paralegal certificate california Becoming a Paralegal in California – CA With over 27,000 paralegals, California boasts the greatest number of operating paralegals in the country based on the Bureau of Legal Statistics’ 2010 report. California paralegals are focused across the country’s metropolitan areas, such as the Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco areas. Paralegals in California operate in many different industries such as software publishing, natural resource management and growth, and instructional support services along with the more common legal services and government employment.
READ MORE: becoming a paralegal
Much like Arizona, California governs”legal document advocates” (LDAs) who organize court records for and provide legal advice (although maybe not advice) to individuals opting to behave as their own counsel in legal issues. LDAs have been required to register with the State of California.
the Internet Master of paralegal Studies (MLS) degree from Washington University School of Law Provides present and prospective paralegals a comprehensive view of this U.S. legal system. GRE LSAT scores aren’t required.
The Internet Master of Legal Studies from American University equips students with basic legal instruction and industry-specific Understanding. Pupils attend online courses and also an on site immersion in Washington, D.C. Complete in as few as 15 weeks. No GRE or LSAT needed.
The online Master of Legal Studies program from Pepperdine Law educates professionals from a number of fields the basic legal skills they will need to better perform their law-related duties. No GRE or LSAT scores have to apply.
Rasmussen College provides online paralegal associate and post-degree certification applications.
Before 2001, some LDAs employed the term”paralegal” to explain their job though they weren’t trained as paralegals nor were they supervised with a lawyer. Accordingly, in 2001, California State Legislature defined the paralegal profession and place minimum qualifications for individuals wanting to work as paralegals. Those qualifications are:
- Conclusion of a paralegal certification program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)
- Completion of 24 semester units of paralegal instruction in a state-approved or licensed establishment
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in almost any discipline together with one year old law-related expertise under the supervision of a three-year California-licensed attorney or a lawyer operating in California’s national courts
The California Business and Professions Code (CBPC 6450-6) are available here.
READ MORE: paralegal programs
Due to the legislative demands, aspiring paralegals intending to operate in California needs to be discerning regarding the program they decide to attend. Certification programs, which provide a certification of completion to get a paralegal studies program but not a diploma, should be ABA approved. These may be handy for men and women that must go into the workforce immediately or that possess a degree in a different area but want to concentrate in paralegal studies.
California Job Statistics
2011 average earnings for paralegals in California: $59,800
94 percent of companies provide health insurance to fulltime paralegals at California
62 percent of companies pay full cost of Health insurance for fulltime paralegals at California
82 percent of companies provide health insurance to fulltime paralegals at California
76 percent of companies provide a retirement program to fulltime paralegals at California
Institutions that award associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies have to be licensed or accepted by the condition. Many universities in California also offer master’s degrees in paralegal studies for applicants who would like to differentiate themselves from other job applicants or focus within the legal area.
Can There Be Paralegal Certification in California?
Along with earning a diploma or certification in paralegal studies, paralegals can select national accreditation, which can be given by the federal expert paralegal associations. Certification recognizes those paralegals who have mastered the federal requirement of legal advice and thus highly capable in their area.
Accredited paralegals have passed a national examination and have been issued certificate with a national paralegal association.
Back in California, paralegals who pass NALA’s Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and California Advanced Specialty (CAS) assessments will call themselves California Advanced Specialists, which may improve their employment choices. Paralegals may voluntarily opt to become California Advanced Specialists.
Presently there are four nationwide exams where to choose for certificate, but only NALA Provides the California Advanced Specialty examination:
- The CLA/CP Given by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
- The PACE Given by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
- The PCC also Provided by National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
- The PP Given by the Association for Legal Professionals (NALS)
An informational graph comparing federal certification examinations, eligibility for fees, testing, and recertification can be obtained here.
Professional Accreditation Associations
Due to the size of this nation as well as also the grade of paralegals working inside it, California presents many options of professional associations, both regional and interrogate.
The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) provides advocacy and education on a statewide level in addition to support for the regional affiliates. Since 1977, it’s worked toward consolidating the profession throughout the nation and encouraging the increased use of paralegals through the legal and business community. CAPA is a NALA affiliate, as are its regional partners. Additionally, it works to disseminate advice matters of concern to paralegals in the national, state and local level. CAPA provides an yearly educational seminar each June.
CAPA franchisees comprise: the Central Coast Paralegal Association, the Los Angeles Paralegal Association, the Fresno Paralegal Association, the Kern County Paralegal Association, the Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County, the Redwood Empire Association of Paralegals, the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association, the San Diego Paralegal Association, the San Francisco Paralegal Association, the Santa Barbara Paralegal Association, the Sequoia Paralegal Association, the Orange County Paralegal Association, the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals, and the Ventura County Paralegal Association.
Working alongside CAPA and its affiliates, the Commission for Advanced California Paralegal Specialization, Inc. concentrates on paralegals Which Are preparing for or have passed the California Advanced Specialty examination. They work to raise the use of paralegals in California’s legal community and also to encourage paralegals who want to achieve advanced standing in that area. They also offer you the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education credits which are needed by CBPC 6450.
READ MORE: paralegal certificate programs
Law companies are the biggest employers of paralegals. Normally, law firms are concentrated in metropolitan areas. With California’s high population density, law firms are abundant throughout the country in moderate to big metro-areas. A number of the bigger law firms comprise:
- Latham & Watkins
- Townsend and Townsend and Crew
- Morrison & Foerster
- Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- Gordon & Rees
- Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff, Tichy & Mathiason
- Best Best & Krieger
- Cooley Godward Castro Huddleson & Tatum
- Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
- Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Mallory
- Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger
- Munger, Tolles & Olson
- Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
- O’Melveny & Myers
- Irell & Manella
- Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
- Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard
Important Contacts for Paralegals
- The State Bar of California
- The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA)
- The Commission for Advanced California Paralegal Specialization, Inc..
- California Business and Professions Code (CBPC 6450) Governing Paralegals
- Explanation of the CBPC 6450
- American Bar Association Interpretation of CBPC 6450
- CAPA Document to Assist Paralegals Ensure Compliance with CBPC 6450
- American Bar Association Approved Schools for California
- State of California Employment Development Department — Comprehensive Guide for Paralegals and Legal Assistants
READ MORE: paralegal duties