Professional and Continuing Education

Pawley Hall, Room 440G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3177
oupace@oakland.edu

Professional and Continuing Education

Pawley Hall, Room 440G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3177
oupace@oakland.edu

woman holding an open book, standing in a row of full bookshelves

Paralegal Certificate

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The one year, cohort-based, certificate evening program (non-credit) is for individuals interested in a paralegal career. OU's Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) through its Standing Committee on Legal Assistants. One of the first established in Michigan, Oakland University's Paralegal Program has maintained its ABA-approved status since its initial recognition in 1976.

Contact
Barb Lister-Tait, Program Director
blistertait@oakland.edu
248-370-4386.
Overview

The primary goal of the Paralegal Program at Oakland University is to introduce students to the study of law with emphasis on real-world applications and legal procedures. Classes are taught by attorneys, judges and qualified professionals who understand the role of the paralegal in modern legal practice. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15% growth in employment of paralegals and legal assistants between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for paralegals was $50,940 in May 2018. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects.

In an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency, businesses are hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. These organizations include but are not limited to: 

  • private law firms (largest organization to hire paralegals)
  • corporate legal departments
  • insurance companies
  • real estate and title insurance firms
  • banks
  • court houses

* Please be advised that paralegals may not offer legal services or advice directly to the public, except as permitted by law.  

Schedule and Pricing

This full time program consists of three, 14-week semesters. Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm each semester.  The cohort group will follow the schedule below:

Semester 1 – Ethics and Introduction to Law; Contracts; Torts

Semester 2 – Legal Research and Writing; Litigation; CALR- Computerized Legal Research (on-line)

Semester 3 – Special Topics; Special Topics; Internship – 100 hours (may be completed at your current work place.)  Special topics consists of probate, elder law, auto law and employment law.

COHORT #7

THIRD SEMESTER – MAY 5, 2020 – AUGUST 6, 2020

GRADUATION – AUGUST 20, 2020

  • EASTER IS APRIL 12, 2020

COHORT #8

ORIENTATION – APRIL 28, 2020

FIRST SEMESTER – MAY 5, 2020 – AUGUST 6, 2020

SECOND SEMESTER – SEPTEMBER 8, 2020-DECEMBER 17, 2020 or SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 – December 10, 2020

THIRD SEMESTER – JANUARY 5, 2021 – APRIL 6, 2021

GRADUATION APRIL 22, 2021

  • THANKSGIVING IS NOVEMBER 26, 2020
  • EASTER IS APRIL 4, 2021

TUITION

The cost of the one year Certificate in Paralegal Studies is $5,390.  Books and materials are a separate cost. While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment: 

 

Course Descriptions

The primary goal of the Paralegal Program at Oakland University is to introduce students to the study of law with emphasis on real-world applications and legal procedures. Classes are taught by attorneys, judges and qualified professionals who understand the role of the paralegal in modern legal practice. 

 

Ethics and Introduction to the Law

This course provides an overview of governmental organizations (including Michigan and federal court systems) and sources of law (including statutory law, common law and administrative law).

 

Substantive Law – Contracts

This course provides a comprehensive overview of contract law. 

 

Substantive Law - Torts

This course covers the basic law related to a civil wrong as it applies to personal and property damage. 

 

Legal Research and Writing I

This course provides knowledge of primary and secondary legal resources along with teaching the skills of legal writing. 

 

CALR (Computer Aided Legal Research)

Students will learn how to use electronic resources for solving advanced research problems. Students will review basic Microsoft Office skills, including Word, Excel, and Power Point. Students will also learn how to navigate various databases utilized in legal environments. 

 

Litigation: Case Preparation before Trial

Detailed study of pretrial case preparation: alternate dispute resolution; gathering and organization of materials; legal investigation; client interviewing; and drafting a complaint, an answer, and  affirmative defenses.

 

Internship

This course includes one class meeting and 100 hours law office experience.  Effective resume writing and job hunting skills are also covered.

 

SPECIAL TOPICS I

Auto Law – 7 weeks 

This course provides a basic understanding of the law as it relates to auto insurance.

 

Employment Law - 7 weeks

This course covers areas of the law that deal with employment relationships.  

 

SPECIAL TOPICS II

Probate - 7 weeks

This course examines the substantive, procedural, and practical aspects of probate law under EPIC (Michigan's Estate and Protected Individuals Code). 

 

Estate Planning - 7 weeks

This course provides an overview of the principles related to the control and disposition of property inter vivos and after death. 

Admission

To be admitted to the program, students must complete and submit an application: