Paralegal Studies Certificate


Knowledge essential to advancement in a rapidly growing profession

Now in its 26th year! Paralegal training can lead to career advancement and job opportunities in the growing fields of litigation support and legal transactions, as well as in corporations and law firms, banks, courts, government agencies, title companies, accounting and engineering firms, medical offices and the construction industry.


  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for trained paralegals and legal assistants are projected to increase by almost 10 percent between 2014 and 2024.
  • Certificates provide evidence to current and potential employers of successful completion of a top-quality, noncredit educational program in preparation to join the paralegal field or for career advancement.
  • Out of 200 careers cited in a recent article, the paralegal profession rated second in overall employment satisfaction.
  • Successful program completion may qualify for contact hours from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is taught by attorney Kerry Doyle and attorney and Sparks Municipal Court Judge James Spoo — both of whom have extensive experience in Nevada’s state and federal courts and transactional law. Guest experts provide further orientation to law office procedure and functions, online research, trial preparation and presentation, and other topics.

This program is designed to meet the needs and abilities of a diverse range of students, from experienced paralegals to those with expertise in other careers and no prior legal experience. Students will enhance their existing skills and knowledge to an advanced level based on individual needs and abilities.

Participants will develop skills to accurately identify legal issues, research relevant law and apply the law to factual situations. Writing skills are developed in a highly effective practice-oriented approach from legal correspondence and memos through motion and pleading exercises.

Certificate Requirements:

To receive a certificate in Paralegal Studies, program participants must earn a passing score of 70 percent (or “C”) on each exam and written assignment. Satisfactory completion (pass/fail) of all exercises and 90 percent attendance also are required, as well as study between sessions. This program may be taken independently and requires no formal admission to the University.

Session I

  • Paralegalism
  • Access to the profession
  • Legal terminology
  • Becoming an informed consumer of legal services

Session II

  • Organization and structure of the Nevada legal system
  • Introduction to Nevada practice and procedure
  • Professional responsibilities and ethics

Session III

  • Civil procedure
  • Pleadings
  • Substantive law: family law

Session IV

  • Discovery
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Substantive law: torts and contracts
  • Appellate procedure

Session V

  • Primary and secondary authority
  • Case law research and analysis
  • Case citations
  • Website research

Session VI

  • Case briefing
  • Statutory research and analysis
  • Legislative process
  • Introduction to WestlawNext and LexisNexis Advance E-Discovery

Session VII

  • Principles of evidence
  • Interviews and investigations
  • Court rules
  • Scientific Trial Preparation
  • Trial process

Session VIII

  • Legal writing
  • Research based products
  • Model courtroom
  • Criminal Law
  • Mediation process
Course Section
Course: PARA 101-00
Term: 2182
Section Number: 1
Schedule Number: 2182PARA101
Instructor(s): James Spoo, J.D., Kerry Doyle, Esq.
Location: Redfield Campus, Redfield Campus RM 110
Dates: Feb. 10 & 11, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Feb. 24 & 25, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Mar. 3 & 4, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Mar. 17 & 18, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Mar. 24 & 25, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Apr. 7 & 8, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Apr. 21 & 22, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.); Apr. 28 & 29, 2018 (Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Units: Non-Credit
Contact Hours: 112.0 Contact Hours
Notes: Early registration fee $2,195 through Jan. 19, 2018; $2,395 after Jan. 19, 2018.

Fee includes tuition, course materials, parking, the textbook Paralegal Today: The Essentials, Seventh Edition, and a free three-hour business computer skills refresher course providing important Windows and Microsoft Word Essentials skills, including tips on pleadings for the various courts.