About the Paralegal Certificate Program

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Students will be trained to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which legal assistants are most in demand. There are no prerequisites, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. This program will help students increase their office’s efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new market job skills. Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Weber State University. To receive a Certificate, students must pass six quizzes and successfully complete five legal documents.

This Professional Certificate provides an individual with the recognition he/she has achieved the level of professional knowledge and competency to work within the legal field.

Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with legal terminology, documents, ethics, and the litigation process
  • Become introduced to the evidentiary predicate and legal research Identify relevant authority
  • Be able to understand legal writing and principles of appellate procedure
  • Examine domestic relations issues and become familiar with wills and trusts
  • Understand legal issues dealing with corporations, partnerships, contracts, and bankruptcy


Course Information

Textbooks for the online course

  • Paralegal Career for Dummies, by Scott and Lisa Hatch
  • Paralegal Certificate Course Workbook, by Margaret J. Kirk
  • Introduction to Paralegalism, by William Statsky
  • Federal Civil Rules Booklet
  • A Uniform System of Citation (aka "The Bluebook"), most recent edition
  • Westlaw Subscription (Westlaw is a subscription to an online law library)*
  • Legal Document Preparation Manual

*Student WESTLAW access through CLS lasts for the duration of the course (subject to terms and conditions).

Other: Highly recommended resources for all formats:

  • Oran's Dictionary

Ordering Books

You must order books through the Center for Legal Studies at 1-800-522-7737. Visit legalstudies.com for more book information and pricing. Books should be ordered at least one week before the class begins.

Course Outline

Legal Terminology, documents, ethics and the Litigation Process
This first session focuses on the history of American jurisprudence, the theory of the law, the legal process, and the nature of litigation. Discussion will cover pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures as well as in-depth coverage of legal ethics. Students will learn how to prepare a Complaint, Answer, Third Party Complaint, and Motion for Summary Judgment based upon tort and contract causes of action.

Introduction to the Evidenciary Predicate
During this session we will review the rules of evidence and civil procedure as well as basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrated evidence. Students will prepare discovery matter such as Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and Requests for Production of Documents.

Identify Relevant Authority
Throughout this session you will learn how to identify relevant law and determine the difference between primary and secondary and mandatory and persuasive authority through the use of hypothetical situations.

Introduction to Legal Research
During this session you will learn research techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs. A concise approach to legal research and the West key number system will also be discussed.

Legal Research Practice
Legal research skills will be reviewed during this session with emphasis on shepardizing statutes and case law and an introduction to computerized legal research. Numerous research assignments will be given, discussed, and critiques.

Legal Writing and Principles of Appellate Procedure
This session will concentrate on the preparation and critique of legal memoranda, including an interoffice memorandum of law and appellate procedure. Fundamentals of efficient law office administration will also be discussed with an emphasis on timekeeping records and file management techniques.

Registration & Pricing



We understand that your schedule may change at the last minute and prevent you from attending this course. If you must cancel your registration, please call Weber State University at 801-626-6600 at least one week in advance of the program and we will issue you a refund. Refunds will only be given prior to the first day of class.