Successful business womanThe Paralegal Institute offers an opportunity for you to add a competitive edge to your pursuit of a position in the Paralegal field by offering an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program. We also offer Paralegal Continuing Education programs that can help you keep that competitive edge as you pursue advanced career opportunities.

Program Overview

The Paralegal Institute offers an additional opportunity for you to add a competitive edge to your pursuit of the best available position in the Paralegal field by offering paralegal programs like the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies.

Students must successfully complete the same courses outlined in the Paralegal Certificate program, as well as the five specialty courses of 15 credit hours. To complete the requirements for earning an associate degree in Paralegal Studies, students are required to take 5 general education courses (or transfer credits showing completion and competence in these courses passing with a C or better). The Associate Degree of Paralegal Studies program is composed of 60 semester hours and 2,700 clock hours, which include the general education courses of 15 semester hours.


We offer open enrollment within our Paralegal programs, thus you may register at any time. Completion of the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program depends solely on the study schedule you set for yourself. We recommend that you maintain a consistent submission of lessons.The Paralegal Institute gives you up to 2 years to complete the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program.

Once you successfully complete the first 10 courses outlined below, you will be eligible to sit for the National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA) Certification Exam.

Core Program

  • Paralegal Today
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Analysis and Writing
  • Litigation and Trial Practice
  • Administrative Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Real Property
  • Criminal Law
  • Torts: Personal Injury Litigation
  • Contracts

Specialty Courses

Choose 5 courses in your area of interest:

  • Domestic Relations
  • Trusts, Wills, and Estate Administration
  • Immigration Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Bankruptcy
  • Social Security Disability

General Education Courses

  • English
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Business Management
  • Mathematics Essentials
  • Psychology

Paralegal Associate Degree Program Total Credits: 60

Course Outline

What courses are in the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program?

The following courses are included in the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program. Courses are released one at a time to maximize learning. The Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program has a total of 60 credit hours. Each course must be completed in 8 weeks.

Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies Core Courses

Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
 LGS 100 Paralegal Today 3 Credit Hours
This course is the core of the Paralegal program. Students will learn the past, present, and future of the paralegal profession, including the paralegal defined, educational options, techniques for marketing skills and career opportunities. Instruction on ethics and professional responsibility, the organizational structure of the legal workplace, and office culture and politics will prepare students for the challenges of today’s paralegal. Students receive a formal introduction to law by examining sources of American law, the court system and alternative dispute resolution, substantive law in its various forms, as well as administrative law and government regulation. Legal procedures and advanced skills involving civil litigation and trial procedures, criminal law, conducting interviews and investigations, using primary and secondary sources to legal research, the emerging technology of computer-assisted legal research, in addition to legal analysis and writing, provide valuable insight and a solid foundation for the future legal assistant.
LGS 108 Legal Research 3 Credit Hours
This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal research. The student will learn research tools and techniques necessary to find the actual law, but also how to use the various secondary materials that assist in the research process. Some of the topics covered are case reporters, digests, codes, annotated codes, annotated reporters, citators, loose-leaf services, legal encyclopedias, treatises and computerized research services. As part of the course, students enrolled in Legal Research receive a subscription to Westlaw online legal library. Students have the opportunity to take a series of tutorials to learn effective online research skills. Upon successful completion, students receive a Paralegal Training Certificate from Thomson-West.
LGS 208 Legal Analysis and Writing 3 Credit Hours
A requisite for the capable legal assistant is the ability to prepare professional legal documents. This comprehensive course provides the student with in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of legal analysis and writing. Students will first examine an overview of the legal system, including analytic principles and the legal process. They will learn the specifics of legal analysis, including statutory analysis, case law and briefing, identifying and stating the issue, case application, and counter analysis. Emphasis on application of these key principles in legal writing will allow students to prepare interoffice memorandums, court briefs, and general legal correspondence. Students have the opportunity to take a series of tutorials to learn effective online research skills. Upon successful completion, students receive a Paralegal Training Certificate from Thomson-West.
LGS 110 Litigation and Trial Practice 3 Credit Hours
This course provides comprehensive coverage of the civil litigation practice for paralegals. It provides detailed information on the litigation process from the pre-suit investigation to the appeal. Special emphasis is made on the role of the lawyer and those responsibilities that may be delegated to the legal assistant. Attention is given to litigation principles, lawyer and client relationship and ethics, gathering evidence, deposition, preparation for a civil trial, structure of a civil trial, judgments, and appeals.
LGS 200 Administrative Law 3 Credit Hours
This course explores the continuing growth of administrative law and regulations, which makes this course fundamental and essential to most law practices. The course covers the delegation of authority to agencies, legislation oversight, judicial review, disclosure of information, the administrative process, procedural due process, formal adjudication, rules and rule-making, obtaining judicial review, and more.
LGS 206 Business Organizations 3 Credit Hours
This course prepares paralegal students for the practical aspects of the law of business organizations. It covers all issues that are typically encountered in working with business clients. Topics include the types of business organizations, formation of a corporation, corporate financial structure, employment and compensation, operating and maintaining business entities.
LGS 102 Domestic Relations 3 Credit Hours
This course prepares paralegal students for the area of family law. Students are introduced to the legal principles and processes involved in the law of marriage, divorce, separation, support, custody and visitation, annulment and adoption, and tax consequences of separation and divorce. Students learn to draft common agreements, pleadings, and other documents applicable to these topics.
LGS 103 Criminal Law 3 Credit Hours
This course explores the general principles of criminal liability, the defenses to criminal liability, and the elements of crimes against persons, property, and society, while it encourages critical thinking about these topics. Special emphasis is given to both the law and the procedural aspects of criminal justice.
LGS 204 Real Property 3 Credit Hours
This course is directed toward the training and practice of legal assistants in the area of modern real estate transactions. Topics covered are property ownership, surveys and legal descriptions of real property, easements, contract forms and standard provisions found in real estate contracts, deeds, real estate finance, real estate lending, mortgages and foreclosures, title examinations and title insurance, real estate closings, condominiums, cooperatives and time-shares, and residential and commercial leases.
LGS 106 Trusts, Wills, and Estate Administration 3 Credit Hours
This course focuses on the basics of property law and its application to the main theme of wills, trusts, and estate administration. The laws that govern construction and administration of wills and trusts are covered in detail along with the roles of various participants in the process. Students will learn to develop an estate plan to dispose of assets and diminish or eliminate estate taxes through the effective use of wills and trusts. Ethics is addressed to prepare the paralegal student for the necessity to adhere to a prescribed set of rules and guidelines that will apply to their work.
LGS 107 Contracts 3 Credit Hours
This course provides paralegal students with a well-organized, functional approach to the law of contracts. Paralegal students learn an approach for analyzing contract problems that they will need for their professional assignments. Topics include the type of law to apply to contract transactions, when a contract is formed, when it is enforceable, a plaintiff’s allegation of breach, a defendant’s response to an allegation of breach, and the remedies available for a breach of contract.

Associate Degree in Paralegal Specialty Courses

Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
LGS 301 Torts: Personal Injury Litigation 3 Credit Hours
This course explores civil wrongs, and your studies will illustrate and explain the different types of tort recoveries that are allowed by law. Students learn the elements required to prove each tort, and defenses that may be posed, and a step-by-step strategy for the preparation and settlement for each type of action. Topics include tort theory based upon negligence, products liability, libel, slander, and malpractice.
LGS 207 Bankruptcy Law 3 Credit Hours
This course gives a brief history of bankruptcy law, research aids, alternatives to bankruptcy, a discussion of the role of the various parties involved in the bankruptcy process, and an overview concerning eligibility and the selection of the appropriate bankruptcy chapter under which a bankruptcy should be filed. Emphasis is placed on the paralegal’s role in the fact-gathering process and the interface with clients.
LGS 205 Social Security Disability 3 Credit Hours
This course provides insight to the disability appeals process and complex administrative procedures that ultimately appear before a federal administrative law judge. Students will learn to understand and apply key legal issues in the successful representation of clients before the Social Security Administration generally, and the Office of Hearing and Appeals specifically.
LGS 202 Environmental Law 3 Credit Hours
An increasing demand for understanding environmental law and policy issues exists today. From the history of environmental law, to the ethics and issues underlying policy making, this course provides an overview of the role other areas of law play in the development and implementation of these policies. Students will receive an introduction to law and the legal system including court structure and civil procedure. They will learn principles of American property law and examine common law theories and remedies for environmental harms and liabilities, as well as land use and regulation and constitutional issues in environmental regulation.
LGS 201 Immigration Law 3 Credit Hours
This course covers the law of immigration and the changes that have taken place in immigration law since September 11, 2001. It walks the student through the entire background, process, and tools essential for a legal professional’s mastery of immigration law.
LGS 203 Intellectual Property 3 Credit Hours
This course covers four fields of intellectual property law: trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. It covers topics such as the duration of rights, protection from infringement, and new and international developments in each field.

