West Valley College Paralegal Program

An ABA-Approved Paralegal Program

Career Information

working in a career

Paralegals work side-by-side with lawyers and other legal professionals. They work under the direct supervision of an attorney, drafting documents and preparing them for filing, performing legal research, assisting the attorney with trial preparation, and working with clients.

Career Paths

Paralegals work everywhere. Our graduates are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government agencies. You will also find them in financial institutions, insurance companies, and real estate and title insurance firms.

Some paralegals prefer helping others and choose family law or legal aid. Others like the excitement of the courtroom and enter litigation or criminal law. Some also work for the courts, assisting judges. Many people with nursing and health backgrounds prefer personal injury or medical malpractice specialties. Others choose to work in such areas as intellectual property, immigration, elder issues, and environmental law.


These are just some of the responsibilities that paralegals are qualified to perform-

  • Investigate facts and work with attorneys to prepare a case for trial.

  • Review and/or summarize documents such as medical records, contracts, deposition transcripts.

  • Research the law that applies to a client's case.

  • Prepare legal documents such as briefs, pleadings, wills, contracts, and patent applications.

  • Help attorneys prepare for hearings, trials, corporate meetings, and real estate closings.

  • Use computers to locate and organize legal, government, and public records.

  • Maintain complex files, both manually and by using case management software.

As a paralegal you will find that in the South Bay Area -

  • The number of paralegal jobs will increase by 55% through the year 2020.

  • The median salary for paralegals is $68,215 for a full-time position.

  • Salaries range from $44,002 (0-2 years experience) to over $120,428 for experienced paralegals (8 or more year).

  • Wages vary by education - the more education, the higher the wages. Type and size of the employer also affects wages.


last published: 4/1/18