Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies

Fast-track your legal career with our 15-week hybrid program that sets you up for entry-level employment
in law offices or legal divisions in a variety of settings.

1. Introduction to Paralegal Studies

Transform Your Interest in the Law into a Rewarding Career

Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to keep pace with the latest developments in the legal field. Full-time course developers do not write this course. The course curriculum was developed over several years by attorneys who run a successful litigation practice and who have not only been teaching paralegals for years but have experience hiring and training paralegals. Besides these attorneys’ own personal experience, they have drawn on feedback from years’ worth of paralegal students, real-life paralegals, attorneys, and others in the legal field to formulate a curriculum that combines the most relevant legal topics with the practical skills actually used in real law firms.

Intro to Paralegal Studies at NTI
What is a Paralegal?

A paralegal, sometimes called a legal assistant, is a professional trained to assist lawyers in various capacities throughout the legal process. While they are deeply involved in legal work, paralegals are not licensed to practice law. Instead, they function under the supervision of an attorney.

Core Responsibilities

  • Research and Analysis: One of the primary roles of a paralegal is to conduct legal research. This can involve researching past court decisions, statutes, legal articles, and other relevant sources to provide attorneys with the necessary information to support a case or legal opinion.
  • Document Preparation: Paralegals often draft various legal documents, such as pleadings, motions, contracts, and other correspondence. These documents are then sent to the supervising attorney for final review and approval.
  • Organization and Management: Legal cases involve a significant volume of information. Paralegals play a crucial role in organizing this information, managing files, tracking deadlines, and ensuring that attorneys are prepared for meetings, hearings, and trials.
  • Client and Witness Interaction: Although they cannot give legal advice, paralegals often interact with clients to gather information, coordinate appointments, or explain general procedures. They might also involve interviewing witnesses or preparing them for deposition or trial.
Why Choose the NTI Paralegal Certificate Program?

Expertly Designed Curriculum
Drawing from years of experience, our curriculum covers all the fundamental areas of legal studies and practicum to prepare students for real-world scenarios.

Duration That Fits Your Schedule
At just 15 weeks, our program offers an intensive yet concise learning path so you can start your career without delay. Hybrid learning and evening course options allow you to pursue your paralegal certificate while still working in your current role.

Locally Situated
Being based in Phoenix, AZ ensures you get a blend of national standards with a local touch, making you a preferred candidate for employers in the region.

Hear From Our Course Founder,
Attorney Matt Pfau

Matt Pfau both practices law and owns his own law firm. As a civil litigator and trial attorney, he understands exactly what paralegals need to know to start a successful career.

2. Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities After Completion

With the NTI Certificate of Completion in Paralegal, you’ll be qualified for entry-level positions such as:

Legal Assistant

Court Clerk

Document Review Specialist

Legal Research
Assistant

3a. Course Format

Explore the Paralegal Program

Program duration

15 weeks. 3-hour classes are held twice a week on campus.

Location

All sessions will take place in person at our Phoenix campus.

Program format

The program is divided into two courses: Law and Practicum. This program aims to provide you with an understanding of the legal system and the practical skills required to start your career.

Cirriculum

Law

  • Torts
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Civil Procedure
  • Family Law

Practicum

  • Legal Research
  • Law Office Management
  • Law Firm Technology
  • Case Management
  • Writing Skills
Optional Course Add-on

Embracing the Future: How AI is Revolutionizing the Paralegal Profession. Learn More

3b. Course Format: Practium

Practium

In the Practicum course, you will learn the skills a paralegal needs to fulfill their daily duties. For part of the class, you will be a part of the fictional “Almost Attorney Law Firm.” A hypothetical client will hire your law firm, and you will immediately be assigned to work on the client’s case. You will be given some case materials, write a demand letter, file a lawsuit, initiate discovery, and then get information via subpoena and written discovery. Once you have everything you need, you will prepare a motion for summary judgment to end your client’s case without the need for trial. You will be paired with other students and act as the defense firm, responding to their discovery requests and providing them with the information they need for their case.

The Practicum course will teach you three broad categories of skills: writing skills, legal skills, and law practice skills.

High-Fiving Business People

Practium Cirriculum

Writing Skills

We focus on teaching you how to write clearly, simply, and most importantly—persuasively.

