Attachment to Request to Add New Option or Certificate by keithmurray

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									Attachment to Request to Add New Option or Certificate Within Existing
Program to Inventory

1. Catalog description of program as it will appear in the catalog.

The legal assistant, also called a paralegal, is defined by California law as a person
qualified by education, training or work experience, who either contracts with or is
employed by an attorney, law firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and
who performs substantial legal work that has been specifically delegated by the
attorney, under the direction and supervision of an attorney legally practicing in
California. (Business & Professions Code §6450)

The Legal Assisting degree and certificate offered by ARC prepares the student for an
entry-level position in full compliance with California law. Included in the course of study
is an introduction to the theory of law, the litigation process, and the law library. It is not
a pre-law program, nor does it prepare the student to become an attorney.

The Legal Assisting Certificate is available only to students who have received an
Associate in Arts degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Students who do not already possess, at minimum, an Associate of Arts degree from a
regionally accredited college or university must complete an A.A. degree (60 units) as
specified below.
Legal assisting courses are taught by attorneys and working legal assistants.

2. Program Requirements.

Completion of the Certificate requires a student to successfully complete 30 units of
Legal Assisting courses consisting of the 18 units of Required Courses in the Legal
Assisting Major and twelve units from the Legal Assisting Major elective courses.

Requirements for Major
LA 300    Introduction to the Law and Legal Assisting ......... 3 units
LA 310    Civil Procedures and Litigation .............................. 3 units
LA 312    Torts and Personal Injury....................................... 3 units
LA 314    Contract Law for Legal Assistants ......................... 3 units
LA 320    Legal Research (pre-requisite to LA 321) ............. 3 units
LA 321    Legal Writing .......................................................... 3 units
          ................................................................................ 18 units

Twelve units from the following (major electives):

LA 332           Administrative Law ................................................. 3 units
LA 334           Criminal Law and Procedure ................................. 3 units
LA 340           Techniques of Interview ......................................... 1 unit
LA   342    Evidence                    ........................................ 3 units
LA   350    Law Office Management ........................................ 3 units
LA   360    Corporations Law ................................................... 3 units
LA   362    Estate Planning and Probate Procedure ............... 3 units
LA   364    Landlord Tenant Law ............................................. 3 units
LA   366    Basic Bankruptcy Law ........................................... 3 units
LA   368    Workers’ Compensation Law................................. 3 units
LA   497    Internship in Legal Assisting .................................. 2-4 units

Students without an A.A. or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution must
complete 30 units of General Education courses fulfilling one of the degree patterns in
addition to the 30 units of Legal Assisting classes as described above.


3. Similar programs at Other Colleges in Service Area.

Other Legal Assisting/Paralegal programs within commuting distance of American River
College include UC Davis’s Extension program, MTI’s AA degree, and Maric College.
(CA Business & Professions Code section 6454 states: “The terms “paralegal,” “legal
assistant”…are synonymous for purposes of this chapter.”)

UC Davis’s program is offered through their Extension Services and accepts students
with at least a GED. Their classes can be completed in 20 weeks. There are no
General Education requirements for this program. It meets the minimum qualifications
set out in California Business & Professions Code section 6450.

MTI offers an AA degree which takes two years to complete and includes General
Education. MTI’s program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and in
accordance with the new ABA Guidelines for Paralegal Education their program no
longer offers a certificate.

Maric College was contacted for information about the Paralegal program referenced on
their website. They refused to discuss it over the phone and declined to send
information to me.

These are the only Legal Assisting programs, in addition to American River College’s
AA degree, in the Sacramento area.

4.   Justification of sufficient Labor Market Need.

A recent placement announcement sent to the college:

…..a general practice law firm of 118 attorneys located in downtown San Francisco,
with offices in Sacramento and Larkspur.
We have an immediate opening in Sacramento for an experienced labor and
employment law paralegal. This position requires 3-5 years of experience, with a
B.A./B.S. and/or paralegal certificate preferred. This position requires excellent
communication skills, strong organizational abilities, calendaring skills and the ability to
work both independently and as a team member. (Emphasis added.)

The latest US Dept of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics states the job outlook for
“...Paralegals and legal assistants are projected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through 2012.” “Faster than average” is a projected employment increase
of 21 to 35 %. “...highly skilled, formally trained paralegals have excellent employment
potential.”

The California Employment Development Department’s statistics indicate that through
the year 2012 jobs for paralegals and legal assistants will grow by 22.6%.

The following information is from the occupational projections produced by the
Employment Development Department (EDD) Labor Market Information Division
(LMID):

Estimated number of workers in 2000: 19,900.

Estimated number of workers in 2010: 27,200 Projected Growth 2000-2010: 36.7%

Est. openings due to separations by 2010: 1,400. These figures do not include self-
employment.

The occupation of Paralegals is expected to rank among the top 100 fastest growing
occupations in California. Employment of Paralegals is expected to grow much faster
than average compared with all occupations in California.

Employment of Paralegals is projected to increase as employers recognize that
Paralegals do many legal tasks for lower salaries than lawyers. Most job openings will
result from new job opportunities as the industry expands.

Please see the chart of California Occupational Projections from the EDD on the next
page.
California Occupational Projections 2002 - 2012 [1] [2] [3]
                                                                                Annual Average
                                                                                 Employment             Numerical     Percent                           Median              Education & Training
                         Occupational Titles                                 2002 [6]        2012        Change       Change          Separations     Hourly Wage*                Levels
Legal Occupations                                                                  108,900        129,900      21,000 19.3%                12,300        $38.54
  Lawyers, Judges, and Related Workers                                              61,100         74,700      13,600 22.3%                 7,900
    Lawyers                                                                         57,800         71,200      13,400 23.2%                 7,400         $57.25        Professional Degree (1)
    Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers                     1,400         1,500          100    7.1%                200         $49.58        BA/BS + Experience (4)
    Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates                                        1,600         1,700          100    6.3%                200         $65.28        Professional Degree (1)
  Legal Support Workers                                                             39,200         45,200       6,000 15.3%                 3,600
    Paralegals and Legal Assistants                                                 25,200         30,900       5,700 22.6%                 2,000         $25.64        Associate Degree (6)
    Court Reporters                                                                   1,700         2,000          300 17.6%                  200         $30.12        Post-Sec. VocEd (7)
    Law Clerks                                                                        4,200         4,300          100    2.4%                500         $18.05        BA/BS Degree (5)
    Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers                                       8,100         7,900         -200   -2.5%                900         $23.64        Moderate-Term OJT (10)
  Miscellaneous Legal & Related Workers                                               8,600        10,000       1,400 16.3%                   900
    Legal and Related Workers, All Other [5]                                          8,600        10,000       1,400 16.3%                   900         $22.83        BA/BS Degree (5)



[1] Occupations with employment below 1,000 in 2002 are excluded.
[2] Subtotals may not add to the California total due to rounding and the suppression of data.
[3] Some data are suppressed because of confidentiality or other issues.
[4] For some occupations, workers may not work full-time all year-round. For these occupations it is not feasible to calculate an ho urly wage.
[5] Because of the 2000 revision in SOC codes, the employment for these occupations will be redirected to other codes in the future. These occupations are not in the SOC Manual, but are included
    here because in some cases, they represent substantial employment.
[6] March 2003 Benchmark
* Median Hourly Wage is the estimated 50th percentile of the distribution of wages; 50 percent of workers in an occupation earn wages below, and 50 percent earn wages above the median wage.
NA = Data not available.

Source: State of California, Employment Development Department
        Labor Market Information Division, (916) 262-2162

								
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