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StartArticles20 Free online paralegal courses

20 Free online paralegal courses

Free online paralegal courses. You can get a foot in the door of this prominent industry with an associate degree in paralegal studies. Employers currently prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees, but since paralegal studies only provide a small number of bachelor’s degrees, the normal route is to acquire a bachelor’s in another subject, such business administration or English, and then add a paralegal studies certificate on top of that. The easiest and most practical approach to get qualified for legal work is to obtain an online paralegal certificate. Law firms, business legal departments, and governmental organizations are just a few of the places where paralegals and legal assistant’s work. Paralegals made an average of $52,920 per year in 2020.

This is considerably more than the typical compensation for secretaries and office staff, who carry out many of the same duties as paralegals but lack the specific skills and training. The fact that paralegals are capable of performing a lot of the support work for attorneys beyond simple secretarial duties allows law firms to save money, which explains the promising forecast for job development in this industry. A few fortunate people who have already landed a job working in a law office may be able to improve in their current position by taking on more challenging activities to support attorneys in a variety of cases with the help of an online paralegal school or specialized degree.

A wonderful approach to grow in the legal industry and increase your income while working in a legal department or another profession is to enroll in an online paralegal certificate program.

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20 Free online paralegal courses

1. America’s Unwritten Constitution

  • Yale

The Yale Law School offers a free online legal course called “America’s Unwritten Constitution.” The course offers a useful overview of the fundamental methods of constitutional interpretation. The following are only a few of the subjects covered on the syllabus: “Reading Between the Lines,” “Heeding the Deed,” and “Confronting Modern Case Law.” The entire course can be taken entirely online, there are no set completion dates, and it takes roughly 17 hours to complete.

2. American Contract Law I

The first module of a free online course from Yale University through Coursera is titled American Contract Law I. It is especially beneficial for paralegals who prepare and file contracts as part of their duties. The steps involved in creating a legal contract are covered in this introductory online course. It outlines the essential components of an enforceable contract, such as:

  • the offer
  • acceptance
  • consideration
  • promissory estoppel

The course takes about 20 hours to complete and is entirely online with flexible deadlines.

3. Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice

  • Harvard University

Child Protection: The free online course Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice is provided by Harvard University through edX. It’s perfect for the family law paralegal. This online course for beginners covers:

  • The effects of abuse and violence on children
  • The methods for analyzing global child protection challenges.
  • The requirements for children’s safety when they interact with the law.

The course requires 1-3 hours per week for 28 weeks and is entirely online. Deadlines are flexible.

4. Communication Skills and Teamwork

  • Fullbridge

Anyone with a vocation involving communication, including paralegals, will benefit from the free online course “Communication Skills and Teamwork.” Fullbridge makes it available through edX. This introductory course guides learners through producing and delivering:

  • Superior communications
  • Strengthening their soft skills
  • Efficiently managing teams and collaborating with them

The entire course can be completed in about four weeks, and the deadlines are flexible.

5. Contract Law: From Trust to Promise to Contract

  • Harvard University

Contract Law:

Harvard University is making a free online course available through edX called From Trust to Promise to Contract. For individuals who frequently work with contracts, it’s ideal. Topics covered in this online course at the intermediate level include:

  • The distinctions between promises, trusts, and contracts
  • Establishing agreements through legal offers and acceptances
  • Issues justifying breach of contract.
  • Remedy for contract infringement

The course can be finished in three to six hours each week over the course of eight weeks and is entirely online.

6. Corporate & Commercial Law I: Contracts & Employment Law

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Corporate & Commercial Law I: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a free online course, the first section of which is titled Contracts & Employment Law. It is accessible through Coursera. The best candidates for this intermediate-level course are paralegals employed by businesses that specialize in employment and contract law. Participants will be able to recognize and apply the main legal concepts regulating diverse business scenarios by the end of the course. The course has flexible deadlines and is entirely online. It takes roughly 23 hours to finish.

