- Program overview
- Why choose VCU
- Enrollment and financing
- Frequently asked questions
- About the paralegal industry
- Meet your instructors
- Paralegal industry resources
What's your next step?
February 6-July 18, 2024
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m.
Registration Fee: $4,995
Where: Live Online
Trying to determine if the VCU Paralegal Certificate is right for you? Our informational video may help.
The fact that paralegals perform a variety of tasks and are trained in advanced skills such as legal research and writing may surprise you. But it’s not a surprise to most lawyers. Paralegals have found the field satisfying, lucrative and replete with opportunity for growth. If you are thinking about becoming a part of this exciting field, you might be asking some of the following questions.
Why become a paralegal?
Paralegals are becoming an essential part of every successful law firm. Employment for paralegals is projected to grow faster than average because employers are managing costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once completed by lawyers. And law isn’t the only sector that utilizes paralegals; other fields include government, real estate and social services. Earning a paralegal certificate is the perfect entrée into this rewarding and growing field.
How do I obtain the qualifications needed to succeed in the paralegal field?
The demand for paralegals is high and will continue to grow in years to come, thus bringing a high level of competition in the paralegal market, especially in the Greater Richmond area and in other parts of Virginia. Those with a formal paralegal education and experience are more likely to succeed in the legal assistant role.
What do paralegals/legal assistants do?
The term paralegal and legal assistant are often used interchangeably. Paralegals perform many functions delegated by attorneys, including but not limited to the following:
- Conduct client interviews
- Locate and interview witnesses
- Conduct investigations and statistical and documentary research
- Conduct legal research
- Draft legal documents, correspondence and pleadings
- Summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimony
- Attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney
What employment options are available for paralegals?
One of the most exciting aspects of the paralegal profession is the diversity of employment opportunities. Here are some of the career choices available:
- Criminal law
- Workman’s compensation
- Construction defect
- Contract law
- Corporate law
- Real property
- Administrative law
- Court clerk
- Prosecutor’s office
- Public defender’s office
- Environmental law
Visit our Industry Resources page for additional information about the paralegal field.