Paralegal Studies


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

24 Credit Hours

This program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences/Law, Crime and Social Justice Department. It is available online via live virtual, at the St. Louis main campus and at the Gateway campus.

For information on the general requirements for a certificate, see Certificate under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

Program Description

The paralegal certificate is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is the only ABA program in the St. Louis area. The certificate is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the paralegal profession and prepares students to enter the legal profession. We offer a solid, broad-based education including legal specialty courses. Students will learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of the law as they gain paralegal knowledge and an understanding of the ethical framework in which legal professionals function.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the fundamentals of legal reasoning and analysis.
  • Comprehend the Code of Professional Responsibility to be able to address ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers and legal assistants. 
  • Master the skills and knowledge necessary for understanding legal issues working from both theoretical and practical applications. 
  • Explain the essential goals of legal researching, legal and logical reasoning and begin to develop legal writing skills. 
  • Be able to apply the theory of legal research and writing to practical problems encountered in a legal environment. 
  • Distinguish the significant role that legal assistants/paralegals have in the legal world and the practical skills necessary to function in it.

Special Requirements

All core courses must be taken at Webster University. Since core courses are generally taught at the advanced level, students must have earned at least 84 credit hours, including the 24-credit-hour core in paralegal studies, before a certificate can be issued.


  • LEGL 2400/POLT 2400 Introduction to Law (3 hours)
  • LEGL 3000 Legal Ethics (3 hours)
  • LEGL 3490 Litigation (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4460 Methods of Legal Research & Writing I (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4470 Methods of Legal Research & Writing II (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4480 Computerized Legal Research (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4800 Advanced Topics in Law (6 hours)

Note: A paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals or legal assistants may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Webster University's St. Louis area paralegal programs have been approved by the American Bar Association.