West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200


(408) 741-4635
Applied Arts & Sciences Division


Paralegal Faculty

Degrees & Certificates

A.A/A.S. Degrees

Associate of Science Degree


Post-Degree Certificate

Transfer Information:
Info or link about transfer

Degree Requirements
and Course Descriptions

Department Co-Chairs:

Stacy Hopkins
Peggy Mathieson



Division: Applied Arts & Sciences

Division Chair:
Diane Hurd

Related Links

Other Links


 West Valley College Paralegal Program

               An ABA-Approved Paralegal Program

Watch the introduction to Paralegal

Watch the introduction to Paralegal

West Valley College offers a post-degree 40.5 semester unit certificate program for those students who already have an associate or higher degree. For those students who do not already have a degree, West Valley offers an Associate of Science degree in Paralegal. Students who earn the degree also qualify for the certificate.

West Valley College's Paralegal Program provides rigorous academic and practical education at affordable community college rates. Our program provides instruction in practical legal skills and substantive law. The Program monitors the needs of the legal community to assure that its graduates have the skills and knowledge to meet these needs.

Our program emphasizes civil litigation and legal research. We provide training in document preparation and database management. All students complete an internship for a local employer. The internship offers students the opportunity to test their education and training out in the field.

We offer electives in a variety of legal specialties, including Intellectual Property, Corporate, Probate, and Family Law. We also offer a variety of courses to improve other skills, such as Law Office Management, Interviewing & Investigation, and Time Management.

Most of our students come to the program already with degrees while some earn their A.S. while in the program. Most of our students have life and work experiences that enhance their ability to handle the demands of the law office.

To assure compliance with the law, many firms have set up systems to check and record the qualifications of current paralegals and future hires. A certificate from West Valley College is an assurance to employers that the paralegal is well prepared to provide quality legal services to his or her employers and clients.

West Valley College's Paralegal Program is -

  • A member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).
  • A sustaining member of the Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County (PASCCO).
  • Accredited through West Valley College by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

A paralegal may perform the same functions as an attorney except those that only a licensed attorney may perform. Paralegals cannot give legal advice, appear in court, or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law. The practice of law by non-attorneys is strictly prohibited by law. (See California Business and Professions Code Section 6450 (a)).

Gainful Employment Disclosure Statement

Disclosure year: 2009-2010 academic year


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