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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 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.

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

See our upcoming events to learn more.

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 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:

  • IL Dept. of Corrections
  • 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. Download gainful employment disclosures mandated by the Department of Education.
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
Admission

Eight 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.

Applicants apply directly to the paralegal studies program. The following information is needed:

  • Official transcripts from other colleges and universities you have attended. Transcripts should be forwarded to:
    Roosevelt University
    Office of Admission - Chicago Campus
    425 S. Wabash Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60605
    Email: admission@roosevelt.edu
    Phone: 877-277-5978
  • A 200-300 word statement of intent, presenting your reasons for wanting to attend the program. Your statement can be downloaded into your online application or emailed to clausen@roosevelt.edu
  • A completed and signed post-baccalaureate certificate application form.
    The application form may be completed online or manually using this downloadable form.

Once the program receives all of the above items, applicants will receive a response by email, usually within two weeks. It is okay to send transcripts separate from the other application materials. All materials should be sent to:  

Roosevelt University
Paralegal Studies Program
430 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
or by email to clausen@roosevelt.edu

Your bachelor's degree can be in any discipline, but it must be from an accredited institution. An overall GPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 is suggested for admission to the program. A personal interview or letters of recommendation may be requested after an application has been reviewed.

Transfer Credit

If you have taken paralegal courses at another ABA-approved paralegal program, you may be able to transfer up to 12 semester hours of paralegal courses toward the requirements in our program. The courses need to have been taken no longer than six years prior to the date on which you enroll in our program. When applying, please indicate on your application form that you are requesting transfer credit.

Deadlines and start dates

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and acceptance is subject to space availability. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible in advance of the semester in which they wish to start. An applicant may apply up to one year in advance from the date of intended enrollment. Students seeking financial aid (student loans) are urged to apply as early as possible so that financing aspects are worked out prior to registration. Start dates for each schedule option are listed below:

  • Full-time day schedule: January or August
  • Part-time evening schedule: January, March or August
  • Schaumburg Campus course schedule: August

Appeals of Admission Decisions

Applicants who disagree with an admission decision may appeal the decision. Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the program director within 60 days of the date of the letter that informed the applicant of an admission decision. Appeals are reviewed by the program's appeal committee, which consists of members of the program's administration, faculty and the college dean.

Tuition and Fees

View tuition and fees of Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies program


Upcoming Events

Wed, Oct 25, 2017
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Wed, Nov 8, 2017
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