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Law/Legal Courses

WVU Continuing Professional Education offers the following courses in the Law & Legal fields. 

For registration information, you can contact Center for Legal Studies (CLS) at 1-800-522-7737, by email at, or visit the CLS website.

Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course


    Online Format:  Students may take topics individually.  A certificate will be issued only if the student completes six of the fourteen advanced topics.

    Bankruptcy Law
    Bankruptcy is an area of law that has provided significant employment for paralegals. This course examines the debtor-creditor relationship and the difference between voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy, both under Chapter 7 (liquidation) and 11 (reorganization). You will study the Bankruptcy Code in depth and learn how to prepare the most important bankruptcy forms.

    Victim Advocacy
    This intensive online program is designed to train and qualify students to provide assistance to crime victims. The course provides an overview of criminal procedure and discusses the devastating effects crime can have on its victims. You will learn how paralegals as victim advocates can assist their office's clients who have been victimized by crime.

    Advanced Legal Research
    Advanced and specialized approaches to utilize the legal resources available in a law library, and elsewhere, will be examined. The conceptual differences between computer-assisted legal research and hard copy research will be taught. You will also learn how to formulate WESTLAW search queries and effectively and efficiently use WESTLAWNext, WESTLAW classic and other online legal research methods as timesaving devices in legal research and legal writing.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to dispute resolution techniques that may better suit the needs of parties than traditional litigation does. This intensive course focuses on both traditional and non-traditional dispute resolution options. Participants will review the growth and application of settlement options in the United States.  The course will discuss the mediation process, the role of the mediator, and problems encountered in mediation. Students will discuss the art of negotiation and examine how to select the most cost-effective and least intrusive ADR method to achieve the most positive result for both parties. Specific attention will be given to the traditional techniques of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration and more modern variations, such as summary jury trials and mini-trials.

    Business Law and Practices
    This course examines the law and practice of business organizations and the paralegal's potential functions in this area of law. It begins with an examination of basic agency law, followed by a study of the fundamental structure and most important legal doctrines relating to general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, small closely-held corporations, and large publicly-traded corporations.

    Estate Planning: Probate, Wills & Trusts
    This course explores the paralegal's role in estate planning. The requirements of creating enforceable wills and trusts will be covered, and study of resulting and constructive trusts will be provided.

    Criminal Law
    The course begins with an overview of the concept of punishment and goes on to study the burden of proof and criminal defenses; it also provides a critical look at the most common crimes. Students will learn common terminology in criminal law and how to consider a crime thoroughly in terms of its elements.

    Family Law
    Family law pertains to the formation and dissolution of domestic relations, including the law of marriage, annulment, separation and dissolution, maintenance, and custody and support of children. This course will study the differences between community and separate property, the classification of property, and the impact of such classification. The role of the paralegal in family law practice and the importance of mediation of domestic issues will also be discussed.

    Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties
    You will be introduced to the fundamentals of the federal constitution, including the institution of judicial review, the limitations on federal judicial power, the constitutional roles of the legislative and executive branches, due process of law, and individual rights under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Possible future trends of the U.S. Supreme Court will also be explored. This course will focus on individual civil liberties and 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claims, emphasizing redress for violations of the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution.

    Water Law
    This intensive class is designed to give students, particularly from Colorado and neighboring states, an appreciation of the importance of allocation of water resources in the American West.   Participants will learn of the common law and civil law approaches to the distribution of water in arid regions, the transportation of water from one basin to another, and a hierarchy of competing uses for the water.  Water was first viewed as an instrumentality of transportation (and the main impetus behind junking the Articles of Confederation in favor of the Constitution), later as power for industry, irrigation for agriculture, and the water resource behind the growth of cities of the American
    west.  Las Vegas and Phoenix, for example, would have been mere refueling stations on the transcontinental railroads were it not for massive water projects to make the desert bloom. Special emphasis will be given to Colorado's unique system of water courts and water judges.

