While lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals. In fact, paralegals continue to assume a growing range of tasks in the Nation’s legal offices and perform many of the same tasks as lawyers. Nevertheless, they are still explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties which are considered to be the practice of law, such as giving legal advice.
The duties of paralegals who work in the public sector usually vary in each agency. In general, they analyze legal material for internal use, maintain reference files, conduct research for attorneys, and collect and analyze evidence for agency hearings.
Paralegals employed in community legal service projects help the poor, the aged, and others in need of legal assistance.
Paralegals are found in all types of organizations, but most are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various levels of government. In these organizations, they may work in all areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, intellectual property, and real estate.
Salary & Benefits
Paralegals enjoy many benefits including workers’ compensation, medical and dental insurance and retirement plans depending on the employer. The starting pay for legal assistants varies, depending on the amount of experience and the specific area of employment.
Abrams College offers a 14-week program of instruction leading to the certificate of completion for the Certified Paralegal. Students will be provided with a general foundation in law and its application in the legal setting. The goal of the program is to prepare men and women for an entry level position assisting attorneys in private and group practice settings.
Once the student has graduated from the program, he or she will be eligible for entrance into an entry level paralegal position. This program includes the following courses:
- Introduction to Law
- Bankruptcy Law
- Civil Law & Procedure
- Legal Research & Writing
- Criminal Law & Procedure
- Paralegal Internship
- Contract Law
- Family Law
Paralegal Course Schedule & Location
WEEK #1 – WEEK #14
Tue. & Thu. 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Abrams College
Paralegal Externship assigned by primary instructor (Dates TBA)
Students will be scheduled for internships in Law Offices. Times will be scheduled any business day (Monday-Friday). Students must attend at least 250 hours during this period to be eligible for graduation.
Graduation and Certification
The State of California now requires that individuals who practice as paralegals receive at least 360 hours of training or 24 semester units in the field of law or equivalent. If you are considering any other paralegal program, make sure that the program meets these new requirements. Abrams College graduates meet the requirements for paralegal certification for California.
Tuition & Financial Assistance
Please refer to the tuition and financial assistance section.