Government, Public & Nonprofit Administration Pathway

Paralegal Plus Post-Bachelor Certificate

Certificate of Proficiency

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Program Description

The overall program goal of the Paralegal Plus Post-Bachelor Certificate is to prepare students who have already obtained either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited four (4) year institution, but otherwise do not have any legal experience, and are interested in careers as paralegals or legal assistants working under the supervision of lawyers.  In addition, it is the aim of the program to provide students with knowledge of legal concepts, procedures and essential skills required to serve the needs of a complex legal and business community by assessing existing courses and updating and/or developing new courses that meet the future needs of the profession. The Program emphasizes organizational, interpersonal, analytical and technological skills that support students in their professional pursuits and provides a broad range of skills for positions in a variety of legal settings such as private law firms, government agencies, community action agencies, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, or real estate and title companies.  The curriculum consists of a combination of legal practice concentration, law-related, and general education courses.  Students seeking a career as a paralegal must be able to write clearly, communicate effectively, be proficient with office computer systems, and possess a high degree of motivation and analytical reasoning capability.

The Paralegal Program promotes ethical awareness and professional responsibility, and encourages development of the Paralegal and LLLT occupations.

Career Opportunities

The paralegal field continues as one of the fastest growing professions.  The American Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association recognize the benefit of two-year paralegal and Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) programs.  Job opportunities are continuing to increase and expand into new areas.  Paralegal positions open in private law firms, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, real estate and title insurance companies, nonprofit private and public organizations and professional trade associations.  Job opportunities in the public sector are available in community legal services programs, offices of public defenders, prosecutors, and attorney generals, government agencies and the court system. Earnings vary depending on the size of the community, geographic location, size, and business of the employing agency, and the paralegal’s education, background, and work experience.

At the completion of the Paralegal Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Exhibit critical thinking skills in analyzing legal processes and problems
  • Analyze, synthesize and communicate information about legal issues and processes in writing and in oral presentations
  • Use technological applications to efficiently produce, manage, and submit accurate legal documents
  • Recognize and apply reason to ethical issues in business, including the legal implications of business practices
  • Develop and practice appropriate and relevant interaction skills across personal, academic and professional settings

Special Program Note

Only an attorney or Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) pursuant to Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 28, can counsel others as to their legal rights or responsibilities.  Non-lawyer assistants act under the supervision of a lawyer in compliance with Washington State Court Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) 5.3, General Rule (GR) 24.  See also, APR 28 and LLLT RPC.

Who Should Participate

The goal of the certificate program is to prepare students who have already obtained either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited four-year institution, but otherwise do not have any legal experience, and are interested in careers as paralegals or legal assistants working under the supervision of lawyers. In addition, it is the aim of the program to provide students with knowledge of legal concepts, procedures and essential skills required to serve the needs of a complex legal and business community by assessing existing courses and updating and/or developing new courses that meet the future needs of the profession. The program emphasizes organizational, interpersonal, analytical and technological skills that support students in their professional pursuits and provides a broad range of skills for positions in a variety of legal settings such as private law firms, government agencies, community action agencies, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, or real estate and title companies. The curriculum consists of a combination of legal practice concentration, law-related, and general education courses. Students seeking a career as a paralegal must be able to write clearly, communicate effectively, be proficient with office computer systems, and possess a high degree of motivation and analytical reasoning capability.

Other Program Notes

A cumulative college-level GPA of 2.0 is required in order to earn a certificate or degree and a “C” or better is required in all LEGL courses.

A “C” or better must also be earned in all prerequisite LEGL courses.

Students are required to participate in the Paralegal Skills Application course, which places them in the Paralegal Community Justice Clinic.  With approval of the Paralegal Program Lead, this requirement may be waived in lieu of a relevant substantive internship or current relevant substantive work experience.  (*The Paralegal Skills Application courses are currently under review due to the COVID 19 pandemic and not being offered. With approval by the Paralegal Program lead, this requirement can be satisfied by an internship, simulated work experience, or current and relevant legal work experience.)

