Villanova University Paralegal Professional Certificate Program Offers Updated Requirements and Timeline to Increase Accessibility for Students
Villanova University's College of Professional Studies (CPS) offers a program designed to train paralegals, with two distinct modalities: a part-time online program and a full-time in person offering. In the spring of 2024, the full-time day program is being amended to offer greater access to the program for a wider group of potential students.
The Paralegal Professional Certificate full-time day program will shift from five days of classes each week (Monday to Friday) to four days of in person learning (Monday to Thursday). The class structure will also shift from 9 am to 4 pm instruction, to 9 am to 2:30 pm. In person learning will be complemented by asynchronous online work, allowing greater flexibility for students.
"This program will continue to require an intensive time requirement to earn a certificate in just one semester, but with the amended class times and added flexibility, it's now a more attractive option for students with other life commitments," said Paul Ballentine, Director of Admissions for CPS.
Additionally, the spring cohort of the Paralegal Professional Certificate program will, for the first time, be open to applicants who have achieved an associate's degree. Previously, the program required a bachelor's degree (and the part-time evening program will continue to do so).
"Opening this program to those with an associate's degree creates a pathway to a new career in a premier industry. It speaks to our mission in the College of Professional Studies," Ballentine added.
The full time day program offers the chance to prepare for a career in the legal field in just four months, ideal for those looking to change careers or kickstart a career at the entry level.
Being on campus, receiving in person instruction from highly experienced and connected faculty brings added benefits.
"I like in person classes. I think I do better when I'm in the classroom setting compared to online," Leaida Dever, a paralegal who completed the program, explained. "Every professor, when they had the time and the chance would answer a question or look to help."
Dever completed the Paralegal Professional Certificate Program in the fall of 2022 as an entry point to a career in law. She had been considering law school, but chose to pursue a path as a paralegal after an opportunity to shadow individuals in that field.
Leaida moved from Milford, PA to the Villanova area to enroll in the program, unlocking career opportunities in the process. While networking with a professor, Leaida earned a position as a legal clerk before even finishing the program. After earning her certificate, she sought and achieved a promotion to paralegal.
"I fell in love with the campus. Being in person was the best option for me."
- Leaida Dever
"I absolutely use what I learned in class at Villanova at my job today," she said.
Leaida still has her sights on the possibility of law school, and finds herself better positioned to consider that possibility now. Working in a law-based and expanding role, she is able to learn the details of legal work, while saving money and preparing for law school some day.
"Having this experience working in a firm and knowing the ins and outs will definitely help me in my law school career," she said.
Fore more information on Villanova's paralegal program, visit the program webpage.