Paralegal Studies


The Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program develops skill-sets in its students unlike any other paralegal program. The unique curriculum is designed in a format that replicates actual law office experience. Designed for paralegals, by paralegals, with input from attorneys and judges, this course sets new standards in paralegal education.

Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies


    Typical Paralegal Programs
    Howard Law Paralegal Program

    Regardless of the paralegal degree level you choose to complete – whether a certificate or associate's degree for an entry-level job, or a bachelor's degree that will qualify you for more competitive positions – your basic paralegal course work will cover the same topics.


    A traditional paralegal curriculum covers the range of topics that an entry-level paralegal faces on a daily basis. Most programs start with an introduction to paralegal studies, followed by general course work in legal analysis and writing, torts, contracts, ethics courses, and administrative law for paralegals. Practical paralegal courses such as law office management and business organization processes are also common.


    Your paralegal courses are also likely to include training specific types of law, including:


    • Civil law – civil litigation is intended to bring resolution to disputes between individuals or organizations. Your paralegal curriculum will help you understand the processes involved in civil cases.
    • Criminal law – you will learn how to support attorneys as they prepare for criminal cases, in which the government prosecutes individuals for breaking the law.
    • Real estate law – your training in real estate law will give you insight into the legal aspects of real estate transactions.
    • Family law – dealing with issues relating to families, from adoption to domestic violence to divorce, family law provides a spectrum of challenges for attorneys and paralegals.
    • Wills, trusts and estates – learn how to support individuals as they determine how to distribute their assets after death.

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    Unlike most programs, The Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program does not simply pile substantive area of law upon substantive area of law, basically turning such subjects into "filler." There is a good reason for this philosophy.


    Notice that the majority of study in the "typical" paralegal program includes administrative law, tort law, contract law, civil litigation, criminal law, real estate law, family law, business organizations, and wills trusts and estates. The problem is that a paralegal, during his or her career, is likely to use litigation skills and perhaps one other area.


    The Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program instead chooses to focus its curriculum on those areas of training that attorneys care about the most: Skills. Transferable skills. Skills that are applicable in virtually any area of law. Skill training in this program include:


    Stages of Litigation


    Interviewing Clients

    Law Office Investigation

    Index Research

    Legal Analysis

    Legal Memorandum Form.

    Blue Book Citation Form

    Pleading Preparation

    Discovery Preparation

    Discovery Coordination

    Preparing for Depositions

    Deposition Digesting

    Utilization of Legal Forms

    Authority Identification

    Legal Research Skills (Law Library and Online)

    Electronic Legal Research Skills

    Westlaw Training and Access

    Lexis Training and Access

    Motions, Notices and Briefs

    Law Office Etiquette

    File Maintenance

    Billable Hours

    American Bar Association Rules of Ethics

    Law Office Ethics

    Legal Representation

    State and Local Court Structure and Procedure

    Court Rules

    Federal Government Structure

    Federal Court Structure

    Electronic Discovery

    The Arbitration Process

    Informal Advocacy


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    The Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program also provides training to students in the areas of substantive law most likely to be used by a paralegal: Tort Law, Administrative Law, and Contract Law. In addition, students are trained specifically in District of Columbia Practices and Procedures.


    The Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program provides legal research training in the law library, using Westlaw, and using Lexis. No other program in the area offers all three versions of legal research.


    Another major difference is the study support offered byThe Howard School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program . Compare our study support to other programs. Actually, as you will see, there is no comparison!
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    If you know an attorney or paralegal, ask them which is more important for a paralegal: Training in several substantive areas of law, or training in law office skills? That will help you determine which program is right for you.