Advance your career with a Paralegal Studies Certificate from Catholic University, while maintaining your work and family responsibilities.

  • Earn your certificate in as little as 6 semesters.
  • Learn from faculty with real world experience in the law.
  • Flexible course schedule of evening on-campus classes.
  • Prepare for an immediate career in a paralegal office.
  • No standardized exams required for admission.
  • Individualized attention and small class sizes.
  • Scholarships are available.

Also available as an Associates Degree.


We are located steps from the Brookland/CUA Metro stop on the Red Line. 

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 13 classes (39 credit hours). Students will focus their legal specialty course work in one of two tracks: General Practice or Litigation Practice. All students participate in a legal internship during their last year 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 (3-6 semesters) 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]


Students must also complete 9 Law Core courses, including a legal internship, and the requirements of the General Practice or Litigation Practice Track. All students must choose one of two tracks and complete 4 out of 6 electives from their chosen track.

Law Core Courses (9 courses including internship)

  • MLA 101: Introduction to Paralegal Studies
  • MLA 110: Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics
  • MLA 201: Legal Research and Writing
  • MLA 211: Civil Procedure
  • MLA 216: Corporations
  • MLA 230: Criminal Law and Procedure
  • MLA 312: Torts
  • MLA 340: Contract Law
  • MLA 494: Paralegal Internship

General Practice Track Electives (complete 4 of 6)

  • MLA 252: Administrative Law
  • MLA 253: Constitutional Law
  • MLA 254: Family Law
  • MLA 257: Real Estate Law
  • MLA 258: Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  • MLA 400: Advanced Legal Research

Litigation Practice Track Electives (complete 4 of 6)

  • MLA 253: Constitutional Law
  • MLA 271: Evidence
  • MLA 273: Civil Procedure II
  • MLA 274: eDiscovery
  • MLA 275: Trial Practice
  • MLA 400: Advanced Legal Research

How long would it take you to finish this degree? Take a look at our sample course completion schedule

Paralegal Studies Certificate (PSC) - 39 Credits

The PSC is designed for working students whom already have an AA or BA and a seeking to gain professional knowledge and academic credential in approximately 1.25-2 years or 4-6 semesters.

Example Track Schedule:

  1. Semester 1 - 6 Credits
    • MLA 101
    • MLA 110
  2. Semester 2 - 9 Credits
    • MLA 201
    • MLA 211
    • MLA 216
  3. Semester 3 - 9 Credits
    • MLA 230
    • MLA 312
    • MLA 340
  4. Semester 4 - 9 Credits
    • MLA 252
    • MLA 253
    • MLA 254
  5. Semester 5 - 6 credits
    • MLA 257
    • MLA 494

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the Internet at (visited on March 8, 2017).

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates District of Columbia, on the Internet at (visited on March 8, 2017).

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