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Paralegal Certificate


The Paralegal Certificate program is approved by the American Bar Association and is offered at the Pleasant Hill campus.  It can be completed as a stand alone certificate or as part of a Bachelor of Arts completion degree in Legal Studies. Students who attend full-time can complete the certificate requirements in less than one year.

Paralegals are highly respected and valued in the legal profession. They enjoy a high rate of job satisfaction while working in an environment that is fast-paced and professional. Paralegals play a vital role in providing legal services under the supervision and direction of an attorney. Note: Paralegals cannot provide legal advice except as directed by an attorney nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client.

This Paralegal Certificate program provides students with upper-division coursework that is current and focuses on the practical application of substantive law while encouraging critical thinking, ethical conduct and social responsibility. Students enrolled in the certificate program may apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at any time.

Our curriculum complies with California Business and Professions code sections 6450 through 6456 requiring paralegals to be educated at an accredited institution offering a minimum of 37 quarter units of legal specialty coursework.

Gainful Employment Information

For information about certificate program costs, financing option, student success/completion rates, and job opportunities related to this program, click here.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Paralegal Certificate will be able to do the following:

  • Communicate effectively in both oral and written formats.
  • Describe and assess the ethical obligations and limitations of legal professionals in specific factual situations.
  • Conduct legal research, both online and in a law library.
  • Explain the role of diversity in American jurisprudence.
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking skills.


All certificate courses must be taken in residence – no transfers are accepted.
The 40-quarter unit curriculum includes 12 legal specialty courses, of which nine are required courses and two are elective.

CORE Courses (32 units)
PLS 3001 - Introduction to Law (4 units)
PLS 3002 - Legal Research (4 units)
PLS 3003 - Legal Writing (4 units)
PLS 3004 - Legal Ethics (2 units)
PLS 3005 - Tort Law (4 units)
PLS 3008 - Litigation I (4 units)
PLS 3009 - Litigation II (4 units)
PLS 3010 - Legal Technology Applications and Management (4 units)
PLS 3011 - Paralegal Capstone (1 unit)
PLS 3042 - Employment Skills Workshop (1 unit)

Electives (select two of following courses)
PLS 3006 - Contract Law (4 units)
PLS 3015 - Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning (4 units)
PLS 3021 - Real Estate Law (4 units)
PLS 3023 - Criminal Law (4 units)
PLS 3025 - Business Organizations/Corporations (4 units)
PLS 3027 - Family Law (4 units)
PLS 3029 - Civil Evidence (4 units)
PLS 3031 - Intellectual Property (4 units)
PLS 3033 - Public Benefits Law (4 units)
PLS 3035 - Immigration Law (4 units)
PLS 3037 - Environmental Law (4 units)
PLS 3038 - Employment Law (4 units)
PLS 3039 - Elder Law (4 units)
PLS 3040 - Internship (3 units)