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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
Do you want to work in the legal profession? Do you need to know more about the law for your job? This is the course for you.
This course can be valuable for anyone who needs to work within a Legal office, Paralegal or Legal Support  situation (eg. Law office staff, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Solicitors, Law Professors, Legal Receptionists/Secretaries, Private Investigators, Authorised Government Inspectors and Officers, Law Enforcement Officers and many others.

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Improve your knowledge of the law and the legal profession with this certificate in legal practices.

Take a first step toward working in the Law.

This course can be valuable for anyone who needs to work within a Legal office, Paralegal or Legal Support  situation (eg. Law office staff, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Solicitors, Law Professors, Legal Receptionists/Secretaries, Private Investigators, Authorised Government Inspectors and Officers, Law Enforcement Officers and many others).

How to Get Your Career Started:

If you haven't worked in either an office or legal situation before, you are wise to take a two pronged approach to improving your chances to work in this industry:

1. Enrol  in a course.   If you have limited time to study, start with our 100 hour Legal Terminology short course. You can always upgrade to a full certificate later on. If you have the time though; consider enrolling in this full certificate from the start. Obviously, the more you study, the more your opportunities for employment are advanced.

2. Get some experience.  Qualifications alone are rarely enough to win out in a job interview or a contest for promotion once you are in a legal office. Volunteering with community based organisations can be a great way to get some initial experience, particularly if the organisation has a relevance to law (eg. Neighbourhood Crime Watch committees, Victims of Crime support bodies, Local Government bodies, etc). Volunteering can impress potential employers, and help you stand out from your competition.

This course is relevant for a wide range of situations from business and politics, to Law, Crime and Police.


Course Structure 

Six modules need to be successfully completed, as follows. There are three core modules -

Then you choose three modules from the list of elective modules below -
So six modules should be completed in total.  To pass the course, you need to pass all assignments and six examinations.  You can find more information on how exams work here. 
More Information on the Core Modules

Module 1.    Legal Systems and Terminology

There are 8 lessons in this course:

1.            Scope and Nature of Legal Terminology 

    • Codification, Origin of legal words, 
    • Development of Legal Language, The Role of Latin in the Development of Legal Language and Law, 
    • Common legal language, Sources of law, 
    • Broad Categories of Law, Substantive Vs Procedural Law, Private vs. Public Law, Civil vs. Common Law,
    • Types of Law, Administrative Law, Adversarial (Accusatorial Law), Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Continental Law, Contract Law, Common Law (English Law), Criminal or Penal Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Inquisitorial Law, Islamic Law, Property Law, Public Law, Roman Law, Socialist Law, Statute Law, Tort Law, Trust Law; 
    • Separation of Powers (Judicial, Legislative, Executive); 
    • Essential Features of the Westminster System, 
    • Common legal terms.

 2.            The Legal Workplace 

    • People & Processes; 
    • Types of Lawyers: Attorney (or Advocate), Barrister Vs Solicitor, Criminal Defence Lawyers, Corporate Lawyers, Bankruptcy Lawyers, Civil Lawyers, Other specialisations, Court Solicitors, Barristers, Court Agents, Paralegal Professionals, 
    • Law courts, Role of courts, 
    • Jurisdiction, Judicial Immunity, General jurisdiction, Limited (bounded or special) jurisdiction, 
    • Criminal jurisdiction:, Monetary jurisdiction, Original jurisdiction:, Intermediate Jurisdiction, Appellate jurisdiction:, Ancillary jurisdiction:, Concurrent jurisdiction, Exclusive jurisdiction, Pendent jurisdiction, Subject matter jurisdiction, 
    • Levels of Courts, Appellate Court, Civil Court, Constitutional Court, Article Courts, Circuit Courts, County Court, Court of Assize, Court of Equity, Court of Record, District Court, Family Court, Federal Court, Full Court: (or full bench), Privy Council, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, Juvenile Court, Magistrate’s Court, Open Court, Probate Court, Small Claims Court, Superior Court, Supreme Court, English Court Structure, 
    • Dispute Resolution

3.            Legal systems

    • Laws in different countries -UK, Australia, International Law etc. 
    • Common law legal systems,
    • Civil law, 
    • Codification of law, 
    • Separation of powers 

4.            Contract & Business Law

    • Nature of Contract,
    • Unilateral contracts, Bilateral contracts, 
    • Classes of contract, Formal Contracts, Simple contracts, 
    • Validity and enforceability, Agreement, 
    • Rules as to offer, Rules as to acceptance of an offer, Revocation of an offer, Rules as to rejection of an offer, Rules as to lapse of an offer,
    • Intention to Create Legal Relations, Consideration, Rules relating to consideration, 
    • Lawful Object, 
    • Capacity to Contract, Discharge and Conclusion of Contract, Formation of Simple Contract

