A.A. Paralegal Studies - Associate Degree

Sacramento’s Premier Paralegal Training Program Approved by the American Bar Association

With over twenty years of experience, the Paralegal Degree program based in Sacramento, California, trains students to serve as paralegals under attorney supervision.

Program Overview

With over twenty years of experience, the Paralegal Degree program based in Sacramento, California, trains students to serve as paralegals under attorney supervision. Students learn how to understand the law and apply legal principles through a combination of analytical thinking, critical thinking, and practical application of the substantive and procedural law. Graduates are able to serve as paralegals for both the private and the public sector, performing substantive, behind-the-scenes legal work for legal departments, law firms, and more. The American Bar Association has adopted the following definition:

“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.”

A career as a paralegal can be exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative. MTI College’s Paralegal Studies program is a two-year associate’s degree program approved by the American Bar Association to equip students to work as paralegals in many areas of law. This is a program that focuses on results minus the typical college hassles. Graduate on time and take advantage of our Guaranteed Graduate Program provided through our Career Services Department. Students with prior college work may only need to enroll in the program for one year, depending on MTI’s approval of transfer credits. The second year of the program features either a traditional evening classroom format or our OnlinePlus alternative format. During the second year of studies, OnlinePlus students can complete much of the Paralegal program online and be on campus as little as one night per week.

Program Objective

The Paralegal Studies program at MTI College prepares students for employment as paralegals working under the supervision of an attorney.  The program is designed to strengthen the student’s ability to reason, understand, and apply correct principles of law by emphasizing analytical and critical thinking skills as well as practical application of substantive and procedural law.

Paralegal Studies Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Paralegal Studies program will be able to:

  • Represent the legal profession in a professional and ethical manner, adhering to the Business and Professions Code section 6450, et seq.
  • Apply communication and problem-solving, and critical thinking skills to gauge and supply information that will be needed by supervising attorneys, colleagues, and clients.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to assist the supervising attorney(s) with interviews, pre-trial preparation, depositions, trials, and the preparation of legal documents.
  • 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.
  • Work independently and as a team member to complete required projects and tasks effectively and within specific time frames.
  • 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.

Paralegal Career Training Outline

MTI’s Paralegal Degree program includes two years of courses in the following:

First Year

  • General education courses in five subject areas
  • Introduction to legal terminology and procedure
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, and other software programs in Microsoft Office

Second Year

  • Legal writing and analysis
  • Civil litigation
  • Major areas of substantive and procedural law

Following the first year, students will have attained enough skills to seek entry-level work in various areas of legal administration. Students are encouraged to work in a legal environment during their second year of study. Students also have the opportunity to become licensed as a notary.

Paralegal Studies Course Requirements

Interest in a paralegal career and both the willingness and ability to succeed academically are the chief criteria for admission to our Sacramento, California, paralegal program. There are also specific requirements for admission to each year of the program:

First Year

  • Complete the admissions interview process
  • Complete entrance examinations and assessments
  • Interview with the Paralegal Studies department chair or the director of education (if MTI deems it necessary)

Second Year

  • Pass entrance exams
  • Possess a working knowledge of Microsoft Windows
  • One of the following: complete year 1 of the Paralegal program at MTI with a 3.0 GPA; provide transcripts that reflect 54 accredited quarter units (36 semester units) in general studies and business; or provide transcripts that reflect the completion of an accredited and recognized associate or baccalaureate degree program.
  • Interview with the Paralegal Studies department chair or the director of education (if MTI deems it necessary)

Graduation is contingent upon academic success and the ability to type 55 words per minute. Typing courses may be required during the second year of studies if the student has not attained this level of proficiency prior to enrollment.

Two Formats for the Paralegal Studies Program: Traditional On-Campus and OnlinePlus Format

The course work for the Paralegal Associate Degree Program is available in both a traditional classroom format and in a partially online delivery format.

OnlinePlus Paralegal

MTI’s OnlinePlus paralegal course format offers second year paralegal students Internet-based instruction via a Course Management System (CMS), which serves as every student’s comprehensive clearinghouse for course materials, assignments, examinations, lectures, and class discussion sessions. The majority of student interaction with classmates and instructors is done online and through email. Students are encouraged to establish personal relationships with fellow students when on campus and to stay connected through telephone conversations whenever possible.

While traditional classes take place in classrooms or lab facilities on campus, students taking advantage of the Online Plus delivery format for the second year of the Paralegal Program will be on campus for class as little as one night each week. The OnlinePlus course work is broken into four quarters consisting of three courses, two online and one conducted in the conventional classroom environment. The Paralegal Associate Degree Program, whether delivered in the traditional on-campus classroom setting or through OnlinePlus, uses a curriculum approved by the American Bar Association and staffed by MTI’s seasoned paralegal faculty.

Program graduates will become valuable members of the legal services field, providing solid, knowledgeable support in civil, criminal and regulatory areas of the law. They will be highly qualified and able to effectively perform substantive legal tasks under the supervision of licensed attorneys, though they are not permitted to directly provide legal services to clients unless explicitly allowed by law.

Program Advantages and Job Placement

In addition to being accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, our Sacramento-based paralegal program has the rare distinction of American Bar Association approval. Our faculty includes paralegals, attorneys and others in the legal profession, thereby enabling our program to provide a well-rounded education in legal theory and practice. We take our job seriously and provide the best paralegal education available because we want to train effective ambassadors for the school who also demonstrate excellence in the legal field.

Graduates of MTI’s Paralegal program have access to professional placement services. We recommend that students seek legal internships and law-related employment while they are students because this experience increases your job prospects after graduation. We will help interested students gain this internship and employment experience.

MTI is a member of the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association (SVPA)the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE), a national organization comprised of paralegal educators and institutions offering paralegal and legal assistant education programs.

Related Documents

Program Assessment 2016 (PDF)

Program Highlights

L110A - Beginning Legal Terminology and Office Procedures
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.
L115B - Basic Legal Calendaring
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.
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.
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.

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!

Median Loan Debt Incurred by Students

Median Loan Debt: $9,418

*The median debt of borrowers who completed this program in the 2016-2017 award year. This debt includes federal, private, and institutional loans.

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.

Year One
Tuition and Registration: $17,980
Books and Supplies: $1,709

Year Two
Tuition and Registration: $15,900
Books and Supplies: $2,007

Job Placement

Job Placement Rate

Award Year Adjusted Job Placement Rate: 100%
Award Year Unadjusted Job Placement Rate: 81%

Based on the number of Paralegal graduates in the 2016-2017 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
  • Complete an application for admission
  • Pass an admissions examination

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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