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Certificate of Completion in Paralegal

Division of Social Sciences — Curriculum Code: 3208

Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Certificate of Completion

 

Why become a Paralegal?

Law firms, corporations, government agencies, title companies, insurance companies, state and federal courts, and other entities are increasingly seeking qualified paralegals to assist with a wide variety of legal tasks. Duties of paralegals typically include conducting interviews, investigations, and legal research; preparing legal documents and memoranda; assisting with clients; and being involved in the daily operations of the law office.

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses?

This program is open to individuals who already possess at least an associate’s degree in any discipline.

How long will it take for me to complete this program?

You can complete the certificate of completion program in one year by taking two to three courses in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters/sessions.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973) 877-3250.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
  • Explain the role of a paralegal in today’s legal system;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the American legal system, fundamental legal principles, and the litigation process;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of legal ethics and of the Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Guidelines for Enforcement of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.;
  • Proficiently access, locate, and research the law by both traditional and electronic methods;
  • Demonstrate problem-solving and critical, analytical thinking skills within the context of evaluating legal issues; and
  • Communicate effectively with accurate legal terminology in written and/or oral form, with a demonstrated proficiency in the use of technology.

 

MAJOR COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

(21 credits)

PLS 101 Introduction to Law for Paralegals (3 credits)
PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 105 Torts (3 credits)
PLS 107 Contracts (3 credits)
PLS 202 Advanced Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 205 Administrative Law (3 credits)
PLS 206 Litigation Procedures (3 credits)

 

ADDITIONAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:

Note: To enter this certificate of completion program, you must possess at least an associate’s degree in any discipline and be able to demonstrate that you have met the general education requirements of Essex County College.

Total Credits Required for Certificate of Completion: 21

RECOMMENDED SEQUENCE OF COURSES:

PLS 101 Introduction to Law for Paralegals (3 credits)
PLS 102 Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 105 Torts (3 credits)
PLS 107 Contracts (3 credits)
PLS 206 Litigation Procedures (3 credits)
PLS 202 Advanced Legal Research and Writing (3 credits)
PLS 205 Administrative Law (3 credits)

Note: The Paralegal Certificate of Completion program prepares students to work under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law. Only attorneys can provide legal services directly to the public.

 

NOTE: This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as other pre- and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.