  • Legalese and why to avoid it
  • Why typography matters
  • Selecting the right word for persuasion
  • Using real names to refer to parties
  • Basics of type composition
  • Structuring your argument to be persuasive: IRAC
  • Basics of text formatting
  • Simplicity in writing
  • Advanced type composition
  • Writing from the perspective of the defendant
  • Words to avoid using
  • Basics of page layout
  • Writing a good heading
  • Advanced text formatting
  • Advanced page layout
  • Summarizing witness testimony
  • Gender and pronouns in writing
  • When to use passive voice
Legal Skills

If you’re going to be working in a legal environment, you’re going to need to learn to use the tools of the trade:

  • Introduction to the legal system
  • Legal vocabulary
  • U.S. Constitution and court structure
  • Paralegal ethics
  • Finding the elements of your claim
  • Introduction to legal research
  • Introduction to the law library
  • How to use case law
  • Litigation process
  • Lexis Nexus and Westlaw
  • Shepards and Key Cite
Law Practice Skills

You’ll learn the documents you would need at a law firm and understand where they fit in to the legal process:

  • Screening cases
  • Initiating a claim
  • Drafting a letter of representation/preservation of evidence letter
  • Drafting a demand letter
  • Using the electronic filing system
  • Drafting a complaint
  • Calendaring
  • Drafting initial disclosures
  • Drafting a joint case conference report
  • Billing for your time
  • Using practice management software
  • Managing a law firm
  • Drafting written discovery
  • Drafting a subpoena
  • Responding to written discovery
  • Drafting a motion
  • Using etiquette in a law firm
  • Creating a resume
  • Learning how to interview

3c. Course Format: The Law

The Law

In the law course you’ll be learning the actual law, including statutory, administrative, and common law. You’ll also be learning the rules that apply to litigation. The course will include the law of torts, contracts, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, and family law.

The Law Curriculum

Torts

A tort is a civil wrong against a person or property. For each of the following torts, you’ll learn the elements and the defenses:

  • Negligence
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • False Imprisonment
  • Defamation (including libel and slander)
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • Appropriation
  • False Light
  • Public Disclosure of Private Facts
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Conversion
  • Trespass to Chattel
  • Product Defect
  • Breach of express and implied warranties
  • Trespass to Land
  • Fraud
  • Nuisance
Contracts

Contract law is the enforcement of those duties that people voluntarily assume. In this course, we’ll cover the following:

  • Formation of a contract
  • Protected classes
  • Statute of frauds
  • Uniform commercial code
  • Parol evidence rule
  • Contract construction and interpretation
  • Impracticability of performance
  • Frustration of purpose
  • Material breach
  • Promissory estoppel
  • Novation
  • Unjust enrichment
  • Assignment of a contractual right
  • Delegation of a contractual duty
  • Justification for breach
  • Conditions precedent
  • Conditions subsequent
  • Conditions concurrent
Criminal Law and Procedure

We’ll cover the most common constitutional protections, the criminal legal system generally, and criminal procedure:

  • Searches and seizures
  • Cruel and unusual punishment
  • Due process
  • When a warrant is needed
  • Standards of proof
  • Habeus corpus
  • Criminal intent and mental states
  • Actus reus
  • Indictments and grand juries
  • Arraignment
  • Bail
  • Plea bargains and grants of immunity
  • Brady material
  • Sentencing
Civil Procedure

Civil procedure covers the rules that govern how a civil case may be pursued and includes the following:

  • Filing v service
  • Service of process
  • Form of pleadings
  • Representations to the court
  • Motion practice
  • Amending pleadings
  • Mandatory disclosures
  • Early case conferences
  • Depositions
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Court-annexed arbitration
  • Binding arbitration
  • Trial
  • Offers of Judgment
  • Discovery objections
  • Privilege
Family Law

Family law is the area of law that governs family relationships. In this course, you’ll learn the following:

  • Separate v. community property
  • Calculations of child support
  • Determinations of child custody
  • Paternity
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Grounds for an annulment
  • Spousal support/alimony
  • Dividing various types of property among divorcing spouses

4. AI for Paralegals

New Course Add-On!

Embracing the Future: How AI is Revolutionizing the Paralegal Profession

Technology is rapidly transforming industries, and the legal field is no exception. Traditionally seen as the backbone of legal support, paralegals are finding themselves at the forefront of this tech revolution. Paralegals who embrace technology and learn to harness it ethically and responsibly will become the new leaders in the legal landscape. NTI has developed an AI-centric curriculum to set our students apart in the industry.

As the legal profession evolves, AI becomes a tool to reshape how paralegals work, offering new avenues for efficiency and innovation. The AI education offered by NTI embraces its technical roots and offers paralegals an opportunity to learn how to embrace the future of working as a paralegal.

