According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of paralegals is projected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024.[1] The primary concern of a paralegal education program is to develop professional competence, which requires both general education and legal specialty course work. The Paralegal Studies Certificate (PSC) program is taught in-person at Catholic University’s Metropolitan School of Professional Studies (MSPS).  The curriculum consists of a specialized Law curriculum of 8 classes (24 credit hours). Students will focus their legal specialty course work in one of three concentrations: General Practice, Administartive Practice, or Litigation Practice. All students must complete a 90 hour internship during the last semester in the program.

Our program seeks to prepare individuals to function as informed, practical, knowledgeable, and morally alert members of society.  To support this mission, the Certificate in Paralegal Studies program places the pursuit of professional excellence within the context of human, social, ethical and moral values in the law. Classroom instruction emphasizes applying course material to solve professional and social problems within a legal setting.  Students are equipped intellectually, morally, and professionally to serve their communities and meet the needs of a future legal employer (e.g., law firms, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, etc).  

Building upon the program’s focus on the highest ethical and moral values and paralegal skills, students are expected to meet a wide array of educational objectives rooted in liberal arts and legal education.  Finally, by studying within the nation’s capital and participating in a mandatory internship, Paralegal Studies students will enjoy abundant practical opportunities to implement and apply their theoretical education to real world and current issues within a professional legal setting.

Who Would Most Benefit?

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program is the ideal option for working adults wanting to gain professional knowledge and an academic credential in a short time frame (3 semesters or 1 year) from an accredited institution and now wish to pursue an exciting professional career as a skilled paralegal equipped with the knowledge to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney.

The role of paralegals is vital in the legal industry.  The utilization of paralegals improves the efficiency, economy, and availability of legal services.  As a result, increased emphasis is being placed on hiring paralegals in a variety of law-related settings.  Although private law firms continue to be the single largest employer of paralegals; outstanding job opportunities also exist in private and public sector markets.  In 2015, the median annual salary for a paralegal in the Washington, D.C. area was $77, 230.[2]