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Online Paralegal Certificate Program

When you choose Pace University for your paralegal education, you open the door to a future filled with opportunities and professional growth.

Whether you're looking to advance your career or embark on a new professional journey, Pace's online paralegal certificate program offers a comprehensive and flexible learning experience tailored to your needs. Benefit from expert instruction, gain practical skills, and build a strong foundation in paralegal studies, all while enjoying the convenience of online learning. Join a vibrant community of aspiring paralegals, immerse yourself in real-world legal scenarios, and complete the program prepared to excel in a competitive job market.

About Pace’s Paralegal Certificate Program

Our flexible, asynchronous program allows you to earn your paralegal certificate in 15 weeks while continuing to work full-time. The program is taught by experienced faculty from Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law, practicing attorneys, and paralegals to ensure that you receive the best practical skills and preparation.

A paralegal certificate is a valuable credential and earning one demonstrates that you have the knowledge needed as well as the confidence to begin working in the legal field.

Paralegal Certificate Program Curriculum

Our innovative asynchronous program is meticulously designed, offering 12 comprehensive modules that provide you with essential practical skills and the preparation needed to thrive as a working paralegal. Dive into the fundamentals of the legal world through our structured curriculum, which spans one to two weeks per module.

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Course Details

  • Type: Online-Asynchronous
  • Status: Open
  • Class #: 12015752
  • CRN: 90414
  • When: February 19–May 31, 2024
  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $4,200.00
    • Module One: February 19–23 | Introduction to US Law
    • Module Two: February 26–March 1 | Civil Practice
    • Module Three:
      • March 4–March 8 | Professional Ethics
      • March 11–March 15 | Professional Ethics Cont’d.
    • Module Four: March 18–March 22 | Legal Technologies
    • Module Five:
      • March 25–March 29 | Legal Research
      • April 1–April 5 | Legal Research Cont’d.
    • Module Six: April 8–12 | Legal Writing
    • Module Seven: April 15–19 | Business Law
    • Module Eight:
      • April 22–26 | Criminal Law
      • April 29–May 3 | Criminal Law
    • Module Nine: May 5–9 | Criminal Procedure
    • Module Ten: May 13–17 | Real Estate Law
    • Module Eleven: May 20–24 | Family Law
    • Module Twelve: May 27–31 | Surrogacy
  • Introduction to US Law
    In this module, students will be introduced to the basic structures and processes of the legal system of the United States. Students will become familiar with the following: the basic roles of lawyers and paralegals in that system; knowledge of the dual systems of federal and state law; understanding the differences between legislation, case law, Constitutions, and other sources of American law; knowledge of the various branches of government, the separation of their powers, and the checks and balances each governmental branch applies against the others; understanding of the fundamental differences between criminal and civil law; knowledge of the fundamental processes of both civil and criminal litigation.

    Civil Practice
    In this class, students will be introduced to theory and practice of civil law. Students should expect to achieve the following learning objectives and outcomes: Basic knowledge and understanding of legal writing; basic knowledge and understanding of legal analysis and reasoning, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context (including oral advocacy related to motion practice); understanding the basic requirements for drafting written legal documents (including Complaint/Answer, discovery requests and responses, motions, and legal briefs).

    Professional Ethics
    In this module, students will be introduced to the rules of professional ethics and responsibility that bind all lawyers and, by proxy, all paralegals who work alongside of lawyers. Students will become familiar with (inter alia): the duty of diligent representation of clients; the competent representation of clients; the duty of loyalty to both current and former clients; the duty to communicate all matters relevant to the client; the duty to preserve confidential information of the client; the duty to avoid conflicts of interest that might interfere with loyal and diligent representation of the client; the duty of candor and honesty to the court, to third parties, and to other counsel. In other words, this module will familiarize students with the basic ethical rules of client-centered representation in the legal profession, as well as the obligations of lawyers and their paralegals as “officers of the court.”

