Paralegal Portfolio

Your work, military, volunteer, education, training, and other life experiences have probably taught you many valuable skills and knowledge along the way that could potentially allow you to receive college credit at MSPS. To receive experiential learning credit, students must create and present a Paralegal Portfolio that consists of materials that demonstrate mastery of targeted competencies (e.g., pleadings, letters, and work samples that verify learning) in a subject matter area. Faculty members will review the quality of the portfolio and determine whether documentation supports awarding credit. Students can receive up to 3 credits (equivalent to one Paralegal course) per portfolio with a maximum of 2 portfolios allowed (or up to 6 credits). The portfolio is for course credit only and does not factor into a student’s GPA.

A key criterion used to evaluate each portfolio is the student’s ability to organize and present verifiable evidence of college-level learning through proper documentation and a narrative that explains the rationale for the claim for credit. This may include:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the various stages of a civil case.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the various procedural stems and issues of civil litigation
  • Demonstrate the ability to locate and apply the Federal, State, and Local Rules of Court.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in drafting complaints, answers, motions, and discovery requests.
  • Understand the concepts of jurisdiction, venue, and various time limits as applied to civil litigation.

Beginning the Portfolio Process

To initiate the portfolio process or any questions related to the Paralegal Portfolio students should contact Chad Smith, Director of Legal Programs, at or (202) 319-4389. Students should be prepared to discuss his/her eligibility which will aid in the determination process.

Eligibility for the Portfolio

Any student admitted and/or enrolled in the Paralegal Studies Certificate or Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program who has life experience and/or experiential learning as a Paralegal or other related legal capacity may apply for Experiential Learning Credit via the portfolio process.

Time to Completion

Once approved and deemed eligible, students will have a maximum of 2 semesters (includes Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) to complete and submit the Paralegal Portfolio

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the portfolio process work?
You will build a portfolio documenting your work and life experiences for review by experienced instructors qualified to assess portfolios and recommend credit.

How long will it take to determine if credit was earned for the portfolio?
Approximately two weeks from the time of final submission.

Can revisions to the portfolio be made?
If the portfolio is incomplete, additional documentation may be requested/required to make a determination.

Does the portfolio affect my GPA?
No, the portfolio is for course credit only and is not calculated as part of your GPA.

For which courses may I earn credit?
You can earn up to 3 credits (1 course) per portfolio with a maximum of 2 portfolios (up to 6 credits) for any of the following courses:
MLA 101: Introduction to Paralegal Studies
MLA 201: Legal Research and Writing
MLA 211: Civil Procedure
MLA 230: Criminal Law and Procedure

How can I benefit from this completing a portfolio?
By completing a portfolio, you can reduce your cost and time to completion of the Paralegal Certificate or Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies (up to 6 credits or 2 courses).

How much does the submission of the portfolio cost?
The portfolio is a free option for students as a means of reducing the overall time to completion and tuition cost of the Paralegal Studies Certificate or Associate Arts in Paralegal Studies.

Whom should I contact if I have further questions or to begin the portfolio process?
Chad Smith, Director of Legal Programs
(202) 319-4389