Criminal Law Specialization

The paralegal certificate program in criminal law is intended to introduce students to the legal skills required to serve the community effectively and ethically in a criminal law paralegal practice.

The Criminal Law Specialization covers case analysis, legal research, drafting pleadings, motion and discovery documents, evidence, and preparation of cases for trial. The ABA-approved paralegal program provides an academic and practical education of uncompromising quality. The certificate is offered at the Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks campuses and is ABA approved.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Discuss broad legal principles from the primary areas of law, such as Torts, Contracts, Real Property, and others, and explain the definitions of certain basic legal terms and phrases.
  • Conduct legal research using manual and computer-assisted methods.
  • Demonstrate the basic process of legal reasoning and analysis.
  • Describe the paralegal’s role in a criminal law practice.
  • Recognize how broad ethical principles apply to paralegals in a criminal law practice.

Students may earn more than one Paralegal Specialist Certificate. Generally, any course completed for any one Paralegal Specialist Certificate need not be repeated and will apply towards other Paralegal Specialist Certificates. Each certificate is tailored to include training in substantive legal analysis, drafting legal documents, and understanding procedural matters.


This program option requires the completion of 90 quarter units of coursework. It includes 8 courses (22.5 quarter units and 13.5 CEUs), all of which are legal specialty courses. Please note that a minimum of 27 quarter units of general education course work (across at least three disciplines, such as social science, natural science, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English) are required by the American Bar Association. All lower division general education courses must be completed at National University or another regionally-accredited institution. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree.

Requirements for the Certificate
(8 courses; 22.5 quarter units and 13.5 CEUs)
PLX 1000X Torts
PLX 1001X Leg Res Wrtg-Briefing/Analysis
PLX 1002X Contracts
PLX 1003X Leg Res Wrtg-Legal Memo
PLX 1804X Foundations of Property Law
PLX 1005X Computers & the Law
PLX 1806X Legal Writing Project
Prerequisite: PLX 1001X, and PLX 1003X
PLX 1809X Essentials of Criminal Law

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.