Paralegal Specialist Programs | UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

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Paralegal Specialist Programs

About the Programs

Enhance your paralegal knowledge with our online Specialist Programs. Develop and refine your expertise as a paralegal professional with our topic-specific programs, listed below. Designed specifically to enhance your knowledge within specific areas of law, these programs expand career opportunities and empower you as a paralegal. Choose from 22 different programs and build your expertise in such areas as business, family, employment or immigration law.

Instructors

Stefanie Plaumann, J.D., specializes in Federal Criminal Defense and Complex Commercial Litigation. She is admitted to practice law in New York.

Tammi Clearfield, M.S., J.D., has a private law practice in Coral Gables, Florida. She has more than 12 years of legal experience and more than 10 years of teaching experience, both in the classroom and online, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Clearfield is also a court certified family law mediator.

Fees

Program tuition is $1,995. Course materials, including textbooks, must be purchased separately and will cost approximately $300.

Specials discounts, including discounts for Cal Aggie Alumni Association or Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association membership, are available. For more information about discounts, please contact UC Davis Extension at businessinfo@ucdavis.edu or (530) 757-8895.

Program Requirements

To enroll, we recommend that applicants have a certificate or degree in paralegal studies, or a combination of a college degree in any area of study and work experience.

Enrollment

Enrollment is continuous. Start anytime. Once you have begun your program, you will have six months to finish.

To enroll in one of the programs identified below, please contact the program administrator at businessinfo@ucdavis.edu or (530) 757-8895.

Paralegal Specialist Programs

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Administrative Law and Alternate Dispute Resolution. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Administrative Law.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution has greatly expanded over the last several years to include many areas in addition to the traditional commercial dispute form of arbitration. In fact, mediation has become an important first step in the dispute resolution process with arbitrators and mediators playing essential roles in resolving disputes.

Learn to act as a neutral to reconcile differences before proceeding to arbitration (binding and non-binding) or litigation. Acquire the ability to act as a neutral third party in hearing evidence and deciding cases.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Workers’ Compensation Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Workers Compensation Law.

Workers’ Compensation Law

Workers injured on the job and covered by workers’ compensation insurance must follow the sometimes overwhelming procedures required to receive compensation. If compensation is denied, legal actions can ensue. Learn the procedural and representative processes of workers’ compensation law and become a valuable asset to workers’ compensation attorneys and firms. Paralegals have become an important component of this specialized, document intensive process. Although a form of administrative representation, workers’ compensation law also requires strong people skills, because you will be dealing with sick or injured people who are relying on you to a large degree for their benefits. Being able to keep track of a multitude of documents is another necessity for effectively representing workers’ compensation cases.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Immigration Law and Constitutional Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Immigration Law.

Immigration Law

Immigration is the fastest growing specialist area for paralegals. Businesses, government agencies, families and individuals increasingly need legal assistance to deal with immigration issues and procedures. Gain competency in the rules and regulations under the Homeland Security Act. Become an asset to legal firms and government entities, so you can skillfully assist them in this important and developing area of law.

Constitutional Law

Improve your knowledge of the foundational elements underlying court rulings and opinions, so you can effectually assist in criminal law processes. This overview of historic and current Constitutional issues provides you with a better understanding of the division of powers embodied in the three branches of government as well as topical issues such as abortion rights, individual freedoms and state v. federal governmental power.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Elder Law and Wills, Trusts and Estates. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Elder Law.

