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Online Paralegal Studies Certificate

Make a Difference
as a Paralegal

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About the Program

Paralegals are lifelong learners devoted to helping others. Whether it’s doing extensive research on cases or talking clients through a trial, the work of a paralegal is dynamic. Get your start in a high-demand, rewarding career by earning your paralegal certificate online.

The University of Tennessee Center for Professional Education & Lifelong Learning offers an online Paralegal Studies Certificate program that prepares students with the skills necessary to drive their paralegal careers. Our paralegal certificate program combines quality, affordability, and flexibility to give working professionals the opportunity to earn a comprehensive education from one of the top research universities in the country.

Next Start Date

October 1, 2022

Courses Required: 1
Total Tuition Cost: $3,799*

*This includes books, supplies, and fees.

Learn More

Completed registration must be submitted by 7 p.m. EDT of the published start date.

Request Information

To learn more about the Online Paralegal Studies Certificate, contact an enrollment specialist at 866-967-3486 or fill out the form below to download a free brochure.

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville respects your right to privacy. By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails and calls from a representative of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which may include the use of automated technology. Consent is needed to contact you, but is not a requirement to register or enroll.

Online Learning

Program Quick Facts

Four starts per year
100 percent online
Fully asynchronous coursework with optional live sessions
Finish in fourteen weeks
No prior professional or academic legal experience required

Why UT Knoxville?

Gain the skills to become a successful paralegal.

Students who complete this program have an in-depth understanding of vital paralegal knowledge and responsibilities such as legal vocabulary, critical reading, thinking and writing, interviewing, investigation, legal research, law office administration, and commonly used technologies.

Learn from an instructor with decades of legal experience.

Our instructor, Dana Chavis, has been working as an assistant federal community defender since 1998. Chavis uses this extensive legal experience to keep students up-to-date on the current trends and issues impacting paralegals today.

Work through interactive coursework on your time.

Within our course modules, students follow a hypothetical client’s case from the initial meeting through every stage of the litigation process, giving students real-world experience and writing samples.

Complete your certificate in fourteen weeks, part-time.

This program is designed for working professionals. Because of that, we have constructed our curriculum to keep the workload around three to five hours per week, while ensuring students leave feeling empowered with the paralegal skills they need.

Earn your certificate 100 percent online. No prior legal experience or background education required.

We welcome career changers. No matter your background, you can earn the certificate you need for the job that you want.


The job market for paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow 14 percent by 2030.

Source: Burning Glass


The median salary for paralegals in 2020 was $52,920 a year.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Registration Requirements

We welcome students of all levels and prior experience to earn their paralegal certificate online.

  • No prior legal experience or education is required to register for our program.
  • There are no minimum GPAs or test scores requirements for registration, nor do you need to submit a resume or CV.
  • Because of the specificity of this program in relation to the American legal system, international students cannot be accepted into the program at this time.
Online Learning


The job of a paralegal changes from day to day. Because of this, aspiring paralegals need to have a firm understanding of the legal system and law office practices. Paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and meetings by taking on tasks including investigating and gathering facts, reviewing and organizing important case documents, conducting research, drafting reports and other legal documents, and speaking with clients.
No, while both a paralegal and a legal secretary are vital in assisting lawyers, they are not the same. Paralegals are often more involved in the legal side of preparing a case, while legal secretaries focus more on clerical work. This distinction is often the reason that so many paralegals seek out a more specialized education like a paralegal certificate.
Yes, many lawyers have gotten their start as paralegals. As a paralegal, it is integral that you have a deep understanding of legal terminology, the American legal system, critical reading and researching, and law office administration. These are all things that put you one step ahead when looking to transition into law school.
Yes, the certificate will be awarded physically via mail by the UT Center for Professional Education & Lifelong Learning. A digital badge will also be provided, so you can share your achievement on LinkedIn, in email signatures, etc.
Paralegals build dynamic, fulfilling careers, in which they can make a significant impact on people's lives. The expansive landscape of the legal system also gives paralegals the chance to specialize their practice in different fields of law, including:
  • Corporate law
  • Family law
  • Immigration law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Real estate law
  • Healthcare law
  • Appellate law
  • Criminal defense
According to the real-time market analytics software company, Burning Glass, the job market for paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow 14 percent by 2030, much faster than the national average for other professions. An online paralegal certificate can also give you a salary boost in as little as fourteen weeks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for paralegals in 2021 was $56,230 per year.