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Program Outcomes


When you complete your paralegal certificate you will:

  • Understand the fundamentals of the legal system, its processes, and alternatives
  • Be capable of thinking creatively and in a legally sophisticated way about the complex and varying legal issues that they may encounter
  • Understand the rules of professional conduct governing lawyers and their application to paralegals in all employment settings
  • Develop analytical and judgment abilities and be capable of performing legal and factual research using both traditional and emerging technology tools
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of substantive law and legal principles in one or more areas of practice
  • Develop sound legal writing skills
  • Be capable of applying knowledge management and organizational skills in the legal setting

To prepare students for on-the-job success, the program will:

  • Stay abreast of changes in the delivery of legal services in the community and respond to the growing need for well educated individuals trained to assist lawyers in providing a variety of legal services
  • Provide students with an understanding and appreciation of how the legal system works and the role of paralegals
  • Provide an education that emphasizes the importance of research, writing, technology literacy, and professional responsibility, including pro bono service
  • Evaluate curriculum and services on a regular basis and incorporate changes identified through that process
  • Engage instructors with outstanding practical experience and communication skills, and foster their professional development
  • Promote an appreciation and respect for others

Special Opportunity for Credit Toward a Master's Degree

Students who successfully complete their paralegal certificate in the Paralegal Institute are eligible to receive academic credit toward several graduate programs in SLPA.  Depending on the program you select, you can enter with up to six credits toward your master’s degree!

"The Duquesne Paralegal Institute certificate increased my knowledge base and enabled me to obtain a medical legal analyst position at the Pittsburgh defense litigation firm of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin."

- Jo Marie Simkins M.D.
Medical Legal Analyst