Paralegal Studies – Associate in Science Degree, Certificate of Achievement

Top Code: 1402.00

The curriculum prepares students to assist attorneys as paralegals (legal assistants) in administrative agencies, corporations, insurance companies, private law firms, government, and other legal environments. Emphasis is on training students in both civil and criminal matters. Some of the services that the paralegal (legal assistant) provides are legal research, development of law office systems, client interviews, drafts pleadings, briefing cases, legal calendaring, preparing discovery for litigated cases, preparing wills and trusts, maintaining corporate records and minutes. This program has been approved by the American Bar Association.

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required Paralegal Studies core courses with a grade of C or better.

Program Outcomes

  1. The ability to cope with case management, complete paralegal tasks, and understand the client relationship.
  2. The people skills to be a competent paralegal.
  3. Competence to work in the legal environment.

Note: A Paralegal (Legal Assistant) may not engage in, encourage, or contribute to any act which could constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

In order to be eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies, a student must (1) be a graduate of an accredited high school, or have a G.E.D., and (2) complete a total of 60 units, consisting of the following courses:

  1. All required Legal core courses listed below (32 units):
    BUS 012ABUSINESS LAW3
    PLGL 134INTRODUCTION TO PARALEGAL STUDIES3
    PLGL 135AWILLS, TRUSTS, PROBATE ADMINISTRATION3
    PLGL 137LEGAL WRITING AND DRAFTING3
    PLGL 138PARALEGAL STUDIES FIELD PRACTICE4
    PLGL 139TORT LAW AND CLAIMS INVESTIGATION3
    PLGL 141CIVIL AND CRIMINAL EVIDENCE3
    PLGL 142LAW OFFICE PROCEDURES AND ETHICS3
    PLGL 145ALEGAL RESEARCH3
    PLGL 145BCOMPUTER AIDED LEGAL RESEARCH1
    PLGL 146COMPUTER USE FOR THE LAW OFFICE2
    PLGL 150PARALEGAL STUDIES: WORKFORCE PREPARATION SEMINAR1
    Total Units32
    Recommended sequence:
    Semester I
    BUS 012ABUSINESS LAW3
    PLGL 134INTRODUCTION TO PARALEGAL STUDIES3
    PLGL 135AWILLS, TRUSTS, PROBATE ADMINISTRATION3
    PLGL 139TORT LAW AND CLAIMS INVESTIGATION3
    Semester II
    PLGL 137LEGAL WRITING AND DRAFTING3
    PLGL 138PARALEGAL STUDIES FIELD PRACTICE4
    PLGL 146COMPUTER USE FOR THE LAW OFFICE2
    Elective
    Semester III
    PLGL 141CIVIL AND CRIMINAL EVIDENCE3
    PLGL 142LAW OFFICE PROCEDURES AND ETHICS3
    PLGL 145ALEGAL RESEARCH3
    Elective
    Semester IV
    PLGL 145BCOMPUTER AIDED LEGAL RESEARCH1
    PLGL 150PARALEGAL STUDIES: WORKFORCE PREPARATION SEMINAR1
    Elective
    Elective
    Total Units32

    Note:  Those students enrolling in the Paralegal Studies program with a Bachelor’s degree need to complete only the Paralegal core courses listed under #1 above; items #2 and #3 below are not required.
  2. 18 units of General Education courses, listed in the Pasadena City College Catalog, in the section titled, “Associate in Sciences Degree Requirements,” to be chosen from the following categories:
    1. Category Two, A, Natural Sciences, 3 units
    2. Category Two, B, Social & Behavioral Sciences, 3 units
    3. Category Two, C, Humanities, 3 units
    4. Category Two, D, Language & Rationality, 9 units chosen from:
      1. English Composition (4)
      2. Oral Communication (3)
      3. Mathematics/Critical Thinking (3)
        General Education courses that are excluded from the list of acceptable courses are: BUS 011A, BUS 014BCS 006, CIS 062ELTN 109B.

        Note: Courses taken to complete the 18 units required in #2 above may not be used to satisfy any of the optional General Education course selections.

        It is strongly recommended that students complete the general education course requirements prior to taking the legal specialty courses.
  3. 10 elective units, chosen from the following elective courses (any combination of General Education or Paralegal Studies):
    General Education
    AMER 125AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS3
    Any Health Education course2
    HIST 007AUNITED STATES HISTORY TO 18763
    HIST 007BUNITED STATES HISTORY FROM 18763
    HIST 025BWOMEN IN AMERICAN SOCIETY3
    HIST 025DAMERICA'S RELATIONS WITH OTHER NATIONS3
    HIST 029AAFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY TO 18653
    HIST 029BAFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY FROM 18653
    HIST 071HISTORY OF ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS3
    Any Kinesiology course2
    POLS 001INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS3
    POLS 007PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL SCIENCE3
    Paralegal Studies
    BUS 012BBUSINESS LAW TRANSACTIONS & ORGANIZATIONS3
    PLGL 136PROPERTY LAW, BANKRUPTCY AND CREDITORS' RIGHTS3
    PLGL 138PARALEGAL STUDIES FIELD PRACTICE4
    PLGL 140FAMILY LAW AND DISSOLUTION PROCEDURES3
    PLGL 143WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW3
    PLGL 148IMMIGRATION LAW3

Visit the Program Mapper for a suggested sequence of courses.

General Education Requirements for the Associate in Science Degree