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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 only 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. The legal specialty coursework prepares students to draft legal documents, interview clients, conduct legal research and analysis, and use current legal technology to make them highly marketable upon graduation.

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.

Transfer of Legal Specialty Courses
At the discretion of the Legal Studies department, students may be given credit for other legal specialty courses taken at another school or university provided the course is also offered in this program. To be eligible to receive credit for a previously-taken legal specialty course all the following must exist:

  • The legal specialty course must be equivalent in content, length and nature to JFK University's course.
  • The legal specialty course must be from an ABA approved paralegal program and taken within the last 7 years.
  • The student must have earned a C or better in the legal specialty course
  • The legal specialty course must carry upper-division academic credit.
  • Students seeking to transfer in Legal Specialty Courses that were taken in alternative delivery format (online, blended/hybrid, accelerated, or compressed) must take all eight (8) units of Substantive Focus Area Courses in traditional classroom format.
  • Up to two (2) specialty courses may be credited towards the Paralegal Certificate

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate proficiency in legal writing and analysis.
  • Describe and assess the ethical obligations and limitations of legal professionals in specific factual situations.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in legal research, both online and in the library.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in drafting of discovery.
  • Apply analytical and creative thinking skills.



All certificate courses must be taken in residence – no transfers are accepted.
The 39-quarter unit curriculum includes 12 legal specialty courses, of which nine are required courses and two are elective.

Required Certificate Courses (31 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)

Legal Specialty Focus Areas (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 - 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)