Monroe’s Paralegal Studies Program
In the U.S. legal system, lawyers may get the lion’s share of the glory; but behind every great lawyer are skilled, dynamic paralegals doing heroic work. Paralegals organize, analyze, and summarize the vast amounts of information that attorneys need to do their jobs. They’re needed in every corner of the legal field, working in areas as diverse as:
- Court hearings
- Corporate meetings
- Settlement negotiations
Paralegals can specialize in a specific field — for example, a criminal justice paralegal will have a different focus than a paralegal in immigration law — but they all share a few things in common. They have to understand the law, and its applications, inside and out. They have to understand legal ethics as well as any attorney. They have to master the organizational systems and new technologies that legal offices need to stay competitive.
Monroe’s Paralegal Studies Program will prepare you for all of it. Our experienced faculty, themselves professionals in the legal field, will give you the tools you need to build a rewarding career with tremendous opportunities for advancement.
And now, you can earn your paralegal certificate online, meaning you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. With Monroe’s cutting-edge online classes, you’ll work at a pace that fits with your busy life — so nothing has to stand between you and your future.
Why Should You Get a Paralegal Certificate?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for paralegals and legal assistants will grow by an incredible 14% by 2031. That’s nearly three times the national average for all occupations.
That means that there could be over 45,800 openings every year — and 49,900 new jobs created by the end of the decade. And the majority of those jobs are right here in the New York City metro area: a higher percentage than anywhere else in the country.
It’s one of the things that makes Monroe’s School of Criminal and Social Justice an ideal place to earn your paralegal certificate, online or on campus. You’re gaining access to a rapidly-growing field, in the city where it’s growing most rapidly
The Curriculum: What is a Paralegal Certificate Program?
They may work under the supervision of an attorney, but paralegals need to be able to take the initiative when helping prepare for a case. They have to understand complex legal language, and legal concepts, as well as the attorneys they work with.
That’s why, at Monroe, we draw our Paralegal Studies faculty from a pool of skilled, experienced legal professionals. They know what they know because they’ve been where you’re going — and they know how to explain it in clear, practical terms. Your Paralegal Studies courses will cover:
- Criminal law
- Criminal procedures and practice
- Business law
- Personal injury law
- Immigration law
- Estate planning
- Real estate law
- Family law
And as you master the conceptual foundations of the law, you’ll also get skills-based paralegal training in:
- Legal case management
- Legal research
- Ethical rules of the legal professions
- Legal writing skills
- Client intake
- Legal record management
By the time you complete your paralegal courses online or on campus, you’ll be able to draft legal documents for review. You’ll know how to clearly and effectively communicate, and implement, everything you’ve learned.
You’ll be ready to excel in your career.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Certificate in Paralegal Studies?
The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is a 36-credit program. You can complete it in just three (3) semesters: that’s just one year of full-time study at Monroe. Students may also apply up to six (6) transfer or prior learning credits related to paralegal studies towards their certificate requirements.
Prior learning credits are determined by the relevance, substance, and extent of each student’s practical work experience. You won’t have to figure it out on your own, either: Monroe’s dedicated faculty will help you to compile a Prior Learning Portfolio by assessing your history of:
- Work experience
- Volunteer work
- Training programs or in-service courses
- Military service
- Community activities
- Independent reading and study
Students wishing to apply prior learning credits to Monroe’s paralegal course must also 1) participate in an interview and 2) provide letters of recommendation from current and former employers.
Learn more about the requirements for a Certificate in Paralegal Studies.
Fundamentals of Criminal Trial Practice
Paralegals are indispensable to the trial process. To lay out a compelling case, both prosecutors and defense attorneys rely on witness statements, police reports, medical records, and more; that means they rely on paralegals to keep them prepared. In this course, students will examine every phase of the trial process, including pre-trial motions, opening statements, direct examination, cross examination, and closing statements. Through mock trial presentations and proceedings, students will get to see how their valuable work makes an impact on the criminal justice system.
With some exceptions, applicants to the Paralegal Certificate Program must have earned either:
- An associate degree, or
- A minimum of 60 college credits.
Applicants who have completed five (5) years of law-related work experience in a law office, government agency, court, or corporation may be eligible to waive the above academic requirements.
All candidates for Monroe’s Paralegal Studies Program must have at least a high school diploma or GED. They must also submit a completed application for admission and a personal statement or essay.
Tuition and Financial Aid
How Much is a Paralegal Certificate Program?
At Monroe, we believe everyone deserves the education they need to advance their career. That’s why we not only offer affordable tuition and fees, but our financial aid counselors will help you to secure every scholarship, grant, and loan for which you’re eligible. They’ll also help you to design an individualized payment plan that works for you.
And if you’re employed by one of Monroe’s more than 400 corporate partners, you may also qualify to receive a Corporate Partnership Grant that covers 20% of your tuition.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Paralegal Certificate?
Where do paralegals work? While the vast majority of trained paralegals find employment in law firms, many large corporations rely heavily on their in-house legal departments, which include paralegal staff. They include:
- Financial organizations
- Insurance firms
- Consulting firms
- Healthcare providers
Monroe’s paralegal training program may open the door to a number of different career opportunities in the private sector. Paralegal studies careers include:
- Legal administrative assistant
- Legislative analyst
- Compliance officer
A significant number of paralegals also work in federal, state, and local governments in different capacities. Paralegal studies jobs in the public sector include:
- Court clerk
- Parole officer
- Probation officer
- Trial court coordinator
As you pursue your paralegal training, you’ll get a stronger sense of where you want to take your career.
Professional Opportunities for the Paralegal Training Program
Monroe has established partnerships with over 400 corporations, law practices, and government and civic organizations throughout the NYC metro area. In addition to making our Corporate Partnership Grants possible, these relationships allow us to provide Paralegal Certificate students with valuable professional experience.
Our partner organizations help us to pair students with enriching internship opportunities in the legal field, as well as facilitate job placement after students complete their Paralegal Certificate.
Online Courses. Real-World Success.
Discover What a Paralegal Certificate Can Do For You.
Earning your Paralegal Certificate at Monroe gets you more than a credential. We’ll help you train for your career, and then do everything we can to help you find a place to put your skills to use.
Move your life forward, in a career that’s moving forward — and shows no signs of stopping. Apply today.