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Frequently Asked Questions


Coupling your basic paralegal certificate with a legal specialty provides you a tremendous advantage in today’s job market. Employers are looking for an immediate return on their investment once you begin working. They do not want to  have to spend any money on training you. Earning an advanced specialty certificate allows you to stand out among your fellow paralegals. It also can update your resume if you haven’t been working for a while or if you are looking to change specialties.


Below please find our FAQ about our Advanced Specialty Certificates. Please review the information below and if you have any questions please let me know! I can send you the syllabi for any program you are interested in.  Most advanced specialty certificates require 4 courses to obtain the certificate. You can take them together if your schedule permits or one at a time.  If you are just looking to take one course/class that is ok too!











Renee Sova, Founder and CEO
Advanced Paralegal Institute
678-777-9655 (local office)
419-791-7802 (fax)

 01  Could you give me a description of a typical online class?

The class is five weeks in length and equivalent to a graduate level class for paralegals. You will have discussion questions, e-lectures, assignments, and readings each week. Every week you will cover two units for a total of 10 units. We can send you the course syllabus for any class you are interested in taking. This is not a tutorial. You will have an instructor available at all times even though the class is taught online and in an asychronous format using our Moodle's network which is accessible by the web.




 02  Is it similar to following a tutorial?

No, there is an instructor who guides the class and the discussion. The instructor is available for questions any time. You do not need to be on line at a specific time. Our classrooms are open 24/7.




 03  How many hours per week online are required?

There is no set time required but plan to spend an average of  3-5 hours per week per class/course.  That is an estimate. Not all of this time is spent on the computer. You will respond to discussions on line but you can print the e-lectures and assignments. You will have a textbook with assigned reading. The benefit of the distance learning course is that it is available to you around the clock and you can do it when it is most convenient for your schedule. You can access the courses directly from the web site from any computer. We provide a study guide which is a map to the course in addition to direction from your instructor.




 04  What is the average number of hours spent for individuals completing this 5 week course, including study time off line, if applicable?

See above.




 05 How are tests given and grades awarded?

Most courses require a final exam.  You will receive a grade on the final exam.  You are also graded on your responses to the discussion questions each week and the assignments.  This combination of tests, assignments,  and discussion responses will result in your grade for the course. You will be issued a progress report that you can submit to your employer if you are part of an education reimbursement program. You only receive the Advanced Specialty Certificate if you take the entire group of classes in a particular specialty. Courses and Classes are words that are used interchangably. Advanced Certificates are awarded when you complete all the courses/classes required. See below for class groupings.




 06  Does it normally take a day for the instructor to answer questions?


No, but we tell students that is the absolute latest allowed for a reply. Our instructors are wonderful and try to make themselves as readily available as possible.




 07  Given that we all have different learning styles, is there a certain percentage of individuals who find themselves unable to learn in this particular environment?


Everyone is different. A distance learning course is intense and takes discipline and requires the student to be very responsible. An employer typically will regard a distance learning student as one who shows initiative and does not require a lot of supervision.  It is easy to go to a campus or building and sit for three hours a week, listen to a lecture, discuss the subject matter, and then return the next week. Studying on line take discipline, determination and independence, which is recognized by many employers.




 08  Where might I find recommendations for your course, other than on your website?


The National Federation of Paralegals ( NFPA) has reviewed all of our course work and has granted CLE units for each class.  We are the official provider of the PACE Review Course and the Paralegal Core Competency Review Course co-sponsored with NFPA.  We also co-sponsor our ethics course with the International Paralegal Management Association ( IPMA) formerly known as The Legal Assistant Management Association ( LAMA ).   NALA also grants CLE for our courses towards your CLA requirements.




 09   What is the tuition for each course/class?


Each advanced or specialty course/class is $795.00. The PACE review course, the PCCE and Ethics course have different tuition rates. Please inquire if you are interested in any of these courses. If you are taking a 3 course series to earn your advanced specialty certificate, current tuition is $2385.00. If you are taking a 4 course series, current tuition is $3180.00.  If you just want to take one class and pay as you go each time, that is permitted. There is no financing. Classes must be paid for up front.




