Paralegal Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Offered in: Chicago | Schaumburg

Program Description

The Post-Baccalaureate Paralegal Certificate, is a non-credit certificate designed for college graduates who wish to pursue careers in the legal profession. According to recent information provided by the United States Department of Labor, the current demand for paralegal services is expected to continue for at least the next several years. Roosevelt University's Paralegal Studies Program, approved by the American Bar Association since 1976, is one of the Midwest's premier paralegal education programs. The program enjoys an excellent reputation in the legal community and its comprehensive curriculum, hands-on faculty and experienced administration prepares students to meet this demand. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a Certificate in Paralegal Studies and have practical legal skills, enabling them to assume paralegal responsibilities with confidence.

Paralegals perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have a solid understanding of legal concepts, and they perform a wide range of tasks including conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, gathering facts, researching the law, managing databases, assembling records, analyzing documents, drafting legal pleadings, drafting discovery items such as complaints and interrogatories, and maintaining conflict-of-interest systems. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document organization, witness preparation, and research. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. For more information on the paralegal profession and our program, please visit the program's website.

Program Goals

The goals of the Paralegal Studies Program are for its students to:

1. Understand the basic concepts of substantive and procedural law including the operation of the legal system and the theory of law
2. Be able to work competently as a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney
3. Understand the ethical obligations of a paralegal

Curriculum

The curriculum is composed entirely of law courses. Instruction focuses on procedural and practical aspects of the profession. The program surveys paralegal employers, current students, and graduates on a regular basis to receive their insights on the curriculum and the needs of the legal community. The program also receives guidance from its board of advisors, composed of leading educators and members of the legal community. Students will know legal terminology, concepts and procedures and will gain skills to draft a variety of legal documents. Students learn how to conduct legal research, both manually and online using Lexis and Westlaw (commonly used legal databases). They will learn about litigation support and e-discovery applications. Students will also be better prepared for the rigors of law school and may participate in an internship course as part of their curriculum.

Course Schedules

The Paralegal Studies Program offers unique scheduling options, including a full-time day schedule at our Chicago campus that can be completed in 4 1/2 months and a part-time evening schedule in Chicago in which students take one class every 8 weeks. We also offer a schedule at our Schaumburg campus, which can be completed in 8 months taking classes mostly on Saturdays and online. Classes in both the Chicago evening and Schaumburg campus schedule are offered in a combination of traditional on-campus classes, fully online classes and hybrid classes in which classes meet both on-campus and have additional online instruction. The delivery format of each course is determined by the program and the schedules meets American Bar Association guidelines with respect to online delivery of legal specialty courses. The program is not available in a fully online format. Pursuant to ABA guidelines, students must take at least ten semester hours or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.

Admission

Applicants for the post-baccalaureate certificate must hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited institution; previous training in the law is not necessary. The program suggests an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, along with a completed application form and statement of intent must be submitted to: Roosevelt University, Paralegal Studies Program, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. Letters of recommendation and an interview may also be requested.  The application form is available on the program's website. There is a nonrefundable application fee. For an appointment, call (312) 281-3186.

Academic Performance 

Students are required to complete eight courses with a grade of 70 percent or better in each course in order to earn their certificate. Grades are issued on the basis of honors (90 percent or higher), pass (70 percent through 89 percent), and fail (less than 70 percent). Students can earn a Certificate with Honors by completing seven of the eight required courses in the program with a grade of honors.

Lambda Epsilon Chi, National Paralegal Honor Society

Roosevelt University maintains a chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a national paralegal honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education. Members are inducted in April and October of each year and receive a commemorative certificate and membership pin. Their names are entered into the permanent records of the Lambda Epsilon Chi national paralegal honor society.

Requirements

Eight courses are required to complete the post-baccalaureate certificate.

Required Courses
ETHICS & PROFESSIONALISM
LEGAL RESEARCH
CIVIL LAW
PRE-TRIAL LITIGATION
COMMERCIAL LAW
TRIAL & POST-TRIAL LITIGATION
LEGAL WRITING
Electives 1
Select one of the following:
REAL ESTATE
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
CORPORATIONS AND LLC LAW
LEGAL TECHNOLOGY
PARALEGAL INTERNSHIP
BANKRUPTCY LAW
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW
INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW
1

Paralegal elective courses run on a rotating basis throughout the academic year determined by market demand and student interest. Not all elective courses are offered every semester except for the Paralegal Internship.

Transfer of Paralegal Courses

The program may accept up to four paralegal courses toward the Paralegal Studies Program course requirements from other ABA-approved paralegal programs. The courses need to have been taken no longer than six years prior to the date on which the student enrolls in Roosevelt University's paralegal program.