7. Creative Problem Solving

  • University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is providing a free online course on creative problem solving through Coursera. It’s perfect for paralegals and anyone else who needs to exercise critical thought. This beneficial online course employs:

  • Creativity-boosting activities
  • Brief lectures
  • Readings

To assist pupils in creating different notions and ideas in order to solve challenges. The course may be finished in roughly 14 hours, is entirely online, and offers flexible deadlines.

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8. Data Privacy Fundamentals

  • Northeastern University

Northeastern University via Coursera is providing a free online course titled “Data Privacy Fundamentals.” For the paralegal who frequently deals with privacy regulations, it is perfect. This introductory course covers:

  • Various data privacy theories
  • Social media with artificial intelligence and data privacy
  • Regarding monitoring and modern technology, among other considerations, data privacy

The entire course can be completed in around nine hours and has flexible deadlines.

9. English for Effective Business Writing

  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The paralegal who wants to improve their written English should take English for Effective Business Writing. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is the provider through Coursera. This course, which is a part of a larger Business English series, is taught entirely in English. While practicing proper vocabulary, grammar, and various business writing genres, students will learn to write expert business documents. The course can be finished in about 24 hours, is entirely online, and has flexible deadlines.

10. FinTech Law and Policy

  • Duke University

Free online instruction in FinTech Law and Policy is provided by Duke University through Coursera. It’s ideal for paralegals who work in the rapidly changing field of financial technology. Students who enroll in this introductory course will gain knowledge of the significant legal, policy, and regulatory issues related to:

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Lending online
  • Cryptocurrency offerings
  • Among other things, new wealth management technologies

The course can be finished in about nine hours, offers flexible deadlines, and is entirely online.

11. Health, Housing, and Educational Services

  • Columbia University

Free online instruction in health, housing, and educational services is provided by Columbia University through Coursera. It’s perfect for paralegals handling matters involving:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Immigration

This introductory course examines these crucial concerns from a legal and social perspective. The entire course may be completed in around 19 hours, has flexible deadlines, and is entirely online.

12. Hot Topics in Criminal Justice

  • Vanderbilt University

Free online instruction in health, housing, and educational services is provided by Columbia University through Coursera. It’s perfect for paralegals handling matters involving:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Immigration

This introductory course examines these crucial concerns from a legal and social perspective. The entire course may be completed in around 19 hours, has flexible deadlines, and is entirely online.

13. Inequality and Democracy

  • Utrecht University

Free online instruction in inequality and democracy is provided by Utrecht University through Coursera. Any paralegal would find it ideal. Everything from property rights and corporations to tax evasion and capital flight, campaign financing and lobbying, and everything in between is covered in this introductory course. It is viewed from the standpoint that inequality is growing in the majority of countries around the world. The course may be finished in around 20 hours, is entirely online, and is taught in English.

14. Intellectual Property Law

  • University of Pennsylvania

Through the website Coursera, Penn is providing a free online course on intellectual property law. For paralegals involved in or interested in intellectual property, it is ideal. This course at the intermediate level covers:

  • How intellectual property is protected in the United States.
  • The methods used to examine and interpret patent documents.
  • The methods that can be used to protect brands and other innovative ideas.

The entire course may be completed in about four months, has flexible deadlines, and is entirely online.

15. Intellectual Property Law and Policy: Part I

  • University of Pennsylvania

The first of a two-part course on intellectual property law and policy is being made available through edX by the University of Pennsylvania. Any paralegal who has to stay current on changing intellectual property law should use it. The following overviews are given to students in this intermediate-level course:

  • Law on intellectual property
  • Law governing patents.
  • Some of the political effects of intellectual property

The course requires between two and three hours of work per week for six weeks, is entirely online, and may be completed at one’s own leisure.

16. An Introduction to American Law

  • University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is providing a free online course called “An Introduction to American Law” through Coursera. It’s ideal for those who are thinking about or have just started a paralegal career. Six significant areas of American law are introduced to students in this introductory-level online course:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Property
  • Tort Law

The course is entirely online, has a nine-hour completion time, and flexible deadlines.

17. Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC at Chapel Hill offers this free course on environmental law and policy via the website Coursera. Included in the syllabus are topics such as property and the environment, common-law approaches to environmental issues, and risk analysis and toxic substances. The course takes about 15 hours to complete.

18. Introduction to Intellectual Property

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is providing a free online course on intellectual property through Coursera. For the paralegal handling intellectual property, it is ideal. This online course is for beginners.

  • Explains the several types of intellectual property protection that are available in the United States.
  • Examines successful intellectual property tactics.
  • Among other things, analyzes alternatives to traditional intellectual property protections.

The first of four intellectual property law courses are being offered here. It is taught entirely online and takes 16 hours to finish.

19. Introduction to International Criminal Law

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University via Coursera is providing a free online course titled Introduction to International Criminal Law. For anyone involved in or interested in criminal law, it is ideal. Students in this online course at the beginning level are given an introduction to subjects like:

  • war crimes
  • terrorism
  • piracy
  • torture

Additionally, students will learn about the capture and prosecution of criminal individuals. The course may be finished in roughly 12 hours, offers flexible deadlines, and is entirely online.

20. Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases

University of Pennsylvania

A free online course is available called Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases. For paralegals and anybody else working in the legal field, it offers useful background knowledge. Penn is providing it through Coursera. In this introductory course, students learn about:

  • The history of the Constitution
  • The characteristics and organization of the federal government
  • Numerous significant Supreme Court decisions

The course may be finished in around six hours, is entirely online, and offers flexible deadlines.

Conclusion

Online paralegal education can help prospective professionals hone essential job skills. Students can investigate areas of personal interest like corporate, environmental, or personal injury law through online paralegal courses. In a 2022 Reuters survey, more over 50% of law students indicated they preferred online learning to in-person instruction.

Online paralegal courses are offered by a number of notable institutions and universities and open courseware websites. Online paralegal courses don’t count toward a paralegal degree, but they can help students become more knowledgeable about the law. Online paralegal courses are available for professionals to complete their continuing legal education (CLE) obligations.

FAQS on Free online paralegal courses

Should I Pursue a Career as a Paralegal?

Whether you choose to be a paralegal is entirely up to you, but comparing your skills and interests to legal work might be useful. It is advantageous for paralegals to have strong verbal and written communication skills. Additionally, this work requires a lot of planning. Being flexible is also advantageous because you'll be reporting to your lawyer and other legal experts. Working as a paralegal could be enjoyable for you if getting involved in cases interests you. If you have the necessary credentials, you might be able to pursue a career in the area of law that most appeals to you, whether it be criminal, family, civil, or environmental law.

You might not have to sit at a desk all day, depending on your job and place of employment. The employment future for paralegals is also promising, with employment increasing significantly more quickly than the national average.

What Degree Do You Need to Be a Paralegal?

Several school programs can be used to seek a paralegal career. A bachelor's degree and paralegal certification are common among practicing paralegals. Some of them have associate's degrees in paralegal studies. Others have managed to get employment even with merely a paralegal certificate. A bachelor's or master's degree is not required for the duties of a paralegal. Training and improvement of legal abilities, including writing, research, and technology, can be found in certification programs. Any additional knowledge in legal subjects can enhance your job prospects. Making sure that paralegal school programs have received American Bar Association approval might also assist you get employment as a paralegal.

What Is the Time Commitment to Becoming a Paralegal?

The paralegal educational programs you choose will affect how long it takes you to become one. Many people don't consider becoming paralegals until they have already enrolled in school. Others start law school immediately following high school. Even though you can get your certificate in as little as six months, many people decide to keep going to school to increase their employment options. You'll probably need to dedicate an additional two years of study time if you decide to pursue an associate's degree.

A paralegal studies bachelor's degree typically requires four years to complete. You don't need an associate's or bachelor's degree in law to work as a paralegal. You can become a paralegal with the appropriate training and certification.

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