    Legal Technologies
    Legal Technologies is a one-week module that will introduce students to the types of tasks they may be asked to complete using technology when working as paralegals. It will introduce some common technological tools they can expect to encounter in the workforce, discuss what they’re used for, and provide a basic overview of how to use them.

    Legal Research
    This module explores fundamental purposes of legal research. It provides context for paralegal work and key legal terms, as well as an opportunity for legal vocabulary building that will assist students in the workplace. Students will gain an understanding of the structure of the New York State and federal court systems. Developing skills in locating cases, statutes and other sources of law and law-related data, students will also acquire the basics of how legal materials are cited, and technical facility in how to go about researching with a variety of online tools.

    Legal Writing
    In this class, students will be introduced to the theory and practice of civil law. Students should expect to achieve the following learning objectives and outcomes: basic knowledge and understanding of civil law and practice; basic knowledge and understanding of legal analysis and reasoning, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context (including oral advocacy related to motion practice); understanding the basic requirements for drafting written legal documents (including Complaint/Answer, discovery requests and responses, motions, and legal briefs); and basic understanding of the concepts and skills of effective client interviewing and ethical advocacy.

    Business Law
    By the conclusion of the business law module, students are expected to exhibit a fundamental grasp of diverse business structures and their practical application in daily responsibilities within a potential law firm. Following the completion of lectures and a thorough review of associated materials in the business law module, each student is required to respond to a combination of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. These questions aim to assess the students' understanding of the foundational principles of business law, including their ability to comprehend various business structures and their corresponding implications, both advantageous and disadvantageous.

    Criminal Procedures
    In this module, students will be introduced to the nuts and bolts of criminal procedure in the courthouse (otherwise known as “Adjudication”). Students will become familiar with the basics of: bail and arraignments (i.e., the first time a criminal defendant appears before a judge); pleas of guilty; the prosecutor’s filing of accusatory instruments (e.g., felony complaints, misdemeanor complaints, felony indictments, etc.); the criminal system’s various approaches to case screening; discovery law and practice; pre-trial motion practice; the requirements of a “speedy trial”; plea bargaining; pre-trial hearings; the criminal trial itself; and the sentencing of convicted defendants.

    Criminal Law
    In this module, students will be introduced to the basics of Criminal Law in the US system. Students will become familiar with: the fundamental features of the US criminal system; the most common participants in that system; the Constitutional rules of Due Process that govern a just criminal system; the Theories of Punishment that prevail in the US criminal system; the requirements of culpability and especially criminal mental states (e.g., criminal intent or recklessness); the rules of causation when a certain result (e.g., a death or an injury) is a required element of the crime; the basics of group criminality (e.g., accomplice liability or conspiracy); the elements of some of the most serious crimes (e.g., criminal homicides, sexual assault, etc.); common excuse and justification defenses (e.g., psychiatric defenses, self-defense, etc.). In other words, this module will familiarize students with the nuts and bolts of criminal law, allowing them to practice as paralegals alongside lawyers in a prosecutor’s office or in a public defender’s office or in a private firm that practices in the criminal field.

    Real Estate Law
    This course is designed so paralegal students gain a working knowledge of the issues that may arise in a firm when dealing with a real estate transaction. Students will gain an overview of the history of real estate law and dive into more detail on issues such as: What is property? What are the rules governing its use and sale? What are the steps in a real estate transaction? There will also be detailed discussion of the main contingencies in New York real estate contracts.

    Family Law
    The family law module will walk students through the family court system, including prenuptial agreements, divorce (including maintenance and support, equitable distribution and child support and custody), and paternity. By the end of the module, students should be able to assist an attorney in the intake of these family law matters as well as calculate child support and be very familiar with all of the family law terms to assist in completing most divorce forms.

