About this Program
Paralegals play a vital role in the legal profession, providing key support services to attorneys in public and private settings. Paralegal training has also grown in importance as many states look to expand access to affordable legal representation, particularly in the areas of housing, family law and health care. As a result, job growth in the field is projected to increase, ensuring consistent employment for new and experienced paralegals.
In this certificate program, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the U.S. legal system and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work as a paralegal or in a related role. We’ll explore major aspects of court systems, hearings, trials and laws, and consider essential subjects such as litigation, legal research, contracts, technology and professional ethics.
▸ Related Article:
How to Become a Paralegal DESIGNED FOR
Paralegals, legal assistants and those seeking to become paralegals or enter other law-related occupations, including those considering law school. Those with less experience or who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree might consider the introductory course
Law Office Fundamentals.
To apply, you must have:
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution
Completed college-level coursework in English composition and/or oral communication (if you're a non-native speaker, you'll need to meet the English proficiency requirements for a credit program — see the English Proficiency section below)
Relevant skills, including the ability to work independently, manage projects, remain objective, attend closely to detail and be proficient with modern office technology
Professional or technical writing experience
Strong understanding of English usage and grammar
Comfortable working with others and contributing to discussions
This program allows students to apply a limited number of transfer credits from similar programs. Credit transfers are subject to these restrictions:
No more than 15 quarter credits/CEUs or their equivalents can be transferred (see the chart on page 22 of the
American Bar Association guidelines) No online course credits can be transferred
To successfully transfer credits, a student must:
Provide an official transcript showing a grade of a B or better in the course(s)
Provide a syllabus or similar comprehensive summary of the course(s) being transferred
Provide proof that the course(s) were taken in the classroom (rather than online)
Indicate whether the college is approved by the American Bar Association
We reserve the right to accept or reject transfers based on how closely the transferring course(s) match our course offerings.
Including time in class, you should expect to spend about 12 to 16 hours each week on coursework for a standard program, or 18 to 24 hours for the accelerated format.
If English is not your native language, you should have advanced English skills to enroll. To learn more, see
English Language Proficiency Requirements – Credit Programs. International Students
Because this offering is 100% online, no visa is required and international students are welcome to apply. For more information, see
Admission Requirements for International Students. Technology Requirements
Access to a computer with a recent operating system and web browser
High-speed internet connection
Headset and webcam (recommended)
Earning the Certificate
You earn a certificate of completion by adhering to the program's
attendance policy and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Earning the Certificate.
Hear about the UW Certificate in Paralegal Studies from instructor Judi Maier and how real-life examples from practicing attorneys help prepare students for a career in the field.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Legal theory and reasoning
Fundamentals of legal research, writing and analysis, including terminology and resources, interviewing, and documenting
All major aspects of litigation, covering areas such as criminal, environmental and family law
Essential topics in business law, including contracts, corporations, real estate and banking
Preeminent concerns related to professional and ethical responsibility in the legal field
In an effort to ensure the quality and rigor of this certificate program, it aligns with specific
program goals. APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP
You may be eligible to apply for a UW Certificate Scholarship to cover most of the costs of this program. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and the potential of the program to positively impact your career. For eligibility details, see the
Certificate Scholarship page.
Alumni working in field
Projected job growth for paralegals in Washington state (2020-2030)
Average salary for paralegals in Washington state
OUR ENROLLMENT COACHES ARE HERE TO HELP
Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.