Our curriculum is designed to teach how AI can automate specific tasks, freeing paralegals’ time to engage in more complex, analytical work. Understanding AI and its applications in law can give you a competitive edge. This is not just about keeping pace with the present; it’s about leading the charge into the future.

Woman typing on laptop

Hear From Our Course Founder, 
Attorney Matt Pfau, on our new AI course

Explore the Cirriculum

Document Review and Management

We delve into how to use AI to streamline the process of reviewing and managing large volumes of legal documents. Using natural language processing (NLP), we teach how to harness AI to quickly sift through documents, identify relevant information, and even suggest edits or flag inconsistencies. This not only increases efficiency but also enhances the accuracy of document analysis.

Written Discovery Review and Analysis

AI can be used to analyze written discovery responses based on pre-identified criteria. At NTI, we teach paralegals how to use AI to identify which discovery responses are evasive, don’t properly answer the questions, or need further clarification, just as examples.

Legal Research

The application of AI-powered legal research tools can analyze case law, statutes, and legal publications more efficiently than traditional methods. We provide paralegals with fast and comprehensive AI tools to assist in analyzing the oppositions’ briefing and creating responsive briefs that are immensely assistive to their supervising attorneys.

Contract Analysis and Management

Learn how to use AI to review contracts in a fraction of the time it takes humans to do the same task. We teach how to identify clauses based on your criteria, assess risks, and even draft standard contracts.

Client Interaction and Support

We cover the use of AI in performing administrative tasks that typically would take hours in a matter of minutes. From responding to emails, summarizing documents for client communication to task management, AI can greatly enhance your mundane and time-consuming tasks.

AI Ethics for Paralegals

As AI becomes more integrated into legal work, ethical considerations are paramount. NTI teaches paralegals how to avoid violating attorney-client privilege and keep clients’ data confidential using AI. We also focus our AI instruction to paralegals on how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law while using AI.

The Future of AI in Law

AI is playing a pivotal role in shaping the legal industry’s future. Staying ahead in this field means continuously learning. This transformation is not just about technology; it’s about how paralegals can leverage technology to deliver better, faster, and more efficient legal services.

NTI is dedicated to keeping its students on the cutting edge of technology. A paralegal who implements the AI tools we teach can perform the functions of 2-3 paralegals who do not use AI. This is not just a shift in how tasks are performed; it’s a redefinition of the paralegal role itself. The paralegals who adapt to this change will be in high demand, as they bring a unique blend of traditional legal knowledge and cutting-edge technological skills.

Integrating AI into the legal field is not a future scenario; it is happening now. By embracing AI, paralegals are enhancing their capabilities and playing a crucial role in driving the legal profession forward. Paralegals are valuable assets in their firms when equipped to handle modern legal challenges with traditional expertise and innovative technology.

At NTI, we are committed to providing our students with the skills and knowledge needed for this new era. Our comprehensive AI curriculum is designed to ensure that our graduates are prepared for the future. Our approach to integrating AI into legal education is a model for how the legal profession can evolve and adapt to the demands of the 21st century.

Our curriculum is not just about teaching technical skills; it’s about fostering a mindset of innovation and adaptability. We encourage our students to think creatively about how AI can be applied in legal contexts, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in legal work. This forward-thinking approach is what will differentiate our graduates in the job market.

5. FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Paralegals are the lifeblood of a law firm. Without them, Attorneys would not be able to function properly. They support attorneys by keeping a case’s file and deadlines organized. They also research various case issues and draft communications and case-specific documents.

A paralegal’s day is full of different tasks and assignments. Every day can be very different, which makes every day of work interesting. It is hard to get bored working as a paralegal. Most paralegals comment on how quickly the days go by because they enjoy the work and they like being busy.

Many Paralegal Certificate students are interested in a legal career but don’t know where to start. This program provides students with a quick and effective method to receive a legal education that can be applied immediately after successfully passing the course.

This Paralegal Certificate program is the most time-effective and economical path to becoming a paralegal. The program is 15 weeks long. It is an intensive program regularly compared to a “mini law school.” In just 15 weeks, you will receive an education on most of the same subject matter that a first-year law student is exposed to.

Students typically join this program interested in learning a particular aspect of the law. However, once exposed to the other areas of law that the Paralegal Certificate course dives into, they discover many other aspects of the law that they could make into a fulfilling career.

It is becoming increasingly common for aspiring paralegals to get an educational background in the subject before applying for jobs, making applicants more desirable to employers. Employers look for a prospective paralegal to have at least completed a certificate program in paralegal studies before they are willing to hire them.

