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Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate


Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
     Master's degree in Paralegal Studies

As Washington DC's only academic-credit bearing paralegal studies program, the GW Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is more than just a powerful credential; it is a signal to the best employers that you withstood the academic rigor of one of the nation's best paralegal programs.

You’ll study with the nation’s leading experts and get the critical knowledge and skills you need to enter legal, corporate, healthcare, or government practice with confidence and acumen. Paralegals perform substantive legal work, but may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

If you choose, you can apply the 18-credit graduate certificate toward the 32-credit master's degree in Paralegal Studies. And as a credit-bearing program, the GW certificate qualifies for military benefits and federal financial aid.


ABA American Bar Association, ABA Approved Paralegal Program



Paralegal Studies Program Gains ABA Approval

George Washington University’s Paralegal Studies program has met the approval of the American Bar Association for the excellence of its curriculum, faculty and administration, the only such program granted the designation in Washington, D.C. GW joins 260 programs nationally that have met the organization’s requirements.

“We are absolutely delighted to be joining the ranks of elite paralegal programs across the nation,” said Toni Marsh, director of the GW Paralegal Studies program."

Paralegal Studies Program Gains American Bar Association Approval, GW Today, 8/20/2021



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""Program at a Glance



This certificate is geared towards working professionals and other nontraditional students. Evening classes and online options help you manage your life’s multiple priorities.



This academic credit-bearing credential has been named among the best in the nation and will boost your professional profile in tangible ways.



With alumni across the country and in Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Italy, China, Japan, England and Taiwan, you’ll join a global network of professionals.    

Program News

""Where You’ll Study

Where you'll study: Education Center in Alexandria, VA; Foggy Bottom Campus in Washington, D.C., or Online

You can study on campus at the Graduate Education Center in Alexandria, Virginia or online. Students in the online program must take nine semester credits of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. This will be provided through live online class sessions.

You can study at the Graduate Education Center in Alexandria, VA & Foggy Bottom Campus in Washington, DC or online

""What You’ll Study

The Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies comprises the Core Course Sequence, made of six courses and equating to 18 credits. These required courses provide the perspective and understanding you need to enter the legal field. Completion of this certificate typically takes two or three semesters. 

PSLX 6210: American Jurisprudence
3 credits. This course introduces students to the foundations, theories, history and applications of the American legal system.

Participants examine local, state, and federal courts and sources of law and survey ethics and professionalism.

PSLX 6211: Legal Research and Writing
3 credits. The legal research portion of this course introduces students to the methods, tools and rules of print and online legal research and writing, including online databases and the Bluebook. 

In the legal writing portion of the course, students draft, edit, and present legal documents based upon their research, including memorandums, motions, and briefs.


PSLX 6212: Litigation
3 credits. This course provides the professional skills that are essential to supporting litigation. Ethical considerations in litigation and using legal technology are woven throughout the course.

Students explore the art and science of litigation, which includes the elements of standard civil actions; how to use technology in litigation; and examine the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, criminal procedure, juvenile procedure, and administrative procedure.


PSLX 6223: Contracts
3 credits. This foundational course examines contract elements and attendant legal ramifications; students engage in the deep analytical thinking and develop legal reasoning skills in evaluating issues arising from contract law and practice drafting and reviewing contracts.


PSLX 6224: Advanced Legal Writing
3 credits. This course includes advanced legal writing techniques and drafting for practice, including legal writing in plain English; strategies for effective writing. Students draft legal memoranda, legal correspondence, and legal pleadings. Students will refine and advance legal analysis, writing and legal citation skills.

PSLX 6225: Business Entities
3 credits. This course addresses business organizations and related business law topics including securities regulation, consumer protection, regulation and compliance.


PSLX 6214: Administrative Law
 3 credits. This course explores sources of law, administrative procedures, immigration law, trials and hearings, and ethical considerations.

PSLX 6215: Government Contracts
 3 credits. This course surveys how to create, administer, draft, change, and terminate government contracts and introduces students to the unique research materials and sources of government contract law.

PSLX 6226: International Law
 3 credits. This course introduces students to the rules and principles that govern relations among sovereign states, international organizations, the principles and sources of international law and the differences between international and national law, trade law and international litigation.

