Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies Online
Program also available on campus

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Discover the GW Difference

Complete the form to receive your free brochure about GW’s online Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate program.

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1. Which program are you interested in?

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2. Personal Information

Your Path to Becoming a Paralegal

Prepare to enter the paralegal profession with an online paralegal certificate steeped in D.C. insider expertise from the George Washington University.

Gain the knowledge and skills required to enter the exciting paralegal profession in just six courses. The GW online graduate certificate program provides the depth and rigor you need to succeed in the fast-growing and competitive legal field.

Develop In-Demand Skills for Paralegals

Written and oral communication, project management and critical thinking skills are important for paralegals, who conduct and present research, manage technology and coordinate litigation. By earning your paralegal certificate online, you’ll have the opportunity to master these skills and the substantive law that underlies everything you’ll do as a legal professional.

  • Scholarly. Rigorous and scholarly, GW courses provide historical and theoretical context
  • Practical. Learn to write, present research, solve problems and use the latest technology
  • Flexible. Pursue your degree alongside peers from across the nation and the world without disrupting personal or professional obligations

Accredited and Top-Ranked

CHE MSAUSN

Why Earn a Paralegal Degree from GW?

Demand is growing for paralegals: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job openings for paralegals will rise by 8% between 2014 to 2024. The Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is the credential you need to enter this expanding field.

Toni Marsh

Toni Marsh
Director, GW Paralegal Studies Program

What sets GW — and you — apart? Passion. GW’s passion for excellence and your passion for the law. GW students strive to be the best paralegals and lead the profession. They are ambitious, fearless and engaged. If you share this passion and 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.

A Rigorous and
Practical Curriculum

The online paralegal studies graduate certificate program includes six courses and 18 credit hours, and provides access to the same curriculum offered to on-campus students. Courses blend practical knowledge with legal history, providing a ‘big picture’ understanding of the paralegal profession. Graduates emerge with a highly sought credential prepared to immediately contribute to a legal team.

Course Name Credit
Hours
Graduate Certificate
American Jurisprudence 3
Legal Research and Writing 3
Advanced Legal Writing 3
Litigation 3
Contracts 3
Business Entities 3
Total Credit Hours 18

A Program with the Highest Standards

Developed to address shifting roles and new requirements in the legal profession, GW’s Graduate Certificate 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 Graduate Certificate 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 graduate certificate 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.

Demand is growing for paralegals: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job openings for paralegals will rise by 8% between 2014 to 2024. The Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is the credential you need to enter this expanding field.

Toni Marsh

Toni Marsh
Director, GW Paralegal Studies Program

What sets GW — and you — apart? Passion. GW’s passion for excellence and your passion for the law. GW students strive to be the best paralegals and lead the profession. They are ambitious, fearless and engaged. If you share this passion and 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.


Who Should Choose GW’s Online Paralegal Graduate Certificate Program?

Traits of Successful Paralegals

Paralegals are organized, have an eye for detail, collaborate well and enjoy 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 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.

Some have always been intrigued by the law, and others are driven by a personal mission and desire to make a difference.

Paralegals come from many academic and professional backgrounds, and can find work across the world, in practically any industry, venue or specialty.

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, establish a professional network before they even take the bar, and gauge whether they truly have what it takes to enter the field.

Often these students realize that the paralegal profession is 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.

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, nonprofit 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.

GW’s online Graduate Certificate in 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.


FUEL YOUR PASSION

Learn More

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.