What Does a Paralegal Do?
Paralegals work with attorneys and the public to help solve legal problems. They conduct interviews and investigations, draft legal documents and help lawyers prepare for trials, negotiations and business meetings.
However, paralegals are prohibited from providing legal advice, representing a client in court, or engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
Paralegals work in all types of organizations including law offices, corporations, government agencies and other non-government organizations.
The Paralegal Studies Program at Skyline College
Enroll in the Paralegal Studies Program at Skyline College for a rewarding and highly supportive academic experience that will help you develop the skills you need to excel as a legal professional. We offer a Certificate of Achievement which provides a head start on the road to employment and an Associate Degree for a clear path for transfer to a four-year institution.
The program’s key objectives are:
- To provide students with an overview of the legal system and law practice
- To provide students with in-depth knowledge and skills to work in one or more areas of legal practice.
- To prepare students to perform legal research and to draft a variety of legal documents.
- To teach students the rules and laws governing the conduct of paralegals and to help them internalize high ethical values and behavior.
Length and Cost of Program
Skyline College offers a 25-unit certificate program for those students who already have an associate or higher degree. For those who do not already have a degree, Skyline offers a 60-unit Associate of Science degree program in Paralegal. Students who earn the degree also qualify for the certificate.
The 25 units required to earn the certificate may be completed in as short a time as 18-24 months – 4 or 5 semesters – or students may choose to take as long as four years.
The total cost of the certificate program is approximately $1,150 for resident students, and $5,325 for non-resident and foreign students. The total cost of the degree program is approximately $2,760 for resident students, and $12,780 for non-resident and foreign students.
Employment of paralegals projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. In 2017, California employed more paralegals and legal assistants than any other state.
Accreditation and Affiliations
- American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE)
- San Francisco Paralegal Association (SFPA)
- Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County (PASCO)