    The surrogacy module allows students to explore the New York State Surrogate’s Court System from death through the distribution of the decedent’s assets, both with a Will and without one. It will also assist the learner in navigating the estate tax return. By the end of the module, students should be able to assist an attorney in the intake of a probate/administration, be familiar with the terms on all of the necessary Surrogate’s Court forms and prepare a first draft of an estate tax return.

  • David N. Dorfman, JD
    Assistant Professor of Law, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

    David Dorfman

    David Dorfman teaches and supervises the Barbara C. Salken Criminal Justice Clinic, which represents indigent defendants charged with misdemeanor crimes in the County of the Bronx. He also teaches doctrinal courses, specializing in Criminal Law and Procedure.

    Before joining the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 1995, Professor Dorfman taught lawyering skills and techniques at New York University School of Law. From 1987–1993, he was a criminal defense trial attorney at the Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division in Brooklyn, NY. Professor Dorfman brought many cases to jury and bench verdict while defending many other criminal clients through pre-trial hearings and final dispositions. He wrote numerous motions, briefs, and memoranda of law.

    Prior to law school, he received an Art Critics Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a freelance writer, he wrote both for publication and for grants, specifically on art criticism and aesthetic theory topics.

    Margot Feuerstein
    Business Development and Operations

    Margot Feuerstein

    Margot Feuerstein has worked in legal support roles across a variety of practice areas at a wide array of firms. She has worked as a litigation paralegal at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, in corporate governance in the legal department at Goldman Sachs, and in general operational support at an intellectual property firm; she has also worked with solo practitioners and at a small trusts and estates and family law firm.

    Beth Willensky of Pace University

    Beth Willensky, JD
    Law Offices of Beth A. Willensky

    Beth Willensky maintains a general civil practice concentrating in risk management and contracts, including negotiation and drafting, offering “outside general counsel” experience and services to individual and corporate clients in varied fields. She handles real estate and commercial transactions and has dealt with all phases of dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, pre-litigation and litigation strategic positioning, appeals, and court-annexed and private settlement initiatives.

    Steven M. Stieglitz, JD
    Adjunct Professor, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

    Steven M. Stieglitz

    Throughout his career, Steven Stieglitz has spent significant time in the fields of mental hygiene law Article 81 Guardianships, real estate, estate planning, landlord/tenant, and estate administration. After working at a larger firm as an associate for five years, he then went on to open a practice with his current law partner, Patrick Welch, being Stieglitz & Welch PLLC, wherein the firm handles the above types of matters as well as personal injury, employment law, and general commercial litigation.

    Professor Stieglitz has also been a part of a team which handles complex Article 81 Guardianships throughout the state, ranging from Brooklyn to Rockland, and has also been published in the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Journal on the topic of Article 81 Guardianships. He has also worked with the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, and likewise have been published with them regarding the alternative dispute resolution techniques which can be applicable to divorce, including but not limited to, the collaborative method. Additionally, he has also worked with ESPN which resulted in the publication of an article outlining the baseball arbitration process and specifically focusing on the player and team aspects.

    Professor Stieglitz also maintains an active extracurricular legal calendar. He has been the Ninth-District Representative for the New York State Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division as well as a member of the New York State House of Delegates as an elected Delegate for the Ninth District. Alongside his active membership within the State Bar Association, he remains active in the Westchester Bar Associate where he served as a Co-Chair of the Website and Technology Committee.

    Michael Norton, JD
    Adjunct Professor, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

    Michael Norton

    Michael Norton is the principal of the Law Offices of Michael J. Norton, a firm he started upon his admission to the New York State Bar in 2002. The firm specializes in all aspects of real estate law from representation of residential and commercial buyers and sellers, lenders, landlords, management of development projects and commercial retail, office, and multifamily housing.

    Michael’s real estate career actually began much earlier in 1992 after deciding to relocate to Westchester County, NY, from New Jersey and go to work for the family real estate brokerage and development company. His career has truly evolved from his start as a licensed salesperson in early 1992 to his current position as the owner and principal broker of North Country Sotheby’s International Realty a well as the principal of his own law firm both in Croton on Hudson, NY.

