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Certificate in Legal Studies

Purpose

The Wilmington University Legal Studies Certificate allows students to concentrate their studies in the specific content areas relevant to the profession. It is designed to provide the education needed to begin a paralegal career working under the supervision of an attorney or advance an existing career in related fields. Because certificate programs are valued by those in the legal field, it is perfect for those who want to enhance their marketability, make a career change, or simply expand their career options.

Program of Study

The certificate program was designed by paralegals and attorneys to concentrate exclusively on the skills and knowledge needed by working professionals. The program includes a core curriculum of eight classes (24 credits), but can be tailored to the individual student through the selection of two substantive courses. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree or are actively pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Wilmington University will be permitted to enroll in the Certificate program, but will not receive a certificate until conferral of a bachelor’s degree.

General Requirements

Each prospective student must submit the following:

  1. An undergraduate application for admission.
  2. An official transcript showing completion of a bachelor’s degree.
  3. No more than two courses (6 credits) may be transferred into this certificate program.

“Legal Specialties”

Students must take a minimum of 18 credits of “legal specialty” courses to earn a Post-Bachelor’s Certificate in Legal Studies. The 18 credits may be satisfied with a combination of transfer courses and courses taken at Wilmington University. A legal specialty is defined by the American Bar Association (ABA) as a course that covers substantive law or legal procedures or processes, has been developed for paralegals, emphasizes practical paralegal skills, and meets the ABA’s instructional requirements. The Legal Studies program offers legal specialties in an accelerated, hybrid, and online format. Legal Specialty courses are designated with (LS) below; however, they can also be identified by course description and by the Basic Course Information provided on the website.

Face-to-Face Requirement

Students must take a minimum of 10 credits of legal specialty courses through traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction. This requirement may be satisfied through any combination of semester, block, or hybrid courses.

Transfer Policy

The Legal Studies program may accept in transfer equivalent courses considered legal specialties that are taken at another institution. A maximum of 6 credits of legal specialty courses may be accepted for equivalent LES courses.

Credit Through Alternate Sources

The award of credit for legal specialty courses through Portfolio Assessment or by Examination is coordinated by the Legal Studies program Chair to ensure that the quality and integrity of the program are maintained. Any award of credit requires the approval of the program Chair upon demonstration that the credits can be classified as legal specialty, meets the course objectives and practical skills to be developed for the course for which credit is being awarded, meets the needs of the legal community the program serves, and is comparable to course work offered within the program. A maximum of 15 credits may be earned through Portfolio Assessment, and a maximum of 15 credits may be earned through Examination. For more information, please consult the Student Handbook section entitled “Alternative Credit Methods” or speak to the program Chair or an academic advisor.

Minimum Grade Policy

The Legal Studies program has set a minimum passing grade of “C” for LES 200, LES 220, LES 225, LES 226, LES 228, and LES 380. Students receiving a grade lower than “C” in any of these courses must retake that course.


Curriculum

Note: Students will be held to all course prerequisites.

Courses

LES 200 Legal Ethics

LES 220 Introduction to Legal Studies

LES 225 Legal Research

LES 226 Legal Writing

LES 228 Civil Procedure

LES 380 Law Office Administration & Technology

 

Select two courses from the following:

LES 317 Contracts

LES 330 Cyberlaw

LES 331 Electronic Discovery

LES 350 Interviewing & Investigating

LES 302 Business Organizations

LES 324 Criminal Law

LES 405 Delaware Practice

LES 306 Family Law

LES 308 Employment Law

LES 309 Bankruptcy

LES 321 Real Estate, Transfer, and Ownership Law

LES 311 Estates, Trusts, and Probates

LES 216 Environmental Law

LES 327 Intellectual Property

LES 328 Personal Injury and Malpractice

LES 440 Advanced Litigation Skills

LES 490 Internship in Legal Studies

 

Or With Approval of the Program Chair:

LES Other Upper Level LES Courses

CRJ 316 Criminal Law

CRJ 411 Criminal Evidence and Procedures


Total credits for the Legal Studies Certificate: 24