Paralegal Program

This intensive, nationally acclaimed program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers.

Students will be trained to interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, create legal documents, and prepare cases for courtroom litigation.

The instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of law in which paralegals are in most demand.

This program provides an overview of the legal system, legal research, legal writing, civil procedure, ethics, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal evidence, torts, and contracts.

Student grades are based on the completion of weekly tests, online participation forums, and writing assignments.


• Locate commonly used legal reference materials
• Explain how the sources of law research materials are used, their hierarchy, and the difference between primary, secondary, and finding tool resources
• Identify and frame a simple legal issue, and identify the facts that relate to it
• Conduct legal research using a computer-assisted legal research tool, such as WESTLAW.
• Prepare a formal legal memorandum dealing with a simple legal issue.
• Articulate the parts of a well-written legal opinion and formal legal memorandum and the purpose each serves.
• Use citations in written legal material.
• Articulate the significant differences between an objective memorandum and persuasive writing.
• Legal terminology, ethics, and the litigation process.
• The rules of evidence and civil procedure.
• Basic interviewing and investigation techniques and the development and use of demonstrative evidence.
• Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and Requests for Production of Documents.
• Research skills and techniques for use in legal memoranda, motions, and briefs.
• Preparation and critique of legal memoranda.
• Preparation of legal documents.

Individuals seeking paralegal training and skills necessary for a career as a paralegals and current paralegal wanting to improve their legal and administrative skills

Note: PEWD program participants should be 18 years or older.

This course is designed for adult students and is taught on a college level. Minimum requirements to take this course is a high school diploma or GED, and to be 18 years of age prior to enrollment.

• Paralegal Certificate Course© Workbook, by Margaret J. Kirk
• Legal Document Preparation Manual for the Paralegal Certificate Course©
• Paralegal Career for Dummies, by Scott and Lisa Hatch.
• Introduction to Paralegalism, 8th Edition by William Statsky
• Federal Civil Rules Booklet (most recent edition)
• A Uniform System of Citation "The Bluebook" (most recent edition)
• WESTLAW online legal research access
• Materials can be purchased on The Center for Legal Studies store.

Please note that books are NOT included in the cost of the course. Books sold separately.

Kimberly Spakes

Kimberly Spakes has worked in the legal field for over 25 years for legal departments in the government, private, corporate, and non-profit sectors in the practice areas of eDiscovery management, real estate, intellectual property, medical malpractice, product liability, anti-trust, white collar crime and employment law.

A 6-year Air Force veteran, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and a Master of Science in Justice Administration and Criminal Justice from Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio. She completed a graduate program in Paralegal Studies at Rollins College in Winterpark, Florida.

She has a strong background in investigations, eDiscovery management, legal research, performance management, process improvement, Six Sigma, database administration, document management, litigation and trial technology, and caseload management.

Note: If you are applying for the Continuing Education Private Loan to cover the registration fee for a non-credit continuing education program, then please use the UTRGV Continuing Education School Code: 003599. The loan amount you note in the application cannot exceed the open enrollment fee noted on our website. Books will NOT be included in the loan amount. The minimum for the loans must be $500.00. Some service charges may apply.

*The only loan provider PEWD accepts is Sallie Mae*

Please email once you have been approved so we may certify your loan.

Private Loans


Course Information

Registration Deadline:
July 8, 2024 at 12 p.m

July 9 - August 31, 2024

Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays

Tuesdays & Thursdays: 6 p.m - 9 p.m CT
Saturdays: 8:30 a.m - 1 p.m CT

Program Modality:
Online (Instructor Led Via Zoom)


Ms. Kimberly Spakes

$ 2,195 (Books not included in cost)

Students requiring accommodation should contact our office to learn about the process.



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