The Online Paralegal Certificate

From UNC-Chapel Hill

Fast Track Your Paralegal Career

If you want to launch or advance your legal career, consider our online Paralegal Certificate Program. 

The market demand for paralegals is rising with a 14% projected employment growth rate by 2031.1 As a student in this certificate program, you’ll learn how to investigate fact patterns, conduct law-related research, and prepare cases for courtroom litigation.

You’ll graduate competitively positioned to pursue work as a paralegal in a law office or in related fields such as real estate, social services, and government. 

The North Carolina State Bar has designated UNC-Chapel Hill as a qualified paralegal studies program. Upon completion of the program, participants are eligible to take the North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Paralegal Certificate Program at a Glance

19 weeks to complete on a part-time schedule


Online classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and on Saturdays

Approximately 300 hours of academic engagement

Associate’s degree required

Paralegal Certificate Curriculum

Over the course of 19 weeks, students will learn the fundamentals of law, so they can successfully aid practicing attorneys as full-time paralegals. 

Course Highlights Outline

Students will complete the following courses: 

  • Paralegal skills — One course, with 80 in-class hours. Students learn the basics of being a paralegal including legal terminology, professional responsibility, legal ethics, federal and state court systems, legal writing, and more. 
  • Law courses — Five courses in total, with 16-20 in-class hours per course. Students study contracts, criminal law, family law, real estate and torts.
  • Survey courses — Two courses in total, with 4-8 in-class hours per course. Students study business organizations, wills, trusts and estates.

Admissions: Paralegal Certificate Program

Prospective participants are required to have at least an associate’s degree to enroll in the program. Prospective participants with international degrees must provide, at the time of registration, a copy of an international educational evaluation, if the degree was obtained from a foreign college or university.

Technology Requirements: 

  • Internet Access
  • Internet Browser (Google Chrome is recommended, but most will work)
  • Email address
  • Functioning camera, speakers and microphone (earbuds/headphones recommended)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (on the Adobe website, you can uncheck the “Optional Offers” and then click the “Download Acrobat Reader” button)
  • Zoom (you can download the application, or simply access class through your browser)
  • Microsoft Word or other word processing software

Review a complete list of application requirements and deadlines for the UNC-Chapel Hill Paralegal Certificate Program.

Boost Your Career Potential in the Paralegal Job Market

Earning a paralegal certificate at a reputable institution like UNC-Chapel Hill ensures a high-quality, foundational education in law, and helps you stand out to potential employers. Our graduates are the evidence. Read about the career opportunities they found after completing our Paralegal Certificate Program.

The Online Learning Experience

Students attend live Zoom classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings, and Saturdays, totaling 10 hours of class time per week. 

Outside of the virtual classroom, students complete at least 110 hours of study, which includes conducting research and preparing writing assignments. The certificate program totals approximately 300 hours of academic engagement.

Students also have the option to attend two Saturday sessions in person at the Friday Conference Center. For students who wish to attend Saturday sessions in person, snacks and lunch will be provided; for students unable to attend Saturday sessions in person, these sessions will also be streamed live on Zoom.

Hit the Ground Running as a UNC-Prepared Paralegal

With our Paralegal Certificate Program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a North Carolina Certified Paralegal — and a key member of any legal team. Let’s get to work. 

Ready to get started?

1Paralegals and Legal Assistants. (2022). Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 15, 2023. arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

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