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Applying is easy! We have an open-admission policy, which means if you have a high school diploma or its equivalent, you’re in and we can’t wait to see you in the halls.
Department: Continuing Education
Choose from Live Lecture or Online Study
This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Training includes instruction on how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegal are most in demand. The Paralegal Certificate Course offers instruction on how to work as a full-time or part-time paralegal, or how to open you own freelance business. There are no prerequisites other than a high school diploma (or GED), but students must be prepared to complete a significant amount of homework each week. This program can help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills.
Visit stchas.edu/learnforlife or call 636-922-8233
Formats, Fees and Materials
Live lecture course:
Spring 2016 – Feb. 1-March 12
6 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday for six weeks.
Online course: A new class begins every eight weeks.
The online course is completed in two seven-week sessions and both sessions must be successfully completed in order to receive a certificate. Students may begin their course study with any online session offered.
2016 Online Course Schedule:
Session 1 – Jan. 11-Feb. 26
Session 2 – March 7-April 22
Session 3 – May 2-June 17
Session 4 – June 27-Aug. 12
Tuition: $1,289 (Tuition does not include textbooks or WESTLAW legal research access).
Topics of Study
Students will be trained to interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, prepare legal documents and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of law in which paralegals are in most demand.
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.
There are no prerequisites for the course. Students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. This program will help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills.
Related Majors, Degrees & Certificates
8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays