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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

For 40 years, Roosevelt University’s ABA-approved paralegal studies program has produced graduates ready to have immediate impact inside a firm or another legal environment. Roosevelt-trained paralegal professionals are knowledgeable, effective and a critical part of the legal team.

Paralegals perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have a knowledge and understanding of legal concepts, because they perform a wide variety of tasks including: conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, gathering facts, researching the law, managing databases, reviewing, analyzing and assembling records and documents, and drafting legal pleadings and discovery items such as complaints and interrogatories and maintaining conflicts of interest systems. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document management and organization, witness preparation and research. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Eight, three-semester hour courses are required to earn the certificate. The post-baccalaureate program is a non-credit certificate program. Students must have completed their bachelor’s degree before starting classes in order to be eligible for this program.

For more information on the paralegal profession and the type of work paralegals perform in different practice areas, visit the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the National Association of Legal Assistants.

For detailed information on the program’s admission process and costs, please click on the green button below labeled "Post-Baccalaureate Certificate" and then scroll down to the green-shaded area below the Testimonials section.

Apply Now for Spring 2017

We are still accepting applications for our Spring 2017 term. A $40 application fee voucher is available.

Part-time evening classes begin, Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Day classes begin, Monday, January 23, 2017

To talk or meet with a representative of the program, please complete the form on the on this page or call (312) 281-3186.

Location: Chicago, Schaumburg
Start Term: Fall, Fall B, Spring, Spring B, Summer
Program Type: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

The program's curriculum, which is reviewed and updated regularly to meet American Bar Association guidelines, is composed entirely of law courses. Instruction focuses on procedural and practical aspects of the profession. The program surveys paralegal employers, current students and graduates on a regular basis to receive their insights on the curriculum and the needs of the legal community. The program also receives guidance from its board of advisers, composed of leading educators and members of the legal community.

The program emphasizes civil litigation. Eight three-semester hour courses are required to complete the post-baccalaureate certificate, including seven required courses and one elective course. The seven required courses are: Ethics & Professionalism, Legal Research, Civil Law, Pre-Trial Litigation, Commercial Law, Trial & Post-Trial Litigation and Legal Writing. The program offers a variety of elective courses in different substantive areas of law such as Intellectual Property, Real Estate, Labor & Employment Law and Legal Technology. Instead of taking a traditional course, students may choose to participate in an internship to fulfill their elective course requirement.

Recent internship sponsors include:

  • Swanson, Martin & Bell
  • Mintel Group, Ltd.
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Fisher & Kanaris
  • Center for Disability & Elder Law
  • Lawyers Committee for Better Housing
  • IL Department of Children & Family Services
Carrie Lausen
, Program Director
Chanita Britton
, Department Contact

What Differentiates Us

Unique scheduling options

Unique scheduling options

We offer a full-time day schedule on our Chicago Campus that can be completed in 4 1/2 months, and a part-time evening schedule in Chicago in which students take one class every eight weeks. We also offer a schedule at our Schaumburg Campus, which can be completed in eight months taking classes mostly on Saturdays. Classes in both schedules are offered in a combination of traditional on-campus classes, fully online classes and hybrid classes. Pursuant to ABA guidelines, students must take at least 10 semester hours or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.

Career development

Career development

We offer lifetime career development assistance within the program, which includes: an online job system in which employers post open positions and students and graduates can post their resume; one-on-one career advising by a legal professional; professional development workshops; and a career and job search manual specifically for the paralegal profession.

Expert faculty

Expert faculty

Our classes are taught by experienced attorneys and paralegals and offer practical, hands-on legal training. We have earned the approval of the American Bar Association since 1976. For more than 10,000 alumni working in law, government and business, the paralegal studies program at Roosevelt University has been the paralegal program of choice.

Honor society

Honor society

Roosevelt University maintains a chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a national paralegal honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE). Members are inducted in April and October of each year and receive a commemorative certificate and membership pin. Their names are entered into the permanent records of the Lambda Epsilon Chi national paralegal honor society.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

Students will know legal terminology, concepts and procedures, and will gain skills to draft a variety of legal documents. Students learn how to conduct legal research, both manually and online using Lexis and Westlaw (commonly used legal databases). They will learn about litigation support and e-discovery applications. Students will also be better prepared for the rigors of law school and may participate in an internship course as part of their curriculum.

Sample Courses

  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing
  • Pre-trial Litigation
  • Civil Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Legal Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Real Estate

Outcomes

For detailed information on the paralegal profession including the work environment, job outlook, educational requirements and salary information, read the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Distinguished Alumni
Paralegal studies program graduates hold a variety of positions in the legal field including leadership roles in law firms, corporations and government agencies in the Chicago area and nationwide. Graduates have included an Illinois Circuit Court Judge, a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a state insurance commissioner, and a law clerk for a state Supreme Court Justice.
Career Paths
  • Private law firms
  • Corporations
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Government agencies
  • Law school
Preparation for Law School
Graduates have gone on to attend many law schools, including: DePaul University College of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, The John Marshall Law School, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Michigan State University College of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law, and Valparaiso University Law School.
Employment Rates
More than 75 percent of Roosevelt paralegal studies graduates are employed in the field within 6 to 12 months of graduation.

More Opportunities

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Our CLE seminars are designed for paralegal students who wish to expand on what they are learning in their classes, experienced paralegals seeking to expand their skills in a new area of law, or paralegals who wish to refresh their skills. The seminars are not designed to prepare someone for entry into the paralegal profession. If you are interested in paralegal training that will prepare you to enter the profession, visit the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate or Bachelor's Degree programs.

The Paralegal Studies Program does not seek or receive approval from the American Bar Association for the CLE seminars it offers or for any aspect of the CLE program.

Testimonials

"Roosevelt provided me with a wonderful learning environment, convenient class times, and optimal class sizes. It also provided a genuinely devoted group of professors and administrators that care deeply about student success. Each person associated with the program wanted to make sure their graduates were prepared for the legal field, and the hard work and dedication put in by program administrators was and is invaluable for the future of students careers."
Molly King - ​Post-Baccalaureate Certificate with Honors '09
Litigation Paralegal at Peck Ritchey, LLC and Board Member, Illinois Paralegal Association
"Paralegals are the backbone of the legal team. I have been teaching in Roosevelt University’s excellent paralegal studies program for 20 years and have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the dedicated students as they navigate this program. It is especially gratifying to know that employers have consistently recognized the paralegal studies program for its methods in preparing students for the world of work. I look forward to seeing many more students come through the paralegal studies program, and to assisting them as they develop into exceptional paralegals."
Mary Boland
Adjunct Faculty Member, Complex Sex Crimes Specialist, Criminal Appeals Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office