Paralegal

Division: Business

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

Brian Bettencourt | (559) 730-3929 | betnqt@cos.edu
Kern: 711F | Visalia Campus

Dean of Business, Social Science, and Consumer Family Studies

Jesse Wilcoxson, Ed.D. | (559) 737-6281 | jessew@cos.edu 
Kern: 716 | Visalia Campus

For a complete list of courses and descriptions visit: COURSES


PARA 101 Introduction 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: on recommended preparation: ENGL 001 and BUS 293 or equivalent college courses with a minimum grade of C.
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 a minimum grade of C (PARA 101 may be taken concurrently).
PARA 142 Real Estate Law 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: REAL 142
This course covers the practical applications of real estate law to help avoid legal difficulties arising from real estate transactions, instruments, zoning, and planning. This course will also satisfy course requirement of the California Real Estate salesperson or Brokers examination.
PARA 203 Civil Procedures 1 4 unit(s)
Hours: 4 Lecture/Discussion
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 a minimum grade of C.
PARA 204 Civil Procedures 2 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
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 a minimum grade of C.
PARA 205 Legal Research and Writing 4 unit(s)
Hours: 4 Lecture/Discussion
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.
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: BUS 270 or BUS 271 or COMP 136 or equivalent college courses with a minimum grade of C.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C.
PARA 210 Legal Ethics, Management, and Interviewing 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This course assists students in making the transition from the classroom to the law office. The course covers client interviewing, paralegal investigative skills, ethical principles, and job search skills. This course should be taken in the last semester of the paralegal program.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C.
PARA 232 Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning 2 unit(s)
Hours: 2 Lecture/Discussion
This is an elective course in the paralegal major. It is designed to familiarize students with the legal aspects of wills, trusts, and estate planning. The course reviews the legal effect upon property ownership, succession laws, and classifications of property upon death. It reviews the effects of dying intestate (no valid will) versus testate (valid will).
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C.
PARA 237 Family Law 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This is an elective course in the paralegal major designed to familiarize the student with California law as it relates to dissolution of marriage.
Prerequisites: PARA 101 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C.

Paralegal

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