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Paralegal Studies

Professional Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Professional Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Classroom Program


15 months


UCR Extension

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This program is temporarily being offered online due to COVID-19.

Don't just study law, gain experience with the only ABA-approved program in the Inland Empire. Start with legal theory, and then apply your skills in a unique internship. Our instructors are experienced attorneys and paralegals who have undergone a rigorous approval process. Get the most up-to-date information to work in a variety of legal areas.



Designed For

Individuals who want to:

  • Enter the legal field
  • Make a career change
  • Enhance their legal knowledge

What You'll Learn

  • Advanced legal knowledge and skills to perform as a paralegal
  • Current laws and court rules
  • Academic, ethical and professional standards of the legal profession

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in large and small firms, corporations, government or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • Paralegal
  • Legal Assistant
  • Arbitrator

Professional Licensure and Certification

University of California programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the University of California and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The University of California has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a University of California program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

What You Should Know

UCR Extension's Professional Certificate in Paralegal Studies is the only ABA-approved program in the Inland Empire.

You can transfer up to 4 units of comparable content from another ABA-approved program. Please submit an official transcript with course description and syllabus.

Certificate vs. Certification

Upon successful completion of our program, you earn a Professional Certificate, but professional certification is a separate, optional process.

  • Only the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals can certify you.
  • Our curriculum meets the required educational criteria to apply for NALA certification.
  • For more details about certification and how to apply, visit:

Paralegal Internship:

Develop your skills with an optional internship in a law firm, corporate in-house counsel's office, public agency or other legal setting. Gain practical experience and make valuable connections for your career.

Program Overview


24 Units


7 Units

Real People. Real Results.

“I came to UCR Extension with a legal background from Mexico. During the Paralegal Studies Professional Certificate program, I acquired the necessary knowledge to understand the U.S. legal system. The instructors are highly qualified, and they gave me the confidence to attend law school in the near future.”

Aida Tamayo

Riverside County Office of the District Attorney
Riverside, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Possess a bachelor's degree or an associates degree (some vocational associates excluded) from an accredited post-secondary institution OR have completed a minimum of 40 semester units (or 59 quarter units) of college coursework, including a minimum of 18 semester units (or 27 quarter units) of general education courses in at least three different disciplines, such as:
    1. Social and behavioral sciences
    2. English literature and composition
    3. Foreign languages
    4. Mathematics
    5. Fine arts
    6. Humanities
    7. Natural sciences

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Fundamentals of Law for the Legal Professional

LAW X430

4 units

Legal Research and Writing I

LAW X431

4 units

Required or Elective

Quarter 2

Legal Research and Writing II

LAW X432

4 units

Civil Litigation and Procedures

LAW X435

4 units

Required or Elective

Quarter 3

Tort Law

LAW X439

3 units

Ethics for the Legal Professional

LAW X433.6

2 units

Required or Elective

Quarter 4

Contract Law

LAW X437.1

3 units

Required or Elective

Instructor Spotlight

“Even with a lawyer glut, the legal profession is struggling to serve everyone in need. Paralegal professionals will absolutely be leading the charge to help close California's access to the justice gap in the coming years. UCR Extension's program is the only ABA-approved program east of downtown L.A., and I'm honored to be part of it.”

K. Steven Blake

Attorney-at-Law, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director
The Governance Partners LLC
Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA

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