The Paralegal Program at Fullerton College
The Fullerton College’s Paralegal Studies Program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) offers an Associate in Science Degree and a Certificate to qualified students. The goal of the program is to educate students to become paralegals who perform effectively in a variety of legal settings and adapt to changes in the ever-evolving field of law. This program prepares the student for a career as a paralegal working under the supervision of an attorney in either the public or private sector.
This program is not intended to prepare students for the practice of law. The Paralegal studies program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The objectives of the program are as follows:
Fullerton College offers both an Associate in Science Degree and a certificate for those students interested in becoming a paralegal or going on to law school. Students are encouraged to visit the college's website (www.fullcoll.edu) to locate registration deadlines, costs, and examine the college catalog accessible at the main page.
There is no admission process aside from signing up for the classes. However, some classes do have pre-requisites. New students are encouraged to take three paralegal classes the first semester:
PLEG 101 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies
PLEG 104 - Introduction to Legal Research & Terminology
PLEG 116 - Computers in the Law Office I
These are foundational classes that give a student an initial grasp of the law, explain what a paralegal is and does, how to conduct legal research for generating legal documents, and how to use the Microsoft Office suite in a law environment.
These three classes are required classes for all paralegal students. There are three other required classes, to wit, PLEG 105, 201 and 202 (Introduction to Legal Writing, Civil Litigation I and Civil Litigation II).*
The remaining units required for a degree or a certificate (see below for a further explanation of how many) are electives and can be chosen based on a student’s subject interest. All classes offered in the program can be found in the Fullerton College Catalog.
Any student who has already completed paralegal classes at another institution needs to be aware only six units may be transferred into the program, and those six units must meet the following criteria:
As we are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), the requirements for the awarding of a degree or certificate are set by them. The Associate in Science degree requires the successful completion (a C or better in all classes) of 27 paralegal studies units (18 units of required courses discussed above and 9 units of electives).* Additionally, the student must complete all required general education classes as set forth by the ABA and the college.
If a student already has an associate degree or higher (caveats apply to those who have an associate degree) they are eligible to achieve a certificate after the successful completion of 30 units of paralegal studies classes (the same 18 required units, plus 12 elective units).* Students who only have an associate degree should contact Cecilia Meisenhelder or Hochin Moon in counseling to set up an appointment to have their general education classes evaluated. The ABA does not accept all general education classes the college accepts for the associate degree. In rare cases, students may have to take additional general education classes to satisfy the general education requirements approved by the ABA.
If a student attends classes full-time, the associate degree can be completed in two years and the certificate can be completed in a year and a half. The vast majority of our classes are offered evenings and Saturdays. Other information on the program can be obtain via the counselors, reviewing the college catalog or attending one of the informational meetings (non-mandatory) that are offered before the start of the Fall and Spring semesters. Please check the appropriate class schedule for times, dates, fees, and locations.
* Students starting at Fullerton College commencing with the Fall 2011 semester will still be required to complete 27 paralegal units for the associate degree and 30 paralegal units for the certificate, but the number of required classes increases from six classes (PLEG 101, 104, 105, 116, 201 and 202) to eight classes (PLEG 101, 104, 105, 116, 201, 202, 207 and 216).