5.            Property Law

    • Real Property, Personal Property, Conveyancing, England and Wales, Scotland, USA, Australia, Intellectual Property, Patent, Trademarks, Copyright, Design patent, Confidential information (trade secrets), Related terminology

6.            Wills, Probate, Estate Law

    • Estate, Wills, Heirs, Inheritance, Beneficiaries, Probate, Will Requirements (Testamentary intent, Testamentary capacity, Lack of duress, Absence of undue influence, Witnesses), Trusts, Related terminology

7.            Criminal Law

    • Social construction, 
    • History of punishment, 
    • Reasons for Punishment (Rehabilitation, Deterrence/Prevention, Protection of Society/Incapacitation, Restoration, Retribution, Education), 
    • USA - Criminal Law or Penal Law, 
    • Australian Criminal Law,
    • Canadian Criminal Law, 
    • Tort Law, Classification of Torts (Intentional Tort, Unintentional Tort) 
    • Purpose of Tort Law (Compensation for Damages, Financial Responsibility, Deterrence, Avoiding self-help),
    • Negligence, 
    • Statutory Torts, Nuisance, Defamation, Intentional Torts, Economic Torts; Duty of Care, 
    • Breach of Confidence, Causation, 
    • Related terms

8.            Other Categories

    • Family Law (Decree nisi, De facto marriage, Equitable adoption, Adoption by estoppels, Interlocutory decree, Judgement nisi, etc), 
    • Civil Actions,
    • Bankruptcy, 
    • Insurance Law, 
    • Accidents 
    • Compensation and related terminology.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Module 2.   Office Practices

There are 6 lessons in this course:

1.            Introduction 

    • Scope of office work, 
    • Procedures, 
    • The home office vs commercial premises, etc. 

2.            Communication Systems 

    • Using the phone, 
    • Business letters, faxes, couriers, postage, etc. 

3.            Writing Letters and Reports 

    • Structure of a report, 
    • Memos, 
    • Writing business letters. 

4.            Computers 

    • Scope and uses of computers, 
    • Types of computers, software types, peripherals, word processing, CD Roms, Modems, 
    • Setting up and care of a PC.

 5.            Office Materials and Equipment 

    • Stationary,
    • Office furniture, 
    • Paper specifications, 
    • Filing & record keeping etc. 

6.            Office Organization and Procedure

    • Office layout and organization
    • Security.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Module 3.  Criminal Psychology

There are 10 lessons in this course:

1.            Introduction to Criminal Psychology

2.            Psychological approaches to understanding crime

3.            Psychology and understanding serious crimes

4.            Mental disorder and crime 1 - Learning disabilities and crime

5.            Mental Disorder and Crime 2 - Psychopathy

6.            Gender and Crime

7.            Youth and Crime

8.            Psychology and the Police

9.            Psychology in the Courtroom

10.          Psychology and Crime Prevention



Crimes are acts that break the law of the particular society.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines crime as:

“An act punishable by law, as being forbidden by statute or injurious to the public welfare. An evil or injurious act, an offence, sin, especially of a grave character.”

However, we also have to consider does the law cover all acts that may cause injury to public welfare? What about damaging decisions made by the government?  Also, what is considered a crime – as we have discussed above, some behaviours are considered immoral or antisocial, but are not necessarily a crime. 

Think about the following:

  • Euthanasia
  • Killing in self-defence
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Taking drugs
  • Killing during a war
  • Failing to join the army as required in a war time situation.
  • Making personal phone calls at work
  • Using the internet in work time
  • Using work envelopes/stationery etc
  • Finding money in the street and keeping it
  • Prostitution.


So, on the one hand we have crimes that break the law, and hence represent the ‘legal’ definition of crime. On the other hand, we have acts that offend our moral code which represent the ‘normative’ definition of crime. 

We have probably given you more questions than answers here, but defining crime is not, as we said earlier, a simple matter.  As we can see, crimes are defined by societies and by culture and the time that we live in. For example, it would not have been a crime one hundred years ago to not pay your TV licence in the UK, because there was no TV.  In Victorian pharmacies, cocaine was sold, but today this would be considered illegal in most countries.

So what we view as a crime depends on:

  • How crime is viewed
  • Time
  • Particular society
  • Culture

There is no objective, simple definition of crime.  The meaning of crime is affected by the particular society in which you live.  Therefore, we can say that the meaning of crime is actually a social construction.

Crime has several meanings all of which are socially constructed.  There are crimes that occur within strict legal definitions and those that relate to codes or conventions known as normative definitions. They are usually formal moral codes such as religions, or informal codes such as socially acceptable behaviour. 





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Meet some of our academics

Sarah RedmanOver 15 years industry experience covering marketing, PR, administration, event management and training, both in private enterprise and government; in Australia and the UK.
Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
David CrothersChartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA. Extensive international experience in business and finance.
Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc.15+ years experience in HR, marketing, education & project management. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia.