Students are required to take five three-unit courses that develop the following paralegal skills:
PLS 300 and PLS 320, which may be taken concurrently, must be completed with a grade of C or better before a student may take any other class in the Paralegal Certificate program. These prerequisites will be strictly enforced. Students who receive an Incomplete in either PLS 300 or PLS 320 must clear that Incomplete before attempting to register for any other course in the Paralegal Studies program.
PLS 395: Pleadings & Motions must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better before a student may take PLS 305: Investigation, Discovery & Trial Prep.
• = the course is offered
|PLS 300: Introduction to Law/Civil Procedure||•||•||•|
|PLS 320: Legal Research & Writing||•||•||•|
|PLS 310: Communication Skills & Legal Ethics||•||•|
|PLS 395: Pleadings & Motions||•||•|
|PLS 305: Investigation, Discovery & Trial Preparation||•||•|
|PLS 414GW: Introduction to Professional Legal Writing*||•|
Students may choose any electives to complete the 30-unit program. Elective courses offer in-depth instruction in a variety of practice areas and advanced skills in litigation and research. The range of elective options allows students to gain exposure to several different areas of law practice or to concentrate their studies in a cluster of courses that prepare them for a particular kind of employment.
The electives listed below are grouped according to the kind of practice for which these courses are most relevant. Students may concentrate in one area or take any combination of electives suited to their particular interests.
Note: All electives are offered on a rotating basis. Some electives are offered once a year and some are offered less frequently. Electives are three units.
|Elective Course Title||1||2||3||4|
*required for students who do not have a BA, highly recommended for non-native English speakers.
|PLS 430: Computer Applications||•||•||•||•|
|PLS 386: Contemporary Legal Issues||•||•||•||•|
|PLS 426: Contracts||•||•||•|
|PLS 390: Corporations Law||•|
|PLS 370: Criminal Law||•|
|PLS 325: Employment Law||•||•|
|PLS 330: Family Law||•|
|PLS 380: Paralegal Internship||•||•||•||•|
|PLS 345: Immigration Law||•||•|
|PLS 435: Intellectual Property||•||•|
|PLS 414GW: Introduction to Professional Legal Writing*||•||•||•||•|
|PLS 375: Probate Procedures||•|
|PLS 410: Real Estate Practice||•||•|
|PLS 425: Torts||•||•||•|
|PLS 436: Trademarks & Copyrights||•||•||•||•|
|PLS 355: Wills, Trusts & Estates||•|
Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. All face-to-face courses are considered synchronous instruction.*
*The ABA will be accommodating the measures taken by programs during the current COVID-19 public health emergency. Courses taught via remote learning during this time will not be counted towards this guideline.
See Apply for details.
Admission to the Paralegal Studies program does not guarantee a seat in class. Registration for individual courses is on a first-come basis. Early registration is strongly advised. See the Register pages.
The paralegal certificate is especially well suited to students who have a legal background and have worked as attorneys in their home countries as well as students who have an interest in learning about the law. After students are accepted by the College of Extended Learning and have student visas, their transcripts are reviewed by the paralegal program director, and they are advised on a course plan for completing the certificate.
Most common student visa requirements are that they must take 12 units, four courses per semester, and finish the paralegal certificate in one calendar year. Students may begin in the spring or fall semester.
PLS 414 Intro to Professional Legal Writing - required in the first semester.
PLS 300 Intro to Law/Civil Procedure - prerequisite for all other classes
PLS 320 Legal Research and Writing - prerequisite for all other classes
PLS 430 Computer Applications - elective
PLS 310 Communications and Legal Ethics
PLS 395 Pleadings and Motions
Choice of two elective courses
PLS 305 Investigation, Discovery and Trial Prep.
PLS 380 Paralegal Internship* or a choice of one elective course
*Students may be approved to take an internship depending on their visa status and must consult the International Student Advisor to determine eligibility.
There are only 10 courses — 30 units — required for a paralegal certificate, so students in their last semester are allowed to take a reduced course load.
All questions about visa and internships/work/OPT should be directed to email@example.com.