Paralegal Studies Certificate Program in Downtown LA

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

Spring 2018 Applications Open on September 1, 2017!

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.

Program Objectives:

  • 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:

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

Part-Time Evening Schedule
Total Program Cost: $5,460*
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. 

Full-Time Compressed Schedule
Total Program Cost: $5,460*
Per Unit Cost: $300
Westlaw Password Fee: $60**
 

*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. 

Financial Assistance

Learn more about Financial Assistance opportunities for this program.

Admissions

Starting September 1, 2017, to qualify for admission, you must have a bachelor's degree or an associate of arts degree from an accredited post-secondary institution. An associate of applied science degree or an occupational or vocational degree does not satisfy the education requirements. If you completed your undergraduate education at an institution where English was not the primary medium of instruction, you must achieve a minimum total TOEFL score of 80iBT, with a minimum Writing sub-score of 24 and Speaking sub-score of 26.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

View the Gainful Employment Disclosure for this program here.

Course Descriptions

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:

PLS 7001 American Legal Systems
Examine the fundamentals of the United States legal systems. Sources of law, procedural requirements, and the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services will be explored.
 
PLS 7002 Civil Litigation
Examine civil ligation using contract and tort cases as a backdrop. Initiating a case, discovery, pre-trial, and preparing for trial will be explored.
 
PLS 7003 Legal Research and Writing
Examine the legal research process and the principles of legal analysis and writing. Use of authority, research tools, and effective writing strategies will be explored.
 
PLS 7004 Legal Technology
Examine technology commonly used in the delivery of legal services. Word processing, databases, electronic filing, and e-discovery will be explored.
 
PLS 7005 Transactional Law
Examine common transactional law principles. Contracts, business types, corporate filings, and regulatory forms will be explored.
 
PLS 7006 Administrative Law
Examine state and federal administrative agencies. Rulemaking, administrative hearings, and common administrative law areas, including immigration, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, tax, and Social Security will be explored.
 
PLS 7010 Paralegal Internship (Optional)
Examine the role of paralegals in the delivery of legal services through an internship position in a law firm, corporate in-house counsel's office, government agency, or other legal setting. 

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