Center for Continuing Studies

Advance Legal Research and Writing Certificate

WIOA Certified

Our course teaches the advanced and specialized research approaches to using a law library and online research sites.

You'll learn the conceptual differences between computer-assisted legal research and hard copy research. You'll also learn how to formulate WESTLAW® search queries and to use online legal research methods as timesaving devices.


  • You must have completed the Paralegal Certificate Course (Paralegal 1& 2) or the equivalent or have law office experience to take the course.
  • Expect at least 50 hours of study.
  • You'll complete reading and homework assignments and be assigned an advanced research project and writing assignment.
  • Final projects must be presented for grading to complete the course.

Topics covered

  • Legal authorities and citations
  • Writing legal analysis
  • WESTLAW® online legal research
  • Legal memoranda
  • Manual legal research
  • Types of legal writing

What you earn

Successful graduates earn a certificate of completion from St. Cloud State University, and a certificate of course hours completed from The Center for Legal Studies.

2019 Sessions

Cost:  $729

  • Oct. 21 - Dec. 6

2020 Sessions

Cost:  $995

  • Jan. 13 - Feb. 28
  • Mar. 9 - Apr. 24
  • May 4 - June 19
  • June 29 - Aug. 14
  • Aug. 24 - Oct. 9


Order "Legal Research, Analysis and Writing," "Legal Research Methods, 2nd Edition" and "Oran's Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition" through The Center for Legal Studies.

WESTLAW® legal research access.

Alternate registrations

  • 800-522-7737, and pay by credit card
  • 320-308-4723 or 320-308-6100, and pay by check
  • Complete this form PDF)

Need a payment plan?  Two easy steps:

  1. Complete a registration form (PDF), then submit it by email or mail
  2. Contact to initiate your payment plan

What is required?

  • 25 percent down-payment
  • Monthly payments 
  • Nonrefundable $30 enrollment fee

Ways to Pay:

  • Auto Debit - automatically deducts payment from checking/savings account
  • Pay via mobile apps
  • Online - log on to make a one-time payment
  • Mail a payment 
  • Online bank payment  through your bank's online bill pay service

Contact: Angela Olson