Master’s in Paralegal Studies Online
Paralegal Certificate Online

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Earn a Premier Paralegal Certificate

One of a select few paralegal master’s degrees in the country and designed specifically for working professionals, GW’s online paralegal studies programs can take you where you want to be: in a rewarding career with real earning potential.

If you are an established paralegal who aspires to advance in the profession, GW’s Master of Paralegal Studies online program will give you the skills and confidence you need to drive your professional success and lead the field.

If you are seeking to enter the profession, the GW Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is the credential that law firms, corporations, government agencies, and associations recognize and respect.

  • Scholarly. Study the history, theory, and analytical elements of the law
  • Practical. Develop a solid legal foundation and master skills to be more effective and efficient
  • Topical. Master sought-after and versatile legal specialties: government law, intellectual property law, and international law
  • Engaging. Pursue your degree alongside peers from across the nation and the world without disrupting personal or professional obligations

Accredited & Top Ranked

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Why Earn a Paralegal Degree from GW?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal profession is ranked 17th on a list of its 200 best jobs and is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employers want paralegals with the professional acumen and demonstrated commitment to the field to play a strategic and vital role on contemporary legal teams.

Toni Marsh

Toni Marsh
Director, GW Paralegal Studies Program

GW’s passion for excellence is reflected in everything we do; your passion for the law and for that excellence is what brought you to GW.

There are lots of programs out there that are good; some are really good. But for some people, good enough is not good enough. For those people, there’s GW.

GW students want to be the best paralegals they can be and seek to lead the profession. GW students are ambitious, fearless, influential, and engaged.

If you share this passion for excellence and you are ready to go the distance, I invite you to contact an Enrollment Advisor to discuss how GW can help you get where you want to go.

Hear more about the online master’s program from Professor Marsh Hear more about the online master's program from Professor Marsh

A Rigorous and
Practical Curriculum

Designed by experts, the GW Paralegal Studies programs provide advanced credential to foster career growth and boost earning potential. Holders of the master’s degree are eligible for a higher federal GS level.

The curriculum reflects the requirements of law firms, government agencies, corporations, and associations that offer employment opportunities: written and oral communication, task management, group work, and technology. Courses balance theoretical, philosophical, and historical study of law with practical skills. The high-level scholarly approach is what distinguished the GW programs from most other programs: our graduates get the deeper understanding and context that are crucial to becoming contributing members of legal teams.

The online programs yield the same credential and degree, feature the same curriculum as the on-campus program, and present the curriculum in ways that are unique to the online environment.

Course Name Credit
Hours
Graduate Certificate Master’s
Degree
American Jurisprudence 3
Legal Research and Writing 3
Advanced Legal Writing 3
Litigation 3
Contracts 3
Business Entities 3
Administrative Law 3  
Government Contracts Law 3  
Intellectual Property Law 3  
International Law 3  
Independent Research 2  
Practicum 0  
Total Credit Hours   18 32

A Program With the Highest Standards

Developed to address shifting roles and new requirements in the legal profession, GW’s Master’s in Paralegal Studies program is recognized not only for reacting to the needs of the profession, but also for redefining the needs and expanding the boundaries of the profession. The industry experienced a dynamic evolution in the early 2000s resulting in a new demand for sophisticated, professional, and educated paralegals.

GW’s Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies program has been recognized by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) for providing two of the best paralegal courses in the country; by leading federal agencies and law firms for producing exceptional paralegal professionals; and by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association as one of the nation’s best online programs.

Accreditation and Recognition

The George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The GW paralegal studies program is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE), National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA), Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), and National Capital Area Paralegal Association (NCAPA).

Develop Specialized Skills That Employers Demand

Employers demand real skills and GW provides them. We work with employers from all sectors to identify those skills and ensure that our graduates master them. As a student in the online paralegal master’s program, you’ll use the latest research tools and industry applications to acquire technological proficiency naturally as you progress through your studies.

You will start with a solid core of legal foundation courses and then move on to study three in-demand and versatile legal specialties: government law, intellectual property law, and international law. The curriculum covers court systems; jurisdiction and venue; constitutional law; legal research and writing; corporate law and contracts; government contracts and administrative law; intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyright, prosecution and litigation; international trade and finance; and overall guidance to help you evolve into a strategic, analytical and sophisticated paralegal professional.

As a GW Paralegal Studies graduate, you will have breadth and depth of knowledge, superior written and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills, a professional network to successfully navigate the legal field, and the confidence to pursue a rewarding career that fulfills your passion for the law.

Distinguish Yourself in a Growing Profession

Low Cost of Entry to the Profession

The minimum industry standard to enter the profession is a bachelor’s degree. As pre-law bachelor’s degrees aren’t commonly offered, typical undergraduate degrees are often in the Arts, Social Science, Business, or something of similar focus.

Most employers also expect prospects to have paralegal certificates or similar post baccalaureate education. Unlike lawyers, who must also be licensed to practice law within a given state, there are not currently any licensing requirements for paralegals.

The paralegal profession is an attractive and rewarding career with growing demand and minimal entry cost; however it’s becoming increasingly competitive. Paralegals who pursue higher levels of education distinguish themselves among their peers through this demonstrated commitment to leadership and excellence.

