Paralegal Studies Certificate Program in Downtown LA

Paralegal Studies Photo

Program Description:

Offered at Cal State LA Downtown, the Paralegal Studies (PLS) Certificate Program has been American Bar Association (ABA) approved since 1978, making it one of the earliest approved programs in a university setting in California. The program curriculum is designed to equip students with a strong foundation of legal knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge to a variety of practical tasks required of the profession. As legal professionals, paralegals are able to interview clients, perform legal research, and draft and analyze legal documents.

Cal State LA's program allows students to earn a general certificate or a certificate in one of the following three specialty tracks:

  • Litigation Specialist
  • Corporate Law Specialist
  • Legal Technology Specialist

The PLS Program has two schedule options:

Part-Time Evening Schedule
  • Most students finish the program within two or three semesters.
  • All classes are held in the evening, Monday through Thursday (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.).
Full-Time Compressed Schedule
  • Students will be able to finish the program within one semester.
  • Classes are held in the morning and afternoon, Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Friday.
  • First class is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The second class is from 1 to 4 p.m.*

*Class times are subject to change.

Participate in one of our upcoming Open House information sessions.

 

Who Should Enroll?

This program is ideal for:

  • Individuals interested in becoming part of a legal services delivery team
  • Individuals considering law school
  • Paralegals looking to brush up on their paralegal skills

Note: Cal State LA Paralegal Studies Certificates are valid under Business and Professions Code section 6450, however, paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Tuition & Fees

Total Program Cost: $5,400*
Per Unit Cost: $300
Westlaw Password Fee: $60**


*Program cost does not include the price of textbooks, which students must purchase or rent separately.

**The Westlaw fee provides students with quarterly access to the electronic Westlaw database, which may be required for research purposes in all program courses. Only one fee is due per semester regardless of the student’s class load. 

Financial Assistance

Learn more about Financial Assistance opportunities for this program.

Admissions

All applicants must submit a program application and official transcripts evidencing compliance with the requirements listed below.

  • Applicants must either have a baccalaureate or associates degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Applicants without a degree must show a successful completion of a minimum of 42 semester units from an accredited institution where at least 18 semester units are general education courses from at least three of the following disciplines: Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Foreign Language and English
  • Applicants without a degree must also have completed a credit-bearing composition course with a grade of C or better; as well as a credit-bearing oral communication course with a grade of C or better

For applicants who completed their academic requirements at an institution where English is not the primary language of instruction, an acceptable TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 paper-based; or 79-80 internet-based test, must be submitted to demonstrate English proficiency.

All transcripts from non-US institutions must be evaluated and translated by an agency approved by the Paralegal Studies Program. Please contact the Program Office for details.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

View the Gainful Employment Disclosure for this program here.

Program Curriculum

Specialty Tracks

Students enrolled in the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at Cal State LA Downtown can select from several specialty tracks highlighted below. General Paralegal Studies core courses are offered every Fall and Spring semester, while specialty track courses are offered on alternating semesters.

General Track (18 Units) 

Required Core Courses: PLS7501: Introduction to Paralegal Studies | PLS7502: Legal Research for the Paralegal | PLS7503: Civil Procedure (9 Units)

Electives: Students may select (3) electives from the list below (9 Units)

Litigation Specialist (18 Units) 

Required Core Courses: PLS7501: Introduction to Paralegal Studies | PLS7502: Legal Research for the Paralegal | PLS7503: Civil Procedure (9 Units)

Specialty Track Requirements: Two Courses Required: PLS7601: Legal Writing (available fall semester) | PLS7602: Advanced Civil Procedure (available spring semester) (6 Units)

Electives: Students may select (1) elective from the list below (3 Units)

Corporate Law Specialist (18 Units) 

Required Core Courses: PLS7501: Introduction to Paralegal Studies | PLS7502: Legal Research for the Paralegal | PLS7503: Civil Procedure (9 Units)

Specialty Track Requirements: Two Courses Required: PLS7603: Business Organizations (available fall semester) | PLS7714: Contract Law (available spring semester) (6 Units)

Electives: Students may select (1) elective from the list below (3 Units)

Legal Technology Specialist (18 Units) 

Required Core Courses: PLS7501: Introduction to Paralegal Studies | PLS7502: Legal Research for the Paralegal | PLS7503: Civil Procedure (9 Units)

Specialty Track Requirements: Two Courses Required: PLS7604: Applied Legal Technology (available fall semester) | PLS7705: Computer Forensics and e-Discovery (available spring semester) (6 Units)

Electives: Students may select (1) elective from the list below (3 Units)

Elective Courses

PLS7540: Special Topics in Paralegal Studies*

PLS7601: Legal Writing

PLS7602: Advanced Civil Procedure*

PLS7603: Business Organizations*

PLS7604: Applied Legal Technology*

PLS7701: Practicum: Public or Private Sector Internship

PLS7702: Family Law

PLS7703: Real Estate Law

PLS7704: Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law

PLS7705: Computer Forensics and e-Discovery

PLS7706: Advanced Corporate Law and Financing

PLS7707: Criminal Law

PLS7708: Employment and Worker's Compensation Law

PLS7709: Basic Estate Planning and Probate Law

PLS7710: Torts and Personal Injury Law

PLS7711: Law of the Internet

PLS7712: Immigration Law

PLS7713: Bankruptcy Law

PLS7714: Contract Law

*Electives available throughout the year.

To Apply/Application Deadline

Transcripts

Please submit all Official Transcripts to:

Cal State LA – Paralegal Studies
5151 State University Drive, Golden Eagle Room 220B
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8619