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The Paralegal Specialist Certificate in Criminal Law is intended to introduce you 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 program is approved by the American Bar Association and offered online and in the Los Angeles region. It combines a comprehensive academic curriculum with practical education in the role of the paralegal in a legal environment.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.
- 8 courses; 22.5 quarter units and 13.5 CEUs
- 7 courses; 31.5 quarter units
Examines the fundamental principles of the law of intentional torts (e.g., battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress); negligence (standard of care, breach of duty, causation, damages); strict liability; the torts of nuisance, defamation, invasion of privacy torts; and the defenses to each of these torts. Also addresses the concepts of products liability and vicarious liability.
Develops legal research skills through focused exercises using print and computerized research. Exposes students to primary and secondary legal authorities, with an emphasis on constitutions and statutes. Develops writing skills by analyzing and briefing court opinions, drafting letters, and examining the purposes and uses of a legal memorandum.
Examines basic contract principles, including formation, validity, defenses to formation, rights of third parties, performance, breach, remedies, and damages. Emphasizes case analysis and application of principles, and covers code sections from Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Restatement Second of Contracts.
Develops legal research skills through focused exercises using print and computerized research. Exposes students to primary and secondary legal authorities, with an emphasis on legislative history, administrative materials, and loose-leaf services. Develops writing skills by examining different parts of the legal memorandum, including questions presented, brief answers, statements of fact. And conclusions.
Teaches computer technology as a tool to assist the legal professional in the practice of law. Utilizes lectures, group discussion, and hands-on computer use. Using the latest software for time and billing, case management docketing, control, and litigation support, students complete legal projects with assignments in the computer lab. Students learn how to effectively evaluate vendor products, and design and manage a litigation database project. Also covered are telecommunications and computer-assisted research, and ethical concentrations, such as software piracy, misuse of software and databases, security, and protecting client data.
Examines real property law, including interests in land, landlord/tenant easements and conveyances.
The course allows students the opportunity to prepare a legal writing work product using both print and online legal resources.
Covers criminal law and procedure, including crimes and their defenses, constitutional protections, and criminal litigation practice.
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.
Degree and Course Requirements
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.
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.
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Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.
NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.
All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.
National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.