A Paralegal Program Designed for Working Professionals

Whether you are looking for a career right out of graduation, planning to attend law school in the future, or are looking for a career change, the LSU Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is designed to train students to effectively perform professional tasks in a law setting. Graduates from this program will have the foundational knowledge and necessary skills that are required for a career as a paralegal. With evening courses, this program is designed to work around your busy schedule, and full-time students can graduate with their certificate in as little as one year.


Learning Outcomes

The LSU Paralegal Studies Program began in 1982. It is a college-level, non-credit program leading to a Certificate of Paralegal Studies. Upon completing the curriculum, you will be able to:

  • Write clear, effective legal memoranda, using proper citation form.
  • Explain the structure of both state and federal judicial systems.
  • Analyze (by briefing) reported legal opinions.
  • Interview clients and witnesses.
  • Articulate the ethical standards of the paralegal profession.
  • Describe basic concepts of business organizations and contract law.
  • Research legal problems using primary and secondary resources.
  • Recognize the procedure in a civil suit and draft appropriate pleadings

Paralegals must work under the supervision of an attorney and are not allowed to give independent legal advice, represent clients in court, or settle claims on behalf of clients. Paralegals who do so may be charged with the crime of unauthorized practice of law.


Paralegal Application Schedule

Cohort Apply By Classes Start
Fall 2024 August 14, 2024 August 26, 2024


Questions? Contact Alanna Clanton at aclant1@lsu.edu or 225-578-6760.


Paralegal Program Application

The application period for Fall 2024 is March 1 - August 14, 2024.

Apply Now

Benefits of Taking This Program

  • This program is conducted live-online, enabling participants to attend classes remotely while adhering to specific login times.
  • This program is the only non-credit paralegal program in Louisiana approved by the American Bar Association.
  • The program offers the best of both worlds: the resources of the state’s largest university and the personal attention of a small, student-friendly program.
  • All teachers are experienced lawyers, judges, or paralegals with extensive experience in the classroom and working with paralegals.
  • Paralegal students enjoy the following student services: student health center, use of the LSU Law Library and LSU Library.
  • The program is guided by an advisory committee of dedicated paralegals, lawyers and other interested people.

General Information

There is a $40 application fee, and you must request official transcripts from your school be sent to the program. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.


The total curriculum costs is approximately $5,740 plus books. The program is semester based so you pay as you register for courses.

The Paralegal Studies Program does not qualify for federal financial aid or Pell Grants. However, students may apply for a continuing education loan through banking institutions such as Campus Federal Credit Union.

Note: Prices are subject to change. Cost does not include the price of textbooks. Contact an Enrollment Coach to see what savings you may qualify for.


In order to earn the paralegal certificate, a student must take six required courses, two paralegal electives, the internship, and the online legal ethics seminar. Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

The required courses, each of which is offered during every fall and spring semester, are as follows:

  • Principles of Paralegal Studies
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Case Analysis
  • Civil Litigation I
  • Law Office Technology
  • The Practicing Paralegal
  • Paralegal Internship
  • Legal Ethics Seminar


The internship is a supervised field experience in which the student works as a paralegal in a local law office, government agency or corporation. Students do their internship in their final semester of the program and are given a choice of sponsors. The internship consists of a total of 150 hours; 146 hours of hands-on work at the internship site and 4 hours of meetings and workshops designed to support and enhance the internship experience.


Students choose two electives from the following list. The electives are offered on a rotating basis at the discretion of the program, unless otherwise indicated. At least 3 electives are offered in the spring and fall semesters.

  • Administrative Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Legal Investigation & Interviewing Skills
  • Legal Writing
  • Real Estate Law
  • Wills, Successions & Inheritance

Admission Criteria*

The majority of paralegal students have already earned a bachelor’s degree, and we recommend that students complete their bachelor’s degree before earning a paralegal certificate. The admission criteria for the program are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 2.5 overall GPA. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA in English courses or;
  • At least 45 semester hours of college credit from an accredited college or university with a minimum 2.5 overall GPA. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA in English courses. 18 of the 45 hours of college credit must be general education courses, which means they are from at least 3 of these disciplines:
    • Social Sciences
    • Natural Sciences
    • Math
    • Humanities
    • Foreign Languages
    • English

Applicants who have attended another ABA-approved paralegal studies program can transfer up to 10 credit hours or two non-credit paralegal legal specialty courses. The transfer courses allowed are at the discretion of the program to ensure that the courses are equivalent to Louisiana state-specific law. No course with a grade lower than a "C" will be accepted as transfer. Applicants must provide an official copy of the transcript with a course description to ensure that the academic quality and integrity of the program are upheld.

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must submit a personal statement.

*If you do not meet the above admission criteria, you may qualify as an exceptional student. To do so, applicants must have at least 3 years' experience in the legal profession and upload two professional letters of recommendation, a personal statement of interest, and a resumé. Please note that the quantity of students admitted under the exceptional criteria is limited.

Timeframe to Completion

LSU offers two program-length options:

  • The full-time program (students take five classes for two regular semesters)
  • The part-time program (students may take two classes a semester, but may take up to four classes a semester to complete the program in a shorter time


Courses are held either in the evening or offered asynchronously. The internship course meets as a class at noon four times throughout the semester. We do not offer weekend classes. 


Earning your Paralegal Studies Certificate at LSU prepares you for valuable work as a:

  • Law Office Paralegal
  • Public/Government Paralegal
  • Corporation Paralegal
  • Trust Department Paralegal
  • Real Estate Paralegal
  • Law Office Manager
  • Freelance Paralegal
  • Paralegal Supervisor
  • Legal Aid Office Paralegal
  • Contract Administrator


If you're interested in a career in Paralegal, you'll want to look closely at career data:

  • NALA - National Association of Legal Assistants - Job Analysis Report
  • United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Paralegal
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