The Paralegal Studies Certificate 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.
Paralegal Studies Certificate:
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) successfully complete, with a grade of C or better, a total of 60 units, which includes the 32 units of Paralegal core requirements and 28 units of General Education and Paralegal electives as specified under item #2 and item #3 below.
NOTE: A Paralegal (Legal Assistant) may not engage in, encourage, or contribute to any act which could constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required Paralegal Studies core courses with a grade of C or better.
1. Required Paralegal core courses - See list below. (32 units)
- Those students enrolling in the Paralegal Studies program who have earned at least an associate of arts or science degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, recognized by PCC, need to complete only the Paralegal Studies core courses listed under #1 above. The remaining course requirements under item #2 and #3 below have been satisfied by their degree award and are not required.
- If the earned associate degree is an associate of applied science or equivalent occupational or vocational degree, please see a counselor to verify that the GE course requirements under item #2 and #3 have been satisfied.
2. 18 units of General Education course work consisting of:
a. English composition – ENGL 001A/ENGL 001AH
b. Courses from at least three of the following disciplines: social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English.
c. Courses may be selected from the student’s choice of GE pattern: CSU GE, IGETC, or PCC Local GE.
d. The following GE courses are not accepted, per ABA GE guidelines: BUS 014A, BUS 014B, CS 006, and CIS 062.
Note: Courses taken to complete the 18 units required for item #2 may not be used to satisfy any of the elective General Education course selections listed under #3 below.
It is strongly recommended that students complete the General Education course requirements prior to taking the legal specialty courses under item #1.
3. 10 elective units, chosen from the following two areas of elective courses (any combination of General Education or Paralegal Studies Elective courses are permitted):
a. If student is pursuing an Associate of Science Degree, it is recommended to choose the 10 elective units from their selected GE pattern: CSU GE, IGETC, or PCC Local GE.
b. If student is pursing the Certificate ONLY, it is recommended to choose the 10 elective units from the list of Paralegal Studies Elective courses below:
Paralegal Studies Elective courses:
BUS 012B BUSINESS LAW TRANSACTIONS & ORGANIZATIONS (3 units)
PLGL 136 PROPERTY LAW, BANKRUPTCY AND CREDITORS RIGHTS (3 units)
PLGL 140 FAMILY LAW AND DISSOLUTION PROCEDURES (3 units)
PLGL 143 WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW (3 units)
4. To earn an Associate of Science Degree, the remaining associate degree requirements must be completed for the chosen GE pattern.
- Demonstrate paralegal skills and completion of paralegal tasks including case management and an understanding of the client relationship.
- Exemplify the oral and written communication skills necessary to be a competent paralegal.
- Develop employment-ready skills to secure and maintain work in the legal environment.
Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement
|BUS 012A||BUSINESS LAW||3|
|PLGL 134||INTRODUCTION TO PARALEGAL STUDIES||3|
|PLGL 135||WILLS, TRUSTS, PROBATE ADMINISTRATION||3|
|PLGL 139||TORT LAW AND CLAIMS INVESTIGATION||3|
|PLGL 137||LEGAL WRITING AND DRAFTING||3|
|PLGL 138||PARALEGAL STUDIES FIELD PRACTICE||4|
|PLGL 146||COMPUTER USE FOR THE LAW OFFICE||2|
|PLGL 141||CIVIL AND CRIMINAL EVIDENCE||3|
|PLGL 142||LAW OFFICE PROCEDURES AND ETHICS||3|
|PLGL 145A||LEGAL RESEARCH||3|
|PLGL 145B||COMPUTER AIDED LEGAL RESEARCH||1|
|PLGL 150||PARALEGAL STUDIES: WORKFORCE PREPARATION SEMINAR||1|
Visit the Program Mapper for a suggested sequence of courses.