Paralegal Specialist Certificate - Criminal Law

The Paralegal Specialist Certificate in Criminal Law is intended to introduce students to the legal skills required to serve the community effectively and ethically in a criminal law practice. The paralegal specialist certificate program provides an academic and practical education of uncompromising quality. The certificate is offered and approved by the American Bar Association only at the Los Angeles and Woodland Hills campuses. Please note that this program is only offered on site.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • 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.


This program option requires the completion of 90 quarter units of coursework. It includes 8 courses (36 quarter units), 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.
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.
The Criminal Law Specialization covers case analysis, legal research, drafting pleadings, motion and discovery documents, evidence, and preparation of cases for trial. The following courses are specific certificate requirements.
Requirements for the Certificate (8 courses; 22.5 quarter units and 13.5 CEUs)
Core Requisite(s):
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.