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.

 

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
  • Resume
  • $50.00 application fee

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

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.

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 is an ideal flexible option for students with full-time 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 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) from 6 to 9 pm.

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.

 

2019-2020 COURSE SCHEDULE

COURSE NAME DATES
TIME
Orientation Saturday,
Aug 17, 2019
9-11 am
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles Tuesdays:
Aug 27 - Oct 8
6-9 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process Wednesdays:
Aug 28 - Oct 9
6-9 pm
Contract Law Thursdays:
Aug 29 - Oct 3
6-9 pm
Business Organizations Tuesdays:
Oct 22 - Nov 27
6-9 pm
Legal Research Wednesdays:
Oct 23 - Dec 11
6-9 pm
Legal Writing Thursdays:
Oct 24 - Dec 5
6-9 pm
Paralegal Career and Panel Discussion Tuesday, Oct 29 5:30-8:30 pm

The Full-Time Day Paralegal 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.  Full-Time Cohorts begin in August and January every year.

Apply by December 16, 2019

SPRING 2020 PROGRAM SCHEDULE

COURSE DATES TIME
Orientation Thursday, Jan. 9 9-11 am
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles 
M, W, and F:
Jan. 13 - Jan. 29
9 am - 12 pm
Legal Research M, W and F:
Jan. 13 - Jan. 29
1 pm - 4 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process T and Th:
Jan. 21 - Feb. 11
9 am - 12 pm
Paralegal Career and Panel Discussion Thursday, Jan. 30 1 - 4 pm
Legal Writing M, W and F:
Feb. 3 - Feb. 14
9 am - 12 pm
Tort and Personal Injury Law

M, W and F:
Feb. 10 - Feb. 21

1 - 4 pm
Paralegal Office Coordination M, W and F:
Feb. 17 - Feb. 28
9 am - 12 pm
Business Organizations T and Th:
Feb. 18 - Mar. 12
9 am - 12 pm
SPRING BREAK March 2 - March 6  
Estates & Trusts M, W and F:
Mar. 9 - Mar. 20
9 am - 12 pm
Criminal Law M, W and F:
Mar. 16 - Mar. 27
1 - 4 pm
Intellectual Property Law T and Th:
Mar. 17 - Apr. 2
1 pm - 4 pm
Family Law Mondays:
Mar. 23 - May 4
9 am - 12 pm
Contract Law T and Th:
Mar. 24 - Apr. 14
9 am - 12 pm
Ethics Wednesdays:
Apr. 1 - Apr. 15
9 am - 12 pm
Employment Law T and Th:
Apr. 14 - Apr. 30
1 - 4 pm
Real Estate Law M, W and F:
Apr. 15 - Apr. 27
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

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