Paralegal Certificate Program

Earn Your  Paralegal Certificate in Four Months OR Nine Months With Flexible Program Options

The American Bar Association (ABA) approved, flexible full-time day or part-time evening paralegal programs provide students with the education to pursue their professional goals. For over 30 years, Villanova's experienced instructors, along with an extensive network of regional law offices and a thriving alumni network, have prepared students to be successful upon completion of the program.

The paralegal plays a more important role in today's business and legal arena than ever before. Charged with assisting attorneys in supporting clients, conducting research, and completing casework and documentation, a paralegal is a critical member of the legal team.


Paralegal Certificate

Program Requirements & Admission

Please reference the items listed below for requirements to apply for the Full-Time Day program and Part-Time Evening program.

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution (submission of official transcript)
  • Essay - Writing sample of career goals
  • Optional - A letter of recommendation attesting to academic ability, work experience, or character.
  • $50.00 application fee

Acceptance of Transfer Courses:

  • Villanova University Paralegal program will accept a maximum of four courses as transfers from another ABA approved paralegal program.
  • To request the transfer of courses students must submit proof of satisfactory course completion, a syllabus and description.
  • The Admissions Committee will determine if the transfer course material supplied is accepted and satisfies the Villanova program requirements.
  • In some cases, the transferring student may be asked to take an exam to show competency in a subject area/course being accepted in transfer.
  • The Villanova paralegal program does not accept the transfer of online courses from another program.


Part-Time Evening Program

The part-time evening paralegal program is an ideal flexible option for students with full-time jobs or other daytime commitments. Students must enter the program in the fall semester and can complete the full program to earn a paralegal certificate in just nine months.

All courses emphasize paralegal skills, forms, documents and procedures, as well as legal principles and theories pertinent to a paralegal’s performance on the job. All courses are designed to help students understand basic legal concepts and develop the decision-making abilities needed by paralegals. Courses also focus on high demand areas of employment and help students develop and apply practical, immediately marketable paralegal skills. Students will become familiar with all documents necessary to apply the legal knowledge learned and be proficient in document preparation. Documents will include pleadings, interrogatories, contracts, corporation articles and by-laws, bankruptcy petitions, petitions for custody and child support, trial briefs and memorandums, deeds, agreements of sale, inheritance tax returns, and many others.


Part Time Evening Program Highlights

  • Students can only enter the program in the Fall semester.
  • Applications are reviewed in advance as they are submitted. 
  • Classes are held three nights a week from 6 to 9 pm.
  • Students are tracked to complete the program in nine months.
  • Completion of all 15 classes within 9 months is required for graduation.


Course Curriculum

All students are required to take 15 courses. The curriculum is pre-set each term and students will be registered in all 15 courses prior to the start of the semester. 


Course Fees

Tuition: $7,200 ($480 per course)

Tuition is payable per semester or per course(s) at the beginning of each term.

Books and parking are additional.

View Financial information, including Cancellation Policies, Billing, and Payments.


Spring 2018 Schedule

Course Name Course Dates        
Business Organizations Tuesdays, January 9 - February 13, 2018  6 - 9:00 PM                  
Tort and Personal Injury Law
Wednesdays January 10 - February 14, 2018 6 - 9:00 PM
Ethics Thursdays January 18 - February 1, 2018
6 - 9:00 PM
Criminal Law Thursdays, February 8 - March 22, 2018
6 - 9:00 PM
Spring Break March 5 - 11, 2018
Employment Law Tuesdays, February 20 - April 3, 2018 6 - 9:00 PM
Estates & Trusts Wednesdays, February 21 - April 4, 2018
6 - 9:00 PM
Family Law Thursdays, April 5 - May 10, 2018 6 - 9:00 PM
Real Estate Law Tuesdays, April 3 - May 8, 2018 6 - 9:00 PM
Intellectual Property Law Wednesdays, April 11 - May 16, 2018 6 - 9:00 PM


To graduate from the paralegal program and 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.

Full-Time Day Program

The full-time day paralegal program was designed for students committed to earning their 280 hour paralegal certificate in a condensed 4 month, one semester time period.


Full Time Day Paralegal Program Highlights

  • The program consists of 15 courses equaling 280 class hours.
  • The curriculum is preset at the beginning of each semester and students will be registered for all 15
  • 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. 
  • Villanova paralegal courses are held on campus.
  • Graduation requires students to complete:
    • All courses with a grade of “C” or above
    • An exit exam
    • An exit questionnaire
    • And a portfolio of written work.


Course Fees

Tuition: $7,200  

Books and parking are additional.

View Financial information, including Cancellation Policies, Billing, and Payments.


Program Schedule

Course Dates                    Time          
Orientation Thursday January 11, 2018 9 - 11 am
Spring Break March 5 - March 11, 2018  
Introduction to the Paralegal Profession & Principles   Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: January 17 - January 31, 2018 9 am-12 pm
Civil Procedure and the Litigation Process Tuesdays and Thursdays: January 18 - February 8, 2018
9 am-12 pm
Legal Research Tuesdays and Thursdays: January 23 - February 13, 2018
1-4 pm
Legal Writing Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: February 7 - February 19, 2018 9 am-12 pm
Contract Law Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: February 14 - February 26, 2018 1-4 pm
Tort and Personal Injury Law Tuesdays and Thursdays: February 20 - March 15, 2018 1-4pm
Paralegal Office Coordination Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: February 21 - March 12, 2018
9 am-12 pm
Business Organizations Tuesdays and Thursdays: February 27 - March 22, 2018
9 am-12pm
Estates & Trusts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: March 16 - March 28, 2018
9 am-12pm
Criminal Law Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: March 21 - April 6, 2018 1-4pm
Employment Law Tuesdays and Thursdays: March 22 - April 12, 2018
1-4 pm
Ethics Fridays April 6 - April 20, 2018 9 am-12 pm
Family Law Mondays April 9 - May 7, 2018* 9 am-12 pm
Intellectual Property Law Tuesdays and Thursdays: April 3 - April 26, 2018
9 am-12 pm
Real Estate Law Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: April 20 - May 2, 2018
1-4 pm

*Family Law will be held on 5/4/18, which is a Friday. This is to accommodate Easter Break.



To graduate from the paralegal program and 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. 

About the Profession

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


Industry Statistics

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

2014 Median Pay $48,350 per year
Work Experience in Related Occupation None
On-The-Job Training None
Number of jobs in 2014 279,500
Job Outlook, 2014-2024 8% (As fast as average)
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's Degree

Career Services

Students enrolled in the Paralegal certificate program not only have access to the Villanova Career Center, but can also connect with a network of more than 72 law firms and 260+ active alumni. These tools ensure our alumni have the resources needed for employment upon graduation. 

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.

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
  • Interview coaching
  • Access to the Villanova job bank: HandShake
  • Answering academic and career questions
  • Suggesting Career Center resources to help you move forward

A Message From Our Faculty

Valerie Okonweze - Evening Paralegal Program

Sean McCarthy - Day Paralegal Program