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Paralegal/Legal Studies Program

The work of the paralegal has been recognized by the American Bar Association, state bars, and local bar associations as an important step in helping the legal profession meet the increasing demand for its services and in providing these services more efficiently and promptly. Today's law offices seek paralegals qualified to do certain work under the supervision of an attorney.  NOTE:  Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Students may transfer up to 12 units of paralegal courses completed at an ABA-approved paralegal program OR at an accredited college or university in the United States provided that (1) the courses are similar in content and contact hours to our existing courses and (2) the letter grade earned in such courses was a C or higher.  Courses completed in a law school are not acceptable for transfer as these courses do not emphasize or teach paralegal skills.

 

Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal/Legal Studies

City College of San Francisco trains students in a two-year course of study in Paralegal/Legal Studies. The course of study is designed so that students may satisfy the general education requirements and paralegal course requirements for graduation from the College. Students who satisfy the general education requirements with the average final grade of C (2.00 grade point average) or higher AND the courses in the Paralegal/Legal Studies Program with a letter grade of C or higher receive the degree of Associate in  Science with a Major in Paralegal/Legal Studies. Students will also be eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement provided that they complete all courses in the Paralegal/Legal Studies Program with a letter grade of C or higher. IMPORTANT NOTE:  The paralegal certificate is ONLY awarded upon completion of the general education requirements for the Associate's degree.

Admission. Enrollment is open to all students who are admitted to City College of San Francisco and who have satisfied the prerequisites listed next to each course before enrolling in that course. Students entering the degree program must have placed into ENGL 1A or completed ENGL 96 with a final grade of C or higher.

Course of Study. The course of study includes instruction in the following: introduction to paralegal studies; civil litigation; commercial law; tort law; wills, trusts, and probate administration; family law; civil and criminal evidence; legal research and writing; law office management and procedures; real estate law; environmental law; labor law; medical law; debtors' rights and creditors' remedies; corporate law; intellectual property law; immigration law; communication law; and work experience.

Goals and Outcomes:  The degree program is designed so that students may earn a degree and a paralegal certificate from the college. In both the degree and certificate programs, students are taught how to write and communicate in formats acceptable in today's law offices; how to locate and analyze the law; how to handle the ethical issues facing today's legal professionals; how to navigate through the federal and California court systems; and how to operate within a law office. Both programs provide practical skills in law office software and business practices as well as instruction in the areas of substantive law.

Employment. Those who complete the curriculum satisfactorily are qualified for employment as paralegals in law offices, government offices, and other businesses.

Courses Required for the Degree

First Semester

PLS 1 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies 

PLS 2 - Legal Research and Writing I            

BSL 1 (formerly CLW 18) - Business Law I                                 

General Education Courses (see exceptions below)

Second Semester

PLS 3 - Legal Research and Writing II          

PLS 4 - Litigation I                                              

BSL 2 (formerly CLW 19) - Business Law II                        

General Education Courses (see exceptions below)

Third Semester

PLS 5 - Litigation II                                                   

PLS Elective                                                             

PLS Elective                                                                     

General Education Courses (see exceptions below)

Fourth Semester

PLS 6 - Law Office Management and Procedures 

PLS Elective                                                           

PLS Elective                                                               

General Education Courses (see exceptions below)

PLS Electives:  PLS 7, PLS 9, PLS 10, PLS 11, PLS 12, PLS 13, PLS 14, PLS 15, PLS 16, PLS 17, PLS 18, and PLS 19.

 

General Education Requirements

IMPORTANT:  Students must see the Paralegal/Legal Studies Program Coordinator about the general education courses for the Paralegal/Legal Studies Degree.  The following courses are NOT approved as general education courses for the Paralegal/Legal Studies Degree :

Area A:  Business English, Business Mathematics, Computer Science, Design, Microcomputer Applications for Business, and Supervision and Management
 
Area C:  Nutrition and Ornamental Horticulture

Area D:  Academic Achievement Personal Success, Health Education, and Physical Education  

Area E:  Design  

Area G:  Culinary Arts, Health Education, Nutrition, and Physical Education

Area H:  Health Education, Physical Education, and Supervision and Business Management

 

Paralegal/Legal Studies Certificate of Achievement

The program of study for the Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal/Legal Studies complies with the requirements established under current California law to become a paralegal. The program is designed to prepare students for employment as paralegals.

Admission. Enrollment is open to all interested students who already hold a college degree OR who have completed 30 units of general education or law-related courses with a 2.00 grade point average or higher at an accredited, post-secondary school PRIOR TO admission into our paralegal program. Students transferring coursework completed at another school must furnish an official transcript.  Students entering the certificate program must have placed into ENGL 1A or completed ENGL 96 with a final grade of C or higher.

Goals and Outcomes:  The certificate program is designed for students who already hold a college degree and wish to earn just a paralegal certificate to gain employment as a paralegal. In both the degree and certificate programs, students are taught how to write and communicate in formats acceptable in today's law offices; how to locate and analyze the law; how to handle the ethical issues facing today's legal professionals; how to navigate through the federal and California court systems; and how to operate within a law office. Both programs provide practical skills in law office software and business practices as well as instruction in the areas of substantive law.

Courses Required for the Certificate of Achievement

First Semester

PLS 1 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies 

PLS 2 - Legal Research and Writing I 

BSL 1 (formerly CLW 18) - Business Law I    

Second Semester

PLS 3 - Legal Research and Writing II 

PLS 4 - Litigation I 

BSL 2 (formerly CLW 19) - Business Law II

Third Semester

PLS 5 - Litigation II

PLS Elective

Fourth Semester

PLS 6 - Law Office Management and Procedures 

PLS Elective

PLS Electives:  PLS 7, PLS 9, PLS 10, PLS 11, PLS 12, PLS 13, PLS 14, PLS 15, PLS 16, PLS 17, PLS 18, and PLS 19.

 

Program Coordinator

scales of law

Dora Dye
Paralegal/Legal Studies Program Coordinator
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue, C-106
San Francisco, CA 94112

Office: 466 Batmale Hall
Telephone: (415) 239-3508
E-mail: ddye2@mail.ccsf.edu