windows: Microsoft Windows XP, or later Modern and up to...


Where and when

Starts Location

What you'll learn on the course

Contract Law
IT Law
Law of Tort
Skills and Training

Course programme

There are 12 units of study

 What Is a Paralegal?

Lawyers simply don’t have time to do everything their job requires them to do. As a result, they often hire paralegals to be their right hands. Basically, paralegals help lawyers with research and to prepare for cases. In this first lesson, we’ll begin with a general overview of the American legal system. We'll then look at the details of what a paralegal’s job entails, and we'll also spend some time discussing the current job prospects for paralegals. By the end of the lesson, you should have a good grasp of where the paralegal fits into the legal system.

How Do Paralegals Integrate Into a Law Practice?

In this lesson, we'll explore the paralegal’s work environment in three different types of employment: a law firm, a corporation, and the public sector. Then we’ll turn our attention to what happens in preparation for trial. This is the type of work that paralegals do most often. Next, we’ll look at what happens during a trial. Finally, we’ll wrap things up by exploring post-trial duties to give you a comprehensive sense of what a paralegal does on a daily basis.

Legal Terminology

Legal terminology is an integral part of what a paralegal needs to know. Every profession has a certain amount of jargon, and the legal profession has plenty. That's what we'll focus on in this lesson: simple definitions of the legal terms that you'll need to understand and use in your daily work. At the end of this lesson, terms like movant and tortfeasor should roll off your tongue with ease. Plus, a working knowledge of legal terminology will give you a solid foundation for the concepts we'll be covering in future lessons.

Contract Law

Contract law is a large part of most law practices. As a paralegal, you'll often assist with preparing contracts. In this lesson, you'll learn about the necessary elements that go into a legal, enforceable contract. Since even the most carefully prepared contract can sometimes go awry, you'll also get a large dose of contract litigation. By the end of this lesson, you should be familiar with the various terms related to contract law and feel comfortable in distinguishing a valid contract form one that's unenforceable.

Tort Law

The tort system gives us many of our civil laws. These laws govern wrongs that people do to other people and their property. In this lesson, we'll discuss the types of tort law actions. We’ll talk about intentional and quasi-intentional torts, and then we’ll explore negligent torts. We’ll also look at a few other areas of tort law, including strict liability, products liability, and nuisance torts.To put it all into perspective, we’ll wrap up the lesson with a discussion of tort law practice.

Analyzing and Drafting Legal Documents

One of the most interesting tasks paralegals have is legal analysis. It's the foundation for properly preparing for a case and to represent clients in the best way possible. Drafting legal documents is yet another task that paralegals do in their daily work. So in this lesson we’ll be talking about both legal analysis and drafting legal documents. I'll share an easy-to-remember formula that's the basis for legal analysis, and then I'll show how to apply analysis to the drafting of legal documents. By the time this lesson is finished, you should feel confident enough to apply the precedent from past cases to present ones.

Investigating Legal Matters

In the movies and on TV, attorneys learn valuable facts when they cross-examine witnesses at trial. In the real world, attorneys know what witnesses are expected to say long before trial. They also know or try to know all the significant facts of a case long before trial. This information often comes from legal investigation.That’s the subject for this lesson. We’ll cover the goals of legal investigation as well as the best methods. We’ll look at evidence: how to get it, how to mark it, how to protect it, and how to organize it. By the end of this lesson, you should be prepared to conduct a thorough and effective legal investigation.

Legal Interviewing

The strongest kind of information is the spoken words of people telling what they know. But before clients and witnesses can share their knowledge, someone must interview them. Interviewing is an interpersonal skill, and that's what we'll concentrate on in this lesson. We’ll begin by discussing the initial client interview, starting with the setting for the interview and its content. Then we'll take a look at the intake memorandum, which paralegals typically draft at the conclusion of the initial client interview. We'll also talk about witness interviews and how to prepare clients and witnesses for trial and deposition questions. By the end of this lesson, your communication skills should be sharply tuned.

Conducting Legal Research

One of the most important tasks for paralegals is to find law that is relevant to the issues in the case they’re working on. Finding this case law is the heart of legal research. And that’s what we’ll concentrate on in this lesson. We’ll first discuss legal authority and its various categories, including primary, secondary, mandatory, and persuasive authority. Then we’ll talk about the research process itself. We’ll finish up this lesson by looking at the many tools legal researchers have available. By the end of this lesson, you should feel confident in navigating online resources as well as a law library.

Writing Legal Briefs

Once you’ve used your legal research skills, you must be able to convey the results in legal briefs. There are some specific techniques for effective legal writing, and that’s the topic for this lesson. We’ll begin by looking at the proper format and organization of a legal brief. We’ll explore the various sections, and then we’ll look at citations. A well-supported and organized argument is essential in a brief, so we’ll spend some time talking about that subject as well. Then we’ll dig into the nuts and bolts of writing: proper use of grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. We’ll close out this lesson by focusing on the mechanics of good writing and how to effectively proofread your work. The goal of this lesson is to give you the tools to produce clear and convincing legal writing.

Appellate Procedure

Losing a trial can be painful, and the losing party often searches for some mistake that the trial court has made. Such mistakes can then serve as the basis of an appeal. An appeal ideally leads to a complete reversal of the trial court decision or at least a new trial in the original court. In this lesson, we’ll talk about the aftermath of a trial and how the parties begin to prepare for appeal. You’ll learn the difference between questions of law and questions of fact, and you’ll see how that difference will form the basis of your research. We’ll also talk about how to prepare an appellate brief and how to form a research plan. At the end of this lesson, you should understand how the appellate brief fits into the overall scheme of the litigation process.

Job Hunting

Nothing can replace hands-on experience for giving you a strong complement to the knowledge you learn from taking courses. To gain this hands-on experience, you obviously must find an internship or a job. In this final lesson, I’ll share with you sources for job leads and how to develop good working skills and habits. I’ll also be talking about further education that you might want to consider. My hope is that by the end of this lesson, you’ll feel ready to either seek employment or pursue further paralegal education.


Additional information

Through well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction and interaction with your tutor, participants in these courses gain valuable knowledge at their convenience. They have the flexibility to study at their own pace combined with enough structure and support to complete the course. And they can access the classroom 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection.

New sessions of each course run every month. They last six weeks, with two new lessons being released weekly (for a total of 12). The courses are entirely Web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and...