Paralegal Certificate Course

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Learn to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. Instruction is practice-oriented and relates to areas of law in which legal assistants are most in demand. Increase the efficiency, productivity, and billable hours of your office while learning new, marketable job skills. This class meets for six sessions on weekends (Sat and Sun from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). Curriculum covered during the sessions:

Session 1: "Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process": This first session focuses on the history of American jurisprudence, the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of litigation. Discussion will cover pre-trial, trial and post-trial procedures as well as an in depth coverage of legal ethics. At the end of the first session of class, students will know how to prepare a Complaint/Petition, Answer, Third Party Complaint/Petition, and Motion for Summary Judgment.

Session 2: "Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate": This session covers the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrative evidence will also be explained. At the end of the second session of class, students will prepare discovery matter such as Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and Request for Production of Documents.

Session 3: "Identifying Relevant Authority": During this session, students will learn how to identify relevant law, determine the differences between primary and secondary authority, and between mandatory and persuasive authority, and learn how to find and apply authority to hypothetical factual situations.

Session 4: "Introduction to Legal Research": Students will learn research techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs. Primary and secondary source materials will be discussed, and a concise approach to legal research will be developed.

Session 5: "Legal Research Practice": Legal research skills will be applied this session with emphasis on shepardizing statutes and case law and learning to use computerized legal research terminals. Numerous research assignments will be given, discussed, and critiqued. The West Key Number System® will be learned thoroughly.

Session 6: "Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure": This final session will concentrate on the preparation and critique of legal memoranda, including an Interoffice Memorandum of Law and Appellate Brief. Principles of appellate procedure will also be reviewed. Proper citation format will be covered along with a discussion of job hunting techniques and job leads for those seeking their first employment as paralegals.

Instructor: provided by Center for Legal Studies

Prerequisite: None other than a high school diploma (or GED). Students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session.

Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Dates, Locations, and Registration
  • Click Here for Current Dates, Location, and Registration Information.
    Tuition fee does not include required text books. A complete list of required books is included in the Registration Information section.
  • To register by phone, mail, or fax, please contact the program manager below
Refund Policy

If you are unable to attend a certificate program for which you have registered, please notify the OPCE (fax, write, or email) five business days prior to the beginning of the program. If you are unable to attend a course for which you have registered, please notify the OPCE (fax, write, or email) three business days prior to the beginning of the course. Providing the appropriate cancellation notice will ensure a full refund minus a $20 processing fee. If you register for a certificate program or course during the 5 or 3-day window prior to the start date and you must cancel your registration, you may choose to substitute a person–no refunds are available during this time period. OPCE is not responsible for nonrefundable plane tickets, hotel and rental car deposits, or any other expenses incurred.

Contact Us

Learn more about Auburn's Paralegal Certificate Course by contacting the program manager, Barbara Osterrieder, at (334) 844-3108 or by email: bzo0005@auburn.edu

Last Updated: April3, 2014