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What classes have to be taken to become paralegal?
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What classes have to be taken to become paralegal?

I am going to a community college to become a paralegal?What classes should I take?


Princess Leia
The community college should already have the course requirements set out. Speak to a guidance counselor at the community college to make sure you know what courses you need to take and the order in which you should be taking them.

As one poster said, make sure you get an Associate's degree (AA) in paralegal studies. The certificate program is usually not good - employers prefer the Associate's or Bachelor's Degree in paralegal studies.

However, here is a list of courses offered by a local community college (I don't know your location so I just chose one that I know offers such a program):

Paralegal Studies AS591/AS591


Major Core Requirements:
Required Courses (37.5 Units) Units
BUS-18A Business Law, I 3
PAL-10 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3
PAL-64 Legal Research and Computer Applications 3
PAL-68 Civil Litigation and Procedures I 3
CAT-80 Word Processing: Microsoft Word for Windows 3
CAT-84 Word Processing: WordPerfect for Windows 3

BUS-18B Business Law, II 3
PAL-14 Legal Ethics 3
PAL-70 Law Office Policies, Procedures and Ethics 1.5
PAL-72 Legal Analysis and Writing 3
PAL-78 Civil Litigation and Procedures II 3

SPECIALTY COURSES (Select 9 units from the following)
ACC-1A Principles of Accounting, I 3
PAL-80 Internship Project 1.5
PAL-81 Bankruptcy Law and Procedures 3
PAL-83 Estate Planning and Probate Procedures 3
PAL-85 Family Law and Procedures 3
PAL-87 Trial Practice Preparation and Procedures 3
RLE-82 Legal Aspects of Real Estate 3

Plus completion of the graduation requirements as described in the catalog.

Now, for an ABA approved paralegal program, go here:
and click on your state.

I clicked on CA and chose UC Irvine and got to this website:

But they have a paralegal certificate program; not an associate's degree. The few that offer the associate's degree are here and have a list of classes:

Hope this helps! ^_^

For becoming a paralegal, you should attend a community college paralegal program that leads to an associate degree. Another common method of entry, mainly for those who already have a college degree, is earning a certificate in paralegal studies. A small number of schools offer a bachelor’s and master’s degree in paralegal studies. Finally, some employers train paralegals on the job.

Associate and bachelor’s degree programs usually combine paralegal training with courses in other academic subjects. Certificate programs vary significantly, with some only taking a few months to complete. Most certificate programs provide intensive paralegal training for individuals who already hold college degrees.

[BUMP] Coming July '09
Do they not have any course requirements? Usually, even at a community college, if you are majoring in a certain program there will be required courses to take...

Anyone studying to be a paralegal should be taking the following, along with general courses(*=elective):

Introduction to Law
Law Office Management
Legal Research and Writing
Criminal Law and Procedure
Civil Litigation
Civil Procedure
Paralegal Profession
Wills, Trusts, and Probate*
Environmental Law*
Family Law*
Contract Law*
Real Estate Law*

Is the school you are attending ABA accredited? It doesn't sound like it is. In case you don't already know, you will have a hard time finding a paralegal job from a non-accredited school. What will help you is if you have some law office experience. I recommend finding a job at a law office while you are finishing your degree, you can be a clerk, receptionist or secretary. Having some law office experience will substantially help you when it comes time to find a paralegal job.

you will have to take a lot of classes then take a specialty class like family or divorce, then every few years you have to go back to school to be updated on new laws and other.

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