Paralegal Certificate Program

Paralegal Studies Certificate of Achievement

The Paralegal Certificate Program is designed for students pursuing careers as paralegals. A paralegal works in a paraprofessional capacity as an assistant to an attorney in a private law firm, governmental agency, industry, or private association. By California law, a paralegal, also called a legal assistant, works under the supervision of an attorney and performs many tasks normally handled by an attorney, such as preparing forms, memoranda writing, interviewing clients, researching legal matters, managing the legal office, and a variety of other tasks. There are also self-employed paralegals who work for attorneys on request. The paralegal is not an attorney and, therefore, cannot give legal advice or represent another person in court, except under very limited circumstances provided by law.

It is strongly recommended that students complete ENGL 101 and POLS 102 before they begin taking paralegal courses. It is further recommended that students first complete (or at least concurrently enroll in) Political Science 30, Introduction to Paralegal, 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 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 the paralegal program, at least 15 of which must be taken in residence at Victor Valley College, with a minimum grade of "C" in all paralegal classes.