Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Paralegal Studies Associate in Arts


The Paralegal Profession continues to be one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. COC's Paralegal Studies curriculum prepares students for positions as paralegals in order to improve the accessibility, quality, and affordability of legal services.


Program goals:
  1. Provide students with an understanding of the American legal system and the role of the paralegal in that legal system.
  2. Give students the legal theoretical background needed to perform paralegal tasks in substantive areas of law and legal specialties.
  3. Educate and train students in areas of procedural law emphasizing the paralegal's role in litigation, mediation, and arbitration.
  4. Help students obtain critical paralegal skills in areas including investigation, legal research, conducting an interview, and written and oral communications.
  5. Motivate students to ethically serve the public and the legal system.
  6. Provide students with the tools needed to become contributing members of the legal profession.
  7. Completion of the program with an associate degree in Paralegal Studies.

Student Learning Outcome: Demonstrate proficiency in the core skills and knowledge required for employment as a paralegal.

Paralegal Studies General Education Requirements

AA Paralegal Major Degree Program Requirements
Units Required: 31

Introduction to Law | 3.0 units
Contract Law | 3.0 units
Tort Law | 3.0 units
Legal Analysis & Writing* | 3.0 units
PARLGL-107 (Fall & Winter Only)
Legal Ethics | 1.0 unit
Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research* | 3.0 units
Legal Technology | 3.0 units
Civil Litigation I* | 3.0 units
Civil Litigation II* | 3.0 units
Family Law | 3.0 units
PARLGL-200 (Spring Only unless sufficient demand for Fall)
Paralegal Seminar** | 1.0 units
Cooperative Work Experience Education | 1-4.0 units
Total (31) units

The associate in arts degree in Paralegal Studies requires a minimum of 21 semester units of general education; 31 units of legal specialty course work; and 9 units of additional course work.

Additional Course Work - To meet the 9 unit requirement, students may take 9 units of any of the following:

  • 9 units of ABA approved general education;
  • 9 units of ABA approved major preparation courses;
  • 6 units of the paralegal studies electives: Bankruptcy PARLGL-140 or Estate Planning, PARLGL 180, plus an additional 3 units; Or any combination of the above.
* Recommended Sequence of Courses:
These courses may be taken in any order, but due to the complexity of the following courses, it is recommended that students take these following courses during their second year in the program:

PARLGL-106 Legal Analysis & Writing | 3.0 units
PARLGL-108 Legal Research and Computerized Legal Research | 3.0 units
PARLGL-111 Civil Litigation I | 3.0 units
PARLGL-112 Civil Litigation II | 3.0 units
PARLGL-200** Paralegal Seminar | 1.0 units

**NOTE: This course requires the completion of ALL paralegal studies courses prior to enrollment OR being concurrently enrolled in the remaining.

***HYBRID: These classes are offered in a HYBRID 50/50 format (50% online; 50% face-to-face). These classes can be paired with another HYBRID class, allowing a student to enroll in 2 classes on the same day, and coming to campus for a face-to-face class once a week.

Student Advice

Nicole Lyons
"Make sure you have taken all of your English classes before you start classes so you have a solid reading and writing background. Also, be prepared to work hard because there is a lot of content to cover."

Paralegal student working and studying.

Chelsea Johnson

"The program is flexible and it's easy to fit around your schedule. The teachers I've had have been open about answering questions and providing feedback."

Paralegal instructor working with students.

Felipe Alejandre
"It's a great program because you receive hands-on experience and it's ABA approved. Make sure you do the work on time."

 Paralegal students discussing, working, and studying.


The ABA stresses that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.