Paralegal Certificate

"Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals." - George Washington

Green River's Paralegal Certificate gives you the knowledge you need to move into a career as a paralegal. You will learn to conduct legal research, prepare legal documents, interview witnesses, investigate facts and assist in trial preparation. This comprehensive introduction to the legal system includes real-world examples, practical applications, ethical dilemmas and hands-on assignments - all relevant to Washington State.

The Certificate is Recommended for Individuals

  • Who are currently working in law offices as junior paralegals, legal secretaries, paralegal clerks, legal receptionists, or document or file clerks
  • Who want to increase their knowledge or advance in their careers
  • Who want to acquire hands-on skills in law, investigation, legal research and/or legal writing
  • Who want to increase their value to their employer or their marketability in the job market

Program Features

  • Curriculum is developed by a Paralegal professional with over 24 years' experience in the legal field. She holds a Professional Paralegal Certificate from NALS, the association for legal professionals.
  • Students receive hands-on practice utilizing LexisNexis┬« for legal research and cite checking.
  • Courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends, so they don't interfere with work.
  • Complete the Certificate in as little as two quarters.

Career Outlook and Earning Potential

  • The demand for paralegals is increasing as employers, in an effort to reduce costs, hire paralegals to perform tasks that have traditionally been carried out by attorneys. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, May 2016)
  • The average salary for a paralegal in Washington State is $58,059. (Washington State Employment Security Department, July 2016)

Getting Started

  • Register for an Information Session to learn more about the program, the paralegal profession and to meet the instructor.
  • Or, register for the first required course, Paralegal Essentials, listed below.
Certificate Overview

The Paralegal Certificate Program requires 90 hours of course work. Most people are able to complete the Certificate in two quarters. Students should anticipate spending 5-15 hours a week on homework assignments, which will include reading, research, writing and various other tasks.

Required CoursesHoursQuarters Typically Offered
Paralegal Certificate Part 1: Paralegal Essentials 30  Winter 
Paralegal Certificate Part 2: Research, Investigation and Discovery 30  Spring 
Paralegal Certificate Part 3: Advanced Research, Writing and Trial Preparation 30 Spring
Paralegal Certificate Parts 1, 2 and 3 90   

Course Topics

  • Administration / Law Office Structure
  • Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Litigation Procedure ┬ž  Discovery Process
  • Fact Investigation (including interviewing)
  • Court Rules (local, state and federal)
  • Litigation Motion Practice
  • Trial Preparation
  • Case Citations
  • Legal Research and Analysis
  • Legal Writing
  • Job Search Preparation (including resume writing and interviewing)


Students must have a GED or High School Diploma to ensure they are prepared for college level work.


A textbook order will be placed after the first night of the Paralegal Essentials course. This textbook will be utilized throughout the entire Certificate Program. The textbook price is approximately $160 plus tax and shipping. You will be notified once textbooks have arrived, and payment will be due at that time. You may pay with credit card, check or cash (exact change, only).

Program Completion

To earn a Certificate of Completion, you must:

  • Attend 90% of the Paralegal Certificate Program (at least 81 course hours)
  • Regularly participate in class  
  • Complete all assignments by the deadline given
  • Receive a minimum score of 75 percent on all assignments, quizzes and tests

More Information

For more information, please call Green River Continuing Education at 253-856-9595, ext. 5000.

Certificate Terms and Conditions

Contact Us

Email Continuing Education

Auburn Campus

Phone: 253-833-9111, ext. 2535

12401 SE 320th Street
Auburn, WA 98092

Kent Campus

Phone: 253-856-9595, ext. 5000

417 Ramsay Way Ste. 112
Kent, WA 98032

Enumclaw Campus

Phone: 253-288-3400

1414 Griffin Avenue
Enumclaw, WA 98022

Auburn Center

Phone: 253-288-3455

1221 D Street NE
Auburn, WA 98002


Hours vary by location

View Hours