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paralegal studies

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program in Downtown LA

Program Description

Offered at Cal State LA Downtown, the Paralegal Studies 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
(Note: Courses are generally offered once per week in the evenings, Monday-Thursday.)
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
  • Individuals 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
Westlaw Password Fee: $41*
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.

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-U.S. 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.

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)

  • 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 215
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8619