Besides the paralegal certificate, what other certificates are offered at the Center for Legal Studies? For one, they’re all interesting. Some of the courses that are offered are family law, so you can learn about working in a family law office, and what paralegals do in family law.
There is also victim advocacy, which is really popular right now. Victim advocates are used in every police department, district attorney’s office, they help people who have been victims of crimes. They usually go to the crime scene, they hook up with the victim, and they stay with them throughout the entire process, which is a really interesting area of the law. Victim advocates are also trained one how you connect with the people. It’s in our certificate course. It tells you when you first get there what you’re supposed to do, how to investigate, how to take notes, and figure out what you’re supposed to do, it tells you everything that you need to know to help people through the process.
Then there’s other courses that are available. There’s an estate planning course. It tells you how to do wills, trusts, and estates. Most of the time you’ll be working under the supervision of an attorney, but you’ll be able to draft the documents, you’ll be able to figure out what assets need to be protected in a trust, there’s examples of how it’s done, and when you’re done, you can go and work in a law firm where they do wills, trusts, and estates.
There is also a nursing program that you can learn how to use nursing. There’s also alternative dispute resolution, which is a really good one, and people are very interested in that at this time. It’s about mediation, and arbitration, and learning what things are done, and all the different kinds of alternative dispute resolution. There’s paralegals are used in that, that they help the attorney prepare to go to mediation. They can help draft the documents, help get ready, compile everything, and then they can go to the mediation with the attorney, and they can talk about these are the rules for mediation. This is how it’s done. A lot of times you’ll help draft some questions to ask during mediation.
In criminal law, if you take the criminal law course at the Center for Legal Studies, then you would learn how to help people who have been accused of a crime. A lot of times, you might do legal research to try to find out what has happened in cases like this before, what are the legal precedents, which means what happened before. What have courts decided? What sort of defense would you have? You would learn how to talk to clients about their criminal case. You would learn how to find a defense, draft a defense, what is a defense, how is it plead, what happens when you go to trial in a criminal case. All of those things are covered in the course, and it’s real interesting.