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Paralegal Programs in California

March 18, 2011

Paralegals, also known as legal assistants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 256,000 paralegals and legal secretaries in California, and this is expected to grow to nearly 302,900 in 2020.

You may pursue a paralegal degree through a community college paralegal program like an associate degree. Another common route of qualification, mainly for those who already have a college degree, may be a certificate in paralegal studies. A small number of schools in California may also offer a bachelor’s and master’s degree in paralegal studies. Finally, some employers may provide on-the-job training.

Schools that may interest you are Platt College in Los Angeles and Ontario, and Fremont College in Cerritos.

California Licensing Requirements

There may be no licensing requirement or certification requirement in California.

You may consider pursuing one of two voluntary certifications:

  • Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)
  • Registered Paralegal (RP)

These are usually not required, but may give you a competitive advantage in the paralegal employment market.

Pursuing a Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)

The CLA qualification may be the preferred choice for California resident paralegals.

It may be necessary to renew the CLA certification every 5 years. In order to keep your certification current you may need to have proof of having completed 50 hours of approved continuing legal education credits in a five-year period.

Five specialty areas are usually available:

  • Business and Organizations
  • Civil Litigation
  • Family Law
  • Estates and Trusts
  • Real Estate

Paralegal Schools:

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1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses
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  • Dedicated to providing a hands-on, career-focused education since 1953.
  • Offers classes online, as well as at 14 campuses across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.
  • Develops curriculum with input from employers, subject matter experts.
  • Has small class sizes to promote one-on-one, student-teacher interaction.
  • Makes no-cost tutoring available in every subject to every enrolled student.
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  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Offers an associate degree in court reporting completely online.
  • Provides high school graduates the opportunity to earn a scholarship at The Court Reporting Institute through the Presidential High School Scholarship program.
  • Certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
  • Selected as a G.I. Jobs Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine since 2012.
  • Has 2 locations in Dallas, TX and St. Louis, MO, with online courses also available.
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Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits