The Duke Paralegal Studies Program is a comprehensive course of study designed to train students in the aspects of the profession most in demand and most desired by attorneys. The program has been designated as a “qualified program” by the NC State Bar and graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the NC State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam.
The program meets several nights a week over 5 months for a total of 300 course hours. The skill-based format of the Duke Paralegal Program provides students with practical training in preparation for the workplace. When students finish our program they are ready to enter the workforce as a paralegal. Each student finishes the program with a client file filled with documents prepared as part of their studies. The client file will serve as a showpiece during interviews and provide students with an end product that represents the skills they acquired through their studies in the program.
Essential Skills for Paralegals
- Fundamentals of the Profession
- Evidence and Investigation
- Legal Research and Writing
- Pleadings and Discovery
- Motion Practice
- The Legal Environment
- The Law Office
- Legal Ethics
- North Carolina Courts
- Federal Courts
- Legal Technology
- Extra-Judicial Processes
Substantive Legal Studies
Contract Law - – An introduction to basic Contract Law, this course introduces students to fundamental contract theory and terminology. Topics covered include contract formation, modification, breach, and remedies. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify key theoretical concepts and apply simple analysis to contract problems.
Tort Law - Tort Law deals with a class of civil wrongs or harms to people or property. Students in this class will learn about negligence actions, intentional torts, and the process of civil litigation. Emphasis will be placed on the practical skills that paralegals need to help attorneys prepare to prosecute or defend civil matters from pre-filing through trial to post-trial motions.
Family Law - Students will embark upon exploration of Family Law to: (1) understand the fundamental elements of Family Law, (2) identify core legal issues within the field, and (3) understand the duties of the paralegal in the Family and Matrimonial arena.
Real Property Law - This course has two main goals: to familiarize students with the basic concepts of Property Law and to introduce students to the practice of title searches and loan closings. The study of Real Property Law provides a basis for the work in a Real Estate practice. At the end of this course, successful students will be able to conduct their own title search from a home computer and be ready to understand the workings of a real estate firm.
The course curriculum described is for the classroom-based program.
To be considered for admission, candidates for this program must meet the following requirements. Please note that students must attest in the Program Policy that the first four requirements are true in their case.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be fluent in the English language (including speaking, reading and writing).
- Possess word processing and internet skills.
- Have an email account and regular access to a computer.
- Hold either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Upon notification of admission to the program, an official sealed transcript must be submitted. For degrees earned outside of the US, proof of equivalency to a US degree will need to be provided by World Education Services (WES) in place of a transcript. WES must be contacted directly by the applicant.
- After being approved and upon registration in the program, be able to pay the tuition fee in full or in accordance with the payment plan loan options as described below. Payment can be made online 24/7 with a credit card or can be made by cashier’s check or money order made payable to Duke University. Student loans are another option for funding. Please see the funding sources in the Tuition & Funding section for more information about loans and government payment options. Duke Continuing Studies must be notified of approved loans by the established registration deadline.
Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of any student or applicant.
Applies Towards the Following Certificates
- Certificate in Paralegal Studies : Required Course