    Immigration Law
    This course explores all significant aspects of the immigration and naturalization process in the United States, including the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.  Topics include worker and student visas, as well as Family Residence requirements, and the removal process.
    Finally, the course covers citizenship and the requirements for an immigrant to become a citizen.  Paralegals who plan to work in this challenging and demanding area will find the information gained in this course especially helpful in a rapidly growing specialty in the law.

    Education Law
    This course focuses on the laws that govern America’s public school system, as well as home schooling, including student rights regarding discipline, suspension, personal grooming, testing and grading, and drug testing.  Topics such as segregation, integration, dress codes and drug testing are essential not only for paralegals seeking full or part-time law office employment, but also for teachers, school counselors and administrators working in the schools.

    Criminal Procedure
    In Criminal Procedure, students are presented with a clear and concise overview of the Constitutional protections that are provided to the accused in the United States, including the law of search and seizure, Miranda rights, Fifth Amendment protection, and the right to an attorney.  The knowledge gained in this course is essential to full or part-time law office employment, as well as employment with government agencies in the criminal justice system. 

    Intellectual Property
    This cutting edge course provides in depth instruction in one of the most dynamic and challenging areas of the law.  Paralegals in this exciting area work on copyrights, patents, trademarks, unfair competition, protection of trade secrets, and much more.  The knowledge gained in this course is not only applicable to full or part-time law office employment, but is also essential for authors and business owners who may be involved in entertainment and contract matters.  This challenging specialty is in great demand.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate Course


  • ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) is geared to all professionals who are focused on “interest-based bargaining.” Participants will review the growth and application of settlement options in the United States.  The course focuses on both traditional and non-traditional dispute resolution options.  Participants will learn negotiation skills and how to select the most cost-effective and least intrusive ADR method to achieve the most positive result for both parties. Students will understand the processes and methods of ADR techniques; learn the proper application and limits of ADR techniques; appreciate the ethical considerations involved in ADR; and develop a basic ability to apply ADR methods. This course takes the mystery out of settlement processes and focuses on reaching reasonable solutions. Specific attention will be given to Mediation, Arbitration, Summary Jury Trials, Mini-Trials and Moderated Settlement Conferences.  Successful graduates of this non-credit course will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.         
    Topics of Study:
    • Introduction, History and Origin of ADR.
    • Techniques for ADR including Arbitration, Negotiation, Mediation and the Role of the Mediator.
    • Business Disputes, Settlement Issues in the Business Sector, Employment Disputes and Employer/Employee Relationships.

    Participants will be expected to complete reading and homework assignments and will choose or be assigned project reports that deal with ADR topics. Independent project development is encouraged. Final projects will be presented for critique to The Center for Legal Studies as a prerequisite of course completion.

Paralegal Certificate Course


    This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Students will be trained to interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, prepare legal documents, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of law in which paralegals are in most demand.

    "Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process": This session focuses on the history of American jurisprudence, the theory of law, the legal process, and the nature of litigation. Discussion will cover pre-trial, trial and post-trial procedures as well as an in depth coverage of legal ethics. At the end of the first session of class, students will know how to prepare a Complaint/Petition, Answer, Third Party Complaint/Petition, and Motion for Summary Judgment.

    "Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate": This session covers the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrative evidence will also be explained. At the end of the second session of class, students will prepare discovery matter such as Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and Request for Production of Documents.

    "Identifying Relevant Authority": During this session, students will learn how to identify relevant law, determine the differences between primary and secondary authority, and between mandatory and persuasive authority, and learn how to find and apply authority to hypothetical factual situations.

    "Introduction to Legal Research": Students will learn research techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs. Primary and secondary source materials will be discussed, and a concise approach to legal research will be developed.

    "Legal Research Practice": Legal research skills will be applied this session with emphasis on shepardizing statutes and case law and learning to use computerized legal research terminals. Numerous research assignments will be given, discussed, and critiqued. The West Key Number System® will be learned thoroughly.

    "Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure": This session will concentrate on the preparation and critique of legal memoranda, including an Interoffice Memorandum of Law and Appellate Brief. Principles of appellate procedure will also be reviewed. Proper citation format will be covered along with a discussion of job hunting techniques and job leads for those seeking their first employment as paralegals.

