REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION
Charlotte School of Law incorporates academic rigor, grit, professionalism, and skill into the Paralegal Certificate Program, to ensure that our students and alumni are prepared to succeed in the legal field or the career of their choice. Students must achieve an 80% (B-) minimum grade in the Legal Research and Fundamental Skills courses and a 77% (C+) grade in the other courses of law. Class assignments and projects, including library research, exams, and a comprehensive final will be administered. Failure to meet these requirements will cause the student to be ineligible to graduate from the program. The internship elective is a pass/fail course.
AttendanceThe Paralegal Certificate Program adheres to a strict attendance policy. The attendance policy dictates that students must attend at least 80% of each course. There are a few courses that require 100% attendance. A breakdown will be given to you upon request and once you are enrolled in the program. Failure to meet these requirements will cause the student to be ineligible to graduate from the program.
Student Conduct/ProfessionalismStudents in the Charlotte School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times when representing the school and when in attendance at school activities, sponsored events, class, and/or internship. The conduct must be in a manner that is befitting the status of the legal profession they are preparing to enter.
Unprofessional conduct or behavior that interrupts or interferes with the educational, social, or professional experiences of other students, instructor’s course objectives, school activities and/or community involvement are disruptive and will not be tolerated. Failure to meet this expectation will cause the student to be in violation of the student conduct/professionalism policy. Depending on the severity this may cause the student to be ineligible to graduate from the program.
TuitionTuition must be paid in full by the set due date. Failure to meet this requirement will cause the student to be ineligible to graduate from the program.
TranscriptsA complimentary transcript for the North Carolina Certified Paralegal (NCCP) exam will be issued at graduation. All other transcripts will be issued upon request. There is a $10 fee for each transcript requested. Please note that transcripts and graduation certificates will be withheld in the event that you do not meet all of the requirements for graduation. Official Transcript request form here
GraduationUpon successful completion of all course work, adherence to the grade and attendance policy, no financial or student conduct holds for the Program, the student is awarded a Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies from the Office of Professional Education at Charlotte School of Law. Additionally, the student and their guests will be invited to participate in a graduation ceremony, usually set as a mid-day event, the Friday following the week of the last class (unless otherwise noted).
Readmission To The ProgramIn the event that a student must drop or withdraw from the program due to unforeseen circumstances or in the event that a student does not successfully complete the program, the student may request to enroll in a subsequent offering of the Charlotte School of Law Paralegal Certificate Program within one year. All requests for readmission should be submitted here. Approval of a readmission request is at the discretion of the Office of Professional Education.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of legal research and focuses on development of basic research strategy, locating, analyzing and updating case law. Students practice using various reference books in the law library as well as the online services of LEXIS and WESTLAW. You will also earn a certification in Lexis and Westlaw. The purpose of the Lexis and Westlaw certifications is to further reinforce your research skills and to make those skills more attractive to prospective employers.
Learn legal terminology, court structure, law office ethics, professionalism, evidence, investigation techniques, legal research and writing of briefs, notices, motions, and orders. You will learn about a case from client intake through the court process to trial and resolution.
This course will examine each stage of the litigation process from initial fact-gathering through post-judgment proceedings. We will discuss pleadings, motions, trial, settlement and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Upon completion of this course, you should have a healthy knowledge of the various procedural rules governing the litigation process and how to apply those rules in real world scenarios. You will learn how to draft a complaint, an answer, motions, discovery requests and various other litigation related documents.
This course provides a working knowledge of basic principles of criminal law and procedure including the structure of the criminal justice system, criminal theory, the elements of crimes and defenses. You will learn about the role of the paralegal in a criminal law setting.
This area of law spans pre-nuptial agreements, separation, marriage, divorce, custody, child support, equitable distribution, and domestic violence. Gain an understanding of legal theory as well as the practical aspects of preparing the petitions, responses and other documents needed to negotiate through the many legal issues embodies within this specialty area.
Students will be introduced to the concept and elements of contracts and contract formation of offer, consideration, and acceptance; enforceability of contracts including elements of capacity, fraud, duress, and Statute of Frauds; breach of contract, defenses and remedies. Students will learn how to draft contracts for various types of transactions.
This course will include Intentional Torts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass, etc. In addition, you will explore the Negligence Torts to personal injury, premises liability, professional malpractice and the Defenses to liability.
REAL ESTATE LAW
Students will learn about transactions from contract through closing and the various forms of ownership of real property and types of estates, lien priority, easements, eminent domain and condemnation, water rights, trespass to property, landlord-tenant law, property descriptions, boundaries, rights and liabilities arising from land ownership. Also learn about public and private limitations on real estate, including zoning, restrictive covenants and the basics of title searching and closings. Students will also learn how to perform all aspects of a closing from a title search both online and at the Register of Deeds to preparation of a HUD. Finally, you will learn how to prepare for and conduct a closing including a Closing Statement.
This course provides an overview immigration law with an emphasis on the paralegal’s role. It examines the legal framework of immigration law, the history of immigration law in the United States, and current policy considerations. Topics include preparation of visa applications, the admission and removal of immigrants and non-immigrants, citizenship and naturalization. The course focuses on document organization and preparation, working with clients, litigation assistance, legal research, and handling ethical dilemmas.
Learn how paralegals are held to an ethical standard embodied in rules and regulations. Through class discussions, role-playing, and case studies, you will explore the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality requirements, attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interests and other ethical issues.
WILLS AND ESTATES
This practical course provides an opportunity to learn how to gather client information, apply estate planning principles and make determinations as to best practices to put into place from the time a prospective client walks in the door to discuss estate planning. You will learn how to draft ancillary documents such as General and Health Care Powers of Attorney, different kinds of Wills and Trusts.
This class will examine the various types of entities such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, profit and nonprofit corporations, and limited liability companies. This will be a practical learning experience in which students will learn the mechanics of preparing the proper documentation for each of these business entities in addition to the distinctions between each entity.
We will discuss concepts including agency, personal liability, alter ego, and the corporate veil. We will also discuss the practical aspects of incorporation in North Carolina, including Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Authorization to Transact Business and Articles of Dissolution.
The internship and companion course provides practical experience (60 hours on site with additional hours in the classroom) in applying paralegal skills within selected law firms, corporate law departments, governmental agencies and organizations. Students keep a journal and time-sheet, participate in class discussions with other student interns, and write a report evaluating their experience. All internships are unpaid and only one internship may be completed for credit toward a certificate.
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY: RESUME WORKSHOP
This workshop will give you tips on improving your writing, and will give you an inside look as to what recruiters, managers, and employers are looking for in a paralegal. Attendees of this workshop may also schedule a one-on-one session with the paralegal program administrators.