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Paralegal Studies

A foundation of law

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Series Description

Launch your paralegal career

The job outlook for paralegals and legal assistants is bright, adding jobs at a brisk 10 percent annually and it's especially good if you've you've got strong computer and database management skills. Whether you're interested in supporting a law office, diving into banking or corporate programs, or hanging your own shingle, the diverse paralegal profession needs skilled paralegals.

We offer two levels of paralegal training to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the American judicial system—the Paralegal Certificate Course© and the Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course. While not UCSC-designated certificate programs, the combined courses meet state of California paralegal certification requirements and culminate in a certificate of completion.

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Meet California education requirements

Completing both the Core Requirements and the Advanced Requirements of the Paralegal Certificate Program provides comprehensive training and skills to work in the quickly-growing paralegal profession. In combination, the two paralegal programs meet the requirements of the California Business and Professional Code §6450.


See Paralegal Job Opportunities


New learning formats for more flexibility

Live Online Lectures

If you prefer to study in a live, online lecture format, please sign up for the next Live Lecture Zoom session.

Self Study Format

A great new option for students who just missed a start date, want to start now, or are self-motivated and simply prefer to work at their own pace.

Fully Remote

We offer regular online, self-paced sessions six times a year.


The Paralegal Certificate©

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Save 10%
You will save 10 percent when you enroll in the Paralegal Certificate Course© before Feb. 23. Use discount code PARA10.

In two seven-week intensives—Paralegal I and Paralegal II—CLS instructors will teach you practical skills to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist in preparing cases for courtroom litigation.

Paralegal I Objectives

  • The origins and history of the American legal system
  • The meaning and application of important legal terminology
  • Attorney and paralegal ethics
  • Techniques of jury selection and the jury selection process
  • How to prepare legal documents including demand letters, pleadings, discovery documents, motions and memos
  • Significant elements of the substantive law of torts, contracts
  • The important rules of civil procedure and evidence
  • How to conduct a legal interview
  • How to conduct a legal investigation
  • How to conduct legal analysis and perform legal problem solving

Paralegal II Objectives

  • The importance of precedence
  • What legal authority is, and which authority is the most important
  • How to conduct legal research and learn how to use the 4 most effective legal research tools found in virtually every law library
  • How to Shepardize your authority
  • How to properly cite your authority
  • How to conduct computerized legal research used extensively in law offices throughout the country.
  • Proper and effective legal writing style
  • The basic documents for several important substantive areas of law
  • Advocacy techniques for usage in formal or informal settings, and
  • How to begin your job search and perhaps begin a freelance paralegal business after your education

Learn more — Paralegal Course

Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course

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These advanced legal studies classes help students build on their knowledge of law by allowing you to specialize in facets of contemporary law.

Your study gives you a strong competitive edge over other paralegals.

Focus on topics that interest you. You are required to complete six seven-week sessions of Advanced Paralegal course topics to receive a certificate of completion. Please choose from the sessions listed below.

  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation)
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • eDiscovery
  • Education Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Property Law
  • Victim Advocacy
  • Water Law
Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course Bundle Pricing

Enroll in six or more Advanced Paralegal topics at once and save $300 on your Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course.


Learn more — Adv. Paralegal Course


CLS by BARBRI—Our Curriculum Partner


These legal studies courses are provided in partnership with CLS by BARBRI, a legal education company (formerly Center for Legal Studies) that is focused on providing affordable, up-to-date, and effective legal education. Student payment plans are available through CLS by BARBRI.


Learn about other legal studies courses.



Learn About the Paralegal Certificate Course®️

In this in-depth informational webinar by The Center for Legal Studies you'll hear how to prepare for the comprehensive Paralegal Certificate Course®️. You'll get a sense of trends in the industry, the opportunities for graduates, and the support that is available to you during the program. (January 2023)

A Look at the Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course

In this informational webinar, you'll hear the ins and outs of The Center for Legal Studies Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course®️. You will learn how to focus your studies on topics of your choice and how you can prepare for a successful career. (June 2023)

Program Overview

Estimated Cost: Paralegal starts at $1,895. Adv. Paralegal starts at $3,300 or $550 a topic.
Program Requirements: Paralegal Program: 9 CEUs • Advanced Paralegal Program: Up to 27 CEUs
Minimum Hours of Instruction:
Estimated Duration: Paralegal: Two 7-week sessions • Advanced Paralegal Program: Six 7-week sessions
Special Programs: None

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Professional Development

State Requirements

Anyone can take the core Paralegal Certificate Course and work as such in most states except California where they need additional training taught in the Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course. The APCC is designed to meet the requirements of California Business and Professions Code §6450.

Please visit The Center for Legal Studies for more information and learn more about our Licensure and Certification Policy.

Requisite Knowledge

Please review course descriptions. Without any prior degrees or legal experience, you will need to take both courses and receive a certificate of completion to practice in California. Please visit The Center for Legal Studies for more information on California Business & Professions Code §6450.