    There are no prerequisites to take the course, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework for each session. This program will help students increase their office's efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills.

Personal Injury for Paralegals


     With this exciting, fast-paced class you will learn many of the legal terms, causes of action, and remedies available to victims of personal injury accidents. We will review the negligence theory of torts upon which many personal injury claims are based. Students will discuss interviewing, investigating and other case building techniques vital to a personal injury paralegal's success in the law office. Class discussions and lesson material will include the different kinds of personal injury claims including (but not limited to): car accidents, slip and falls, medical negligence/malpractice, manufacturer product defects, and class-action lawsuits. Discover the basic categories of damages recovery, statutes of limitations, and schemes for liability.

Software Essentials for the Law Office


     This dynamic course is designed for legal professionals interested in improving their skills and knowledge of commonly used computer technology and programs within the law office. Course topics include: computer operating systems and peripheral devices; time tracking and billing software; database, case management and docket control software; litigation support software; electronic discovery, and trial presentation and graphics software.

    Hands on exercises will prepare students to work with popular programs such as MS PowerPoint, Practice Master’s Tabs 3, AbacusLaw, DiscoveryFY, Trial Director and LexisNexis CaseMap & TimeMap, as well as understand the common functions and purposes of similar programs.

    Common billing procedures and payment agreements, accurate time tracking, proper calendar and docketing procedures as well as the processes involved in electronic discovery will be addressed through a variety of exercises. In addition, students will be presented with real-life scenarios and asked to identify and examine ethical issues raised by the use of technology in a legal practice.

Victim Advocacy Certificate Course


     Participants will be prepared to work in victim advocacy arenas, such as domestic violence shelters, crisis centers, crisis hotlines, and with state and county governments to assist crime victims in progressing through the criminal justice system and toward successful recovery. Course topics include legal terminology, legal process, legislation regarding victims' rights, jurisdiction and venue, ethics, effects of victimization on the victim, victim advocate skills, guardianships and crisis intervention. It also covers counseling skills for victims of assault, battery, robbery, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, murder and homicide.

    Course outline:
    This session focuses on legal terminology and the legal process, theories of victimization, effects of crime on victims and guidelines for responding to victims of crime and trauma. Crime victim statutes will also be discussed.

    This session covers crisis theories and the role of the crisis interventionist. Students will learn how to respond to crisis situations, understand the actual nature of the crisis, assess the victim's situation, and implement effective listening skills to determine the best support system for the victim.

    During this session students will learn the facts and myths regarding domestic violence, crimes against children, sexual assault, and related crimes. Discussions will include restraining orders, basic police procedures, guidelines for assisting those dealing with the death of a loved one, and the role of the victim advocate. Job search strategies and placement possibilities will also be discussed.

    There are no prerequisites, but students will be expected to complete a significant amount of homework and pass two exams.

Preparing for the GMAT


    Most MBA programs across the country and internationally require a Graduate Management Admission Test score for program admission.  Our GMAT Preparation Course is a must!
    This course provides you with test-taking techniques and methods for improving your score on all sections of the GMAT.

    It features a math review and techniques for tackling the problem solving and data sufficiency questions that make up the math section of the GMAT. This course also covers all question types on the verbal sections of the GMAT.  We will discuss how to do your best on reading comprehension, sentence corrections, critical reasoning questions, and the analytical writing assessment. Students will practice on actual GMAT tests from previous years, and we will cover specific time saving techniques for the computer administrations of the test.

Preparing for the GRE


    Applying to Graduate school usually means taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test.  Our GRE Preparation Course is a must!  This course provides you with test-taking techniques and methods for improving your score on all three sections of the GRE: Verbal, Analytical, and Quantitative.

    This course features a math review and techniques for tackling the quantitative comparison, discrete quantitative, and data interpretation questions that make up the math sections of the GRE. This course also covers all question types on the verbal and analytical sections of the GRE.  We will discuss how to do your best on reading comprehension, analogies, sentence completions, antonyms, and logical and analytical reasoning questions.  Students will practice on actual GRE tests from previous years, and we will cover specific time saving techniques for the computer administrations of the test.