Associate Degree in Paralegal General Education Courses

Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ENG 201  English 3 Credit Hours
This course is designed to develop your ability to write clearly. Emphasis is on effective writing and revising techniques, including purpose, organization, and mechanics. Various modes and strategies of descriptive, narrative, and illustrative essays are covered. The culminating assignment is a research paper.
COM 110 Communication and Speech 3 Credit Hours
This course teaches the basics of communication principles and concepts. Topics include foundations of communication, interpersonal communications and problem solving, communicating in groups and in public, and developing and delivering persuasive and informative speeches.
BUS 202 Principles of Management 3 Credit Hours
This course is designed to help the manager develop insight, sensitivity, and an improved understanding of people; assist organizational leaders in maintaining and improving the organizational climate; and assist present and future managers in understanding and improving motivations.
MTH 101  Principles of Mathematics 3 Credit Hours
This course is a basic review of mathematical skills, including terminology, checking accounts, taxes, payroll, and step-by-step approaches. This course will help you develop math skills used in personal and business applications.
PSY 201 Psychology 3 Credit Hours
This course presents the theories and principles of modern psychology. You will learn about the different branches of psychology and the practical application of psychological tenets to functional behavior.

Tuition & Fees

The total price for the The Paralegal Institute’s Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies program is $8,550.

Total Tuition $7,500
Enrollment Fee $100
Resource Fee $950
Total Sales Price $8,550

Payment Plans

  • Full Payment Plan: Pay in full for a total program price of  $8,050. Save $500!
  • Private Student Loan: Finance your education with low down payments and customized terms!

All academic and financial obligations to the school must be made prior to release of final transcripts and diploma. For full admission requirements visit Admission Procedures.



Enrollment Fee $100
Change of Program $50
Additional Transcript $10
Late Payment $25
Returned Check / Declined Credit Card $25
Academic Extension* $500
Re-Admission Fee $200


Unless a third-party funding source is covering your material costs, you are responsible for purchasing your own textbooks and/or materials. You can purchase from any vendor of your choosing and Brighton College will supply you with a list of preferred vendors that offer competitive pricing. We recommend purchasing textbooks one course at a time since updated versions are  released periodically. The estimated cost based on our ebook supplier is $1,177 for this program. This price may vary depending on the vendor you choose.

Proctored Exams

All associate degree students are required to take two proctored exams through an online proctoring service, ProctorU, as required in specific courses. Proctored exams are open-book and only course material, course resources, and personal notes may be used. Students may not use Google or any other online search options to locate answers during proctored exams. A webcam is required to complete proctored tests. For students who do not have access to a webcam, they may check with the local library, community centers, and recreational centers for availability. Active duty and deployed service members may request proctoring through a military education officer or test control officer. If necessary, a proctored exam may be done in person with a non-affiliated individual such as an administrator, librarian, counselor, or human resource personnel. In-person proctored exams require approval from the Student Services Manager prior to taking the exam.

Transfer credits that cover a proctored exam course, will be considered on a case-by-case basis and alternate courses will be established upon enrollment as warranted.