Paralegal Certificate (6 Weeks)


In support of the health and safety of our students and university community, all Mason Professional Education courses are being delivered in virtual formats now through May 2021. We are fully operational and courses will begin on their scheduled start date. Register today!

Paralegal Webinar – On-Demand

Interested in learning more about Mason’s Paralegal Programs? Listen to the August 2020 recorded webinar to learn more about the program, online course options, careers in paralegal and more!


Employment for paralegals is projected to grow much faster than average, as employers try to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers.* 

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Students will be trained to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and related to those areas of the law in which legal assistants are most in demand.

George Mason’s Paralegal Certificate is offered in collaboration with The Center for Legal Studies.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants. 


  • There is a total of 84 hours of instruction in a classroom.
  • Upon successful completion of the program you will receive a Certificate of Completion from George Mason University.
  • Research can be done at George Mason University's Law Library in Arlington.
  • This program will help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills.

Course Outline

Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process 

This session focuses on the history of American jurisprudence, the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of litigation. Discussion will cover pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures, as well as an in depth coverage of legal ethics. At the end of the first session of class, student will know how to prepare Complaint and Petition, Answer Third Party Complaint and Petition, and Motion for Summary Judgment. 

Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate 

This session covers the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrative evidence will also be explained. At the end of the second session, students will prepare discovery matter such as Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, and Requests for Production of Documents. 

Identifying Relevant Authority 

During this session students will learn how to identify relevant law and determine the differences between primary and secondary authority, as well as mandatory and persuasive authority. Additionally, students will learn how to find and apply authority to hypothetical factual situations. 

Introduction to Legal Research 

Students will learn research techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs. Primary and secondary source materials will be discussed, and a concise approach to legal research will be developed. 

Legal Research Practice 

Legal research skill will be applied in this session with emphasis on shepardizing statutory and case law and learning to use computerized legal search terminals. Numerous research assignments will be given, discussed, and critiqued. The West Key Number System® will be learned thoroughly. 

Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure 

This session will concentrate on the preparation and critique of legal memoranda, including an Interoffice Memorandum of Law and Appellate Brief. Principles of appellate procedure will also be reviewed. Proper citation format will be covered along with a discussion of job hunting techniques and job leads for those seeking their first employment as paralegals.Please click here for the course syllabus. 


Textbooks not included in course registration fee. Please click here for more information.


 The legal research access–fee not included in course registration. Please contact the Center for Legal Studies at 1-800-522-7737 or info@legalstudies.com for information and Westlaw pricing.


  • Students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. 
  • Students must successfully complete and pass all course requirements to be awarded a certificate.
  • Students must pass six quizzes and successfully complete five legal document-writing assignments. Assignments include, but are not limited to, creating an interoffice memo, preparing a cover and resume for instructor critique, drafting a motion, and preparing an answer to a complaint served to you by a fellow classmate.
  • Students cannot have more than two absences.


Designed For

  • Beginning legal workers
  • Advanced legal workers


Applies Towards the Following Certificates


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in

Section Title
PLGL 0100 - Paralegal Certificate
Sa, Su
9:00AM to 12:30PM
Jan 30, 2021 to Mar 28, 2021
Online, fixed date
Sa, Su
9:00AM to 12:30PM
Apr 10, 2021 to Apr 25, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee non-credit $1,595.00
Section Materials
  • (Mandatory) Introduction to Paralegalism 8th edition ISBN 978128544905
  • (Mandatory) Paralegal Career for Dummies ISBN 0471799564
  • (Mandatory) Paralegal Certificate Course Workbook by Margaret J. Kirk ISBN 9780615333564
  • (Mandatory) Uniform System of Citation Most Recent edition
  • (Mandatory) Federal Civil Rules Booklet ISBN 9781934852330
  • (Mandatory) Legal Document Preparation Manual for the Paralegal Certificate Course ISBN 9780963724847
  • (Mandatory) Westlaw Access
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