PARALEGAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

 

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." 

 

PROGRAM DETAILS

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

  • Proof of Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution 
    • Note: Unofficial transcript(s) may be submitted at the time of application for review; official transcripts must be submitted upon admission prior to registration.
  • 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. 

Full-Time Day Program: App Deadline is July 15
Part-Time Evening Program: App Deadline is August 14

 

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.

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.

 

UPDATE:  The Part-Time Evening Paralegal Program has been moved to an online format for the FALL 2020 due to COVID 19. 

This Program is an ideal flexible option for students with full-ftime jobs or other daytime commitments. Students complete the full program to earn a Paralegal 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 schedule due to COVID 19)

Students completing the Paralegal Certificate 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.

 

2020-2021 UPDATED ONLINE COURSE SCHEDULE

COURSE NAME DATES
TIME
Orientation Monday,
Aug 17, 2020
5 pm - 7 pm
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles Tuesdays:
Aug 25 - Oct 6
6-9 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process Thursdays:
Aug 27 - Oct 8
6-9 pm
Legal Writing Wednesdays:
Sept 2 - Oct 7
6-7:30 pm
Business Organizations Mondays:
Oct 19 - Nov 23
7:30-9 pm
Legal Research Thursdays:
Oct 22 - Dec 11
7-8:30 pm
Contract Law Tuesdays:
Oct 27 - Dec 1
6-9 pm
Ethics Mondays:
Nov 30- Dec 14
6-9 pm
Spring 2021 courses and dates will be posted soon!

 

UPDATE:  The Full-Time Day Paralegal Program's schedule has been adjusted to a combination of in person, online and hybrid classes for FALL 2020 due to COVID 19. 

This program is designed for students committed to earning their Paralegal 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 (adjustments have been made below to reflect the new Fall 2020 schedule due to COVID 19).  Full-Time Cohorts begin in August and January every year.

UPDATED FALL 2020 PROGRAM SCHEDULE

COURSE DATES TIME
Orientation Friday, Aug 14 11 am - 1 pm
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles 

M, W, and F:
Aug. 24 - Sept. 9

*Classes will be held live online after class of 8/31/20

9 am - 12 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process T and Th:
Aug. 25 to Sept. 15
9 am - 12 pm
Legal Research

T and Th:
Sept. 1 to Sept. 22

*Course will be held 100% online

2 pm - 3:30 pm
Legal Writing

M, W and F:
Sept. 14 to Sept. 25

*Course will be held 100% online

10:30 am - 12 pm
Business Organizations T and Th:
Sept. 22 to Oct. 8
9 am - 12 pm
Paralegal Office Coordination M, W and F:
Sept. 28 to Oct. 9
9 am - 12 pm
Contract Law T and Th:
Sept. 29 to Oct. 22
1 - 4 pm
FALL BREAK October 12 - October 16  
Family Law Mondays:
Oct. 19 to Nov. 23
9 am - 12 pm
Criminal Law

T and Th:
Oct. 20 to Nov. 5

*Classes will be held live online after class of 10/22/20

9 am - 12 pm
Ethics

Fridays:
Oct. 23 to Nov. 6

*Course will be held 100% online

9 am - 12 pm
Tort and Personal Injury Law

T and Th:
Oct. 27 to Nov. 12

*Classes will be held live online after class on 11/3/20

1 - 4 pm
Estates & Trusts M, W and F:
Nov. 9 to Nov. 20
1 - 4 pm
Intellectual Property Law

T and Th:
Nov. 17 to Dec. 8

*Classes will be held live online after class on 11/24/20

9 am - 12 pm
Real Estate Law

T and Th:
Nov. 17 to Dec. 8

*Classes will be held live online after class on 11/24/20

1 - 4 pm
Employment Law

M, W and F:
Nov. 23 to Dec. 7

*Classes will be held live online after class on 11/23/20

1 - 4 pm 

Tuition: $7,800 ($520 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 Tuition Management System (TMS), and students are encouraged to reach out to TMS directly through the TMS website.

Please note:

  • Payments must be made over the course of three months.
  • There is an additional $45 payment plan fee for each semester. 

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

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

 

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

The United States Department 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 Department of Labor website to learn more about the paralegal field and industry growth forecast.

 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR STATISTICS

2017 Median Pay $50,410 per year
Work Experience in Related Occupation None
On-The-Job Training None
Number of jobs in 2016 285,600
Job Outlook, 2016-2026 15% (Much faster than average)
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's Degree

View a Paralegal Program
Information Session

College of Professional Studies

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

Maps & Directions to Campus

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.

FEATURED FACULTY