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JMU Paralegal Certificate Program Details
James Madison’s Paralegal Certificate program is designed with working adults in mind:
- Our paralegal certificate program is offered via a convenient online format with required instructor led sessions that meet in the evening or on Saturday.
- The certificate program includes assignments, exercises and legal case studies that help you apply what you learn.
- Our online courses are interactive. Our online platform allows you to interact with the instructor as well as with your fellow students.
The skills, training, and knowledge acquired in this certificate program include an advanced understanding of legal procedure, ethics, and substantive law as well as research, communication and writing skills. You will embark on a specialized curriculum which includes over 120 classroom hours.
Who should attend the Paralegal Certificate Program?
- Legal assistants and staff wishing to enhance or advance their careers by earning a professional credential
- Career changers seeking a professional career with strong compensation
- This online certificate program accommodates professionals in the Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C. and surrounding areas
Our certificate program includes the following courses:
- Introduction to Law – The Introduction to Law course provides an overview of the environment in which a paralegal works by introducing legal writing and citation, the operation of the court system, the role of government in the legal system, and the basics of attorney/paralegal ethics.
- Torts & Personal Injury – The Tort Law & Person Injury course provides a thorough overview of the causes of actions and remedies available to a person who is injured as the result of a certain type of civil wrong that is known as a tort. During the course, students will identify and apply the different standards of care identified in negligence actions and analyze and apply the different types of damages available in tort law.
- Legal Research & Writing – The Legal Research & Writing course provides the foundation for finding legal authority, conducting legal analysis, and writing basic legal memorandum. During the course, students will conduct legal research through Westlaw’s online database, identify and distinguish the difference between primary and secondary authority, and author a legal memorandum.
- Civil Litigation – The Civil Litigation course prepares students to work in the context of civil litigation. Note that Virginia’s legal system is similar to many other states and this knowledge is applicable outside of the state. During the course, students will learn both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (applicable in all federal courts) and the Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.
- Contract Law – The Contract Law course will provide an introduction to the broad area of contract law, the basics of contract law and the elements necessary to create a valid contract. During the course, students will learn the basic requirements of an enforceable contract, contract performance and remedies available upon the breach of a contract.
- Family Law – The Family Law course is an overview of basic principles of family law. During the course, students will be introduced to terms and procedures associated with a general domestic practice including such topics as divorce, support, child custody, and property division.