PARALEGAL PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Fall 2021 Application Deadline: July 23rd

APPLY EARLY! Space is limited.

 

A career as a paralegal is ideal for professionals who are excited about the legal field and passionate about helping others.

Villanova's Paralegal Certificate Program is an ABA approved program educating paralegals for more than 30 years. Offered in both a full-time day and part-time evening format, the Paralegal Certificate Program is designed to train qualified individuals in the theory and philosophy of the law and the ethics of legal practice. Students gain the necessary practical skills to enable them to effectively assist lawyers and executives in providing a full range of legal services to corporations, governmental agencies, law firms, and businesses.

Courses are taught by highly experienced lawyers and paralegals, and cover topics such as legal writing, legal research, contract law, family law, business organizations, ethics, and intellectual property law. A full curriculum and list of courses can be found below.

To further prepare our graduates for success after program completion, we have built professional development opportunities into the program and encourage students to utilize all of the resources of the Villanova University Career Center. Students enrolling in the Paralegal Professional Certificate program may be interested in becoming licensed. Each state/jurisdiction has unique educational and prerequisite requirements that candidates must meet in order to obtain licensure. The Provost's website provides additional information on whether this program meets the educational requirements in each state/jurisdiction." 

IMPORTANT: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

PROGRAM DETAILS

The following items must be submitted as part of the application process:

  • Official transcript(s) showing proof of Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Essay: Writing sample of career goals. Download essay guidelines.
  • Resume
  • $50.00 application fee

Applications for the Paralegal Program are reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Deadline: Fall 2021 application and application materials are due by July 23rd.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

 

Transfer Courses:
Students may petition for Villanova to accept a transfer course from another ABA Approved Paralegal program.  All policies related to the transfer of courses are found in the Non-Credit Professional Programs Supplement.

In addition to the above requirements, international Paralegal Program applicants must also submit:

  • Official English translation of transcripts by WES or NACES-approved agency
  • TOEFL or IELTS for non-native English speakers
  • Completed Certification of Finances form along with bank statement (dated no later than three months prior to the submission of your application) showing the ability to meet tuition and living expenses. If the bank statement is not in the applicant's name, then a letter of support must accompany the bank statement of the account holder stating he/she will financially support the application while he/she is attending Villanova.

All international CPS students must secure their own housing.

american-bar-association-approved-program


Students complete the following courses:

  • Civil Procedure & Litigation
  • Business Organizations
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Estates & Trusts
  • Ethics
  • Family Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Introduction to Paralegal Profession & Principles 
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing
  • Paralegal Office Coordination
  • Real Estate Law
  • Torts and Personal Injury Law

To earn a Villanova University certificate of completion, students must earn a grade of ‘C’ or higher in each class, complete a program exit exam, and submit a portfolio of class assignments.

The Part-Time Evening Paralegal Program has been moved to an online format for 2021/2022!

The part time paralegal program is an ideal flexible option for students with full-time jobs or other daytime commitments. Students complete the full program to earn a Paralegal Professional Certificate in just nine months.

Students enter the program in the Fall semester (late August) and conclude in May. Classes are held three nights a week (rotating Monday through Thursday) from 6 to 9 pm. (Adjustments have been made to the schedule below to reflect the new Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 schedule due to COVID 19)

Students completing the program are recognized each year at the annual CPS Awards Dinner in May. Families and friends are welcome to attend to share in the celebration.

 

2021-2022 ONLINE COURSE SCHEDULE

COURSE NAME DATES
TIME
Orientation Monday,
Aug 16, 2021
5 pm - 7 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process Tuesdays:
Aug 24 - Oct 5
6-9 pm
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles Thursdays:
Aug 26 - Oct 7
6-9 pm
Legal Writing Wednesdays:
Sept 8 - Oct 27
6-9 pm
Business Organizations Wednesdays:
Oct 20 - Nov 24
6-9 pm
Legal Research Tuesdays:
Oct 19 - Nov 23
6-9 pm
Contract Law Thursdays:
Oct 21 - Dec 2
6-9 pm
Ethics Wednesdays:
Dec 1- Dec 15
6-9 pm
Tort and Personal Injury Law Tuesdays:
Jan 11 - Feb 15
6-9 pm
Criminal Law Wednesdays:
Jan 12 - Feb 16
6-9 pm
Employment Law Thursdays:
Jan 13 - Feb 17
6-9 pm
Family Law Tuesdays:
Feb 22 - Apr 5
6-9 pm
Paralegal Office Coordination Wednesdays:
Feb 23 - Apr 6
6-9 pm
Real Estate Law Thursdays:
Feb 24 - Apr 7
6-9 pm
Intellectual Property Law Tuesdays:
Apr 12 - May 17
6-9 pm
Estates & Trusts Wednesdays:
Apr 13 - May 18
6-9 pm

This program is designed for students committed to earning their Paralegal Professional Certificate in a condensed 4 month time period.

The full program consists of 15 courses, taken over the course of one semester.  Classes are held 5 days a week with approximately 2 courses per day. Morning sessions are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and afternoon sessions are held from 1 to 4:00 pm. Full-Time Cohorts begin in August and January every year.

All students, faculty and staff who will be on campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For more information, visit the University's Vaccine Info webpage.

