Academic Catalogs

Paralegal Studies, Associate of Arts Degree

3_AA_PARA

The American Bar Association (ABA) approves Coastline’s Paralegal Studies Program. The Paralegal Program prepares personnel for the intermediary position between the legal secretary and the attorney, performing work under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals work in law offices and other legal and law related environments, and many interact with clients. A paralegal shall not provide legal advice or engage in conduct that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, including contracting with a natural person other than an attorney for the performance of paralegal services (California Business & Professions Code, Sections 6450 et seq.). This program is not intended to prepare students for law school or the practice of law.

Students who do not already possess an Associate of Arts or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university must complete the associate degree (60 units) as specified below. These requirements are in compliance with the ABA Guidelines for paralegal programs. Degree candidate students are required to attend a paralegal orientation or a counseling session and complete the English and Math Placement Testing and Group A General Education requirements prior to entering LAW C105 Civil Litigation 1, LAW C118 Legal Analysis and Briefing, LAW C121 Legal Research/CALR, LAW C390 Legal Clinic Practicum/Ethics and/or any major elective with a “LAW” designation. The remaining general education units are to be completed concurrently with the remaining paralegal courses. Students must achieve a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in each paralegal studies course.

Paralegal studies course work taken at other institutions in an ABA-approved program, with approval by the paralegal studies department, will qualify for no more than six (6) units of transfer credit in legal specialty courses in the paralegal studies certificate program. Paralegal studies courses taken for other than a letter grade are limited to seven (7) units within the 27 unit total, and 21 units of paralegal course work must be completed at Coastline College. (Credit by examination is not available for courses within the Paralegal Studies Certificate.) Upon completion of the degree program, students will be awarded an associate degree in Paralegal Studies and a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association.

Students possessing a transferable Associate of Arts or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with official transcripts on file at Coastline, will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association upon completion of the 27 units of required paralegal courses. All students are required to attend a paralegal orientation or a counseling session and must achieve a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in each paralegal studies course. All students are required to demonstrate computer proficiency (see Requirements).

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze and communicate conclusions both orally and in writing.
  2. Apply legal concepts to the clients’ problems.
  3. Apply legal ethics in the paralegal field.


Associate Degree Requirements

Unit Requirement

Complete at least 60 units of acceptable college work with a minimum of 12 units completed in residence at Coastline. Earn an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher from all colleges attended and a 2.0 or higher grade point average at Coastline.

*Students must be in good academic standing (not on probation and/or disqualification) during the semester graduation is petitioned.

Program of Study

Complete the required courses in one of the programs as detailed In the Academic/Career/Certificate Programs section of this catalog. All coursework must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

General Education

Complete one of the three General Education options below (visit the General Education page for details):

Option 1 — Coastline General Education: designed for students pursuing an Associate degree and who may or may not be planning to transfer to a four-year university. The degree is transferable to many colleges and universities.

Option 2—CSU GE Breadth: designed for students who are planning to transfer to a university in the CSU system. It may also be appropriate for transfer to some independent colleges and universities.

Option 3—IGETC: designed for students who are planning to transfer to a university in the CSU or UC system. It also may be appropriate for transfer to some independent colleges and universities.

Global and Multicultural Studies Requirement

Complete at least 2.5 units from any Global and Multicultural Studies courses. See what courses fulfill the Global and Multicultural Studies Requirement.

Course Title Units
Required Paralegal Courses
Students will complete all of the following:
LAW C100Introduction to Paralegal Studies3
LAW C127Legal Procedure 13
LAW C128Legal Procedure 23
LAW C105Civil Litigation 13
LAW C118Legal Analysis and Briefing3
LAW C121Legal Research/CALR4
or LAW C120
LAW C122
Legal Research
and Computer Assisted Legal Research
LAW C390Legal Clinic Practicum/Ethics2
Program Electives
Select six units of the following:6
Civil Litigation 2
Criminal Litigation
Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration
Law Office Management
Family Law
Probate Administration/Estate Planning
Elder Law
Corporate/Business Organizations
Conflict Analysis And Resolution
Bankruptcy Law and Procedures
Intellectual Property
Civil Trials and Evidence
Tort Law
Contract Law
Computer Applications for the Paralegal 1
Total Units27

General Education, Paralegal Program

Students are required to complete at least 18 units in courses numbered C100-C299 listed in Groups A to D. (Course work in Group A2 is limited to ENGL C100 Freshman Composition. Course work in Group C1 is limited to ART C100 Survey of Art: Prehistory through Late Gothic, ART C101 Survey of Art: Renaissance to Contemporary and /or MUS C100 History and Appreciation of Music. All course work in C2 is acceptable.) In addition, 3 units in Group E are required. Students can meet the general education requirements under Options 1, 2 or 3 associate degree academic plans.

Course Title Units
General Education Subtotal21.0
Associate Degree Electives Subtotal 212.0
Total for the Degree60