A.A. Paralegal Studies - Associate Degree

Get Online Paralegal Training in California

The Online Paralegal Studies Associate Program helps California residents get trained to work as a paralegal in the private and public sectors. You will learn from experienced instructors at MTI College in Sacramento, CA.

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This program is completed entirely online without the need to come to campus. Learn More

Online Paralegal Degree Program at MTI College

Online Paralegal Degree Program at MTI College

Online Paralegal Associate of Arts Degree program at MTI College equips California students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to enter a successful paralegal career. Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), students will have the tools they need to find employment in a wide range of legal practice areas.

Paralegal Associate Degree of Arts Program at MTI College in Sacramento, California

The Paralegal Associate of Arts Degree program at MTI College prepares graduates for employment as paralegals for both the private and public sector, performing substantive and procedural behind-the-scenes legal work for legal departments and law firms.
With over 20 years of experience, our instructors train students to learn how to understand legal principles and how to apply those principles through:

  • Analytical thinking.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Practical application of the substantive and procedural law.

For those Applicants who have previously completed an associate or baccalaureate degree or have completed 54 approved quarter units (36 semester units) in general education from an accredited institution, these Applicants will begin their Online Paralegal Degree Program in Year 2 of the Program.

Review our course and industry information to see if the Paralegal Associate of Arts Degree program at MTI is right for you. Fill out an information or tour request form to get started today!

Note: Only students residing in California are eligible to apply for this program.

Next Start Dates:

Start DateProgram Name
January 3, 2023Paralegal Studies
February 13, 2023Paralegal Studies

What Is a Paralegal?

The ABA defines a paralegal as:
“A 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.”

About The Online Paralegal Associate Degree Program

Graduates will have the knowledge and confidence to provide in demand legal services in law firms, government agencies, and a wide variety of legal practice environments. The program is designed to train students to learn how to understand legal principles and how to apply those principles through analytical thinking, critical thinking, and practical application of the substantive and procedural law.

The Online Paralegal Degree program provides internet-based instruction via a Course Management System (CMS), which provides students with access to:

  • Course materials
  • Assignments
  • Examinations
  • Lectures and class discussion sessions

The majority of student interaction with classmates and instructors is done remotely online in real-time (i.e., synchronous) format through the use of Zoom and the CMS, and through email. Students are encouraged to establish personal relationships with fellow students when on campus and to stay connected through digital communications.
Graduates will have the experience and the knowledge to provide services in the legal field, be qualified to assist in civil, criminal, 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 are not/will not be permitted to directly provide legal services to clients without the supervision and/or direction of a California licensed attorney unless explicitly allowed by the law.

Why Choose MTI’s Online Paralegal Degree Program?

The Online Paralegal Degree program is ABA approved and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The course faculty includes experienced lawyers, paralegals, and other legal field professionals.

The program is designed to sharpen the students’ logical reasoning and analytical skills and equip them with the ability to apply legal principles to the facts presented to them. The Online Paralegal Degree program at MTI College achieves these goals through theoretical teaching methods and hands-on experience. This program provides a solid foundation in legal research and writing, litigation procedures, legal technology software, and other key legal topics.

MTI College features Relativity Software in its Computer Technology course, along with basic e-Discovery tools. Successful paralegals are expected to be tech-savvy. The Relativity Academic Partner program gives paralegal students hands-on experience with modern e-Discovery technology, allowing them to develop the skills needed to stand out for future employers. MTI College is a unique California paralegal program that features Relativity software in its paralegal program.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to do the following:

  • Serve as ethical, professional members of the legal field.
  • Use sound communication and analytical skills to support lawyers, clients and others with pre-trial and trial preparation, depositions, document preparation, investigation, and other tasks.
  • Conduct thorough legal research and integrate key facts when drafting legal documents.
  • Keeping all skills and knowledge current through participation in continuing education and self-study.
  • Work independently and as a team member to complete required projects and tasks effectively and within specific time frames.
  • Utilize oral and written communication skills through the preparation of legal documents and by conducting research, interviews, and investigations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to maintain and update legal skills and knowledge of the legal profession through continuing education, independent learning, and/or community service.
  • Use technology effectively to research legal issues and cases; prepare and edit legal documents; maintain client/case files; perform electronic filing; computerized calendaring; e-Discovery and cloud-based repositories.

Who is This Program For?

  • Students looking for ABA-approved, nationally recognized training to become a paralegal
  • California residents who want to pursue a career in the legal field
  • Legal secretaries who wish to get paralegal training
  • Individuals who want to get paralegal training while retaining the flexibility of remote learning

Currently, this fully online program is only available to California residents, including people living in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, the North Bay, Coastal California, Fresno and the Central Valley, Bakersfield, and Orange County.

Paralegal Job Placement Opportunities

The MTI College Online Paralegal Degree program provides students with the training and the skills needed to work in a wide range of legal service positions. Graduates will have access to professional placement services.

MTI is a member of the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association; San Francisco Paralegal Association; Sacramento Legal Secretaries Association;  the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and the American Association for Paralegal Education, a national organization comprised of paralegal educators and institutions offering paralegal and legal assistant education programs.

Students are encouraged to find legal internships or legal-related employment during the program. Having that experience will increase the chances of obtaining a job upon graduation. Students will be helped in identifying and securing positions and internships in the legal field, along with access to other career services.

What’s Included in the Curriculum?

Paralegal students at MTI College will learn from a robust curriculum, including, but not limited to, these courses:
*Course curriculum and credit values are subject to change.

Year 1 Legal Courses

L110A Beginning Legal Terminology and Office Procedures (20/1.5 units)

This course prepares the student to work in a law office through instruction in legal terminology, law office procedures, and the preparation of legal documents. The student creates documents on pleading paper using MS Word and Judicial Council forms. (Prerequisites: Keyboarding speed 25 WPM.)

L110B Beginning Legal Litigation (20/1.5 units)

This course prepares the student to work in a law office through instruction in legal terminology, law office procedures, and the preparation of legal documents in the litigation process. The student creates documents on pleading paper using MS Word and Judicial Council forms (Prerequisites: Keyboarding speed 25 WPM, Grade of “C-” or better in DA123, L110A)

L115A Advanced Legal Litigation (20/1.5 units)

This course continues the coverage of the litigation process through discovery, motions, and calendaring procedures. The student explores how all three impacts the litigation system, and creates documents on pleading paper using MS Word and Judicial Council forms and Abacus calendaring. (Prerequisites: Keyboarding speed 25 WPM, Grade of “C-” or better in DA123; L110A, L110B)

L115B Basic Legal Calendaring (20/1.5 units)

This course continues the coverage of the litigation process through case management and calendaring procedures. The student explores case management and document control, and creates documents on pleading paper using MS Word and Judicial Council forms and Abacus calendaring. (Prerequisites: Keyboarding speed 25 WPM, Grade of “C-” or better in DA123; L110A, L110B, L115A)

Year 2 Courses

L101 Introduction to the Legal Environment (20/0 units)

This course prepares a transferring year two legal student to acclimate into the legal environment through instruction in legal terminology, court procedures, and the preparation of legal documents. The student creates documents on pleading paper using MS Word and Judicial Council forms.

LA215 Legal Writing and Analysis (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to help students learn legal analysis and writing skills. Clarity, logical organization, precision, and conciseness are developed through lectures, class participation, practice materials, and writing assignments. The student learns how to read and analyze legal cases and materials. The process of legal writing, including planning, organization, and structure, is covered. This course counts toward fulfilling the General Education requirement in Communication for Paralegal Studies degree students.

LA218  Introduction to the Paralegal Profession, Ethics, Client Interviewing, and Investigation (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the role of the paralegal in private law firms, corporations, government offices, and nonprofit organizations. Topics include billing, the Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions, regulation of the profession, and voluntary testing. Emphasis is placed on defining the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, fee arrangements, and professional responsibilities of the legal profession in general, particularly as they relate to paralegals. The course enhances students’ basic interview skills and investigation techniques through a combination of lecture and in-class or online interactive role-play scenarios. Emphasis is placed on learning the major techniques to achieve factual comprehensiveness during a legal interview and while conducting varied investigations.

