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Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

Program at a Glance

  • Complete in 6 months
  • Online
  • $6,995
  • Eligible for VA Benefits
  • Included on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL), as approved by Yolo County

Become a Certified Paralegal in Just Six Months

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program gives you the knowledge, convenience and flexibility to become a highly qualified paralegal. Our UC-quality curriculum is led by engaging instructors who are leaders in their respective legal careers.

What You’ll Learn

This program aligns with the California Business & Professionals Code for paralegal education, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is also approved by the UC Davis School of Law, ensuring you have the right skills to succeed in this high-demand field. You’ll learn:

  • How to conduct legal research and prepare documentation for trials
  • Proven methods for managing clients
  • Litigation procedures and basic appellate processes
  • Laws pertaining to personal injury, product liability and malpractice
  • The ability to analyze and draft contracts as well as litigate them

What You’ll Get

Our program offers:

  • Online convenience
  • A self-paced format that lets you learn at a pace that fits your schedule
  • Access to exceptional instructors with years of legal experience
  • Practical knowledge and current best practices that can be applied immediately in a legal environment, including experience with both Westlaw and LexisNexis research platforms
  • $58,100 is the average salary for paralegals (Glassdoor).
  • The number of paralegal and legal assistant jobs is expected to grow by 15% through 2026, which is faster than the national job growth rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Top five states for paralegal and legal assistant employment: California, Florida, New York, Texas and Illinois (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Approved by the UC Davis School of Law, the program consists of more than 100 contact hours of paralegal-specific skills, with curriculum structured to build upon and reinforce your learning from previous sessions. Topics in this program include:

  • Paralegal Studies Essentials
  • Contract Law for Paralegals
  • Tort Law for Paralegals
  • California Procedures for Paralegals

For additional information about our enrollment policies, please click here.

Required Courses

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
Quarter Academic Credit
This program is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Career Development (ICD). The curriculum and instructors are provided by ICD and vetted by the UC Davis School of Law.

Admission Criteria

In order to enroll in this program, we recommend you hold either a high school diploma, GED or an advanced degree. In addition, participants need both word processing and basic Internet skills. 

About The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

The paralegal profession continues to be one of the fastest growing career opportunities in the country. A recent survey conducted by ALM Research, a leading source of business intelligence for legal professionals, also indicates compensation for paralegals is rising steadily above the cost of living. Acquire the knowledge you need to enter the paralegal profession through the acclaimed Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, offered online every quarter. Program highlights include:

  • Instructors who are licensed attorneys
  • Individual access to LexisNexis and Westlaw online legal research
  • Lecture notes, exercises, diagrams, charts, forms, templates, writing and research labs, and mock exams (exams must be taken in English) accessed through the ParalegalSpace website
  • The UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education online Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is in compliance with California Business & Professions Code 6450 through 6456 regulatory standards for paralegal education

This dynamic certificate program provides you with the skills you need to enter this exciting profession.

Why choose this program over other paralegal programs?

The expertise of its instruction, provided by members of the bar association, result is an unparalleled and dynamic educational experience. According to the 2020 Salary Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), paralegals who obtained their training from paralegal certificate programs are among the highest paid.

Who should enroll?

  • Legal staff who wish to enhance or advance their careers by earning a professional credential
  • Career changers looking for a professional career with strong compensation
  • Those involved in legal matters who want to gain a clearer understanding of legal processes
  • Those considering law school (this program gives you a distinct advantage)

Comprehensive Program

Excellent resource materials--including, texts, workbooks and interactive study support site. Access to a website with additional resources only for program participants, including lecture notes, mock exams, templates and forms, online citation assistance, online court rules, textbook summary and quizzes, and practice exercise questions. Please feel free to test drive our online support materials and experience the UC Davis Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. To visit the test drive site, please go to

Statement Regarding California Regulatory Requirements

The UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education online and classroom Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is in compliance with California Business & Professions Code 6450 through 6456. The California regulations require that a paralegal program offer either 24 semester units or an equivalent amount of hours related to law. This course meets or exceeds the regulatory standard of 360 educational hours. In addition, students earn up to 21 quarter units of academic credit for the program. Students should expect to devote at least 360 hours of academic work.

Program Outline

Introduction: Paralegal Studies Certificate Program Essentials

Explore legal ethics, legal terminology, legal research and writing, pleading preparation, utilization of forms and form books, legal analysis, client correspondence, interviewing, investigation, citation forms, the specifics of evidence, trial preparation and how to manage your clients.

Advanced Topics

Build upon the introductory portion with more in-depth study of those topics as well as preparation of discovery documents, e-discovery, motions, notices, legal technology, employment strategies, and online legal research with both LexisNexis and Westlaw.

California Procedures for Paralegals

Explore litigation procedures in the state courts of California, from both an academic, as well as a law practitioner's point of view. Receive step-by-step instruction on how to:

  • Prepare summons and complaints
  • Obtain default judgment
  • Prepare answers and cross Complaints
  • Evaluate and draft various pretrial motions and discovery requests
  • Prepare cases for trial and trial related documents and motions
  • Enforce a judgment after trial

In addition, learn the California court system and basic appellate processes, how to interpret and apply California Code of Civil Procedure, California Rules of Court, as well as various local court rules and legal forms.

Tort Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of laws pertaining to personal injury, product liability and malpractice. Examine the intentional torts of battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of mental distress, trespass to chattel, trespass to property and conversion. Analyze negligence, breach of duty, causation and damages, liability issues and defenses, and malpractice.

Contract Law for Paralegals

Contracts are involved in virtually every field of law. Focus on the specialized skills of contract drafting, analysis and litigation. Examine several kinds of contracts and draft a contract as a part of your course requirements. Learn about remedies for non-performance (i.e., breach of contract) and third party contracts.

Program Designers

Alyssa Navallo and Daniel Barber are paralegals and nationally-recognized educators who have designed, developed courses and consulted for paralegal programs at some of the most highly respected universities in the United States, including Duke University, DePaul University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Emory University, Rice University, the University of Miami, the University of Tennessee, Xavier University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Course Code

Required Courses

Required Courses Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Paralegal Studies Certificate Program 21 Online Online Online Online
  • Tuition for the entire Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is $6,995. The cost of materials ($800) is not included in the tuition fee.

For information about financing your education, please click here.

Ready to advance your career? Pick the option that best suits your needs and your lifestyle:

  • New cohorts for the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program begin each quarter. The enrollment deadline is one week prior to the posted start date. You will have six months to complete the program. To enroll click here.
  • Sign up for an information session. Learn more about the program by enrolling in a free information session. If an information session for this program is not currently open for enrollment, click on “notify me,” and we’ll contact you when the next one becomes available.

Questions? We’re here to help. If you’ve got a question, email us or call (530) 757-8777.

Access free career resources. Our students have free access to tools for career planning, resume writing, interview practice and more.