Online Paralegal Certificate Program Available through CSM

14-Week Course Prepares Students for Jobs in Legal Field

            Students interested in pursuing a paralegal career will have the opportunity to earn a Paralegal Certificate through an online course to be offered by the College of Southern Maryland in partnership with the Center for Legal Studies, a Colorado company that provides students with affordable and effective legal education through colleges across the nation.  The first offering will begin Aug. 25.

“According to U.S. Department of Labor data, the paralegal field is growing faster than average in the state of Maryland. It is anticipated that the job openings will increase 17 percent between now and 2020 primarily due to the number of baby boomers retiring from the field,” said CSM Workforce Development Executive Director Susan Ross.

 Nationally, the projection of paralegal positions is expected to increase 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, a growth rate that is much faster than the national average for all occupations. The national median earnings for paralegals is $45,480 and freelance paralegal professionals can earn significantly more.

            The 14-week Paralegal Certificate Course© is designed to prepare students for the job market in the legal field and give them the knowledge and skills needed to begin earning a salary as quickly as possible. Training focuses on providing a comprehensive knowledge of the American judicial system as well as practical skills including how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, create legal documents, research the law and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation.

“Our research among colleges offering the program demonstrates that the Center for Legal Studies program has benefited many students across the nation. And, the program is online which enables students to obtain this credential conveniently and quickly,” said Ross.

            According to the Center for Legal Studies, graduates of the Paralegal Certificate Course are working in different industries throughout the U.S. including law firms, major corporations, healthcare organizations, insurance companies, the banking industry and government agencies. Students who successfully complete the Paralegal Certificate Course will receive their certificate from CSM.

            Tuition assistance is available for the certificate program through CSM’s Continuing Education Operations for residents of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties based on financial need. Visit or call 301-539-4760.

For information and to register, contact CSM Business and Information Technology Program Coordinator Paula Coluzzi at 301-934-7557 or

For information on the Paralegal Certificate Program, visit


The Center for Legal Studies (CLS) was founded in 1980.  CLS offers legal courses in conjunction with over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide in live lecture, online, DVD, and text-only formats. The curriculum is updated by CLS to remain current and on pace with the newest trends in the legal industry. Recognizing the state-of-the-art technology and ease of use, online courses created by CLS were awarded top honors by Thomson West Publishing International. For more information, visit

The College of Southern Maryland’s Workforce Development Programs include training in automotive, business, computer and information technology, construction, early childhood, fitness and wellness, healthcare, hospitality, non-profit, real estate, teacher education, transportation and veterinarian. Training sites include the La Plata, Prince Frederick and Leonardtown campuses, as well as the Center for Trades and Energy Training and Waldorf Center in Waldorf, and the Center for Transportation Training, the Small Business Technology Development Center and the Maryland Center for Environmental Training in La Plata.