LA221 Introduction to Civil Litigation (40/4.0 units)

This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of civil litigation, including pleading practice, discovery, and trial preparation. The course focuses on civil litigation in California and federal courts. The student becomes familiar with all phases of California civil court procedures including jurisdiction, venue, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial motions, summary judgment and trial preparation/procedure. (Prerequisite: demonstrated Word proficiency)

LA226 Legal Research (40/4.0 units)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of legal research, including locating case and statutory law, primary and secondary source materials, and updating and validating legal authority. The student learns how to cite legal authorities and use legal authorities effectively in legal documents. In addition to covering standard law library resources, the computer is introduced as a research tool. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218 or LA221)

LA235 and Torts in Personal Injury Cases (40/4.0 units)

This course incorporates a comprehensive presentation of substantive tort law designed for the paralegal student with a study of typical procedural components in personal injury cases. These areas are explored from the perspective of actual and hypothetical cases, emphasizing the paralegal’s participation from initial investigation through trial preparation and settlement. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218 or LA221)

LA246 Technology for Paralegals (40/4.0 units)

This course introduces the student to the knowledge and skills necessary to use various technologies associated with the legal environment effectively. Topics such as the use of case management software, Internet resources and search logic, billing and time use software, docket control, e-discovery cloud-based repositories are addressed. Students practice in Relativity and earn a technology certificate in NSLT software modules. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218 LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA250  Advanced Litigation (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to offer an in-depth view of the civil litigation process from both the California and federal viewpoints. The class focuses on the role of the paralegal in civil litigation, the observance of the civil procedure process, the evidentiary requirements, and the practical application for paralegal participation in the case process through post-trial procedures (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235, LA246, LA281, LA283)

LA260 Career Workshop for Paralegals (5.0/0.5 unit)

The student learns how to identify transferable skills and use that information to develop a résumé appropriate to a law firm setting. The student begins a job-hunting notebook, conducts informational interviews, discusses potential job markets, and participates in a mock interview.

LA281 Principles of Contract Law (40/4.0 units)

This course provides a general understanding of the essential principles of contract law, the manner in which contracts are formed, and the elements that must be present for a contract to be valid and enforceable. The student learns the rights and obligations of the parties involved and remedies that are available when contracts are breached. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA283 Administrative Law (40/4.0 units)

This course offers an overview of the administrative law field, including authority, rule-making, adjudication, and judicial review. It presents a survey of the administrative process and conveys knowledge so that the student can use typical reference material; ascertain agency power; and understand agency decisions, rules and proceedings, and the role of the paralegal in the administrative law arena. The student is exposed to administrative hearing procedures, including discovery, rules of evidence, due process, findings, conclusions, and decisions. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221)

LA500 Advanced Legal Writing Practicum (40/4.0 units)

This course helps the student transition from the academic to the working environment. The class simulates a legal office with the student working as a paralegal under the direction of a supervising attorney or supervising paralegal. The student is exposed to the problems and pressures that occur in the legal profession on a day-to-day basis. Assignments are based on handout materials dealing with a series of legal problems occurring for hypothetical clients. The student uses extensive research and writing skills with application to particular legal settings. Issues covered integrate the substantive areas of law that the student has already studied. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235, LA246, LA281, LA283)

LA230E Probate and Estate Planning (elective) (40/4.0 units)

This course introduces the student to estate planning and the ways in which property can be held and transferred. The course includes drafting of wills, durable powers of attorney, and community property agreements. The student gains knowledge of probate and summary probate procedures and is exposed to the tax considerations in estate planning and estate administration. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA240E Family Law (elective) (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to familiarize the student with proceedings brought under the applicable Family Law Statutes. The pleadings and issues commonly raised in actions for the dissolution of marriage are covered in a problem-solving format. The student also learns the basic legal theories involved in dissolution of marriage actions. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA282E Employment and Workers’ Compensation Law (elective) (40/4.0 units)

This course covers major aspects of employment law with an emphasis on discrimination, wrongful termination, and workers’ compensation issues. The student learns to identify the regulation of the employment environment, relationships, and discrimination. The student also learns the basic functions of OSHA, ERISA, and FLSA. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA284E Law of Business Organizations (elective) (40/4.0 units)

This course introduces the student to general business organizations. Coursework includes the basics of forming, organizing, and maintaining sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations in California. The emphasis is on corporate formation and maintenance. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA286E Criminal Law (elective) (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to teach the fundamental nature, extent, and degree of criminal acts and omissions. It defines both the mental states and physical acts needed to warrant punishment. Topics include attempt, conspiracy, sentencing, and accomplice liability. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA287E Bankruptcy Law (40/4.0 units)

This course covers the fundamentals of bankruptcy law and procedure and the role of paralegals in bankruptcy practice, including the commencement of a case, preparation of schedules, operating and liquidating procedures, adversary matters and litigation, electronic case filing, and practice terminology related to proceedings under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. Proceedings under Chapters 9, 12, and 15 will be reviewed. In addition to debtor responsibilities, creditors’ rights and obligations will be explored including secured transactions, consensual and nonconsensual liens, UCC transactions, and the unique position of real estate. The principles learned will be applied to practical exercises including utilization of Bankruptcy Court forms. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

