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.
- Develop and practice oral and written communication skills
- Develop and practice skills to find answers and problem solve through experiential learning
- Develop and practice critical thinking skills through writing assignments
- Develop practical litigation, transactional and technology skills, and create a framework for continued learning in the workforce
- Develop an understanding of the role and responsibilities of paralegals, as well as the rules of professional conduct and their application to legal professionals
*Cal State LA's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is valid under Businesss and Professionals Code Section 6450. However, paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
The PLS Program has two schedule options:
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.).**
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
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.
*The Total Program Cost ($5,460) for the Full-Time Compressed Schedule must be paid in full by start of the semester.
*Program cost does not include the price of parking 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. The Westlaw fee is mandatory for all students.
Learn more about Financial Assistance opportunities for this program.
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
In order to earn your Certificate in Paralegal Studies you must complete the required 18 units or 6 courses. PLS 7010 Paralegal Internship is optional and not a required course to complete the program.
Course Descriptions for 2017/2018:
To Apply/Application Deadline
Please Note: Due to scheduled maintenance, the PaGE Online Application system will be unavailable Monday, June 19, 2017 through Wednesday June 21, 2017. This maintenance is required to install new features and maintain the security and performance of the system. If you have any questions, please contact PaGE Student and Enrollment Services at 323-343-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience as we update our system.
Please submit all Official Transcripts to:
Cal State LA – Paralegal Studies
5151 State University Drive, Golden Eagle Room 220B
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8619