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Paralegal in Paralegal Studies

This program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Our distinguished faculty bring a wealth of academic and legal experience to the classroom.  Faculty are drawn from a number of relevant practice areas in the Pittsburgh legal market, including law firms, law departments, legal technology support firms, legal services agencies, and Duquesne University's School of Law.

A Paralegal Certificate is granted after the faculty has carefully evaluated the student's performance, based upon written assignments, examinations and participation in class discussions. The general certificate comprises a total of 33 Continuing Education Credits (C.E.U.s). The C.E.U. is a nationally recognized, standard unit of measurement that has been adopted for post-secondary programs and educational courses not carrying credit. Ten hours of in-class participation equals one C.E.U.

The courses required for the certificate are non-credit and are not transferable to other graduate or professional degree programs at the University.

Core Curriculum - All students are required to complete the following core courses:

501 Introduction to the Legal System and Paralegalism
550 Legal Research Methods
551 Legal Writing and Case Analysis I
552 Legal Writing and Case Analysis II
505 Professional Responsibility and Paralegal Practice

The five core courses are offered each term. Students are advised to complete Introduction to the Legal System and Paralegalism and Legal Research before taking any other coursework. Most elective courses are offered at least once per year.

NOTES: For proper sequencing:

  • 501 Introduction to the Legal System and Paralegalism should be taken at the beginning of the program.
  • 550 Legal Research Methods is a prerequisite for 551 Legal Writing and Case Analysis I.
  • 551 Legal Writing and Case analysis is the prerequisite for 552 Legal Writing and Case Analysis II.

Students do not, however, have to complete all core courses before taking other classes. Core courses and electives or concentration courses can be taken at the same time. Ethical considerations and issues are taught throughout the curriculum.

Choose from five certificate options:

Certificate in General Practice

All Core Courses
Five Electives

Certificate in Corporate Law Concentration

All Core Courses
511 Commercial Contract Law
515 Real Estate Procedures or 540 Intellectual Property
524 Corporate and Business Law I
527 Corporate and Business Law II
528 Federal/State Securities
529 Corporate Financing

Certificate in Civil Litigation Concentration

All Core Courses
510 Civil Litigation I
511 Commercial Contract Law
517 Civil Litigation II
518 Torts/Personal Injury Law
543 Advanced Civil Litigation

Certificate in Estates Concentration

All Core Courses
512 Estates, Wills and Trusts
515 Real Estate Law
524 Corporate & Business Law I or 549 Healthcare Law
537 Elder Law
541 Federal & PA Death Tax

Certificate in Litigation Technology Concentration

All Core Courses
510 Civil Litigation I
517 Civil Litigation II
543 Advanced Civil Litigation
544 Litigation Technology I
545 Litigation Technology II