Legal Investigation Online (PLGL 0108)


Phone: 703-993-2109

Fax: 703-993-2121

George Mason University in collaboration with The Center for Legal Studies offers Legal Investigation Certificate Online.

This course is designed to teach legal investigation to those interested in pursuing a new career and those presently working in the legal field. At the end of the course, students will be qualified to assist attorneys, paralegals, insurance companies, and private businesses, as well as state and federal government agencies, in the process of civil and criminal investigation.

Students will also be taught how to create a freelance investigation business. Included subject areas are: arson investigation, product liability investigation, personal injury and traffic accident forensics, employment accidents, investigation of financial and equity matters, professional malpractice and negligence, skip-tracing, and the role of a legal investigator in preparing for civil and criminal litigation.

  • Individuals seeking legal investigation training and skills necessary for a career in the legal field
  • Current paralegals wanting to increase their legal investigation skills as well as learn new marketable job skills
Lesson 1: Introduction to our legal system, legal and ethical considerations for the investigator, law of agency and coverage of rules of court and evidence.

Lesson 2: General interviewing and investigation techniques, sources of leads and information, fact analysis, taking witness statements, forensic photography, proper service of legal process, and surveillance.

Lesson 3: Personal injury investigation techniques, traffic accident reconstruction, premises accidents, employment accidents, government investigation, document analysis and control, financial and equity analysis, testimony, and case studies. Job search strategies and placement possibilities will also be discussed.

Students will learn to:
  • Discuss the origins and history of the American legal system
  • Define and apply important legal terminology
  • Discuss ethics for the law office
  • List the elements of tort law and contract law
  • Explain the important rules of civil procedure
  • Demonstrate how to interview clients and witnesses
  • Demonstrate how to conduct a legal investigation: gathering facts, gathering evidence and taking statements of clients and witnesses
  • Demonstrate how to handle evidence that has been gathered
  • How to explain the important rules regarding the admissibility of evidence in court
  • Describe how to perform legal research
  • Discuss how to create a freelance legal investigation business
To receive a Certificate of Completion from George Mason University, students are expected to complete the following:
  • Six tests
  • One writing assignment
  • Six online bulletin board participation assignments
Students are expected to spend an average of at least eight hours per week reading and completing writing assignments. 70 percent is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Textbooks are not included in the course registration fee.

Required textbook for this course:
Federal Civil Rules Booklet,, Inc. Textbooks are not included in the course registration fee. To order textbook call CLS at 1-800-522-7737.

Highly Recommended Legal Resources
Oran’s Dictionary of Law, 4th Edition

Click here for continuing education financial aid information.

Please click here for a list of our instructors.

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