Paralegal Studies - Online
Is the curriculum designed only for residents of the State of North Carolina?
No. The Duke Paralegal Online Program was designed with a national audience in mind. While the classroom-based program and the online program share a similar curriculum, the online program does not focus on North Carolina laws or procedures, but uses examples from a variety of different states. The skills and knowledge that you will acquire during the program will be transferable to any paralegal position in the United States. As well, the program is housed entirely online, so students can complete the program from anywhere in the world.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Students have up to one year to complete the program from their start date. However, since the program is entirely student-driven, students can complete the program as quickly as they wish. Some students finish the program in just 5-6 months, while others take the entire year. It’s up to you!
How is the program designed?
The program is comprised of two main parts, Essential Skills and Substantive courses. Students first complete the six-part Essential Skills portion of the program. Upon successful completion of the Essential Skills portion, students choose two of four substantive courses to complete. When all course work is successfully complete, your instructor will notify the program director and you will be sent a certificate in Paralegal Studies from Duke University’s Office of Continuing Studies.
What happens if I don’t complete the program in one year?
While one year is a sufficient amount of time to complete the program, some students do not complete the program by their deadline. If students need extensions, they must submit a written request to the Program Director for approval. Approval is at the full discretion of the Program Director. If approval is granted, the student will receive a one-time extension for three months and no further requests for an extension will be considered.
When can I enroll?
The Duke Online Global Paralegal Program accepts applications throughout the year except for the last two weeks in June due to year end. There is no specific application period, but there is an application process that is discussed further on the Tuition and Application Process page.
What are the application requirements?
All applicants must meet the following requirements.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Possess word processing and internet skills.
- Have an email account and regular access to a computer.
- Be fluent in the English language (including reading and writing).
- All applicants are required to 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.
- Upon notification of admission to the program, be able to pay the tuition fee in full. If a loan has been secured to pay tuition, Duke Continuing Studies must be notified that the loan has been approved.
What will my certificate look like?
Upon successful completion of the program, your instructor will notify the program director. The program director will order your certificate and have it forwarded to you. You will receive a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Duke University and it will not specify that you completed the program online.
Can I take individual classes?
No. The Online Paralegal Certificate Program must be taken in its entirety. While it is divided into two main parts, Essential Skills and substantives, when students enroll in the program, they are enrolling in the entire program and must complete both parts in order to earn the certificate. Students will have the opportunity to choose the two substantive classes that they wish to complete.
If I take the online program, am I eligible to take the North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification (NCCP) exam?
No. Our classroom-based program is NC State Bar approved, but our online program is not. This is because the NC State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification does not approve any online paralegal programs. Since this is an optional exam, it will not affect your ability to work as a paralegal in the state of North Carolina or anywhere else in the United States. Please note that there are national paralegal exams that you may qualify for upon completing the program and earning your certificate.
Will I be able to get a job after completing the program?
While we can’t guarantee you a position upon completion of the program, we can assure you that you will receive excellent training and be well prepared to enter the U.S. job market. In addition, you’ll have a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from one of the top ten universities in the nation. Duke University stands for excellence in education, so law firms all over the U.S. will know you are a well-trained paralegal.
What is your refund policy?
We do not offer refunds to students for the online program.
Will I have an instructor?
Each student will be assigned an U.S. instructor at the beginning of the program. Students will communicate with their instructor via email or phone and the instructor will mark assignments, answer questions, and track the student’s progress through the program.
What kind of research tools will I receive access to?
All online students receive access to and training on both Westlaw and Lexis during the program. Since these are the two main research databases used by most law firms, students will be well trained and comfortable with both databases by the end of the program. As well, the online program includes research labs that will assist students with both Lexis and Westlaw research assignments.
What do other students have to say about the program?
Read what graduates of the program have to say about it!