Paralegal Studies Degree - Legal Studies Institute
Paralegals who seek to be leaders in their profession often pursue university degrees in paralegal studies, and the paralegal coursework in those degree programs prepare them for nearly any task that they can expect to encounter while working as legal professionals.
The state of California has adopted legislation that defines the titles “paralegal” and “legal assistant” and sets educational criteria and continuing education requirements for paralegals. The San Francisco State University Paralegal Studies certificate program meets the educational requirements of the law by virtue of being offered by an accredited institution with an ABA-approved program, and consisting of more than 24 semester units of paralegal coursework. We also offer a series of paralegal continuing education courses to meet the continuing education standards established by the Business and Professions Code Section 6450 et. seq.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, typical paralegals and legal assistants only need associate’s degrees in paralegal studies to work in their chosen career field. Those legal professionals who choose to get an advanced degree in paralegal studies are obviously not typical paralegals. Many people, who take graduate level paralegal coursework, already have undergraduate degrees in other disciplines and want to transition into the legal profession, and others are preparing themselves for law school.To receive a Bachelor of Science, paralegal degree students must complete at least 180 quarter units, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper division level, 45 units which must be completed in residence at National University, and a minimum 70.5 units of the University General Education requirements. A minimum of 27 quarter units of general education course work is required by the American Bar Association to be completed in at least three disciplines, such as social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English. The paralegal degree coursework comprises 18 legal specialty courses and one English for Professionals course as set forth below. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy the 180 quarter units for the paralegal degree. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information on admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.It is not only required, but also important that all students acquire a solid grounding in general education courses before enrolling in paralegal coursework. Before enrolling in any Paralegal Studies course, each student must complete a first-year English composition course (ENGL 1010 at Tulane or an approved equivalent from another institution that meets Tulane’s criteria for credit transfers). Paralegal Studies majors with no previous college coursework take general education courses during their first semester of studies.Your paralegal coursework and experienced instructors prepare you to take the National Certified Legal Assistant/Paralegal Examination (CLA/CP Exam)—with no additional fee required.California paralegals may need to complete Advanced Paralegal coursework to meet the requirements of California Business and Professional Code §6450.