Online Legal Studies Courses

The Center for Legal Studies in partnership with Continuing & Professional Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato offers professional certificates in several legal subject areas to help students advance their professional careers. Online courses are available virtually anytime in the comfort and privacy of your home or office or access from any computer with an Internet connection.

Reasons why should you enroll:

  • Online courses gives you flexibility to study anytime.
  • Certificate offered by Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Courses taught by professionals from legal and paralegal fields
  • Cost-effective courses

Online Schedule for 2019

  • 2019 Session 4: July 1 - August 16, 2019
  • 2019 Session 5: August 26 - October 11, 2019
  • 2019 Session 6: October 21 - December 6, 2019
  • 2020 Session 1: January 13 - February 28, 2020
  • 2020 Session 2: March 9 - April 24, 2020
  • 2020 Session 3: May 4 - June 19, 2020

Online Courses Offered:


Courses Details:

Paralegal Certificate Course©

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers. Training includes instruction on how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation. The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegals are most in demand. The Paralegal Certificate Course© offers instruction on how to work as a full-time or part-time paralegal, or how to open your own freelance business. This program can help students increase their office’s efficiency, productivity, and billable hours as well as learn new marketable job skills. Students benefit from direct interaction with the instructor and other students by way of email and a discussion board. Students have 14 weeks to complete the online course (7 weeks for paralegal I and 7 weeks for paralegal II). Students must complete both Paralegal 1 and Paralegal 2 to be awarded a Certificate.

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Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course

Through the convenience of your computer, these classes are available to students who wish to extensively build upon their knowledge of law and paralegal studies with classes in specialized facets of contemporary law. These classes build upon the nationally acclaimed Paralegal Certificate Course© offered by Minnesota State University - Mankato and over 100 colleges and universities nationwide. Your study and concentration on substantively specific materials will enable you to gain a strong competitive edge over other paralegals, which should in turn increase your salary and marketability. Students interact through an online discussion board, and assignments and exams are emailed to your instructor for critique and grading. Each of these topics is completed in one 7-week online session, and due to significant homework requirements, students may take a maximum of three topics per seven-week online session. The Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course will greatly enhance your understanding of many of the substantive law areas that you have discussed during the Paralegal Certificate Course©.

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Legal Nurse Consultant Training Course

This program prepares medical professionals for a career in the legal field as legal nurse consultants. Building on your medical education and possible clinical experience, this course provides you with the fundamental skills necessary to advise law firms, health care providers, insurance companies, and governmental agencies regarding medically related issues, and to testify in court as expert witnesses. The course teaches legal concepts related to the health care industry, as well as the role a legal nurse consultant might play in litigation areas such as medical malpractice, toxic torts, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, criminal law, and workers‘ compensation. The curriculum of this course is designed to comply with the educational guidelines specified by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). Students will receive 42 hours of instruction and will be required to prepare assignments and pass weekly quizzes. This continuing nursing education activity is approved by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

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Legal Secretary Certificate Course

This program is designed for both beginning and experienced secretaries who are interested in improving their skills and working more efficiently within the law office. This course will provide those interested in a career change with new, marketable job skills and help those already working as legal secretaries to increase efficiency and productivity in their offices. Also available via DVD or Text-only Formats.

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Legal Investigation Certificate Course

This course is designed to teach legal investigation skills to those interested in pursuing a new career and those presently working in the legal field. At the end of the course, students will be qualified to assist attorneys, paralegals, insurance companies and private businesses, as well as state and federal government agencies, in the process of civil and criminal investigation. Students will also be taught how to create a freelance investigation business. Also available via DVD or Text-only Formats.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate Course

This seven week online course is designed to train and qualify students to develop or participate in conflict mediation processes. Participants will review the growth and application of settlement options in the United States. The course focuses on both traditional and non-traditional dispute resolution options. Specific attention will be given to Mediation, Arbitration, Summary Jury Trials, Mini-Trials and Moderated Settlement Conferences. Students can benefit from taped live lectures or by taking the course online with the added advantage of reviewing the materials as many times as necessary for full retention of the information. ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) is geared to all professionals who are focused on “interest-based bargaining.” This course takes the mystery out of settlement processes and focuses on reaching reasonable solutions. Also available via DVD or Text-only Formats.

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Victim Advocacy Certificate Course

This seven week online program is designed to train and qualify students to provide assistance to crime victims, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Participants will be prepared to work with state and county governments as advocates for crime victims, assisting them in progressing through the criminal justice system and toward successful recovery. Also available via DVD or Text-only Formats.

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Personal Injury for Paralegals

With this exciting, fast-paced class you will learn many of the legal terms, causes of action, and remedies available to victims of personal injury accidents. We will review the negligence theory of torts upon which many personal injury claims are based. Students will discuss interviewing, investigating and other case building techniques vital to a personal injury paralegal's success in the law office. Class discussions and lesson material will include the different kinds of personal injury claims including (but not limited to): car accidents, slip and falls, medical negligence/malpractice, manufacturer product defects, and class-action lawsuits. Discover the basic categories of damages recovery, statutes of limitations, and schemes for liability. Successful graduates of this non-credit course will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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Advanced Legal Research & Writing Certificate Course

This exciting course is designed to teach advanced and specialized approaches to utilize the legal resources available in a law library, and elsewhere. The conceptual differences between computer-assisted legal research and hard copy research will be taught. You will also learn how to formulate WESTLAW search queries and effectively and efficiently use WESTLAW and other online legal research methods as time-saving devices in legal research and legal writing. This course is designed to examine more thoroughly advanced and specialized approaches to utilizing the legal sources available in the law library and online. Successful graduates of this non-credit course will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Minnesota State University - Mankato..

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Software Essentials for the Law Office

This dynamic course is designed for legal professionals interested in improving their skills and knowledge of commonly used computer technology and programs within the law office. Course topics include: computer operating systems and peripheral devices; time tracking and billing software; database, case management and docket control software; litigation support software; electronic discovery, and trial presentation and graphics software. Hands on exercises will prepare students to work with popular programs such as MS PowerPoint, Practice Master’s Tabs 3, AbacusLaw, Summation iBlaze, Trial Director and LexisNexis CaseMap & TimeMap, as well as understand the common functions and purposes of similar programs. Successful graduates of this non-credit course will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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Employment Law Certificate Course

Employment law is a branch of contract law that deals with relationships between employers and employees. This course will cover statutes such as the National Labor Relations Act, the Railway Labor Act, and other various statutes dealing with public employees. Topics to be included are master and servant, wages and hours, antidiscrimination in employment and minimum wages and maximum hours, as well as regulation of working conditions. Successful graduates of this non-credit course will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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