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    Irvine Valley College
    Mar 27, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition 
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition [ARCHIVED]

Paralegal Studies

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Dean: Traci Fahimi​
Academic Chair: Dan Scott, DBA, MBA
Faculty: June McLaughlin, Esq., LLM, LLM 


This American Bar Association (ABA)-approved paralegal studies program provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to work as a paralegal in civil litigation, bankruptcy or estate planning law firms; an understanding of ethical rules and regulations applicable to legal professionals; an overview of legal theory; and a practical introduction to legal research and writing.


A paralegal is an individual who, although not a member of the legal profession, is qualified through education, training, and/or work experience to be employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency, or other entity. The paralegal performs specifically delegated substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of an attorney. Some of the services that the paralegal provides for an attorney include legal research; development of law office systems; client interviews; drafts; pleadings; case briefs; legal calendaring; preparing discovery for litigated cases; preparing drafts of wills and trusts; and maintaining client records and files.

The paralegal program at Irvine Valley College prepares students to assist attorneys as paralegals in administrative agencies, corporations, insurance companies, private law firms, government and other legal environments. Emphasis is on training students in the practical application and development of up-to-date paralegal related job skills. In addition, the program introduces students to legal theory.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the paralegal program, students will be able to

  • Employ legal terminology competently and generally define the major legal systems and the functions of the law in American society.
  • Explain and cite examples of the ethical rules and concerns in the legal profession.

Potential Careers

Most paralegals are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government offices. In these organizations, they can work in many different areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate.

Paralegal Associate of Sciences Degree & Certificate of Achievement Requirements

Students who do not already possess an associate or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university must complete an associate degree (60 units) to receive the Certificate of Achievement. This requirement is in compliance with the ABA Guidelines for paralegal programs. Degree & Certificate of Achievement candidate students are required to attend a paralegal orientation or a counseling session. Students must achieve a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in each paralegal studies course.
Paralegal studies course work taken at other institutions in an ABA approved program, with approval by the paralegal studies department, will qualify for no more than nine (9) units of transfer credit in legal specialty courses in the paralegal studies certificate program. Upon completion of the degree program, students will be awarded an associate degree in Paralegal Studies and a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association.
Students possessing a transferable associate or bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with official transcripts on file at Irvine Valley College, will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies approved by the American Bar Association upon completion of the required courses.


    Associate in ScienceAssociate in Arts for TransferCertificate of Achievement

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