About the Paralegal Certificate

If you already have a degree, you can earn your Paralegal Certificate in as little as 18 months! This program is ideal for those looking to change careers. As long as you have 18 credit hours of general education coursework, your associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree, regardless of the subject, need only be supplemented by the paralegal core program classes.

If you have strong research, writing, and organizational skills or are interested in going into the legal field and possibly becoming a lawyer, becoming a paralegal is a great career choice! Paralegals work under the direction of a lawyer making decisions that call for understanding basic legal concepts, managing information, and preparing documents in specialized areas of the law. Typical job duties of a paralegal include:

  • Interviewing clients and potential witnesses
  • Preparing trial evidence
  • Maintaining case files
  • Summarizing depositions
  • Researching legal issues
  • Writing briefs, interoffice memos, contracts, interrogatories, and letters

info sessions icon Attend an Information Session

Learn how you can get started as a paralegal with one of our information sessions at 5:30 p.m. in E221.

  • May 23
  • May 24
  • June 15
  • June 16

Daytime information sessions available at 10 a.m. in E221

  • June 27
  • June 29

Total Cost of Paralegal Certificate

(in-district) Total Amount: $5,402.00

Credit Hours to Complete: 27

Weeks to Complete: 32

Paralegal Studies Certificate Requirements

What makes MCC's Paralegal Certificate program better than or distinct from similar programs at other institutions?

MCC’s program is specifically tailored for the paralegal market in Chicagoland and McHenry County. With the help and guidance of our advisory board, made up of lawyers, judges, paralegals, and professors, we have designed a unique program with the emphasis on the needs of the existing legal community. You’ll focus on class subjects that are the most sought after and applicable within our local markets.

In addition to the Paralegal Certificate, we offer:

What you need to know about getting your Paralegal Certificate (CIP 22.0302 )

Total Paralegal Certificate Costs
  in-district out-of-district out-of-state international
Tuition $3,011.00 $10,210.00 $12,694.00 $12,694.00
Additional Paralegal Certificate Costs $2,391.00 $2,391.00 $2,391.00 $2,391.00
Program Total $5,402.00 $12,601.00 $15,085.00 $15,085.00


What job opportunities are available to someone with a Paralegal Certificate?

You'll be qualified to work as a paralegal in law offices, State and Federal Court systems, and for non-profits and corporations.

Occupations that Paralegal Certificate prepares you for
Occupation and Occupational Profile Link SOC Code
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 23-2011

How will MCC's Paralegal Certificate program prepare me for my career or connect me to opportunities?

Our mandatory internship program provides you with practical experience as you network and develop a portfolio of written work. Your internship may even lead to employment opportunities.

Additional Paralegal Certificate Costs
Expense Cost
Fees $357.00
Books and supplies $1,825.00
Total Expenses $2,391.00

By the Numbers:

  • The salary range within a 50-mile radius of MCC for a paralegal is $30,000 for part-time to over $110,000 full-time employment.
  • In 2015, there were 67 job listings for paralegals within a 25-mile radius of MCC and 526 listings within a 50-mile radius.
  • In 2013, there were 12,390 paralegals and legal assistants in Illinois, and the number of positions is projected to increase 17.52% by 2022 to 14,022. (ides.illinois.gov)

Outside the Classroom

Paralegal-Specific Career Information

Goals of the Paralegal Studies Degree Program

The Paralegal Studies program will prepare students for a productive paralegal or investigative assistant career. The program also serves as a foundation for students who may later pursue baccalaureate or professional degrees in law.

Broad Paralegal Studies program learning objectives:

  1. Understand basic legal terminology and the way legal system is organized.
  2. Demonstrate the requisite legal research and writing skills necessary to communicate and competently perform as a paralegal within the legal profession.
  3. Complete legal research projects using West Law.
  4. Understand the basic laws and procedures associated with civil and criminal litigation and draft relevant pleadings, motions, and memoranda.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in commonly used computer technology for law offices.
  6. Understand the ethical issues and rules commonly encountered by paralegals.
  7. Perform as a paralegal intern, producing a portfolio of work samples.
  8. Demonstrate critical thinking skills necessary to identify, research and analyze standard legal issues.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to organize large quantities of diverse documents related to civil or criminal cases.
  10. Demonstrate the communication skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment as a paralegal.

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