 10  Is there a book fee?


Yes, each course does require a book to be purchased by the student.   We will provide you with the book ordering information and the approximate fee for the textbook required for  each course after you register. There are other sources for purchasing your text beyond the publisher. Many students order on line from and and other on line bookstores. The PACE Review course requires the purchase of the PACE Study Manual which can be purchased from the publisher or on Inquire about the PCCE book directly with API at




 11  What is the course schedule? 


Students can start with other students on the various start dates listed on our web site. We offer eleven start dates per calendar year. However, if you are in need of a specialty class at any time, we will arrange for you to start at your convenience in a directed study with the instructor.




 12  How are the courses grouped to receive a specialty certificate?


Currently, in order to receive an advanced specialty certificate, you must take three or four courses/classes to receive this Certificate depending on the program.  Be sure to check with Renee Sova, the Director of Advanced Specialty Programs prior to signing up for your specialty certificate. You can take just one class at a time and you don’t have to take them all unless you plan to earn the advanced specialty certificate. There is no time limit on how long it can take you to complete a specialty certificate as long as the class is still available.


Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

1. Advanced Litigation (C525)

2. Alternative Dispute Resolution (C530)

3. Advanced Tort Law (C535)

4. (Prerequisites: Civil Litigation (A102) and Tort Law (A101))


Corporate Law

1. Advanced Corporate Law (C555)

2. Intellectual Property Law (C565)

3. Contract Law (C556)

4. (Prerequisite: Business Law (B202))


Intellectual Property

1. Intellectual Property Law (C565)

2. Copyright Law (C566)

3. Trademark Law (C567)

4. Patent Law (C568) 


Elder Law

1. Estates and Trust Law (C570)

2. Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions (C575)

3. Elder Law (C580)

4. Estate Planning (C576)


Foreclosure and Debtor/Creditor Law

1. C-560 Bankruptcy Law

2. A-105 Real Estate Law

3. C562 Foreclosure Law

4. C563 Debtor/Creditor Law


Real Estate Law

1. Real Estate Law

2. Contract Law

3. Foreclosure law


Stand alone Courses

1. Legal Writing

2. Lexis Workshop

3. PACE Review Course

4. PCCE Review Course




 13  What is, for example, a Litigation and ADR Specialty?  If I take the courses in this specialty, will a Specialty Certificate be recognized by the legal community? 


This is a credential that you will earn upon completion of the core courses that make up the specialty certificate.    It would signify a credential to be placed on your resume that would be recognized by the legal community at large. You do receive a  Certificate of Completion stating your specialty. Many students, while earning their specialty, include on their resume that they are a ”candidate for an Advanced Specialty Certificate in Litigation”. This can help your job search and in many instances, a future employer may pay for your tuition for future classes.




 14  Will these courses be applicable to the CLA education requirements?


We don’t have a formal agreement with NALA for the Advanced Specialty Courses, however many students have provided their syllabus to NALA and applied for CLE credits with no problem. As mentioned above, NFPA does automatically grant CLE credits because of our formal agreement. We are the official provider of the PACE and PCCE review courses for NFPA.




 15  For AIPS graduates, are these classes similar to the regular AIPS classroom experience?


Yes, the advanced and the specialty courses are taught on our Moodle Network.  Most courses are five weeks in length and cover two units per week for a total of 10 units.




 16  Can I apply the required core courses that I took during my regular AIPS paralegal program to an Advanced Specialty Certificate, or do I need to take some other level?


Most of the core AIPS courses will count towards the AIPS  Advanced Specialty Certificates if it is a required course to earn that specialty certificate. For example, if you took the Alternative Dispute Resolution class with AIPS you do not need to repeat this class. It will count as part of your Advanced Specialty Certificate in Litigation.For more information or a course syllabus, please e-mail Renee Sova at

Here is the web site to register by mail or online:

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