Elder Law

As the population of the United States ages and the large number of Baby Boomers is entering retirement age, the need to help them protect their legal rights is becoming increasingly important. In fact, their numbers are already beginning to stretch government and private services as never before. Learn to assist them in establishing and administrating wills and estates, accessing medical services and resolving healthcare and insurance matters. Help the older generation in issues relating to employment discrimination, Social Security litigation and grandparent rights. Elder law is not simple, but is certain to become one of the fastest growing areas of law. Paralegals with this specialized knowledge may well be in great demand.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Whether drafting a will or helping administer a trust, attorneys appreciate the role of paralegals in estate planning and administration. Learn to assist people in creating wills that effectively deal with their assets after death as they proposed. Gain knowledge of estate planning to protect the property and money of people prior to their death. Acquire the skill to handle trusts, so the administration of funds from an estate are clearly pre-determined and executed. Learn to maneuver the probate process through the court system so wills, estates and trusts are implemented as designed.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Administrative Law and Alternate Dispute Resolution. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Administrative Law.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution has greatly expanded over the last several years to include many areas in addition to the traditional commercial dispute form of arbitration. In fact, mediation has become an important first step in the dispute resolution process with arbitrators and mediators playing essential roles in resolving disputes.

Learn to act as a neutral to reconcile differences before proceeding to arbitration (binding and non-binding) or litigation. Acquire the ability to act as a neutral third party in hearing evidence and deciding cases.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Real Estate Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Real Estate Law.

Real Estate Law

Legal representation in real estate matters is becoming more necessary, and the role of the paralegal has grown remarkably in recent years. Paralegals are now involved in all aspects of real estate law—from closings to foreclosures, from sales to eminent domain issues. Learn to draft sales contracts, lease, and property management agreements. Assist attorneys with the legal issues associated to restrictive covenants, lease-holds and home-owner associations.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Juvenile Law and Criminal Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Juvenile Law.

Juvenile Law

Juvenile law has evolved into a combination of criminal and family law, with an emphasis on the unique and continually shifting process involved in the prosecution of minors. Paralegals are an especially valuable tool for lawyers who practice juvenile law as they often bring a more sensitive nature to client communication while still possessing the skills needed to assist in representation. Learn to deal with minors involved in a wide range of situations, from truancy to serious criminal acts, from delinquency to emancipation. This area of law can be stressful, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Paralegals entering this field should possess strong communication skills, and the ability to “leave the work at the office.”

Criminal Law

Criminal law is entirely different from other areas of the law, like contract, business and litigation law. In criminal work, not only are property and/or money at stake, but a defendant’s freedom hangs in the balance. Whether you work for a defense attorney or a government entity, as a paralegal you can be part of the process that guarantees accused individuals the right to a fair trial. Learn to interview witnesses, prepare deposition questions, sift through discover disclosed by the prosecution, and research relevant legal issues specific to your cases. Acquire the skills to prepare evidence for presentation at trial, and prepare legal documents for filing with the court on behalf of the attorney.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Employment Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Employment Law.

Employment Law

As long as there has been a “master” and a “servant,” conflict has existed in the workplace, and most of the time conflicts have historically favored the master or employer. Today, conflicts between employers and employees are much more balanced thanks to employment laws, which have come into play, especially over the past century. Examine employment law, and learn about the responsibilities of employers and the rights of employees. Become knowledgeable about contractual issues, harassment concerns, issues related to termination as well as race, age, sex and sexual orientation discrimination.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Bankruptcy Law and Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Bankruptcy Law.

Bankruptcy Law

Areas of law that are either “procedure-heavy” or “document-intensive” tend to be great areas of growth and opportunity for paralegals, and bankruptcy encompasses both. Paralegals play a critical role in bankruptcy by allowing law firms to efficiently handle more clients and provide better client service.

Learn how to be involved in almost every aspect of a lawyer’s representation, including the initial interview, client communication, document preparation, filing, assisting at the meeting of creditors, researching the Rules and the Code and assisting the attorney in cases involving ancillary litigation. Few areas of law are as all-encompassing for paralegals, making this a great career opportunity.

Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of fundamental accounting concepts, techniques and standard practices in the business world as well as those unique to law firms. Learn about financial reporting periods, basic business organizational principles, tax terminology and commonly encountered documents. You will also learn to use common federal income tax forms, and develop accounting skills related to small business management.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Law Office Administration and Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Law Office Administration.

Law Office Administration

Lawyers do not usually make the best managers because, to put it simply, it is not what they were trained to do. Thus, it is not uncommon for the law office manager, or administrator, to be a non-lawyer. The perfect law office manager is someone with skills and experience in law but who also possesses administrative skills, such as a paralegal. Gain the skill and knowledge to become a respected law office administrator. Learn to properly oversee all aspects of a law firm and put into place policies and procedures that assure your office runs smoothly. Acquire the skill to hire, fire, promote, reward and shuffle legal staff and attorneys. Increase your awareness of how legal matters can affect the overall business of a law firm.

Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of fundamental accounting concepts, techniques and standard practices in the business world as well as those unique to law firms. Learn about financial reporting periods, basic business organizational principles, tax terminology and commonly encountered documents. You will also learn to use common federal income tax forms, and develop accounting skills related to small business management.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Healthcare Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Healthcare Law.

Healthcare Law

Health care affects everyone and every aspect of society. As such, there are obvious, and not so obvious, legal and procedural implications. Learn to work with attorneys to ensure patients’ rights are respected, procedures are properly followed, and clients are better served by both the medical and legal processes. Examine topics such as malpractice, personal injury, insurance (claims and defense), negligence, child welfare, social services, elder care and administrative law.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Environmental Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Environmental Law.

Environmental Law

Examine the legal regulations of pollution and waste management. Study some of the federal environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Superfund law. Learn about some of the general issues relating to environmental regulations, including the proper goals of environmental regulation; the roles of science and risk assessment; the valuation of environmental injuries and environmental benefits; and the choice of regulatory approach, ranging from command-and-control to information disclosure requirements.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Business Organizations and Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Business Law.

Business Organizations

Attorneys use paralegals extensively in their business or corporate law practices, and corporate paralegals—employed by both law firms and corporate legal departments—are among the best paid in the profession. Learn the procedures for incorporation and the documentation necessary to maintain corporate structures.

Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of fundamental accounting concepts, techniques and standard practices in the business world as well as those unique to law firms. Learn about financial reporting periods, basic business organizational principles, tax terminology and commonly encountered documents. You will also learn to use common federal income tax forms, and develop accounting skills related to small business management.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The three areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Advanced Legal Research, E-Discovery and Laws of Evidence.

Advanced Legal Research

This course assumes you have a foundation in Tort Law and legal research instruction from your prior paralegal education. Building on those skills, you will focus on Westlaw online training in multiple areas, exploring several online learning Westlaw modules. Students who do not have access to Westlaw are provided with access for the duration of this course.

E-Discovery

Discovery of electronically stored data is becoming increasingly important in all areas of litigation. Become familiar with common forms used in securing computer forensic technologists and data requests. Discuss topics such as data retention plans, and litigation hold procedures and policies. Learn about foundational information and the legal terminology relevant to e-discovery. Case studies in foundational e-discovery provide the substance for useful examination of e-discovery within litigation processes.

Laws of Evidence

Evidence, of course, is critical to almost every litigation case. Discuss the role of evidence law in our judicial system and how to gather and present evidence at trial. Explore the issues related to admissibility and relevance of evidence, establishing or challenging the competency of witnesses and witness impeachment. Other topics include opinions and expert testimony, scientific evidence and testing, hearsay and privileges.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Intellectual Property Law and Administrative Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Intellectual Property Law.

Intellectual Property Law

For much of the past century, intellectual property discussions focused on copyrights or patents on written materials or inventions. But more recently, with the advent of high-tech intellectual property, there is a high demand for intellectual property representation within that sector as well. Paralegals are now an indispensable part of that representation. Become a qualified patent specialist, so you can knowledgeably assist in the administration of intellectual property—one of the fastest growing and highest paid areas of the paralegal field.

Administrative Law

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice nor represent others in legal matters. However, an exception to this tenet is with Administrative representation; and since most administrative agencies allow for non-lawyer representation, paralegals are the perfect fit for the legal administrative process.

Administrative representation is very similar in structure to court representation with a pre-hearing stage, the hearing stage and the administrative appeal. Learn to represent clients in an administrative setting like an attorney by settling matters prior to the formal hearing. Become an effective representative by acquiring the skills to interview clients, research applicable administrative rules and decisions, communicate effectually with agencies, provide necessary documentation, and develop proficiency with the procedures specific to the agency.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Torts and Personal Injury Law and Laws of Evidence. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Personal Injury Law.

Torts and Personal Injury Law

Tort law is civil law—the process of settling disputes between individuals (or groups of individuals). Learn to analyze tort cases, and examine concepts related to negligence and defenses to negligence claims. Other topics include intentional torts, defenses to intentional torts, concepts surrounding strict liability matters, products liability and tort immunities.

Laws of Evidence

Evidence, of course, is critical to almost every litigation case. Discuss the role of evidence law in our judicial system and how to gather and present evidence at trial. Explore the issues related to admissibility and relevance of evidence, establishing or challenging the competency of witnesses and witness impeachment. Other topics include opinions and expert testimony, scientific evidence and testing, hearsay and privileges.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics>, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Family Law and Juvenile Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Family Law.

Family Law

Family law paralegals are in great demand, and can have remarkably rewarding careers. These paralegals are often the primary contacts between the law firm and client. There is no area of law more emotional than family law; thus, family law paralegals must learn to be supportive without becoming emotionally involved. Improve your communication skills, so you can help people through the legal processes of some of life’s most trying moments. Gain the knowledge to provide clients with every opportunity for a fair hearing.

Juvenile Law

Juvenile law has evolved into a combination of criminal and family law, with an emphasis on the unique and continually shifting process involved in the prosecution of minors. Paralegals are an especially valuable tool for lawyers who practice juvenile law as they often bring a more sensitive nature to client communication while still possessing the skills needed to assist in representation. Learn to deal with minors involved in a wide range of situations, from truancy to serious criminal acts, from delinquency to emancipation. This area of law can be stressful, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Paralegals entering this field should possess strong communication skills, and the ability to “leave the work at the office.”

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Contract Law and Business Organizations. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Contract Law.

Contract Law

Formal agreements between two or more parties usually involve contracts. Paralegals and lawyers rarely create contracts from scratch, but rather modify existing contracts for current legal matters. Paralegals knowledgeable about how to draft contracts, and how to assist attorneys when litigation involving an alleged breach occurs, are extremely valuable to attorneys. Gain a thorough understanding of the proper elements of contracts, and learn to create valid new documents. Acquire the necessary foundation to work with plaintiffs and defendants to resolve alleged breaches. Learn what constitutes an offer and what constitutes an acceptance. Develop potential defenses to a breach. Become an important asset as your understanding of contracts progresses and you learn how to research and write specifically for litigation proceedings.

Business Organizations

Attorneys use paralegals extensively in their business or corporate law practices, and corporate paralegals—employed by both law firms and corporate legal departments—are among the best paid in the profession. Learn the procedures for incorporation and the documentation necessary to maintain corporate structures.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Wills, Trusts and Estates and Elder Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Wills, Trusts and Estates Law.

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Whether drafting a will or helping administer a trust, attorneys appreciate the role of paralegals in estate planning and administration. Learn to assist people in creating wills that effectively deal with their assets after death as they proposed. Gain knowledge of estate planning to protect the property and money of people prior to their death. Acquire the skill to handle trusts, so the administration of funds from an estate are clearly pre-determined and executed. Learn to maneuver the probate process through the court system so wills, estates and trusts are implemented as designed.

Elder Law

As the population of the United States ages and the large number of Baby Boomers is entering retirement age, the need to help them protect their legal rights is becoming increasingly important. In fact, their numbers are already beginning to stretch government and private services as never before. Learn to assist them in establishing and administrating wills and estates, accessing medical services and resolving healthcare and insurance matters. Help the older generation in issues relating to employment discrimination, Social Security litigation and grandparent rights. Elder law is not simple, but is certain to become one of the fastest growing areas of law. Paralegals with this specialized knowledge may well be in great demand.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Sports Law and Media and Entertainment Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Sports Law.

