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Paralegal Studies Certificate

A paralegal works in a paraprofessional capacity as an assistant to an attorney in a private law firm, governmental agency industry, or private association. The paralegal performs many tasks normally handled by an attorney, such as preparing forms, writing memoranda, interviewing clients, researching legal matters, managing the law office, and a variety of other tasks. There are also self-employed paraprofessionals who work for attorneys on request.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program at Victor Valley College is designed for students pursuing paraprofessional careers in the legal field. There are two types of such paraprofessionals.

Paralegal: Pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1761, a person may use the title “paralegal” only when they have obtained the required educational qualifications and they work directly under the supervision of a licensed California attorney.

Legal Document Assistant: Pursuant to California Senate Bill 1418, independent non-attorneys who provide law-related services to the public for compensation must register with the county clerk as a “Legal Document Assistant,” and may not use the term “paralegal” in reference to themselves or their service. (For more information on the LDA registration process, contact the California Association of Legal Document Assistants at www.caip.org).

It is strongly recommended that students complete ENGL 101 and POLS 102 before they begin taking paralegal courses so that they will have a firm foundation in writing skills and a basic understanding of the American legal system at the state and national levels of government. It is further recommended that students first complete (or at least concurrently enroll in) POLS 130, Introduction to Paralegalism, before continuing with other paralegal courses.

This is not a four-year transfer program, it is not transferable for advanced standing in a law school, and is not designed to be a “pre-law” program. The Paralegal Studies Certificate is not equivalent to a law school (J.D. degree) program, and thus, does not serve as a preparation for the bar exam. See a counselor for transfer requirements to other institutions.

Students must complete a minimum of 33 units, with at least 15 units taken in residence at Victor Valley College, with a minimum grade of “C” in all paralegal classes.

Requirements
33.0 units minimum
Group I - All of the following must be completed:

    Units
POLS 130 Introduction to Paralegalism 3.0
POLS 131 Fundamentals of Litigation for Paralegals 3.0
POLS 132 Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals 3.0
POLS 133 Legal Ethics for Paralegals 3.0
POLS 134 Family Law for Paralegals 3.0
POLS 135 Tort Law for Paralegals 3.0
AJ 103 Criminal Law 3.0
BADM 117 Legal Environment of Business 3.0

 

Group II - At least 9.0 units of the following must be completed:

    Units
AJ 102 Criminal Procedures 3.0
AJ 104 Legal Aspects of Evidence 3.0
BADM 101 Elementary Accounting  
OR    
BADM 103 Principles of Accounting 3.0 - 4.0
BADM 111 Introduction to Public Administration 3.0
BADM 72 Internal Revenue Service Procedures and Taxpayer Bill of Rights 3.0
BRE 110 Legal Aspects of Real Estate I 3.0
BET 103 A/B/C Beginning Word Processing/Typing - WordPerfect for Windows 3.0
BET 104 A/B/C Beginning Word Processing/Typing - Word for Windows 3.0
ENGL 104 Critical Thinking and Composition 3.0
OR    
PHIL 109 Introduction to Logic 3.0
CMST 109 Public Speaking 3.0