There were 33,490 paralegals working in California in 2020, second only to Florida’s 33,760. Because of the high demand for paralegals to fill new job positions, the job outlook is very good for the next decade.
To facilitate the training of paralegal students in an online classroom, MTI has introduced an Online A.A. Paralegal Studies Program that is available to students throughout the entire State of California who meet qualifying criteria. This paralegal program is ABA-approved.
Prerequisites For Enrollment in Our Online Paralegal Studies Course
Only students residing in California are eligible to apply for this program.
Applicants for the Online Paralegal Program must have previously completed an associate or baccalaureate degree or have completed 54 quarter units (36 semester units) in general studies and business from an accredited institution.
What is a Paralegal?
According to the ABA, a paralegal is:
“A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Legal assistants or paralegals may not provide services directly to the public except as permitted by law.”
The main role of a paralegal is providing support for lawyers in a wide range of legal practice areas in a variety of industries such as biotech, real estate, education, entertainment, etc . Paralegals usually work for law firms, government agencies, lobbying firms, corporate/in-house legal departments, insurance firms, non-profit organizations, and technology firms that provide litigation support.
What are the Requirements to Become a Paralegal in California?
California law states that paralegals must fulfill one of the following three educational requirements:
- Completion of 24 or more credits in paralegal studies at an accredited or state-approved college or university.
- Earn a Bachelor’s degree in any field, and complete one year of experience working under the supervision of a California lawyer who has been licensed for at least three years.
- Completion of a paralegal certificate program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Our Online Paralegal Degree Program is ABA-Approved
Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), our Online Associate Degree Paralegal Studies program trains students for a career as paralegals. Our paralegal students will have the tools they need to find employment in a wide range of legal practice areas.
The MTI Online Paralegal Studies Program
Our Online Paralegal Studies program lets students complete coursework through our Learning Management System (LMS). On graduation, students will be able to work as a paralegal under the supervision of licensed lawyers. The Online Paralegal Studies Program is ABA-approved, with the same paralegal curriculum and benchmarks as our traditional in-classroom paralegal program.
Students will learn legal principles and how to apply those principles through analytical thinking, critical thinking, and practical application of the substantive and procedural law.
Most of the interaction with instructors and classmates is done online and through email.
Graduates will have the experience and the knowledge to provide services in the legal field, be qualified to assist in civil, criminal, administrative, and regulatory areas of the law. They will be able to effectively perform substantive legal tasks under the supervision of licensed attorneys.
Note: Graduates of this program will not be permitted to directly provide legal services to clients unless explicitly allowed by the law.
Who Is This Course Is Designed For?
- Students looking for an ABA-approved, regionally accredited paralegal training program.
- Graduates of an Associate’s or Baccalaureate program in another field that want to become a paralegal or work in the legal field.
- Professionals already working in the legal field who are looking to expand their knowledge to further their career.
- Students who want to skip the commute and complete a degree program online without sacrificing quality or education or accreditation
- California residents who have been looking for an ABA-approved online paralegal program.
Paralegal Job Description
Some of the duties a paralegal may have include:
- Performing legal research
- Assisting with the negotiation of contracts and drafting contracts
- Preparing documents for court filing
- Managing and overseeing a Lawyer’s case load
- Participating in court hearings, administrative hearings, and/or depositions
- Gathering and managing evidence
- Assisting Lawyer’s with Alternative Dispute Resolution
In many law offices, paralegals may have an expanded role and do some of the tasks that in the past, may have been assigned to entry-level lawyers.
Job Market Outlook for Paralegals
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for paralegals will grow by 10% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS also states that paralegals with strong computer and database management skills will have the best job prospects over the next decade.
Most paralegals work in legal services, but many also work in government, financial services, resource management, land development, and for private companies.
How Much Do Paralegals Make in California?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average mean wage for paralegals in California in 2020 was $66,250.
This number may be higher or lower depending on the county or metro area in California where you are located. For example, the mean average salary for paralegals in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2020 was $75,820. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area in 2020, paralegals earned an average mean wage of $63,390. The average annual mean wage in Napa, California in 2020 was $93,110. The average mean annual wage for paralegals in the California Coastal nonmetropolitan region in 2020 was $58, 300. (This area covers the coastal area north of the San Francisco Bay to the Oregon border.) The Silicon Valley area of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara was good for paralegals in 2020, as they earned an annual mean average wage of $90,280.
In comparison, the national mean average salary for paralegals in the entire United States in May 2020 was $52,920.
Take the First Step to Becoming a California Paralegal
The A.A. Online Paralegal Studies program at MTI College is open to students residing in California who have already completed 54 quarter units (36 semester units) in general studies and business from an accredited institution and have an Associate’s degree or higher. This fully online program will let you fast track your education to becoming a paralegal in California. For more details, or to talk directly to our friendly Admissions department, call (916) 339-1500 or fill our contact form today. A representative from MTI College will be in contact with you shortly afterwards.