PSLX 6227: Intellectual Property Law
 3 credits. This course surveys the legal structure of trademarks, copyrights, and patents and the processes, supporting documentation, laws, and rules regarding prosecution and litigation.

PSLX 6228 CA: California Law and Practice
 3 credits. This course looks at an overview of the California government structure, court structure, rules of court, litigation support procedures and technology, and professional ethics.


  1. Understand key legal concepts
  2. Assess fact patterns to spot legal issues
  3. Communicate effectively orally and in writing
  4. Operate ethically and professionally in accordance with the law and industry guidelines
  5. Solve complex problems 
  6. Demonstrate critical thinking
  7. Manage complex projects
  8. Assess, adapt and utilize technology and online resources
  9. Conduct research to answer legal questions
  10. Integrate sources and Bluebook citations

""Who You'll Study With


Admissions Information

Applicants to the Paralegal Studies graduate certificate must have a:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning or international equivalent
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale

You’ll also have to complete our online application and submit the necessary required materials, including one letter of recommendation (academic or professional). If you need assistance, please contact us by emailing [email protected]

Graduate tuition and fees at GW are comparable to the national average for private universities. These costs, set by the GW Board of Trustees, generally increase from year to year and may vary by program and location.

Tuition is made up of many variables, so all calculations are estimates based on current tuition rates and fee structures. Total tuition and fees will adjust depending on the courses taken and the rate at which you complete your coursework. Please use this information as an approximate tuition amount based on current information and not your final investment which will appreciate over time.

Financial Aid Opportunities


2022-2023 Rates in Effect for Summer 2022, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 Terms

18 credits @ $1,245 /credit hour
(Tuition rate applies to both the online and in-person classes)

Registration Fees

  • Online: 3 registration sessions @ $35 each
  • In-Person: 2 registration sessions @ $35 each
  • Online: $105
  • In-Person: $70

Total Tuition and Fees (estimated)


  • Online: $22,515
  • In-Person: $22,480

Other costs to consider: Application Fee: $80; Textbooks $700.


GW's Military & Veteran Services provides wide-ranging resources and support to the military community, including GW scholarships and assistance with benefits: 

Since Military and Veterans Services was created in 2008, GW has been an annual recipient of the Military Friendly Award and is also annually recognized as a Military Times “Best for Vets” higher education institution.

A maximum of one legal specialty course required for the degree may be approved for transfer to the Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies from credit earned while enrolled as a non-degree student at GW or from another degree-granting school of this University or another accredited college or university.

A maximum of two legal specialty courses required for the degree may be approved for transfer to the Master’s degree in Paralegal Studies from credit earned while enrolled as a non-degree student at GW or from another degree-granting school of this University or another accredited college or university.

For transfer credit to be approved, all of these conditions must be met:

  • the coursework must be from an accredited institution and must have been taken within the two years prior to matriculation;
  • it must be approved as part of the student’s program of studies;
  • it must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree;
  • it must be post-baccalaureate graduate-level coursework; and the student must have received a minimum grade of B in each course for which transfer credit is requested.

Requests for transfer credit must be submitted in writing and approved by the program director and the Dean during the student’s first year in the program. An official transcript of the coursework must be on file before the request can be considered.


Applicants that have complete applications are eligible to request an application fee waiver by 11:59 p.m. on the Priority Deadline.* To request an application fee waiver, contact your program representative before submitting your application. Fee waiver details. Applications received after the Final Deadline will continue to be processed, space permitting.  


illustration of a leafFall Admissions

In-person and online program

  • Fall Priority Deadline: May 1*
  • Fall Final Deadline: August 1

Applications accepted after the final deadline on a space-available basis


illustration of a flowerSpring Admissions

Online program only

  • Spring Priority Deadline: October 1*
  • Spring Final Deadline: December 1


illustration of a summer sunSummer Admissions

In-person and online program

  • Not offered





Lucero Flores


Toni Marsh




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Information Sessions

We periodically offer online and in-person information sessions about GW's Paralegal Studies programs. Contact the program representative to learn more about upcoming events.