Paralegal Studies Series

Paralegal Studies

A foundation of law

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Series Description

Paralegal Course Series and CEUs

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, they are taught through the Center for Legal Studies (CLS), meet state of California paralegal certification requirements, and culminate in a certificate of completion.

Program Overviews

The Foundation: The Paralegal Certificate Course©

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 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

The CLS Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course

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
  • Education Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Property Law
  • Victim Advocacy
  • Water Law

Cost: Core: $1,395 • Advanced: $2,100
Required Credits: Core Course: 9 CEUs; Advanced Course: 27 CEUs
Duration: Paralegal Core: Two 7-week intensive sessions


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Core Paralegal Program
Paralegal Core Certificate Course© 9.0 CEU's
Advanced Paralegal Program
Advanced Paralegal Certificate Course 27.0 CEU's

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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.

Professional Development

State requirements

California paralegals may need to complete Advanced Paralegal coursework to meet the requirements of California Business and Professional Code §6450. Please visit The Center for Legal Studies for more information.