High School Diploma or GED/High School Equivalent

Completion time

completion time

The average student completes in 3-6 months

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

20 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Hours Towards Recertification



Regional – MSA
National – DEAC

Paralegals are choosing to specialize in a particular area of law

Everyone who has ever watched a crime show on TV is familiar with the modern phrasing of: You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. The right to legal representation against criminal charges is engrained in the fabric of Americans. Blackstone’s Criminal Law advanced paralegal course introduces students to the criminal justice system and its components as well as their multifaceted role as a paralegal.

The accompanying textbook, Fundamentals of Criminal Practice: Law and Procedure presents the principles of criminal law and the paralegal’s role in criminal proceedings. This correspondence course explores the basic principles of criminal law, the types of offenses, and criminal procedure from the commission of the offense to trials and their aftermath. The prosecutor’s role in initiating cases and the role of the defense attorney in defending the accused are discussed. Along with the importance of pre-trial motions and plea bargaining, this course also covers homicide, assault and battery, arson, burglary, embezzlement and extortion.

As a practicing paralegal, you should have some knowledge in this field, yet most employers will want to see some additional education or experience before putting you to work on criminal cases. Earning an advanced certification is one way to open doors in the specialty of criminal law.

Course Objectives

  • Understand criminal law and the criminal legal system of the United States
  • Explain the paralegal’s role in the prosecution of crimes and the administration of justice in criminal proceedings
  • Identify the components of and classification of various criminal acts
  • Explain the elements of crimes against property, public order and safety, and justice and administration, as well as inchoate and organized crimes
  • Explain different types of defenses and their elements
  • Identify the paralegal’s role in the intake procedure in a prosecutor’s office and in drafting a complaint
  • Understand the legal elements of search and seizure, including the legal use of warrants and the preparation of warrants
  • Discuss a defendant’s rights concerning confession
  • Explain and understand the paralegal’s role in pretrial procedures from initial appearance to pretrial conference
  • Describe the paralegal’s duties and tasks during the trial procedure
  • Understand terms and forms of sentencing and punishment.


Interested in advancing your knowledge in a specific area of law? Blackstone’s Advanced Paralegal Courses are designed for both professional development and to meet the continuing legal education (CLE) needs of practicing paralegals.

If you are a Certified Paralegal (CP) through NALA, the National Association of Legal Assistants, each advanced course is worth 20 hours toward the 50 hours of Continuing Legal Education needed for paralegal recertification. Each advanced paralegal course has been reviewed by NALS… the association of legal professionals and can be applied to the five-year PLS and PP recertification.


  • Sharpen your paralegal resume with advanced industry-related knowledge in a legal specialty.
  • Advancing your knowledge on specific areas of the law shows a commitment to continued growth and life-long learning.
  • Continuing your education in a specialized legal area, increases job opportunities
  • The more education you gain, the more you qualify for advancement which in turn leads to increased pay.
  • Additional credentials show initiative and may contribute to your resume standing out to potential law firms.

Use of the NALA logo indicates membership in NALA and does not indicate an endorsement, approval, or recommendation of any school, education program, or training related to the qualifications for any testing or certifications provided by NALA.


Fundamentals of Criminal Practice: Law and Procedure

by Thomas E. McClure and Thomas E. Eimermann, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 3rd Edition

Blackstone’s Advanced Paralegal Courses include all materials needed: a commercial e-textbook and an accompanying study guide. Your e-book is delivered via VitalSource, one of the most popular and user-friendly e-textbook platforms for higher education. Blackstone’s Online Student Center allows you to easily access your coursework, take exams and receive instantaneous Grade Reports, chat real-time, participate in online discussions, and receive news about Blackstone.


BCI is committed to providing quality, relevant, and affordable distance education programs that focus on the knowledge and skills needed for entry-level careers, professional development or personal goals.

Why choose blackstone? Accredited programs, leads to certification and payment plan options to start your futurev



$ 455 One time payment
  • Fastest completion time
  • Total $455


$ 59 Month
  • Most popular plan
  • $160 downpayment, 5 monthly payments of $59, Total $455
  • BCI Payment Plans Our all-inclusive online certificate programs offer payment plans with no interest
  • Pay using your credit or debit card! We accept Visa, Discover, Master Card and American Express cards.
  • Refund Policy At Blackstone, our student service team focuses on student satisfaction. However, if you choose not to continue your studies we offer a refund policy. Cancellations within the first 5 days of enrollment receive a full refund. After the first 5 days your refund amount is based on tuition collected, lessons completed and enrollment date. Learn more about our refund policy.


At Blackstone, we want to see you achieve your education and career goals. We firmly believe that continuing education provides the opportunity to improve your lifestyle by increasing your skill set, marketability, chances for promotion, an increase in salary, and in some cases a career transition.  In order to receive the high quality education you deserve, here are some options to assist you in choosing how to pay for your Advanced Paralegal Course:

  • State and Local Assistance Blackstone Career Institute is currently an eligible training provider in many states supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and an approved vendor with Vocational Rehabilitation in most states. Check with your local Workforce Service or Vocational Rehabilitation office to determine if you qualify for assistance through one of their programs.
  • Employer Tuition Reimbursement Blackstone is both nationally and regionally accredited which means we qualify for most corporation education reimbursement programs. Check with your company human resources department for information about their tuition reimbursement benefits.
  • Military Benefits We’re proud to be on a list of military friendly schools. If you qualify for Military Benefits, please click here to learn more.
"So I then started to look at increasing my chances of landing a job as a Real Estate Paralegal, and found I could study Real Estate Law from Blackstone Career Institute, and receive a certification! After finishing the course, I just landed a new job at a law firm, and starting next week! Blackstone Career Institute was super user friendly, and were always available when I called. The online user center was easy to navigate, and they provided all the tools I needed to finish the course in 2 months! I was able to go at my own pace which I loved."
- James W.
BCI Graduate


Yes, these certificate courses have been designed for the purpose of professional growth, personal enrichment and continuing education. If you are a Certified Paralegal (CP) through NALA, the National Association of Legal Assistants, each advanced course is worth 20 hours toward the 50 hours of Continuing Legal Education needed for paralegal recertification.
You can choose to pay the $455 tuition in full or; We offer a payment plan with a 100% approval rate for our advanced paralegal courses—you will pay a $160.00 down payment & 5 monthly payments of $59.00.
Yes, the advanced paralegal courses use e-books for convenience of studying on the go and to allow us to keep tuition costs down. Students who wish to purchase a physical copy of the e-book can simply use the ISBN number provided on our website to purchase the book through a third party like amazon or
Students can enroll anytime from our website by clicking here or calling our student service center Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST at 800.826.9228. Blackstone has open-enrollment, so students can enroll in our online programs anytime, 24/7/365.

Blackstone does not offer traditional financial aid. Please view our no interest payment plan options here

Students who pay in full for their program will have access to all of their materials once enrolled. Students who enroll under a monthly payment plan will have access to a new unit every month upon making their monthly payment.
Yes. Blackstone Career Institute is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), and regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. Accreditation assures the public that our curriculum, faculty, administrative procedures and polices meet the accrediting agencies’ exceptionally high standards. To better understand the value of accreditation, read this document published by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).