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Paralegal Certificate Program

About the Program

18 credits

The Paralegal Certificate Program is designed to prepare participants in the theory and ethics of legal practice. Participants gain the necessary practical skills to enable them to effectively assist lawyers and other legal professionals in providing a range of legal services to law firms, corporations, governmental agencies, and businesses under the direction and supervision of an attorney. Participants entering this certificate program must either be a current Keystone College student or must currently possess an associate degree or bachelor’s degree from any accredited institution.

Who Should Attend?
The Paralegal certificate program can be earned as a stand-alone certificate. Those aspiring to a professional career as a paralegal will benefit from earning this certificate.

Certificate Program Benefits
A certificate program is a flexible, convenient, and short-term commitment to your professional development, self-enhancement, and career advancement opportunities. Certificate programs can apply to academic degrees at Keystone College.

Admission to Certificate Programs
A high school diploma or a GED is required to enter a certificate program. Additionally, this certificate requires completion of an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. An official college transcript must be submitted to enroll. It can be added to an associate or bachelor’s degree seeking student’s program of study.

This certificate is available on-site or online for any organization with sufficient enrollment, as a consortium based program with multiple organizations, or on campus as scheduling allows at Keystone College.

Financial Aid
Stand alone certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Students completing certificate programs while also pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree may be eligible for financial aid. Students should check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility.

Full-time students should contact the Financial Aid Office. Keystone College accepts all forms of tuition reimbursement from employers. Part-time students can contact the Professional Development Institute for information on loans.

Required courses

  • PARA 1110 – Introduction to Paralegalism/Legal Ethics – 3 credits
    Introduces the participant to the paralegal profession. Topics to be discussed include the structure of the course system, career opportunities, legal terminology, and legal ethics.
  • PARA 1115 – Legal Research and Writing – 3 credits
    Focuses on both primary and secondary research sources. Familiarizes participants with statutory and case law to better understand the legal process and gain understanding of complex legal issues. Students will be exposed to and develop a working knowledge of Federal, State, and Local Legal Reporters, along with electronically assisted research. Familiarizes students with the process of legal writing. Through various exercises, the student will draft various legal documents.
  • PARA 2110 – Civil Litigation – 3 credits
    Addresses the rules and processes governing civil litigation. Topics to be discussed include jurisdiction, state and federal rules of civil procedures and evidence, motions and discovery, and the trial process.
  • BUSN 3150 – Business/Civil Law – 3 credits
    Provides a foundation for managers to operate within the legal environment which all businesses in our society function. Provides an overview of law and our legal system, the lawmaking and adjudicatory processes, and the roles of economic, social, and political forces in the shaping of constraining legal rules and regulations. Exposes participants to the law in regards to profit and non-profit organizations including torts, contracts, property transfer and negligence.
  • HRM 2110 – Employment Law – 3 credits
    Provides an overview of the field of human resource management, including the history of human resource management and its evolution to the present. Discusses the internal and external environments shaping human resource management and its evolution from an operational role to that of a strategic business partner.

Choose one elective:

  • CJ 3135 – Juvenile Justice System – 3 credits
     Examines approaches and procedures concerning identification, detention, and disposition relevant to the administration of criminal justice policy, practice, and law. Questions the juvenile justice process and examines critical issues facing the system as well as case law.
  • ENVT 3130  –  Environmental Law – 3 credits
    Examines the basic principles and fundamental laws and regulations that are part of what is commonly known as environmental law and natural resource law. Introduces participants to the environmental laws that are being implemented and enforced at the international, national and state level. Special emphasis on environmental law and policy in Pennsylvania.
  • POSC 3120 –  Comparative Government – 3 credits
    Introduces comparative political analysis with applications to political systems, processes, and issues in selected nation states, emphasizing those of the major powers of Europe and Asia.
  • POSC 3130 –  Public Policy – 3 credits
    Studies general public policy concepts with emphasis on the policy process, the constitutional roles of the official policy-makers, nongovernmental policy makers, and contemporary criminal justice policies.