FAQs


................................    General   ................................


Q.
  How do I become a paralegal?
 
A.  California law defines who can be a paralegal. One way is to obtain a degree, which requires at least 24 semester units of coursework. College of the Canyons offers 31 units (11 classes) in its associate degree program in paralegal studies.
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Q. What placement assistance does College of the Canyons offer to graduates?
 
A.  The college’s Career Services and Paralegal Studies departments offer a variety of resources to students and graduates including: assistance creating a resume, interview preparation, and career networking. During the Paralegal Studies Seminar course, students receive instruction on how to conduct a successful job search, take steps toward career advancement and obtain recommended job skills.
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Q. How much does the program cost?
 
A.  Please refer to Financial Aid for further information.



................................  Courses ..................................


Q. When and where are the classes offered?
 
A.  Classes are offered at both the COC Valencia and Canyon Country campuses. Most classes are offered in the evenings.
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Q.
 
Can I take the program part-time?
 
A.  Most students attend part-time by taking a few courses each semester.
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Q. How long does it take to complete the program?
 
A.  Students typically take courses part-time, a few courses per semester. The program is designed for students to complete the paralegal studies portion in 2 years, attending part-time. If a student needs the GE requirements, this time may be different.
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Q. Are the courses offered during the day, at night, or online?
 
A.  Students typically take courses part-time, a few courses per semester, because they work during the day. Thus, every course is offered at night, typically attending one night per week per class for the term of the semester. The ABA regulates on-line courses and thus only a few courses are offered on line and very rarely. When offered, these on-line courses are offered only in a hybrid format which still requires students to attend at least 50% of the class time in person.

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Q.  When can I start taking paralegal studies courses?

A.  As soon as you become a student at COC, you can enroll in any of the courses, but there is a recommended sequence. In general, it is recommended that students take Introduction to Law before the other substantive legal courses (Contract Law, Tort Law, Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research). In addition, it is recommended that students take legal research before legal writing. 
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Q.
 
What courses are offered in the fall and which are offered in the spring?

A.  The department offers these courses in both the fall and spring:

    Introduction to Law
    Contract Law
    Tort Law
    Legal Analysis and Writing
    Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research
    Computer Literacy for Paralegals
    Civil Litigation I
    Civil Litigation II
    Family Law

And the department offers these courses less frequently:

    Legal Ethics (Fall & Winter)
    Paralegal Seminar (Spring)
    Estate Planning (alternating summers)
    Bankruptcy Law (alternating summers)







...............  Degree or Certificate  ...............


Q.
Will I receive a degree or does the college offer a certificate?
 
A.  College of the Canyons offers an associate in arts degree in Paralegal Studies. It does not offer a certificate program.
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Q. I already have college credits or an associate and/or bachelor’s degree in another field. Do I still need another degree?
 
A.  Yes. However, some of your credits may count toward your associate degree in Paralegal Studies. Prospective students should make an appointment with a counselor to verify any credits that will count toward the degree. In some cases, students who possess other degrees only have to take the Paralegal Studies courses to graduate. Visit the Counseling website for more information.
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Q. What placement assistance does College of the Canyons offer to graduates?
 
A.  The college’s Career Services and Paralegal Studies departments offer a variety of resources to students and graduates including: assistance creating a resume, interview preparation, and career networking. During the Paralegal Studies Seminar course, students receive instruction on how to conduct a successful job search, take steps toward career advancement and obtain recommended job skills.
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Q. I am enrolled at another paralegal program, can I transfer all the credits from that program to COC?
 
A.  The ABA requires that we limit transfer of courses from both ABA and non-ABA programs. We can accept up to 12 units of course work from an ABA approved program and up to 9 units of course work from a non-ABA approved program. It is advised you contact the department before filling out the form to transfer these credits to COC.
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Q. I have taken Paralegal classes at another college. Will all of the units or credits transfer in substitution for College of the Canyons paralegal classes?
 
A.  College of the Canyons does not accept legal specialty courses from a school that is not ABA approved or accredited by a College of the Canyons approved accrediting body.  College of the Canyons limits the transfer of legal specialty units (i.e. Paralegal courses) to 12.0 semester units from an ABA approved program.  College of the Canyons allows 9.0 semester units of legal specialty units (i.e. paralegal courses) from a non-ABA approved program.  ALL additional units should transfer for elective credit, but the limits stated above are for substitution of paralegal courses.  Therefore, it is likely that if you have taken many courses at another institution, you will be limited on the number of courses that transfer and substitute for paralegal courses. 

In addition, the courses transferring will be examined for rigor, subject matter, delivery modality (lecture, hybrid, etc.), topics covered, assignments and/or projects.  Merely having the same course name is insufficient.  Potential students are encouraged to meet with the department chair prior to attending so that transfer credits can be discussed and course planning can occur​.
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The ABA stresses that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.