LA288E E-Discovery (40/4.0 units)

This course is designed to provide students in depth knowledge with respect to what constitutes E-Discovery, how to conduct and respond to E-Discovery, the process and procedure for handling, managing, and using E- Discovery throughout the litigation process, and ethical considerations that arise from the ever-evolving field of E- Discovery. Students will complete real-world practicum modules that provide breadth and depth understanding of E- Discovery; will review and discuss recent influential case law that continue to change the field of E-discovery, and will draft substantive legal memoranda concerning ethical considerations and real world application of E-discovery tools in litigation. At the conclusion of the course, students who pass the final exam with an 80% or better will obtain an E-Discovery Certificate and Badge from ACEDS. (Prerequisites: Grade of “B” or better in LA246 and Department Chair Approval)

LA560E Internship for Paralegals (elective) (120/4.0 units)

The student participates in an internship with a local law firm, nonprofit agency, or government department. The internship consists of 120 hours of field time, plus mandatory attendance at three consecutive meetings. The student is required to keep a journal, give an oral presentation on the internship assignment, and complete an exit evaluation. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

Fully Online Paralegal Program

ABA Approved Paralegal Program

This fully online program allows paralegal students to attend classes through our Learning Management System (LMS). On graduation, students will be able to work under the supervision of licensed lawyers in a paralegal career. The Online Paralegal Program is ABA-approved, and has the same paralegal curriculum and benchmarks as traditional paralegal studies programs.


Next Steps


Related Documents

Program Assessment 2016 (PDF)

Program Length

Estimated Length: 48 weeks


*Estimated program length assumes a student does not have prior transferable course credit and successfully completes a full course load each term. Actual program length may be longer or shorter depending on factors including, but not limited to, prior academic credit, class availability, academic performance, and attendance.

Program Courses

LA215 - Legal Writing and Analysis
This course is designed to help students learn legal analysis and writing skills. Clarity, logical organization, precision, and conciseness are developed through lectures, class participation, practice materials, and writing assignments. The student learns how to read and analyze legal cases and materials. The process of legal writing, including planning, organization, and structure, is covered.
LA218 - Introduction to the Paralegal Profession, Ethics, Client Interviewing, and Investigation
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the role of the paralegal in private law firms, corporations, government offices, and nonprofit organizations. Topics include billing, the Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions, regulation of the profession, and voluntary testing. Emphasis is placed on defining the unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, fee arrangements, and professional responsibilities of the legal profession in general, particularly as they relate to paralegals. The course enhances students’ basic interview skills and investigation techniques through a combination of lecture and in-class or online interactive role-play scenarios. Emphasis is placed on learning the major techniques to achieve factual comprehensiveness during a legal interview and while conducting varied investigations.
LA221 - Introduction to Civil Litigation
This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of civil litigation, including pleading practice, discovery, and trial preparation. The course focuses on civil litigation in California and federal courts. The student becomes familiar with all phases of California civil court procedures including jurisdiction, venue, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial motions, summary judgment and trial preparation/procedure.
LA226 - Legal Research
This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of legal research, including locating case and statutory law, primary and secondary source materials, and updating and validating legal authority. The student learns how to cite legal authorities and use legal authorities effectively in legal documents. In addition to covering standard law library resources, the computer is introduced as a research tool.
LA235 - Torts in Personal Injury Cases
This course incorporates a comprehensive presentation of substantive tort law designed for the paralegal student with a study of typical procedural components in personal injury cases. These areas are explored from the perspective of actual and hypothetical cases, emphasizing the paralegal’s participation from initial investigation through trial preparation and settlement.
LA246 - Technology for Paralegals
This course introduces the student to the knowledge and skills necessary to use various technologies associated with the legal environment effectively. Topics such as the use of case management software, Internet resources and search logic, billing and time use software, docket control, e-discovery cloud based repositories are addressed.
LA250 - Advanced Litigation
This course is designed to offer an in-depth view of the civil litigation process from both the California and federal viewpoints. The class focuses on the role of the paralegal in civil litigation, the observance of the civil procedure process, the evidentiary requirements, and the practical application for paralegal participation in the case process through post-trial procedures.
LA281 - Principles of Contract Law
This course provides a general understanding of the essential principles of contract law, the manner in which contracts are formed, and the elements that must be present for a contract to be valid and enforceable. The student learns the rights and obligations of the parties involved and remedies that are available when contracts are breached.
LA283 - Administrative Law
This course offers an overview of the administrative law field, including authority, rule-making, adjudication, and judicial review. It presents a survey of the administrative process and conveys knowledge so that the student can use typical reference material; ascertain agency power; and understand agency decisions, rules and proceedings, and the role of the paralegal in the administrative law arena. The student is exposed to administrative hearing procedures, including discovery, rules of evidence, due process, findings, conclusions, and decisions.
LA287E - Bankruptcy Law
This course covers the fundamentals of bankruptcy law and procedure and the role of paralegals in bankruptcy practice, including the commencement of a case, preparation of schedules, operating and liquidating procedures, adversary matters and litigation, electronic case filing, and practice terminology related to proceedings under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. Proceedings under Chapters 9, 12, and 15 will be reviewed. In addition to debtor responsibilities, creditors' rights and obligations will be explored including secured transactions, consensual and nonconsensual liens, UCC transactions, and the unique position of real estate. The principles learned will be applied to practical exercises including utilization of Bankruptcy Court forms. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)
LA500 - Advanced Legal Writing Practicum
This course helps the student transition from the academic to the working environment. The class simulates a legal office with the student working as a paralegal under the direction of a supervising attorney or supervising paralegal. The student is exposed to the problems and pressures that occur in the legal profession on a day-to-day basis. Assignments are based on handout materials dealing with a series of legal problems occurring for hypothetical clients. The student uses extensive research and writing skills with application to particular legal settings. Issues covered integrate the substantive areas of law that the student has already studied.
LA560E - Internship for Paralegals (elective)
The student participates in an internship with a local law firm, nonprofit agency, or government department. The internship consists of 120 hours of field time, plus mandatory attendance at three consecutive meetings. The student is required to keep a journal, give an oral presentation on the internship assignment, and complete an exit evaluation. (Prerequisites: Grade of “C-” or better in LA215, LA218, LA221, LA226, LA235)

