Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal

The Paralegal Associate of Science degree goals and objectives were designed to prepare the student to enter into the paralegal profession.

Students who successfully complete the program will be able to:

  • Describe the American legal system
  • Describe the practice of law and the paralegals role in the legal profession
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to work in civil litigation
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to do legal research
  • Demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills
  • Apply the ethical rules and regulations applicable to paralegals and other legal professionals to given situations. Inexperienced graduates are employable but will most likely be hired as paralegal assistants (sometimes called “case assistants”) until the employer can accurately gauge the new employee’s level of preparation and skills. The internship requirement of our program is designed to help offset this by assuring that each graduate has some law office experience before looking for his or her first paralegal position.

Paralegal Employer Examples

  • Law Firms
  • Government Agencies
  • Corporate Legal Departments
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Financial Institutions
  • Insurance Companies
  • Real Estate Companies

Alternative Careers for Paralegal-Trained Individuals

  • Investigator or Hearing Officers for Federal, State, and Local Administrative Agencies
  • Insurance Claims Adjuster
  • Debt Collector
  • Financial Services Representative
  • Legal Writer
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediator, Arbitrator)
  • Tax Preparer
  • Legal Publishing or Database Company Representative
  • Project Manager/Sales for legal support software vendors
  • Contracts Administrator
  • Compliance Officer in a Corporate Human Resources Department
  • Clerk or Administrator in the court system.

Note: Coursework may include no more than 12 units for transfer of legal specialty courses from another paralegal program.

Required Core Courses: 29 units

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 18 Legal Analysis 2 units
PARA 19 Intro to Paralegal Studies 3 units
PARA 21 Intro to American Law 3 units
PARA 22 Civil Litigation 3 units
PARA 22A Pre-Trial Procedures 1.5 units
PARA 23 Legal Research 3 units
PARA 24A Writing for Law Practice 1.5 units
PARA 25 Ethics for Paralegals 1.5 units
PARA 29A Paralegal Employment Preparation 1 unit
PARA 29B Internship 2 units
PARA 43 Law Office Management 3 units
PARA 65B Microsoft for the Law Office 3 units
PARA 68 Computer Assisted Legal Research 1.5 units

Electives from Recommended List: 6 units

Business Oriented Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 27 Corporate Law 3 units
PARA 30 Business Contract Law 1.5 units
PARA 33 Paralegal Procedures in Real Estate 3 units
PARA 34 Bankruptcy Law 3 units
PARA 70 Employment Law 3 units

Intellectual Property Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 37 Intellectual Property Overview 3 units
PARA 83C Patent Administration 3 units

Litigation Skills Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 22B Post Trial Procedures 1 unit
PARA 83B Electronic Discovery 1 unit

Estate Planning Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 35A Practical Procedures for Probate 1.5 units
PARA 36 Wills and Estate Planning 3 units

Miscellaneous Legal Specialty Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 32 Family Law 3 units
PARA 38 Constitutional Law 3 units
PARA 42 Criminal Trial Techniques 3 units
PARA 75 Business Compliance Law 1.5 units
PARA 76 Immigration Law 3 units
PARA 77 Elder Law 1.5 units

Administration of Justice Courses (Maximum of 3 units in ADMJ courses may be used)

Course Number Course Title Units
ADMJ 4 Legal Aspects of Evidence 3 units
ADMJ 5 Criminal Investigation 3 units
ADMJ 41 Introduction to Forensics 3 units

Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal

Required Core Courses: 29 units

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 18 Legal Analysis 2 units
PARA 19 Intro to Paralegal Studies 3 units
PARA 21 Intro to American Law 3 units
PARA 22 Civil Litigation 3 units
PARA 22A Pre-Trial Procedures 1.5 units
PARA 23 Legal Research 3 units
PARA 24A Writing for Law Practice 1.5 units
PARA 25 Ethics for Paralegals 1.5 units
PARA 29A Paralegal Employment Preparation 1 unit
PARA 29B Internship 2 units
PARA 43 Law Office Management 3 units
PARA 65B Microsoft for the Law Office 3 units
PARA 68 Computer Assisted Legal Research 1.5 units

Electives from Recommended List: 6 units

Business Oriented Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
Para 27 Corporate Law 3 units
PARA 30 Business Contract Law 1.5 units
PARA 33 Paralegal Procedures in Real Estate 3 units
PARA 34 Bankruptcy Law 3 units
PARA 70 Employment Law 3 units

Intellectual Property Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 37 Intellectual Property Overview 3 units
PARA 83C Patent Administration 3 units

Litigation Skills Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 22B Post Trial Procedures 1 unit
Para 83B Electronic Discovery 1 unit

Estate Planning Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 35A Practical Procedures for Probate 1.5 units
PARA 36 Wills and Estate Planning 3 units

Miscellaneous Legal Specialty Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 32 Family Law 3 units
PARA 38 Constitutional Law 3 units
PARA 42 Criminal Trial Techniques 3 units
PARA 76 Immigration Law 3 units
PARA 77 Elder Law 1.5 units

Administration of Justice Courses (Maximum of 3 units in ADMJ courses may be used)

Course Number Course Title Units
ADMJ 4 Legal Aspects of Evidence 3 units
ADMJ 5 Criminal Investigation 3 units
ADMJ 41 Introduction to Forensics 3 units

After completing this degree in Paralegal, a student will be able to:

  1. Describe the practice of law and the paralegal’s role in the legal profession.
  2. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to work in civil litigation.
  3. Conduct legal research.
  4. Apply the ethical rules and regulations applicable to paralegals and other legal professionals to given situations.

To be awarded a certificate in Paralegal, a student must:

  1. Have an AA/AS degree or higher in Paralegal or any other subject that meets College standards.
  2. Complete 35 units in Paralegal courses - 29 units in required courses and 6 units in paralegal electives.

Suggested Sequence of Courses

First Semester

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 18 Legal Analysis 2 units
PARA 19 Intro to Paralegal Studies 3 units
PARA 21 Intro to American Law 3 units
PARA 68 Computer Assisted Legal Research 1.5 units
  Elective 3 units
Total Units   12.5 units

Second Semester

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 22 Civil Litigation 3 units
PARA 23 Legal Research 3 units
PARA 25 Ethics for Paralegals 1.5 units
PARA 29A Paralegal Employment Preparation 1 unit
PARA 65B Microsoft for the Law Office 3 units
Total Units   11.5 units

Third Semester

Course Number Course Title Units
PARA 22A Pre-Trial Procedures 1.5 units
PARA 24A Writing for Law Practice 1.5 units
PARA 29B Internship 2 units
PARA 43 Law Office Management 3 units
  Elective 3 units
Total Units   11 units

Transfer of Courses from other Paralegal Programs

The use of courses from other paralegal programs to earn a WVC Paralegal certificate or degree must be approved by the Paralegal Program Chair.  The following limitations apply to courses accepted for transfer:

  1. No more than 12 semester units or less may be used.
  2. Only courses in which the student earned a "C" or better may be used.
  3. Only courses from other ABA-approved paralegal programs may be used.
last published: 6/14/18