Paralegal

Division: Business
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This paralegal program prepares students for entry-level employment and/or potential further study in the field of Paralegal through the study of brief writing, legal research, drafting documents, record keeping, and preparing evidence. Students will acquire skills for legal writing and research along with business law knowledge.

Career Opportunities: Upon successful completion of the program, students will be prepared for careers or employment in the following fields: paralegal/legal secretary.

Note: A paralegal is not an attorney and, therefore, cannot give legal advice or represent another in court, except under very limited circumstance provided by law. Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) is a violation under California Business and Professions Code 6125 – 6129.

Contact Information

Business Division Chair

Janell Spencer | (559) 730-3931| janells@cos.edu
Kern: 711F | Visalia Campus

Dean of Business, Social Science, and Consumer Family Studies

Jesse Wilcoxon | jessew@cos.edu
Kern: 716 | Visalia Campus

PARA 101 Intro to Paralegalism 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This required survey course is the initial course in a program designed to train the student for employment as a paralegal. The student is given basic knowledge of the role of a paralegal in the community, career opportunities, legal ethics, legal analysis, including case briefing, introduction to the law library and exposure to various substantive and procedural areas of the law.
Advisory on recommended preparation: ENGL 001 and BUS 293 or equivalent college courses with "C" or better.
PARA 102 Legal Terminology 2 unit(s)
Hours: 2 Lecture/Discussion
This course, required for the Paralegal major or certificate, provides an overview of the law and legal terminology. )
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with "C" or better (PARA 101 may be taken concurrently.
PARA 203 Civil Procedures 1 4 unit(s)
Hours: 4 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: PARA 103
This course covers both California and federal concepts of civil procedure. Students complete legal documents necessary for a civil lawsuit using computerized judicial council forms and other legal software.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with "C" or better
PARA 204 Civil Procedures 2 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: PARA 104
This course expands upon the basic concepts of civil procedure. Students draft complicated civil pleadings, discovery devices, writs, and the legal documents necessary to enforce a money judgment.
Prerequisites: PARA 203 or equivalent college course with "C" or better
PARA 205 Legal Research and Writing 4 unit(s)
Hours: 4 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: PARA 105
This required course for paralegal majors covers the tools for researching both federal and California law. Students use both print and computerized sources to write legal memoranda and points and authorities.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with "C" or better
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: BUS 270 or BUS 271 or COMP 136 or equivalent college courses with "C" or better
PARA 210 Legal Ethics, Mgt & Interview 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: PARA 110
This course assists students in making the transition from the classroom to the law office. The course covers ethical principles, job search skills, client interviewing and law office management skills.
PARA 232 Wills, Trusts and Elder Law 2 unit(s)
Hours: 2 Lecture/Discussion
This is an elective course in the paralegal major designed to familiarize the student with the legal aspects of wills, trusts, conservatorships, and elder law. Included is the effect of death upon property ownership, community property and the drafting of forms associated with estate planning.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with "C" or better
PARA 233 Probate Procedures 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This is an advanced, three-unit, non-repeatable, elective course in the paralegal certificate and is designed to familiarize students with the procedures for probating an estate and for settling non-probate estates.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with "C" or better
PARA 236 Administrative Law 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This elective course in the paralegal major provides an overview of federal and state substantive and procedural administrative law. Students may elect to focus on immigration law, social security law, worker's compensation law or other specific government agencies.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 (may be taken concurrently) or equivalent college course with "C" or better
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: PARA 103 or equivalent college course with a grade of "C" or better
PARA 237 Family Law 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This is a required course in the paralegal major designed to familiarize the student with California law as it relates to dissolution of marriage.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 (may be taken concurrently) or equivalent college course with "C" or better

Paralegal

Cordero, Pura, Esq.
B.A., University Of California, Los Angeles
J.D., Southwestern University School Of Law, Los Angeles