For some employers, a Paralegal Certificate is preferred over other more prolonged and expensive education options (like a BA in Paralegal Studies). This is because employers understand that graduates of a Paralegal Certificate program have received a specific education that is practical to the jobs that they are applying for. Graduates of this Paralegal Certificate program have been trained in paralegal skills, and nothing extra they don’t need.

Our program is designed for individuals from all backgrounds. As the course progresses, we will teach you the fundamental information and skills you need to know and move you into advanced legal research and writing. Whether you’re new to the legal field or looking to enhance your existing skills, our program is suited for you.

Paralegals can find employment in law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, non-profit organizations, the court system, non-profits, and more. Paralegals play a critical role in legal research, document preparation, and case management in multiple types of organizations.

The program combines legal instruction with practical experience working with actual case files, ensuring you graduate with the knowledge and hands-on skills to excel as a paralegal. The legal instruction is taught in our Law course by an attorney. An experienced paralegal leads the practical experience in our Practicum course. Each course is three hours per week (6 hours total classroom time per week) for 15 weeks.

The program covers various topics, including legal research and writing, civil litigation, criminal law, contract law, family law, real estate law, wills and trusts, legal ethics, and technology used in legal offices. It combines theoretical learning with practical skills. See the complete Paralegal Program page for a detailed description of the contents of each course.

We have intentionally chosen not to seek accreditation from organizations like the ABA. The reason for this is simple. The ABA mandates that schools keep you in class for over a year. We aim to get you the information you need to enter a paralegal career as quickly as possible.

And, from our experience, most law firms do not require their paralegals to get a certificate from an ABA-accredited school. Take a look at paralegal job postings or ask around to lawyers you know. We believe you’ll find this to be true.

Hiring law firms are primarily interested in whether your paralegal certificate program taught you the proper skills. This is why our 15-week program is laser-focused on developing only the skills you need to get hired. See the complete Paralegal Program page for a detailed description of the skills you will learn in our course.

Admission requirements typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, a completed application form, and sometimes an admissions interview. Some programs may have additional requirements, such as standardized test scores or prerequisite courses.

The cost varies depending on factors, including whether you are a full-time or part-time student. We offer financial aid and scholarships to eligible students to help cover the costs. Contact our admissions office for detailed information on tuition and fees.

We do! Our financing options are tailored to each student’s needs. Contact our admissions department today to find out which tuition financing option will be best for you.

It is common for our students to work while enrolled. We offer flexible evening courses for those who work full-time during the day. We also have morning and weekend options available. Please contact our admissions office for current course offerings in your area.

The program offers in-person instruction and an advanced online learning management system where all tests, quizzes, and assignments are completed. You will have online access to all lectures before class and the opportunity to collaborate with other students and your instructors when not in the classroom.

Our program is tailored to teach you exactly what you need to know, without the filler. You’ll dive deep into paralegal work’s most relevant and practical aspects, ensuring an efficient learning experience. By completing your certificate in just 15 weeks, you can enter the job market sooner, giving you a head start in your career.

A Paralegal Certificate is typically a shorter program focused on practical skills for immediate entry into the workforce. An Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies often includes general education courses and takes longer to complete. Our goal is to deliver only the information you need to get into your career as a paralegal as quickly and comprehensively as possible.

You can apply through our admissions office for assistance. The application process can be done online and involves submitting a completed application form, an application for financial aid, and other required documents.

For more information, please get in touch with our admissions team through the form above, by phone at (480) 591-4000, or by email at Admissions.phoenix@ntitraining.com. We are here to answer any questions and assist you through the application process.

Why Phoenix?

Phoenix, AZ, with its growing population and economic development, has seen a rise in legal service employment growth. Training locally in Phoenix provides students with networking opportunities, an understanding of local legal nuances, and better placement prospects.

Phoenix, AZ

From Our Students

This course is taught by actual attorneys who do an excellent job explaining the material. I felt very prepared to work at a law firm after taking the class. Highly recommend for anyone interested in the legal field.
Written by a former student on March 5, 2020
We engaged in a blend of role-playing and classroom instruction, during which the head of the UNLV Law Department dedicated several hours to share personal examples from her own experiences.
Written by a former student on March 5, 2020

Get Started with NTI

We are here to answer your questions about NTI and the path for your career as a Paralegal. Our team is dedicated to helping you make an informed decision about your future. Whether you’re just starting to explore your options or ready to take the next step, we can help. Connect with us today to learn more and get started on the application process.