Fall 2021 application and application materials are due by July 23.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

FALL 2021 PROGRAM SCHEDULE

COURSE DATES TIME
Orientation Tues. August 17 9 am - 12 pm
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles M, W, and F:
Aug. 30 - Sept. 17
9 am - 12 pm
Legal Research T and Th:
Aug. 31 - Sept. 21
1 - 4pm
Legal Writing T and Th:
Sept. 7 - Sept. 23
9 am - 12 pm
Contract Law M, W and F:
Sept. 20 - Oct. 1
9 am - 12 pm
Business Organizations T and Th:
Sept. 23 - Oct. 19
1 - 4 pm
Civil Litigation T and Th:
Sept. 28 - Oct. 19
9 am - 12 pm
Tort and Personal Injury Law M, W, and F:
Oct. 4 - Oct. 22
1 - 4 pm
Family Law Mondays:
Oct. 18 - Nov. 22
9 am - 12 pm
Real Estate Law M, W, and F:
Oct. 25 - Nov. 5
1 - 4 pm
Ethics M, W, and F:
Oct. 29 - Nov. 12
9 am - 12 pm
Employment Law T and Th:
Nov. 2 - Nov. 23
1 - 4 pm
Estates & Trusts M, W, and F:
Nov. 10 - Nov. 22
1 - 4 pm
Paralegal Office Coordination T and Th:
Nov. 23 - Dec. 14
1 - 4 pm
Criminal Law M, W, and F:
Nov. 29 - Dec. 10
1 - 4 pm
Intellectual Property Law M, W, and F:
Nov. 29 - Dec. 10
9 am  - 12 pm 

Tuition: $8,250 ($550 per course)

Books and parking are additional.

NON-CREDIT PROGRAM PAYMENT PLANS

CPS students enrolling in the Paralegal Program may participate in a payment plan. Payment plans are offered through Nelnet Campus Commerce, and students are encouraged to reach out to Nelnet directly through the NCC website.

Please note:

  • Payments must be made over the course of three months.
  • There is an additional $40 payment plan fee for each semester. 
  • To initiate the use of a payment plan for an upcoming course, contact Lisa Weber for a specific code to submit with the application.

For financial information, including cancellation policies, billing and payments, visit Admissions & Enrollment.

Windows PC with Microsoft Office 2010 or Later

  • Operating System: Windows 10 (32 bit or 64 bit)
  • Processor: Pentium 4 - 2.8 GHz (or faster)
  • Memory (RAM): 8 GB
  • Office Suite: MS Office 2013 or Office 365 Please remember that as a student, you have free and full access to Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based version of the Office Desktop. Your Office 365 username is [youruserid]@villanova.edu.
  • Internet Browser: Firefox (Latest version) or Chrome (Latest version)
  • Internet Service: DSL, Cable, or Satellite

Other Required Components:

  • Headset with microphone
  • Webcam
  • Current version of Flash player
  • Adobe Reader
  • Browser configuration must support Javascript, allow cookies, and popup blockers must be turned off

Students enrolled in the Paralegal Certificate Program can connect with a network of more than 72 law firms and 260+ active alumni. Additionally, the College of Professional Studies (CPS) has cultivated relationships with law firms in the region and has a history of providing competent paralegals to these firms. For this reason, our graduates are routinely recruited and hired. CPS is regularly sent job opportunities by alumni and partners and shares them through Handshake, Villanova's job bank.

In addition to program specific resources offered through CPS, students enrolled in the Paralegal program have access to the Villanova University Career Center which includes:

  • Assisting students with defining academic and career goals
  • Planning your successful job search
  • Personalized resume review
  • Access to the Villanova job bank: HandShake
  • Answering academic and career questions
  • Suggesting Career Center resources to help you move forward

Responsibilities of a Paralegal:

  • Preparing and writing court documents, including trial notebooks and jury instructions
  • Conducting client and witness interviews
  • On-site investigation and photos
  • Ensuring all case documents are readily available for a law firm and preparing legal documents for trial
  • Performing research via online portals and reference libraries for evidence in cases

Legal specialty areas to explore:

  • Boutique Firm (practices one type of law, i.e. tax, family law)
  • Corporations with in-house counsel (bank, insurance company, medical company)
  • Governmental Agencies (social services, defense)
  • Home-Office (freelance)

Benefits of a paralegal certificate:

According to the American Bar Association, the average cost of a law degree from a private school is $34,300 annually and more than $16,800 at a public school. The median annual salary for a paralegal is $48,350 and allows a professional to work in the legal field without the debt of a law degree. Working as a paralegal also provides a foundation of knowledge and opportunity for advancement in a law firm.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics

The United States Bureau of Labor provides a foundation of statistics and career search data for professionals to make informed decisions regarding paralegal certification. Be sure to read the statistics below and visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to learn more about the paralegal field and industry growth forecast.

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

2019 Median Pay $51,740 per year
Work Experience in Related Occupation None
On-The-Job Training None
Number of jobs in 2019 337,800
Job Outlook, 2019-2029 10% (Much faster than average)
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's Degree

View a Paralegal Program
Information Session

IMPORTANT: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

College of Professional Studies

800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Vasey Hall, Room 103
Villanova, PA 19085

Maps & Directions to Campus

Important Notices for Distance Education Students

The following includes important information for students participating in online courses, online programs and/or on-ground clinicals or practicums while physically located outside of Pennsylvania.

Read the Notices for Distance Education Students

VALUE OF A PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM:

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Enhance your resume.

Professional education classes enable you to add new skills, expertise, or credentials to your resume and make you even more valuable to your employer.

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Expand your professional network.

Communicating and building relationships with your classmates and instructors can open new doors in your career.

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Learn from industry experts.

All programs are taught by instructors who have worked or who are currently working in the field, and who are able to share practical applications and real world examples of topics in the course.

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