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Paralegal Studies 101: Career Overview

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  • 16
  • 34
    Exams &
  • 15
    average time
  • 1.5

Course Description

The paralegal field is highly rewarding for those who seek to be a part of the justice system. On a daily basis, the paralegal is the lawyer’s right hand. From the perspective of the law, paralegals are almost like junior lawyers in so far as they must know a lot of what the lawyers know as they will create and present documents for execution upon their lawyer's approval. Paralegals are detail-oriented people, and they will follow up on communications, confirm court dates, check client backgrounds, smooth client relations, help law office to law office relations, and check every detail and every reference in all of their lawyer's documents. In addition, they'll research applicable laws and case references, prepare all court documents, and generally keep their lawyer moving forward.

Trial paralegals also prepare the case interrogatories, file with opposing counsel for discovery, prep the client for deposition and accompany the attorney to court. Although the work is quite detailed, in practice, a paralegal's work is anything but secretarial and many have equal use of their attorney's secretary. Some paralegals also have legal assistants [junior paralegals] to whom they delegate details of their responsibilities.

This introductory Paralegal Studies course is designed to give you information you need to become a successful paralegal. It will take you through a survey of what is needed to become a paralegal, how you may choose to go about it, all of the business details which are generally not known until you are within a firm, and some of the social skills and information you will need to survive and thrive in a firm. If you already have your paralegal certification, then this course will be beneficial if you are seeking your first firm position. You will get an insider's scoop on common mistakes and pitfalls, and you will know how to avoid or overcome common faux pas.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Lesson 1: So You Want to Be A Paralegal?

This lesson will cover some of the practical things to consider or research before taking the leap into a paralegal course, or signing on with a firm. 44 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Paralegals; What is a Paralegal?
  • Take Poll: Paralegal Studies Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: So You Want To Be A Paralegal?

Lesson 2: Qualifying, Education, and Certifications

The initial and primary concerns of anyone who wants to become a paralegal are, "Do I qualify?" and "What type of education do I need?" These are important questions to be answered before setting sail into the world of legal services. 36 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: American Association for Paralegal Education; Approved Paralegal Programs
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Qualifying, Education & Certifications

Lesson 3: Making the Cut: Getting Hired and Negotiating Your Salary

This is a cardinal rule in negotiations: He who speaks first loses. At a time when you are seeking to win, don't let your tongue set you up for a loss. 39 Total Points
  • Review Article: So You Want to be a Paralegal?
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: Making the Cut: Getting Hired & Negotiating Your Salary

Lesson 4: Unspoken Expectations and How to Get Promoted at Your Firm

Everyone has expectations -- spoken and unspoken. Law firms are no different, since they are made up of people. The better paying the firm, the greater the expectations they have of you. 39 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Paralegal Gateway; Tips for Becoming a Paralegal
  • Take Poll: Getting Promoted
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Unspoken Expectations & How to Get Promoted at Your Firm

Lesson 5: Attorneys, Attitudes, Egos, and Your Managing Attorney

First and foremost, it is helpful for a new paralegal to have a general understanding of their attorneys and what makes them tick. 39 Total Points
  • Review Article: Working Better Together
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: Attorneys, Attitudes, Egos and Your Managing Attorney

Lesson 6: Language and Business Philosophy That Brings Favor From Attorneys

Language and business philosophy are two things that an attorney focuses on in his everyday dealings. 39 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: Language and Business Philosophy That Brings Favor From Attorneys

Lesson 7: Things Paralegals Get Burned Over: Protocol and Scapegoats

Protocol is the established, proper, and correct order of business and business communications in a firm that must comply with state and federal laws and regulations. 40 Total Points
  • Review Article: Getting Legal with Paralegal
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Things Paralegals Get Burned Over: Protocol & Scapegoats

Lesson 8: Pecking Order Among Paralegals: How to Get Along With Your Interoffice Competition

Unlike other modern businesses, the pecking order in law firms remains traditional in the sense that paralegals with the most years of tenure are the top chicks. 39 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Ten Practical Tips for Paralegals; Winning Office Politics
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Pecking Order Among Paralegals - How to Get Along with Your Interoffice Competition

Lesson 9: Managing Your Case Load: Priorities and Management Styles

How to sort and manage your case load will be the first major decision you will make that will determine the success and quality of your actual finished product. 40 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: 3 Management Styles; Paralegal Employment Ties
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Managing Your Case Load: Priorities and Management Styles

Lesson 10: Research, Attorney Support, and Lexis Nexis

When it comes to research on the client file, you are the "go-to person" for your attorney. He will count on your ability to find out what needs to be found out -- and then some. 39 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Lexis Nexis; Legal Resources; eCase
  • Take Poll: Attorney Support
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: Research, Attorney Support and Lexis Nexis

Lesson 11: Your Firm's Case Tracking Systems; eCase, Paradox, etc.

Each firm has a tracking system the paralegals use to centralize client cases and communicate with one another, especially between departments. 39 Total Points
  • Review Article: Paradox
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Your Firm's Case Tracking Systems; eCase, Paradox, etc.

Lesson 12: Email, Phone Calls, and Filing

There are particular things to know about each of these that are peculiar to the legal profession in that you, the paralegal cannot legally treat these things as you may otherwise in a different profession or type of business. 37 Total Points
  • Review Article: Email Etiquette
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12: Email, Phone Calls & Filing

Lesson 13: Client Relations and Office-to-Office Relations

There is nothing that is more of a touchy subject in a law firm than the firm's client relations. 39 Total Points
  • Review Article: Law Practice Tips
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13: Client Relations & Office to Office Relations

Lesson 14: Attorney/Client Privilege and Your Role in It

If this course is your first exposure to the world of paralegals, then you will be reminded along the path of your education or certification process, of the importance of the attorney-client privilege supported in all of our laws. 39 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Attorney Client Privilege; Paralegal Ethics
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 14: Attorney/Client Privilege & Your Role in It

Lesson 15: Office Politics, Downsizing, and Firm Mergers

You may think this segment wouldn't belong in a course on paralegal studies, or you may think office politics is just common sense. In some ways it is common sense. 40 Total Points
  • Review Article: Surviving Office Politics
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 15: Office Politics, Downsizing & Firm Mergers

Lesson 16: Year End Bonuses, Fringe Perks, Parties, and Dinners

This is a short lesson with a few common sense words about the part of your paralegal career you will certainly enjoy, but which clearly is not owed to you. 114 Total Points
  • Review Article: Paralegal Advantages
  • Take Poll: Perks
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 16: Year End Bonuses, Fringe Perks, Parties & Dinners
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a paralegal is.
  • Describe attorneys, attitudes, egos and your managing attorney.
  • Describe language and business philosophy that brings favor from attorneys.
  • Describe things paralegals get burned over - protocol and scapegoats.
  • Know how to get along with your interoffice competition.
  • Know priorities and management styles.
  • Describe research, attorney support and Lexis Nexis.
  • Describe email, phone calls and filing procedures.
  • Know client relations and office to office relations.
  • Describe attorney/client privilege and your role in it.
  • Know office politics, downsizing and firm mergers, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Paralegal Studies 101: Career Overview
Course Number: 7550162
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "Thank you for all the comments and recommendations." -- Ramona E.
  • "The whole course was a plus!" -- Sidney P.
  • "This course painted a vivid picture of the working environment at a law firm." -- Karen R.
  • "Taking this course has changed my life and has inspired me to continue learning. What was most helpful was the comprehensive course content." -- Alexandria B.
  • "What a terrific instructor and very helpful!!" -- Elizabeth I.
  • "Instructor is excellent. She corrected me when i needed it." -- Delia F.

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