Program Description

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.

Gainful Employment Disclosure  Career Snapshot


Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

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, you must:

  1. Be a graduate of an accredited high school, or have a G.E.D.
  2. Complete a total of 60 units, consisting of required Paralegal Core Courses, AS Degree General Education Requirements* and 10 elective requirements*.

* If you are enrolling in the Paralegal Studies program with a Bachelors Degree, you need to complete only the Paralegal Core Courses. The AS Degree GE Courses and 10 Elective Requirements are not required. 

Required Courses


1. 18 units of General Education (GE) courses from the Associate in Sciences Degree Requirements.

* It is strongly recommended that you complete the general education course requirements prior to taking the legal core courses.

GE courses will 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:
    •  English Composition (3 units)
    •  Oral Communication (3 units)
    •  Mathematics/Critical Thinking (3 units)
  5. The following General Education courses are excluded from the list of acceptable courses : MICR 108, BUS 011A, BUS 014AB, BUS 115, CS 006, CIS 062, ELTN 010, ELTN 109B.

2. All required Paralegal core courses listed below (32 units):

  • BUS 012A, Business Law (3 units)
  • PLGL 134, Introduction to Paralegal Studies (3 units)
  • PLGL 135A, Wills, Trusts, and Probate Administration (3 units)
  • PLGL 137, Legal Writing and Drafting (3 units)
  • PLGL 138, Paralegal Studies Field Practice (4 units)
  • PLGL 139, Tort Law and Claims Investigation (3 units)
  • PLGL 141, Civil and Criminal Evidence (3 units)
  •  PLGL 142, Law Office Procedure and Ethics (3 units)
  • PLGL 145A, Legal Research (3 units)
  • PLGL 145B, Computer Aided Research (1 units)
  • PLGL 146, Computer Use for the Law Office (2 units)
  • PLGL 150, Paralegal Studies Graduate Seminar (1 unit)


3. 10 elective units, chosen from the following elective courses (any combination of General Education or Paralegal Studies):

Courses taken to complete your 18 units of General Education Courses, may not be used to satisfy any of the optional elective units.

General Education:

  • American Institutions 125 (3 units)
  • Health Education, any (2 units)
  • History 007AB, 025A-D, 029AB, 041(3 units each)
  • Physical Education, any (2 units)
  • Political Sciences 001, 007 (3 units each)


Paralegal Studies core courses:

  • BUS 012B - Business Law (3 units)
  • PLGL 135B Wills, Trusts and Probation Administration (3 units)
  • PLGL 136 Property Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights (3 units)
  • PLGL 138 Paralegal Studies Field Practice repeat (4 units)
  • PLGL 140 Family Law and Dissolution Procedures (3 units)
  • PLGL 143 Workers’ Compensation Law (3 units)
  • PLGL 148 Immigration Law (3 units)


Recommended Sequence

Below is a recommended sequence for completing your Paralegal Core Courses and Electives. It is recommended that you complete your AS Degree General Education courses BEFORE beginning the below sequence.

Semester I

  • BUS 012A – Business Law (3)
  • PLGL 134 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies (3)
  • PLGL 135A – Wills, Trusts, Probate Administration (3)
  • PLGL 139 – Tort Law and Claims Investigation (3)

Semester II

  • PLGL 137 – Legal Writing and Drafting (3)
  • PLGL 138 – Paralegal Studies Field Practice (4)
  • PLGL 146 – Computer use for the Law Office (2)
  • Elective

Semester III

  • PLGL 141 – Civil and Criminal Evidence (3)
  • PLGL 142 – Law Office Procedures and Ethics (3)
  • PLGL 145A – Legal Research (3)
  • Elective

Semester IV

  • PLGL 145B – Computer Aided Research (1)
  • PLGL 150 – Paralegal Studies Graduate Seminar (1)
  • Elective
  • Elective

Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements