Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
Paralegal Blog
Talk to Us: 1-800-446-6931

Paralegal Blog

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

Read More

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

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

Accredited Paralegal Certificate and Degree ProgramsWhat 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

Read More

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. 

Read More

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

Five Tips for Managing Speaker's Anxiety

Posted by Gretchen Havens

Mar 19, 2014 7:38:00 PM

fear of public speakingIf you dread the mere thought of “public speaking,” you are among millions of individuals who feel the same way. Giving a speech ranks above snakes, death and financial ruin in the hierarchy of human fears. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a large audience to trigger panic. Just presenting material out loud to one person can set your heart pounding and your mouth feeling as dry as the Gobi Desert.

You may think that, as a paralegal, you will never have to give a speech. But if you define a speech as any information you prepare and deliver verbally to another person, or a group, then you could find yourself becoming a “speaker” fairly often.

Read More

Topics: faculty, education and training

Academic Dean's Commitment To Paralegal Students

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jan 31, 2014 11:06:00 AM

Thomas B. Swanson, Paralegal Dean & Faculty 

Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.
Academic Dean and Faculty

"Students realize that I'm committed to them entering the field and doing well..."

An Original Paralegal Instructor

Thomas Swanson is an original. He was the first teacher that the Center for Advanced Legal Studies hired 27 years ago and his crusty charm, self-effacing humor, and extensive knowledge of the law make him someone to impress and emulate for students and faculty alike.

An Original Paralegal

Born in Washington, D.C., Swanson served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1976 where he worked primarily as a paralegal. He received a Commendation Medal for his outstanding service as an investigator in the USAF Foreign Claims Commission in Taipei, Taiwan. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida,  he came to Houston, where he entered  the South Texas College of Law, graduating with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He was licensed as Texas attorney by the Supreme Court of Texas in May of 1981. After having worked for a number of years at an established Houston law firm, Swanson started his own firm in 1986.

Read More

Topics: faculty, online classes, education and training

Paralegal Program Brochure Download Request another info kit by mail Paralegal Program Application

Subscribe to Email Updates