Academic Catalogs

Paralegal Studies, Associate of Arts Degree

Banner Code: 3_AA_PARA

Control Number: 03747

Financial Aid Eligible

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.

Review Graduation Requirements and General Education

Course Title Units
Required Core
Complete 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 (2)
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)
Units Required for Major27

American Bar Association Computer Proficiency Requirement. Computer proficiency may be demonstrated by the satisfactory completion of LAW C170 Computer Applications for the Paralegal or BC C148 Intermediate Microsoft Word and LIBR C110 Library Research and Information Competency; by completion of similar courses; by transfer credit course work; by workplace substantiation; by Microsoft Certification; or by other computer industry certification.


Work Based Learning courses apply only to these elective units and are not a part of the paralegal studies courses. Earn credit for work you do on the job. [Effective catalog 2012-2013]

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 (local general education), 2 (CSU general education), or 3 (IGETC pattern) Associate degree academic plans.

Requirement Units
Local General Education, CSU General Education, or IGETC pattern Varies
Electives to satisfy unit requirement Varies
Total Degree Units 60

Paralegal Degree Program Map

This program map is a recommended example of all major (program) requirements as well as general education requirements for two-year completion or transfer. This path may be altered to fit your individual academic needs. This two-year program map was created by program faculty and counselors and demonstrates a recommended path to completion. Students are advised to meet with a Coastline Counselor for individualized program planning.

Your Path to Success

Follow this path to earn your degree in Paralegal in 2 years.

Don’t forget to consult a counselor for an education plan!

See a graphic of the Paralegal Associate Degree roadmap.

Course Title Units
1st Semester
ENGL C100Freshman Composition4
CMST C110Public Speaking3
LAW C100Introduction to Paralegal Studies3
COUN C105Strategies for College Success3
ART C100Survey of Art: Prehistory through Late Gothic3
2nd Semester
LAW C127Legal Procedure 13
LAW C128Legal Procedure 23
MATH C100Liberal Arts Mathematics3
ENGL C102Critical Reasoning, Reading, and Writing3
SOC C185Analysis of Social Problems3
Summer Classes
Law Electives
3rd Semester
LAW C105Civil Litigation 13
LAW C118Legal Analysis and Briefing3
PSCI C180American Government3
ASTR C100Introduction to Astronomy3
ASTR C100LAstronomy Laboratory1
PHIL C100Introduction to Philosophy3
4th Semester
LAW C121Legal Research/CALR4
LAW C170Computer Applications for the Paralegal3
LAW C390Legal Clinic Practicum/Ethics2
MRSC C100Introduction to Marine Science3
HIST C170United States History to 18763
SOC C233Racial and Ethnic Relations in America3