    Married with three children, Gisela, Larena and Landon, Michael resides in Northern Westchester County, NY, since 2005.

    Susan Hegquist Accetta, JD
    Partner, Stern Keiser & Panken, LLP
    Susan Hegquist Accetta concentrates her practice in the areas of taxation, sophisticated trust and estate planning, estate administration, guardianship and elder law. Ms. Accetta received her BA in Economics and Political Science (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a Master of Laws (in Taxation) from New York University, and her JD from Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Accetta is admitted to practice in New York (1993) and New Jersey (1993) and before the US Tax Court. She has been a lecturer for the New York State Bar Association and other business organizations. Ms. Accetta is a member of the New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section (Executive Committee) and Elder Law and Special Needs Section). Westchester Countv Bar Association, White Plains Bar Association and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.

    Jared Hatcliffe, JD
    Adjunct Professor, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

    Jared Hatcliffe

    Jared Hatcliffe is a Senior Counsel in the Tort Division of the New York City Law Department where he has been a trial attorney for the past 18 years. He has conducted numerous trials to verdict and participated in countless jury selections. He defends the City of New York and its employees in actions involving allegations of wrongful death; alleged police misconduct, including the use of excessive force such as shootings, use of tasers and violations of various civil rights; negligent design; premises liability; and automobile liability. He has drafted complex motions and appellate briefs in both the First and Second Departments of New York State Appellate Courts and routinely engages in settlement conferences on behalf of the City.

    A recipient of the Municipal Affairs Award from the New York City Bar, Professor Hatcliffe is one of the moderators and instructors for the Tort Division’s in-house trial training and has taught programs at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for the past several years and lectured at Oxford University in Trial Advocacy. He has also taught criminal procedure at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

    Professor Hatcliffe is a co-author of New York Criminal Procedure: An Analytical Approach to Statutory, Constitutional and Case Law for Criminal Justice Professionals, 3d Ed., Morse, Gorman and Hatcliffe and is excited to be publishing a trial advocacy text due out in the fall of 2021.

    He received his BS from St. John’s University in 1993 and graduated cum laude from St. John’s Law School in 1999. He is admitted to practice in New York State and the United States District Courts for both the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

    Eylan Schulman, JD
    Adjunct Professor, Elisabeth Haub School of Law

    Eylan Schulman has litigated cases in both state and federal courts for over 12 years. Mr. Schulman has represented a diverse group of clients and focuses on representing individuals in actions related to civil rights and criminal issues. Mr. Schulman’s experience as counsel to both plaintiffs and defendants gives him the unique insight and specialized judgement to aid client’s in achieving the best possible outcome.

    Mr. Schulman serves as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association No-Fault Insurance panel and was appointed by the New York State Department of Financial Services to assist in the resolution of disputes between medical providers and insurance companies.

    Eylan Schulman began his legal career at the New York City Law Department. Mr. Schulman spent four years in the Special Litigation Unit litigating high-exposure and high-profile cases against the City of New York, followed by three years as a Trial Attorney specializing in police misconduct cases in Bronx County. Mr. Schulman handled a diverse caseload, including litigation and negotiation related to civil rights and insurance claims. During this tenure, Mr. Schulman tried multiple serious matters to verdict, with unparalleled success.

    Eylan Schulman has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University since 2013. Mr. Schulman teaches courses in Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation, and Trial Advocacy. In 2015, Mr. Schulman was awarded the Barbara Salken Outstanding Professor Award as Adjunct Professor of the Year. Mr. Schulman has also taught trial advocacy and was a coach for the St. John’s University School of Law trial advocacy program. As a trial advocacy coach, Mr. Schulman won numerous trial advocacy championships, including at the National Trial Competition, American Association for Justice, National Black Law Students Association and ABA’s Labor and Employment Law competitions.