Paralegal Studies - Exam Voucher Included
Paralegals are a vital part of today’s legal profession. They perform a wide array of duties to help support lawyers both in and out of the courtroom, and their services are needed in virtually all practice areas.2 If you have an interest in the law and are looking for an exciting role in a growing field, then now is the time to begin preparing for a paralegal career!
Deciding to seek paralegal certification could be a significant step on your career journey—but performing well on exam day to earn that credential requires study and preparation.
Get started on the right foot with Trident University International’s Paralegal Studies certification prep course. Our prep course is designed to cover the fundamental knowledge and skills you’re likely to encounter on the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Paralegal (CP) exam.3
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Paralegals—also sometimes known as legal assistants—are increasingly in demand as a less costly alternative to lawyers.4 By performing substantive legal work that would normally be performed by attorneys, they help promote a firm’s cost efficiency.5 Studying the fundamentals to prepare for certification can help your career pursuit get started on the right track!
- 35,300 new paralegal and legal assistant jobs projected between 2019-20294
- 10% projected paralegal and legal assistant job growth between 2019-20294
- $52,920 median paralegals and legal assistants annual salary4
Certification signals to employers that you’ve demonstrated competency in specific knowledge and skills areas. Because some employers prefer to hire certified paralegals,4 earning certification could open the door to more paralegal opportunities. To earn the CP credential, you’ll need to sit for and pass the Certified Paralegal exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
Certified Paralegal (CP®)
A highly respected credential signifying that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to firms and corporations. It is acknowledged by the ABA as a symbol of high professional achievement and serves as the definitive paralegal certification for numerous paralegal organizations and bar associations6—administered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
Paralegals do not need to recertify in order to maintain their NALA CP credential. For more information about NALA CP eligibility requirements, visit the NALA website.
Trident University International’s flexible, self-paced Paralegal Studies course is designed to help working adults get ready to take the Certified Paralegal (CP) exam.3
Our Paralegal Studies preparation course offers you the opportunity to study industry-relevant and professional skills, such as:
- Conducting legal research and legal interviews
- Performing legal analyses
- Understanding regulation of paralegals
- Tort Law, Product Liability and Consumer Law
- Creating a complete litigation file
Upon successful course completion, you’ll receive a voucher to sit for the Certified Paralegal (CP) exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
Talk to an Education Specialist for more information!
Details & Objectives
Course Code: PCE PALS
- The fundamentals of the U.S. legal system
- How to perform legal research and interviews
- Understand the basics of litigation communication skills
- Soft skills for workplace effectiveness
- Necessary skills utilized within the legal industry
- Self-paced, online course
- 12 months to complete
- 225 course hours
- Open enrollment, begin anytime
- This course does not award credit
- Prepare a professional portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge
- Prepare to take the Certified Paralegal certification exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
- Exam voucher included
- Paralegal in the Legal System
- Paralegal Employment
- On-the-Job Realities
- Regulation of Paralegals
- Attorney and Paralegal Ethics
- Introduction to the Legal System
- Introduction to Legal Analysis
- Legal Interviewing
- Investigation in a Law Office
- Litigation Management
- Legal Research 101
- Advanced Legal Research
- Legal Writing
- Introduction to the Use of Computers
- Introduction to Law Office Administration
- Tort Law, Product Liability, and Consumer Law
- Contracts, Insurance, and Property Law
- Estates and Family Law
- Laws Affecting Business
- Criminal Law
- Portfolio Lesson
There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to start a career as a paralegal. It is also recommended that you have basic computer skills, including proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite and fundamental keyboarding skills. A strong grasp of English grammar conventions, such as spelling, punctuation, and composition, is also recommended.
To meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the NALA Certified Paralegal exam, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Graduation from or completion of:
- approved by the American Bar Association; or
- an associate degree program in paralegal studies; or
- a post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
- a bachelor’s program in paralegal studies or
- a paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 60 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) are substantive legal courses, or
- A bachelor's degree in any field plus either one year of paralegal experience or successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of substantive paralegal courses, or
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent plus seven years of experience as a legal assistant and a minimum of 20 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) compelted within a two-year period prior to application for the exam.
