Master of Professional Studies in the Field of Paralegal Studies

The master of professional studies in the field of paralegal studies is an advanced credential for those who wish to lead the profession in a variety of settings such as law, finance, insurance, consulting, and health care. The program curriculum balances a focus on analysis and critical thinking with the applied skills that employers seek: written and oral communication, research, and managing complex tasks and teams. Students complete the 32-credit master's program in four semesters. GW's College of Professional Studies also offers a graduate certificate in paralegal studies and graduate certificate in California paralegal studies. Credits earned in both certificate programs may be applied toward master’s degree requirements.

Visit the program website for more information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 32 credits, including 20 credits in required courses and 12 credits in courses from one track. 

PSLX 6210American Jurisprudence
PSLX 6211Legal Research and Writing
PSLX 6212Litigation
PSLX 6223Contracts
PSLX 6224Advanced Legal Writing
PSLX 6225Business Entities
PSLX 6294Independent Research in Legal Studies
PSLX 6298Paralegal Practicum
All courses from one track:
Legal Practice Track
PSLX 6214Administrative Law
PSLX 6215Government Contracts Law
PSLX 6226International Law
PSLX 6227Intellectual Property Law
Health Care Corporate Compliance Track
PSHC 6201Introduction to Health Care Corporate Compliance
PSHC 6202Compliance with Laws and Regulations I
PSHC 6204Compliance with Laws and Regulations II
PSHC 6206Case Studies in Health Care Corporate Compliance

See CPS regulations for additional information regarding enrollment status and time limits.

Director  T. Marsh

For faculty information visit the program website.

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000s to 4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

PSLX 6210. American Jurisprudence. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the foundations, theories, history, and applications of the American legal system; local, state, and federal courts and sources of law; and ethics and professionalism issues of especial importance to paralegals.

PSLX 6211. Legal Research and Writing. 3 Credits.

Fundamentals of legal research using print and online tools.

PSLX 6212. Litigation. 3 Credits.

Legal technology and the rules of court, procedure, and evidence; technical and substantive skills necessary for effective litigation support.

PSLX 6213. Corporations and Contracts Law. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6214. Administrative Law. 3 Credits.

An introduction to administrative and regulatory law; history and development of administrative law; agency, due process, agency actions, administrative investigation and hearings, and judicial review.

PSLX 6215. Government Contracts Law. 3 Credits.

The law of procuring, forming, and executing government contracts, including drafting and litigation; competition requirements, contract changes, and contract terminations; researching and drafting documents common to a government contracts practice.

PSLX 6216. Elements of Intellectual Property Law. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6217. Prosecution and Litigation in Intellectual Law Practice. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6218. International Trade and Finance. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6219. International Litigation. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6221. Tanzanian Legal System. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6222. Tanzanian Community Law. 3 Credits.

PSLX 6223. Contracts. 3 Credits.

Contract elements, their attendant legal ramifications, and the processes necessary to make such determinations. Development of legal reasoning skills in evaluating issues arising from contract law.

PSLX 6224. Advanced Legal Writing. 3 Credits.

Advanced legal writing techniques and drafting for legal practice. Legal writing in plain English; strategies for effective writing; emphasis on legal memoranda, legal correspondence, and preparing and drafting legal pleadings and documents for court. Refines and advances skills in written legal analysis and legal citation.

PSLX 6225. Business Entities. 3 Credits.

Overview of business organizations, including partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Key concepts applicable to business organizations, including regulation, business formation, document preparation. Application of legal analysis within the context of business entities and other topics applicable to paralegals in all disciplines.

PSLX 6226. International Law. 3 Credits.

Introduction and survey of international law, including international trade law and litigation. Rules and principles governing relations among sovereign states, international organizations, and sources of international law. Analysis of the rules and customs for handling international trade. International courts and tribunals; overview of the treaties, customary principles, and institutional structures governing international human rights law.

PSLX 6227. Intellectual Property Law. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the legal structure of an intellectual property practice. Trademarks, copyrights, and patents and the supporting practice concomitant to each element. Analysis of the processes, supporting documentation, laws, and rules regarding patent prosecution and litigation. This course complements and builds upon the legal issues and analysis introduced in the courses on contracts, business entities, and litigation.

PSLX 6228. California Law and Practice. 3 Credits.

Overview of the state of California's government and court structures, rules of court, litigation support procedures and technology, and professional ethics. May be used to satisfy the California paralegal continuing legal education requirement.

PSLX 6294. Independent Research in Legal Studies. 2 Credits.

Guided, independent research to demonstrate the higher level of competency in research, analysis, writing, and oral presentation. Restricted to students in the MPS in paralegal studies programs.

PSLX 6298. Paralegal Practicum. 0-3 Credits.

Students work in legal environments while completing their studies, taking active roles to obtain, manage, and maximize the value of their positions. Restricted to students in the MPS in paralegal studies program.