The Paralegal Program promotes ethical awareness and professional responsibility, and encourages development of the Paralegal and LLLT occupations.

Quarter Plan

Search Schedule

Quarter 1

POLS&200 5cr Introduction to Law: Diversity
Introduces an overview of the American legal system and how our legal system has shaped modern society. This course was formerly known as LEGL 151. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

LEGL111 5cr Criminal Law
Covers substantive and procedural aspects of criminal law in Washington. Emphasis is on criminal law practice including principles underlying the definition of crime, culpability requirements, legal defenses, principles of justification and excuse and theories of criminal law and the relationship between doctrines and the various justifications for imposition of punishment. This course was formerly known as LEGL 157. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL112 3cr Law Office Procedures
Introduces legal terminology, ethics, and law office procedures in regards to traditional, corporate and government law offices. This course was formerly known as LEGL 101. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

 

Elective

LEGL210 5cr Real Estate, Property Law and Estate Planning
Advances skills and knowledge in legal issues related to property, real estate and estate planning. The course will explore relevant issues including possessory interest in lands, laws of succession in a testate or intestate will, the administration of an estate. This course was formerly known as LEGL 255. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

Note: Students only need one elective. The electives indicated here are what they can take each quarter as an option.

Quarter 2

LEGL120 3cr Contracts
Introduces the legal environment of contract law with topics including contract formation, breach, remedies, and other issues related to contract enforcement. This course was formerly known as LEGL 201. Prerequisite: None Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL121 5cr Civil Procedure
Introduces federal and state court Rules of Civil Procedure. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL124 5cr Legal Research Writing I
Introduces the fundamentals of legal research, writing, and citations. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL221 5cr Technology in the Law Office
Introduces law office technology. Students will gain experience retrieving, organizing, and maintaining documents; docketing and tickling, methods to ensure timeliness of pleadings and other actions; use of database and full-text retrieval systems; and time-keeping for proper billing of clients. This course was formerly known as LEGL 153. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

 

Elective

LEGL220 5cr Professional Mediation
Introduces the philosophy, process, and practice of a neutral facilitator. Students will learn the concepts, principles, and practices of mediations. The course material is presented through lecture, demonstration, group activities, and participant role-plays with instructor and peer feedback. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

Note: Students only need one elective. The electives indicated here are what they can take each quarter as an option.

Quarter 3

LEGL134 5cr Legal Research & Writing II
Expands on the fundamentals of legal research, writing, and citations explored in LEGL 124 Legal Research & Writing I. Prerequisite: LEGL 124, or instructor's permission. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL230 5cr Legal Ethics
Explores the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct, American Bar Association Model Rules, Washington State Bar Association Ethics Opinions, and Washington Supreme Court Decisions and their practical applications for the paralegal. This course was formerly known as LEGL 202. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

 

Elective

LEGL131 3cr Tort Law
Introduces concepts associated with harm to persons or property, consisting of intentional torts, negligence, or strict liability. This course was formerly known as LEGL 154. Prerequisite: None Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL231 3cr Electronic Discovery
Overview of the technology used in e-discovery throughout the litigation process. Through the lens of the rules of procedure, this course covers discovery identification and preservation to collection, processing, review, production, and trial presentation. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL232 3cr Family Law and Mediation
Covers family law issues, including premarital agreements, dissolution of marriage and legal separation actions, child support, and parenting plans. Builds on Professional Mediation with a focus on higher emotion content and complexity of family conflicts, and provides strategies for dealing with challenging behaviors and dynamics at the mediation table. Prerequisite: LEGL 220. Fees: $50.00 Paralegal Course Fee

LEGL190 5cr Cooperative Work Experience
Fees: $15.00 Co-op Instruction Course Fee

Note: Students only need one elective. The electives indicated here are what they can take each quarter as an option.

Contact Program Lead one quarter in advance of taking your internship to ensure you are properly enrolled.

Revision Date: 

Tuesday, May 02, 2023