Full NALA CP exam eligibility requirements can be found on the NALA website. Please review the exam requirements before enrolling in this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Microsoft Office (not included in enrollment).
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:
- Introduction to Paralegalism, by William P. Statsky,
- Paralegal Today: The Legal Team at Work, by Roger Miller and Mary Meinzinger
- Access to Westlaw: Legal Solutions
- After successful completion of the course and financial obligation you will receive access to the Certified Paralegal Exam review self-study courses, which includes:
- NALA Student Membership
- Access to the self-study courses
What do paralegals do?
Paralegals are trained as both generalists and specialists who “perform specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”2
Their duties may include:4
- Investigating and gathering facts, evidence and other legal documents for a case
- Conducting legal research
- Organizing and maintaining documents in paper or electronic filing systems
- Writing/summarizing reports to help attorneys prepare for trial
- Drafting correspondence
- Obtain affidavits and other formal statements that may be used as evidence in court
- Assisting lawyers during trial by handling exhibits, taking notes or reviewing transcripts
- Filing exhibits, briefs, appeals, etc. with the court or opposing counsel
- Scheduling interviews, meetings and depositions
Is paralegal certification mandatory?
Although some employers prefer certified paralegals, certification is not necessarily required to pursue a paralegal career. There are currently no mandatory state or federal paralegal certification requirements in the United States.7
Can I register for a course if I am an international student?
Yes, certification preparation courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.
Will this course prepare me for certification?
This course is designed to help you prepare to sit for the Certified Paralegal (CP) exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). You will receive a voucher for the exam after successfully completing the course and your financial obligation. Although the topics and skills covered in the course are designed to help you prepare to sit for the exam, it does not guarantee a passing score. Trident cannot guarantee that students who complete this course will be eligible to take third party certification examinations. Certification requirements for taking and passing these exams are controlled by outside entities and are subject to change without notice to Trident.
When can I start the course?
This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.
How long does it take to complete this course?
This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.
What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?
The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.
What kind of support will I receive?
You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry professionals for support. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to a Student Advisor for academic support.
What happens when I complete the course?
Upon successful completion of the course and financial obligation, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and a voucher to sit for the Certified Paralegal exam
Am I guaranteed a job or career advancement?
No. This course is designed to provide you with skills utilized in entry-level positions in most cases. However, potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.
Can I get financial assistance?
This course is non-credit bearing, so it does not qualify for federal financial aid, (Pell Grant and Direct Stafford Loans). In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take these courses.
About the Certifier
National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
Since 1975, NALA has been trusted to provide continuing education and professional development designed specifically to advance paralegals and other legal professionals in their careers.
NALA provides current information about the paralegal profession, continuing education (publications, courses and webinars), networking opportunities, professional certification programs, occupational survey reports and other publications to help paralegals. NALA is a non-profit organization, 501(c)(6), representing more than 12k+ paralegals, who are individual members or members of NALA affiliated associations. NALA is a membership organization. This means that the individual members of NALA are the leading force of NALA programs and policies. The association is governed by a Board of Directors and maintains an office and headquarters staff in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
NALA is a trade name (filed in Oklahoma in 2003) for The National Association of Legal Assistants which was formed on April 10, 1975, in Oklahoma.
1NALA, “CP Examinees: Exam Information,” https://nala.org/node/1067 (visited June 23, 2021).
2 American Bar Association (ABA), “Career Information,” https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/profession-information/career_information/ (visited June 23, 2021).
3 Trident cannot guarantee that graduates of this program will be eligible to take third-party certification examinations. Certification requirements for taking and passing these exams are controlled by outside entities and are subject to change without notice to Trident.
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Paralegals and Legal Assistants,” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited June 23, 2021). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
5 ABA, “Information for Lawyers: How Paralegals Can Improve Your Practice,” https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/profession-information/information_for_lawyers_how_paralegals_can_improve_your_practice/ (visited June 23, 2021).
6 NALA, “About NALA,” https://www.nala.org/about-nala (visited June 23, 2021).
7 ABA, “Educational Information for Paralegals,” https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/profession-information/educational-information-for-paralegals/ (visited June 23, 2021).