Sports Law

Sports law has historically been lumped in with entertainment representation. However, with the relatively recent explosion of sporting events and professional leagues, sports law requires its own focus with special attention given to athletic issues not relevant to other forms of entertainment. Gain an understanding of entertainment law as it pertains to athletes, along with contract and employment law. Learn about issues relating to female athletes (such as Title IX), drugs and drug testing, and sports injuries. Prepare yourself for the high-pressure, high-stakes experience of working with attorneys, agents and, of course, athlete clients.

Media and Entertainment Law

Legal agreements guide every concert, television show, movie, song, play, sporting event and every other form of entertainment. More than ever law saturates the entertainment industry, seeking to protect the interests of artists and performers, and to ensure the interests of financial backers. Become an integral part of the legal entertainment scene by learning to draft entertainment contracts, monitor the performance of contracts, and communicate with clients and other parties involved in negotiation processes.

Examine the laws that encompass the entertainment industry, such as how to represent clients in this field regarding publicity, privacy, advertising and marketing, rights of deceased artists and authors, enforcing royalty agreements, distribution of royalties, contractually mandated audits, copyright protection and enforcement, patents and more. In addition, you will acquire the skills to conduct entertainment specific research, correspondence and plea preparations.

Paralegals can be invaluable to attorneys in the entertainment industry, where the egos and personalities are different, more sensitive and often more volatile than standard areas of representation. Paralegals often provide a less threatening conduit for communication to flow, and this specialist area is tailor-made for a dynamic, skilled paralegal.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Federal Tax Law and Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Federal Tax Law.

Federal Tax Law

Paralegals with tax law experience are sought after by corporations, accounting firms and administrative agencies who deal with regulatory issues related to the tax code. Tax law paralegals also help attorneys who are employed in consultative roles and as representatives in tax litigation. Examine tax law practices and regulations concerning the federal tax code. Become a valuable asset to law firms representing clients in tax and estate matters, as well as elder law. Paralegals knowledgeable about tax issues can increase the client base for attorneys and law firms, and facilitate effective representation.

Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of fundamental accounting concepts, techniques and standard practices in the business world as well as those unique to law firms. Learn about financial reporting periods, basic business organizational principles, tax terminology and commonly encountered documents. You will also learn to use common federal income tax forms, and develop accounting skills related to small business management.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence, Advanced Legal Research or Constitutional Law.

The two areas of study for this topic-specific Specialist Program are Criminal Law and Constitutional Law. A required elective further sharpens your understanding of Criminal Law.

Criminal Law

Criminal law is entirely different from other areas of the law, like contract, business and litigation law. In criminal work, not only are property and/or money at stake, but a defendant’s freedom hangs in the balance. Whether you work for a defense attorney or a government entity, as a paralegal you can be part of the process that guarantees accused individuals the right to a fair trial. Learn to interview witnesses, prepare deposition questions, sift through discover disclosed by the prosecution, and research relevant legal issues specific to your cases. Acquire the skills to prepare evidence for presentation at trial, and prepare legal documents for filing with the court on behalf of the attorney.

Constitutional Law

Improve your knowledge of the foundational elements underlying court rulings and opinions, so you can effectually assist in criminal law processes. This overview of historic and current Constitutional issues provides you with a better understanding of the division of powers embodied in the three branches of government as well as topical issues such as abortion rights, individual freedoms and state v. federal governmental power.

Elective

Once you have begun this program, you will work with your instructor to determine which elective course fits best with your particular area of interest. You will choose one of the following electives: E-Discovery, Accounting and Tax Law for Paralegals, Legal Ethics, Laws of Evidence or Advanced Legal Research.

Technical Requirements

To ensure your success in this online program, please review our technical requirements page at https://extension.ucdavis.edu/online-learning/tech-requirements.

If you have any questions about the program, or to enroll, please contact us at businessinfo@ucdavis.edu or (530) 757-8895.

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