Paralegals are an essential part of the successful practice of law. The SMU PRO Paralegal Studies Certificate is a six-month, noncredit certificate program emphasizing the practical skills essential to the legal environment. Experienced, professional instructors make learning engaging, applicable and fun.
Why Choose SMU PRO?
- Courses are taught by practicing professionals — attorneys and paralegals — experts with real-world experience
- Six months start to finish
- Evening and weekend options fit with your busy life
Who Should Attend?
- Legal staff who want to upgrade their skills
- Students considering law school
- Anyone seeking knowledge of the paralegal profession
Admission into the program requires a four-year undergraduate degree, ensuring that graduates are both qualified for employment and prepared for the level of training offered at SMU. Exceptions may be made based on experience.
The certificate program is divided into seven courses for a total of over 125 contact hours. In these interactive, engaging classes, you will learn from experts in the classroom setting, collaborate with your peers and receive instruction on résumé writing and interviewing skills.
Introduction to Law: Learn about the sources of law in the United States, the court system and the basics of attorney/paralegal ethics
Tort and Personal Injury Law: Torts are civil wrongs that do not arise from a contractual relationship. Learn the differences between negligence, intentional torts and strict liability.
Legal Research and Writing: Gain the essential skills of analysis and write basic legal documents using the online Westlaw database. Understand proper Bluebook and Greenbook citation formats and how to draft a legal memorandum.
Civil Litigation: Understand the role of the paralegal in preparing for and conducting civil litigation. Draft a petition, discovery documents and a deposition summary.
Legal Technology: Learn to navigate the processes for state and federal court electronic filings. Research a case in state and federal court through online court docket systems, review technologies utilized in legal practice and master the fundamentals of electronic discovery.
Contract Law: Review the basic requirements of contract formation and the role of paralegals in drafting simple contracts. Written assignments include drafting of contractual provisions.
Survey of Law: Overview fundamental principles of bankruptcy, real and intellectual property, business organizations and corporate law, employment law, family law, and wills and trusts. Additionally, Career Preparation sessions overview the legal workplace, resume writing, and more.
Tuition and Fees
- A $50 non-refundable application fee must be paid before submitting your completed registration form and photocopy of your undergraduate transcript.
- The priority registration fee for students who have registered and paid by the priority registration deadline is $5,495. All textbooks and materials are included.
- The standard registration fee after the priority deadline has passed is $5,745.
- SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni save 10%.
Students may qualify for a Smart Options Continuing Education Student Loan, offered by Sallie Mae. Your Sallie Mae Loan application must be completed and approved 14 days before the first day of the program. Loan cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Contact our admissions team for details.
- Talk one-on-one with an advisor to answer your specific questions. Call us at 214-768-1086 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete and submit the application online.
- SMU will confirm your acceptance and facilitate your payment.