Overview

This certificate program is approved by the American Bar Association and is designed to prepare students to perform effectively in today’s legal and business communities. The program trains men and women for professional status as lawyer’s assistants in corporations, banks, insurance companies, government agencies and law firms. The program provides students with a broad-based academic curriculum which emphasizes the skills, substantive knowledge and ethics a paralegal needs to assist lawyers effectively.

The work of the paralegal requires discretion and independent judgment. It is essential that a paralegal have strong writing ability, an analytical approach to organizing and reviewing material, and a foundation in computers and word processing. Although a paralegal always works under the supervision and direction of an attorney, it is important that he/or she be well-motivated and self-starting. While a paralegal can perform many of the tasks which have otherwise been performed by attorneys, a paralegal may not give legal advice, represent a client in court, or otherwise engage in the practice of law.

NHTI, Concord’s Community College’s (NHTI’s) graduates will be exposed during their course of studies to the legal system and the role of paralegals within the profession, the ethical rules governing lawyers and paralegals, and the operation of a law office. Through the course sequence in the certificate program, NHTI’s graduates will be:

  • able to assist in most aspects of legal research, and in the preparation of clear and concise legal writings, on a topic of their choosing;
  • introduced to Lexis/Nexis;
  • able to assist in virtually all phases of litigation and real property transactions;
  • able to assist in the formation, daily administration and dissolution of a corporate entity;
  • able to assist in the planning and administration of a decedent’s estate;
  • prepared to assist in the drafting of pleadings and in the completion of preliminary research in the area of family law;
  • exposed to the various elements of New Hampshire criminal practice and procedure.

This program is available evenings only. This program is financial aid eligible. 

Specific Admission Requirements

  • 45 college credits in general education courses from an accredited institution (consistent with the requirements of the American Bar Association, which approves this Certificate).
    • 18 of these credits must meet distribution and content requirements designated by the ABA, in at least three (3) different disciplines such as English, foreign languages, humanities, mathematics and natural science.
  • Two confidential letters of reference (download a reference form in PDF format or call (603) 230-4011 to request a copy in print).
  • Two-hundred word essay regarding reasons for choosing the Paralegal Program (used to help evaluate writing skills).
  • Submit official high school and college transcripts.

Internship Considerations

The college must ensure that individuals (customers, employees, etc.) at internship and service learning sites are not adversely affected by students during learning experiences. Therefore, students participating in internship and field experiences must demonstrate the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgement, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships with employees, customers and clients.

Character Expectations

Applicants should be aware that background checks are completed by potential employers prior to obtaining any position with arrest or detention powers, and typically, even before being accepted for an internship. Applicants who have been in difficulty with the law may not be employable, or even eligible for an internship. Because future goals may be compromised, applicants are advised to discuss any concerns with the Department Chair.

Paralegal Studies Certificate

Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
PLGL 101CFoundations of Paralegal Studies202
PLGL 103CCauses of Action in Contract and Tort202
PLGL 104CLegal Research+303
PLGL 110CLitigation and Trial Preparation303
PLGL 221CReal Estate303
PLGL 231CBusiness Organizations and Bankruptcy303
PLGL 241CFamily Law101
PLGL 251CProbate Estates and Trusts303
PLGL 261CCriminal Process101
PLGL 270CInternship (Optional)093
PLGL 271CLegal Writing101
TOTAL CREDITS22-25

+ A $125 fee will be assessed for all students taking PLGL 104C. This fee will cover costs associated with ABA dues, Lexis/Nexis, and UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law LIbrary.

CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
CR – Number of credit hours for the course

22-25 Credits Required

55-60%

of students qualify for financial aid