Program Costs

Grants and other forms of tuition assistance are available to those who qualify. To find out what you’re eligible for, contact an MTI admissions advisor today!


Tuition and Fees

Applicants that have completed an associate or baccalaureate degree or have completed 54 quarter units (36 semester units) in general studies and business from an accredited institution may enter directly into year two of the paralegal studies program upon acceptance.

Admissions Registration Fee: $50

Year One
Tuition: $19,257
Books and Supplies: $1,120

Year Two
Tuition: $17,010
Books and Supplies: $1,486.37

 

Job Placement

Award Year Adjusted Job Placement Rate: 100%
Award Year Unadjusted Job Placement Rate: 86%

Based on the number of Paralegal graduates in the 2020-2021 award year  who registered for graduate placement services and secured employment in their field of study, and those who did not register and successfully obtained employment on their own.

* Future results may vary. MTI’s job placement rate calculations are based on the award year July 1 to June 30. The unadjusted rate represents the percentage of total graduates who obtain employment in or related to their field of study. The adjusted rate represents the percentage of graduates who are actively looking for work and obtain employment in or related to their field of study. The adjusted rate does not include graduates who are not looking for work for reasons such as continuing education, remaining at current place of employment, military service, health issues, death, etc. For a complete explanation of MTI’s placement calculations, please visit: Job Placement Rate Calculation


All information provided in compliance with U.S. Code 75 FR 66948 §668.6.

Admissions Process

For admission to MTI College, applicants must –

  • Interview with an admissions advisor
  • Provide proof of graduation from high school or GED equivalent
  • Provide proof of receiving an associate or baccalaureate degree or having completed 54 quarter units (36 semester units) in general studies and business from an accredited institution.
  • Complete an application for admission
  • Take a placement assessment

The first part of the application process may be completed online.

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Graduate Testimonial

All of the instructors are stellar. I learned so much. I didn’t know that I could push myself so hard to do well, but I was inspired to achieve because everyone was so supportive. I learned that I love everything about the study of law. Now, it is time for me to experience its practical application by becoming an attorney. Without the support of everyone at MTI, I would have never garnered the courage to apply to law school and to ultimately believe that I can succeed. — Diane Campbell, Paralegal Studies
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