GW Paralegals Surpass Professional Benchmarks

The most successful paralegals go further than they need to – further than the rest. They surpass professional benchmarks, demonstrate commitment to their careers, and command attention.

While a certificate provides a great introduction to the profession, a master’s degree from a top-tier school demonstrates your advanced skills and commitment and distinguishes you from the competition.

As a graduate of the GW Paralegal Studies master’s program, you’ll have a recognized credential from a leading academic institution, a solid legal framework, and a network of professionals supporting your continued success.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal profession is ranked 17th on a list of its 200 best jobs and is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employers want paralegals with the professional acumen and demonstrated commitment to the field to play a strategic and vital role on contemporary legal teams.

Toni Marsh

Toni Marsh
Director, GW Paralegal Studies Program

GW’s passion for excellence is reflected in everything we do; your passion for the law and for that excellence is what brought you to GW.

There are lots of programs out there that are good; some are really good. But for some people, good enough is not good enough. For those people, there’s GW.

GW students want to be the best paralegals they can be and seek to lead the profession. GW students are ambitious, fearless, influential, and engaged.

If you share this passion for excellence and you are ready to go the distance, I invite you to contact an Enrollment Advisor to discuss how GW can help you get where you want to go.

Hear more about the online master’s program from Professor Marsh Hear more about the online master's program from Professor Marsh

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Who Should Chose GW’s Online Paralegal Programs?

Traits of Successful Paralegals

Paralegals are organized, have an eye for detail, collaborate well, and enjoy in watching all the pieces of a complex matter come together.

They have good administrative sense, are inquisitive, and can contribute to an overarching goal. They have a solid work ethic, positive attitude, and can work independently yet are exceptional at developing relationships.

Good paralegals know what they want and how to get it. Companies of all sizes and industries across the globe value these skills and that means there there is virtually unlimited potential for paralegals to pursue rewarding and exciting careers.

New Paralegals Entering the Profession

Whether they are just entering the profession or pivoting from another career, many pursue paralegal careers to fulfill their passion for the law.

The graduate certificate is perfect for people from diverse academic and professional backgrounds who seek to enter the profession.

Whether you have always been intrigued by the law, have come to the law seeking to make a difference, or see the law as a personally and professionally rewarding career – GW will help you get from there to where you want to be.

Career Paralegals Seeking Advancement

Once titled “legal assistants” or “legal secretaries” and considered only for clerical work, paralegals now have numerous career options with increasing levels of responsibility.

Paralegals with experience, credentials and ambitious career goals can be promoted within their current organization, pursue new opportunities in different settings, and qualify for a higher pay scale. Law firms, corporations, and government agencies have identified the need for paralegal managers who are accountable for hiring, training and managing and a team of paralegals.

Law School Hopefuls

Some people pursue a paralegal education as a prelude to law school.

The paralegal education allows them to gain a foundation for later legal studies, work in the field while they go to law school, and establish a professional network before they even take the bar and to gauge whether they truly have what it takes to enter the field.

Often these students realize that the paralegal profession if their true calling. Some students discover that they get many of the benefits and personal satisfaction of working in the legal field without the expensive investment of law school; they get to work in a law firm, contribute to important cases, help people, and do exciting work without the increased stress or career sensitivity to economic fluctuations.

Future Paralegal Educators

Other people are driven to teach and know that a Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is a requirement in many cases to be a paralegal educator.

To be a professor, many academic institutions require a terminal degree within the field of instruction. In the paralegal profession, the GW master’s degree is the highest degree available and is one of only few paralegal master’s degrees offered in the country. Earning GW’s Master’s of Paralegal Studies degree is a recognized accomplishment that could open new doors in your career.

Where Paralegals Work

The increased reliance on paralegals has opened new professional opportunities in all industries and work settings.

Paralegals work for law firms both large and small, government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and even as independent consultants.

Paralegals work in a variety of industries and can specialize in any of numerous areas of practice including banking and investments, contracts, corporate affairs, criminal law, employment and labor law, entertainment law, family law, federal or jurisdictional law, healthcare reform, intellectual property and patent law, insurance, international trade and finance, litigation, medical malpractice, real estate, personal injury, public interest, and more.

Professional experiences and paralegal career paths vary greatly in each legal setting and specialty, offering paralegals the opportunity to find work in an area that aligns with their personal motivations and career goals.

Fuel Your Passion.

You have a passion for the law. You’re driven to influence lives, innovate, and lead in an exciting and growing field. You are part of a diverse group of professionals whose interests and career goals vary widely, but who share a love for the law and an ambition to excel.

GW’s online Master of Paralegal Studies program attracts students from a wide range of professional backgrounds at all stages of their careers. Whether just starting out, pivoting from another profession, advancing within the field or considering law school, GW paralegal students share passion and ambition.


Looking for more info about the program or paralegal profession? We invite you to contact our Recruitment Services office to speak with a personal Enrollment Advisor, watch any of our webinar recordings or connect with us through the GW Paralegal Studies peer-to-peer network.

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Discover the GW Difference

Looking for more info about the program or paralegal profession? We invite you to contact our Recruitment Services office to speak with a personal Enrollment Advisor, watch any of our webinar recordings or connect with us through the GW Paralegal Studies peer-to-peer network.

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