Paralegal Studies Certificate

Gain the knowledge and skills to succeed in the legal field

Program Fast Facts

  • Start date: February 26, 2022
  • Saturdays
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m. CDT
  • Live Online
  • 6 months
  • 5,495 Priority Tuition
    (expires 2/11/22)
    $5,745 Standard Tuition



Bruce Akerly

Mr. Akerly is the founding partner in Akerly Law PLLC, Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1982 with honors. He clerked for the Honorable Mary Lou Robinson, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. He has over 30 years of experience as a litigator, teacher and speaker in federal and state court, trial and appeal courts. Mr. Akerly has been selected to the 2019 Texas Super Lawyers list, which marks his 10th consecutive year for this honor. The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. He is a frequent writer and speaker on matters relating to creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, all federal district courts in Texas, the 5th, 6th and 10th United States Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as federal district courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin, the Western District of Tennessee, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Mr. Akerly has briefed and argued over 30 cases in the federal and state appellate courts.

Toya Walker, CCEP

Toya Walker is a multi-talented legal and certified compliance professional who has dedicated her life to serving others in the legal profession and in the community. Ms. Walker serves as Legal Director at Stewart Law Group, PLLC. Ms. Walker graduated cum laude in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2002, Ms. Walker graduated from Southeastern Paralegal Institute in Dallas, Texas, where she obtained her paralegal certificate, which is approved by the American Bar Association. Ms. Walker became a certified compliance and ethics professional in 2017.


Walker is described as having a positive attitude, being enthusiastic, and a servant leader in the legal profession and the community. She served as a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Texas Advisory Committee, NALA Continuing Education Council, and Ambassador of the J.L. Turner Legal Association – Paralegal Section. She is the recipient of the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division 2018 Exceptional Pro Bono Award.


Arlene Ferrell

Arlene Ferrell is a Technology Education Specialist in the Dallas Office of Perkins Coie, and has over 25 years of experience in the development and delivery of technology training. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Mary’s University, she collaborates with the firms’ Training Team and IT Department to implement new or upgrade technology while building strong relationships with legal practice groups. Additionally, Arlene creates and publishes technology learning materials; as well as review technical information prepared by others for clarity, consistency and content quality.
Ms. Ferrell is an active member of the International Legal Technology Association, American Society of Training & Development and served as a Board Member with the Chief Learning Officer Magazine for several years.
Arlene has worked with several global and local law firms, including Dorsey & Whitney, Andrews Kurth Kenyon, Thompson & Knight, and Carrington Coleman. Her own style of teaching others about the many features and tools available in legal technology has allowed her to stand out as an elite trainer in the field of legal technology.

Aaron Bath

Aaron is the National Director of Legal Operations & Litigation Support for Balfour Beatty, a $14 Billion+ market-cap multinational infrastructure group based in the UK. Prior to working in-house, Aaron worked for several top law firms in Dallas and New York as their managing senior trial paralegal having worked 100+ jury trials. Aaron earned his Bachelor's degree in Jurisprudential studies and graduate-level paralegal certificate from Southern Methodist University. Most recently, Aaron completed a professional certificate in Data Science & Analytics for Executives from Columbia University in New York and a Micro Masters in Artificial Intelligence from MIT. Aaron is the current President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA), and serves as VP of Education on the Board of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialist (ACEDS).

Michele Boerder

Board Certified Paralegal – Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Michele Boerder is a senior paralegal in the Dallas office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, and has 40 years of experience. She has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas and received an A.A. from the El Centro College Paralegal Program in 1979. She is a Board Certified Paralegal – Civil Trial, Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Certified Paralegal (“CP” through NALA), as well as a past President of the Paralegal Division, State Bar of Texas, and a past President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association.

Ms. Boerder served on the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Committee, the TBLS Paralegal Civil Trial Commission, NFPA's Certification Standards Committee, and Paralegal Today magazine’s editorial review board. She received the Dallas Area Paralegal Association’s Paralegal of the Year Award in 1995, NFPA's Paralegal of the Year Award in 2005, the Dallas Area Paralegal Association's "Michele M. Boerder Lifetime Achievement" award in 2006, NFPA’s William R. Robie award in 2011, and the Paralegal Division Award of Excellence in 2019.

