1. How do I become a paralegal?

California law defines who can be a paralegal. One way is to obtain a degree, which requires at least 24 semester units of coursework. College of the Canyons offers 31 units (11 classes) in its associate degree program in paralegal studies.Back to Top

2. When and where are the classes offered?

Classes are offered at both the COC Valencia and Canyon Country campuses. Most classes are offered in the evenings.Back to Top

3. Can I take the program part-time?

Most students attend part-time by taking a few courses each semester.Back to Top

4. Why does College of the Canyons require an internship to graduate?

The US Department of Labor notes that experienced, formally-trained paralegals have the best employment opportunities. Having internship experience is a valuable asset in seeking a job after graduation.Back to Top

5. When can paralegal students take their internship?

Students should plan to enroll in an internship after they have taken a few courses. Then they should arrange an internship as soon as possible to help them decide whether to continue their paralegal education.Back to Top

6. Where do paralegal students do their internships?

Most paralegal studies students have interned at private law firms in the Santa Clarita Valley. Other internship placements have included the Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, and Neighborhood Legal Service.Back to Top

7. How do I find an internship?

Students can secure internships through the college’s Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE) internship program. To graduate, students must enroll in at least two units of CWEE Paralegal Studies. Locating an internship is the student’s responsibility, however, department faculty and CWEE staff provide guidance and assistance. Students are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the Paralegal Studies department chair and/or a CWEE staff member at least one semester before they plan to begin their internship.Back to Top

8. Will I receive a degree or does the college offer a certificate?

College of the Canyons offers an associate in arts degree in Paralegal Studies. It does not offer a certificate program.Back to Top

9. I already have college credits or an associate and/or bachelor’s degree in another field. Do I still need another degree?

Yes. However, some of your credits may count toward your associate degree in paralegal studies. Prospective students should make an appointment with a counselor to verify any credits that will count toward the degree. In some cases, students who possess other degrees only have to take the Paralegal Studies courses to graduate. Click Here for More InformationBack to Top

10. What placement assistance does College of the Canyons offer to graduates?

The college’s Career Services and Paralegal Studies departments offer a variety of resources to students and graduates including: assistance creating a resume, interview preparation, and career networking. During the Paralegal Studies Seminar course, students receive instruction on how to conduct a successful job search, take steps toward career advancement and obtain recommended job skills.Back to Top

11. I have General Education credits, will they transfer for my Paralegal Studies A.A. Degree?

Please contact the Counseling office to find out more information. Click HereBack to Top

12. I am enrolled at another paralegal program, can I transfer all the credits from that program to COC?

The ABA requires that we limit transfer of courses from both ABA and non-ABA programs. We can accept up to 12 units of course work from an ABA approved program and up to 9 units of course work from a non-ABA approved program. It is advised you contact the department before filling out the form to transfer these credits to COC.Back to Top

13. How much does the program cost?

Please refer to the Financial Aid link for
further information. Click HereBack to Top

14. How long does it take to complete the program?

Students typically take courses part-time, a few courses per semester. The program is designed for students to complete the paralegal studies portion in 2 years, attending part-time. If a student needs the GE requirements, this time may be different.Back to Top

15. Are the courses offered during the day, at night, or online?

Students typically take courses part-time, a few courses per semester, because they work during the day. Thus, every course is offered at night, typically attending one night per week per class for the term of the semester. The ABA regulates on-line courses and thus only a few courses are offered on line and very rarely. When offered, these on-line courses are offered only in a hybrid format which still requires students to attend at least 50% of the class time in person.Back to Top

16. When can I start taking paralegal studies courses?

As soon as you become a student at COC, you can enroll in any of the courses, but there is a recommended sequence. See this link for further information. However, in general, it is recommended that students take Introduction to Law before the other substantive legal courses (Contract Law, Tort Law, Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research). In addition, it is recommended that students take legal research before legal writing.Back to Top

17. What courses are offered in the fall and which are offered in the spring?

The department offers the same courses every fall:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Contract Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research
  • Civil Litigation I
  • Family Law

And the department offers the same courses every spring:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Tort Law
  • Legal Analysis and Writing
  • Computer Literacy for Paralegals
  • Civil Litigation II
  • Paralegal Seminar
Back to Top

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