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Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
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Paralegal Blog

California Paralegal Requirements

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Feb 3, 2016 12:08:37 PM


California employs more paralegals than any other state, and the demand for qualified paralegals in California continues to grow.1 Job demand isn't the only reason many decide to become a paralegal. Those who are attracted to the legal professions often hope to find a challenging and rewarding career in which they can make a difference. Being an attorney may be their ultimate goal, but becoming a paralegal first can prove to be a very wise decision. Compared to law school, paralegal programs take less time, are far less expensive, and tend to focus more on pratical matters such as conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and investigating the facts of a case. So, what are the requirements to work as a paralegal in California?

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Topics: education and training, featured

James I. Wiedemer J.D. - Real Estate Law

Posted by Joy Oden

Feb 3, 2016 9:18:37 AM

James I. Wiedemer, J.D. Paralegal Instructor

Jim Wiedemer is a real estate lawyer, teacher and writer.

“Yes, but which one is your favorite?” I ask. He can’t decide; he likes them all.

“Working as a lawyer helps me see how things actually work, which makes me a better teacher; teaching helps me fine-tune how I present a concept. The best writing comes from teaching because you get immediate feedback, and the writing makes me a better lawyer.”

Jim is a well-rounded individual.

Long-time Favorite Teacher

He was the second teacher hired by Center for Advanced Legal Studies in 1987, four months after the Center opened its doors. He has taught most legal classes, but these days, as he does in his practice and his writing, he focuses on real estate law.

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Topics: faculty, education and training

Paralegal Program Length: Is your paralegal program comprehensive enough?

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Nov 16, 2015 1:59:48 PM

Make sure the paralegal program contains at least 24 semester hours (38.4 CEUs) of skills-based paralegal training.

As a paralegal, you will work with attorneys who value higher education and have devoted a significant amount of time and expense to pursue a legal career. Your paralegal education will matter to them.

Is the program comprehensive enough to give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to work alongside an attorney? One way to make certain is to evaluate the program length to insure adequate attention is paid to critical subjects areas. Further, recognized authorities in paralegal education have established minimum standards regarding program length. The State of California requires “the successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in law-related courses and that has been accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization” as one criteria for a person to call themselves a paralegal.1

Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound impact on your opportunities for success in the career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this exciting profession.2

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Topics: paralegal certificate, paralegal degree, education and training, featured

The Importance of Accreditation

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Nov 12, 2015 3:12:13 PM

accredited.jpg

The first step to becoming a paralegal is to get your degree or certificate from an accredited institution.

What is accreditation? Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.1 Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then “accredited” by that agency.2

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Topics: online classes, paralegal certificate, credentials, education and training

ABA Approved Online Paralegal Program?

Posted by Doyle R. Happe, Director

Nov 5, 2015 1:05:31 PM

 

Doyle R. Happe
Co-founder and Director
Center for Advanced Legal Studies

One of the requirements of attending and graduating from an ABA approved paralegal program is that you must complete a minimum of 10 semester hours on campus. Realistically, that means you must live close enough so you can drive back and forth.

But not always… One of our students flew back and forth from Atlanta to attend class on campus, another drove from Texarkana, an easy 5½ hour one way trip, several others traveled from Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, etc. to attend weekend classes on our campus in Houston to comply with this 10 semester hour requirement. 

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Topics: online classes, career, technology, education and training

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