Lindsey Hardy

Lindsey Hardy

Lindsey Hardy is a Trial Attorney and Partner at Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton Nerenberg PLLC whose current practice focuses on representing businesses and businesspeople in all phases of complex commercial litigation, employment-related claims, contract formation and contract disputes. Prior to joining Condon Tobin, Lindsey was a Partner at a well-respected Dallas full-service law firm where she obtained a vast array of litigation experience in civil litigation with an emphasis on personal injury, premises liability, construction defect, trucking and products liability lawsuits.  Lindsey has served as national counsel on behalf of Fortune 100 companies in at least 25 different states and is currently licensed to practice in Texas state and federal courts.
Ms. Hardy holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law.

Kristine Horn

Kristine Horn specializes in complex commercial litigation and has enjoyed an active trial and appellate practice since her licensure in 1989. While in private practice, she worked with both large and boutique firms and tried numerous cases in state and federal court. Her broad range of experience includes litigation concerning securities fraud, antitrust and unfair competition, contract disputes, consumer law, fiduciary obligations, employment law, healthcare, ERISA, intellectual property and white-collar crime.
Ms. Horn has served as appellate counsel in Texas, Colorado, New York and Florida state courts, and in the 5th and 2nd Circuit Courts of Appeal. Her arguments before the 5th Circuit include criminal cases in which she was appointed by the court to serve as counsel for indigent defendants.
Ms. Horn has written several legal articles and teaches an in-house constitutional law seminar for law schools across the country to assist students preparing for the multi-state bar exam. She currently works as an attorney for the 5th Court of Appeals.
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Kristen Hensley

Kristen Hensley has had several years of success representing heavily regulated industries including healthcare and financial services. She currently works for Conifer Health Solutions, a subsidiary of Tenet Health Care, where she serves as regulatory counsel, providing risk assessments and legal guidance to the business. Additionally, Kristen manages outside counsel in litigation matters across the United States.

Prior to serving as in-house counsel, Kristen was a litigation attorney. She worked for various law firms and tried numerous cases in state and federal court. Kristen’s practice areas were primarily focused on family law and civil litigation. To gain knowledge and experience, Kristen served as a court appointed attorney ad litem.
Kristen is licensed in Texas and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts. In 2013, Kristen had the honor of being sworn in to the United States Supreme Court by Chief Justice Roberts.

Her love of the law has led Kristen to volunteer her services to others. Kristen has taken several pro bono matters through the Dallas Bar Association’s Volunteer Attorney Program, assisted multiple families on National Adoption Day, served as a Lewisville Teen Court Mentor, and led the Denton County Wills for Heroes Program for three years. Kristen is also passionate about assisting others to prepare for their own legal careers. She has taught legal courses at the SMU CAPE program, Collin Community College, and University of Arlington. She also mentors students as they prepare for the Texas Bar Exam, tutoring in the areas of Family Law, Probate Law, and Civil Litigation.

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Danny Thankachan

Danny Thankachan advises Fortune 500 and AmLaw 200 clients at the nexus of law and technology. His specialties include consulting with corporations on legal technology operations, eDiscovery, cost control and legal/business process improvement. He currently teaches the development of Blockchain use cases for law and its implementation in daily operations.
Danny currently works as the Director of Practice Technology at Blank Rome LLP, an AMLAW 100 law firm. He received his J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law, New York, and his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Melissa Weaver

Melissa Weaver specializes in immigration law and practices at Lopez & Freshwater PLLC. She is also senior counsel at Weaver Johnston & Nelson where she assists with immigration issues specifically for the healthcare industry. Previous to this, she served as the Women and Children’s Program Attorney for local non-profit, Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc. (“HRI”) for ten years. At HRI she provided free legal services to indigent immigrant victims and families of domestic abuse, trafficking and violent crimes. Melissa handles cases concerning VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), U-Visa, and SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status). Prior to joining HRI, Melissa spent several years in private practice, where she focused on civil litigation and bankruptcy. Melissa received her law degree from Southern Methodist University and she holds a B.S.A. from the University of Georgia.

Richard J. Pradarits Jr.

Richard J. Pradarits Jr. has practiced law for 32 years. He has practiced in Texas and federal courts at the trial- and appellate-court levels. He has extensive experience in torts, contracts, statutory, and other actions and with complex litigation, including class actions. He has received two local mediation awards. He was a research attorney at the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas. He received his Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from South Texas College of Law-Houston, where he was assistant managing editor of law review. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Southern Methodist University.