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The Certificate Program for Paralegal Studies

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					PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE                                                                              www.lawcrossing.com    1. 800.973.1177




                           The Certificate Program for Paralegal Studies at California
                           State University, Los Angeles
                           [By Devon Pryor]
                           The campus of California State University, Los Angeles, is located in an ideal California setting. Cal State L.A. is
                           close to the metropolis of downtown Los Angeles, with a view of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. Students have
                           access to the surrounding areas via two major freeways, a bus system, and the only Metrolink commuter rail station on a
                           Southern California campus. The school’s convenient central location is only a short distance from attractions such as
                           Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Coliseum, the MOCA Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles’
                           refurbished Chinatown and Little Tokyo, the recently reopened Griffith Park Observatory, and the famous Rose Bowl.



Cal State L.A. is a four-year institution         acquisitions, maintenance of corporate             Cal State L.A. The paralegal program is so
offering a number of post-baccalaureate           files, and other related matters. The              dedicated to career services that it requires
certificates through its Extended Education       course list for this track includes classes        students to attend information meetings,
department. The Certificate Program in            in income tax law and civil procedure, a           job fairs, and placement workshops as
Paralegal Studies is one of the school’s          three-course sequence in corporate law for         part of the formal program requirements.
best certificate programs; it was founded         paralegals, and one elective course in legal       Career services advocates for the paralegal
in 972 and has had long-standing approval        writing, law office administration, or real        program use the contacts that the program
by the American Bar Association. The              estate for paralegals.                             maintains within the legal community to
program can be completed in a minimum                                                                help graduates find employment in law
of nine months, and the school operates on        The third track offered by Cal State L.A.’s        offices, banks, financial associations,
a quarter system. Applicants must prove           paralegal program is the general track.            insurance companies, corporations, and
that they have earned associate of arts           This track allows students to acquire              government agencies at all levels. In order
degrees or baccalaureate degrees from             the general background necessary for               to provide extra help in finding employment,
accredited institutions; each applicant also      effective functioning in the legal profession      the program offers seminars on job seeking
must have a minimum of 58 quarter or 39           and to elect courses that meet individual          and resume writing.
semester units of post-secondary credit.          career objectives. Required courses
Night classes are available.                      include a course on legal research, a              Paralegal internships, which are both
                                                  course on law office administration, a             highly recommended by the paralegal
The courses in Cal State L.A.’s paralegal         course on civil procedure, and three               program’s coordinating staff and an
studies program are divided into three            elective courses chosen from the lists             important component of any resume,
tracks. The first of these is the litigation      of electives offered to students on the            can be handled in one of two ways.
track, which trains students to help              litigation and corporate tracks. Although          Students can enroll in a course called
attorneys gather factual materials for            the program has designed its course tracks         “Paralegal Internship” through the Cal
discovery, pleadings, and investigatory           to offer educational variety, students are         State L.A. paralegal studies program and
work. Classes required to complete                still required to take two core courses            earn academic credits for their work.
this track include a family law course,           regardless of the tracks they choose.              Because “Paralegal Internship” is a
a probate procedure course, a three-              These are “The Role of the Paralegal” and          course, students who elect to complete
course sequence in civil procedure, and an        “Introduction to the Law.” Students are            internships in this way must pay tuition
elective course in legal writing, law office      urged to get these courses out of the way          and complete coursework. Alternatively,
administration, real estate for paralegals,       as soon as possible.                               students may elect to intern unofficially
or corporate law for paralegals. The                                                                 by contacting sponsors directly and
second track is the corporate track, which        According to the school’s website, the             arranging the terms of the internships
trains students to become either in-house         Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies           themselves. Although this does not
employees who handle corporations’ legal          at Cal State L.A. offers lifetime placement        earn students academic credits, it is
housekeeping or law firm paralegals who           assistance, and free student information           an acceptable method by which they
are involved in organization and liquidation      sessions are held quarterly to ensure that         can gain intern experience, and the Cal
of corporations, corporate mergers and            students get the most out of their time at         State L.A. paralegal studies program



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PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE                                                                  www.lawcrossing.com   1. 800.973.1177




assists students who choose this route        Angeles Paralegal Association; assistance   Directory of ABA-approved Paralegal
by listing potential sponsors and their       through TERI, The Education Resource        Education Programs in California
requirements on the program website. In       Institute; and private scholarships from    www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals/
addition to local internship opportunities,   sponsoring law offices.                     directory/ca.html
the program website lists numerous job
postings.                                     ON THE NET                                  Los Angeles Paralegal Association (LAPA)
                                                                                          www.lapa.org/Aboutus.htm
Opportunities for tuition assistance within   Cal State L.A.’s Certificate Program in
the Cal State L.A. Certificate Program in     Paralegal Studies
Paralegal Studies include a 0% discount      www.calstatela.edu/exed/certificate/
on tuition for members of LAPA, the Los       paralegal.htm




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Description: California State University at Los Angeles offers Paralegal certification program for legal studies.
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