Paralegal Certificate

Continuing Education at Green River College

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

photo of a golden Lady Justice statue

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 30 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

  • 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 2020)
  • The average salary for a paralegal in Washington State is $63,050. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020)

Information Session

To learn more about our Paralegal Certificate, attend our free Paralegal Certificate Information Session.

Certificate Overview

The Paralegal Certificate consists of three required courses totaling 90 hours of course work. Most people are able to complete the Certificate in two quarters.

Click on the courses listed below for current offerings, textbook information, prices and to register online.

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
Parts 1, 2 and 3 90   

Course Topics

  • Administration / Law Office Structure
  • Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Litigation Procedure 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)


Anticipate spending 5-15 hours a week on homework assignments, which will include reading, research, writing and various other tasks.


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

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

Additional Information

For additional information, please call Green River Continuing Education at 253-833-9111, ext. 2535.

Certificate Terms and Conditions

Contact Us

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