10 Best Paralegal Schools inCalifornia

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If you want to become a paralegal in the state of California, the first step is to pursue a degree approved by the American Bar Association.

Holding a degree in Paralegal Studies is highly desirable by employers.

A degree in Criminal Justice, Business, or a related field may also qualify you for work in the field.

Paralegal certificate programs are also available and designed for students who already have a degree in a different field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is the second-highest paying state for paralegals and legal assistants.

Here paralegals reportedly made $76,080 per year, on average.

To help you choose the path and the program that best meets your needs, on this page we have compiled information about the best paralegal training programs in California.

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Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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1University of San Diego

About the School

The University of San Diego provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs students can choose from.

The university includes seven schools and colleges.

Courses Offered

The University of San Diego provides a Paralegal Program that prepares students to become valued members of a legal team.

The Paralegal Certificate program provided by the University of San Diego is approved by the American Bar Association.

Day and evening options are available.

The program includes 24 credits.

Tuition is $6,840 in total.

The Lexis fee is $75 and is charged one time.

Graduates develop practical skills in preparation for a paralegal career, acquire knowledge in the areas of law needed to pursue work under the supervision of an attorney, including legal ethics and the role of the paralegal in the legal environment, basic legal concepts and terminology, court structure, and more.

The following courses are included in the Paralegal curriculum:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Computers in the Legal Field
  • Civil Litigation
  • Administrative Law
  • Contracts
  • Intellectual Property
  • Estates, Wills, and Trusts
  • Criminal Law
  • Real Estate
  • And more

Contact Information

2San Francisco State University

About the School

San Francisco State University provides a Paralegal Studies online certificate program.

The paralegal program is available at the university since 1975.

The program is approved by the American Bar Association and covers a rigorous curriculum, synchronous online courses, a professional network, and other features designed to prepare students for successful careers as paralegals.

Students enrolled in this program can begin their careers in just one year.

Courses Offered

The Paralegal Studies program provides learners with hands-on training and experience with case management, e-discovery, and trial software, and an insight into common paralegal tasks.

The program costs $8,990 and can be completed in as little as three semesters.

Students take five three-unit courses designed to help them develop skills on:

  • Interviewing clients
  • Performing legal research
  • Gathering and analyzing legal documents
  • Drafting internal memoranda, correspondence, and legal forms
  • Drafting a variety of litigation-related documents
  • Assisting lawyers in the preparation of cases for trial
  • And performing many other related tasks in a law office

Contact Information

  • Address: 160 Spear Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California 94105
  • Phone: (415) 405-7700
  • Website: https://cpage.sfsu.edu

3South Coast College

About the School

South Coast College provides students with one-on-one support, resources, and practical experiences designed to help them develop new skills and prepare for the professional world.

Court Reporting and Paralegal programs are offered with day and evening schedules students can choose from.

Courses Offered

The Paralegal program provided by South Coast College covers the following areas of study:

  • Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • English Composition
  • Contract Law
  • Torts
  • Family Law
  • Legal Analytics and Writing
  • Legal Research
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Estates, Wills, and Trusts
  • Evidence
  • Civil Litigation

The Paralegal AA Degree Program can be completed in 18 months.

The school provides small classes to allow students to get plenty of attention and one-on-one time with the instructor.

Contact Information

4Auburn University

About the School

Auburn University provides a Paralegal Certificate Course designed for beginners and advanced workers in the legal field.

Among many other skills, students learn how to assist trial attorneys, interview witnesses, investigate complex fact patterns, research the law, and assist lawyers in preparing cases for courtroom litigation.

The class is available multiple times per year with different delivery formats.

Courses Offered

The Paralegal curriculum covers topics such as:

  • Legal Terminology, Documents, Ethics, and the Litigation Process
  • Introduction to the Evidentiary Predicate
  • Identifying Relevant Authority
  • Introduction to Legal Research
  • Legal Research Practice
  • Legal Writing and Appellate Procedure
  • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 301 O.D. Smith Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • Phone: (334) 844-5100
  • Website: https://auburn.edu

5UC Davis

About the School

UC Davis provides a variety of continuing and professional education programs.

Many award-winning online programs are available and designed to provide students with a flexible, engaging, learning experience.

Courses Offered

A Paralegal Studies Certificate program is included in the school’s catalog and can be completed in six months.

The program is available online.

This program costs $6,995.

Among other skills, students learn how to:

  • Conduct legal research and prepare documentation for trials
  • Manage clients
  • Litigation procedures and basic appellate processes
  • Laws pertaining to personal injury
  • The ability to analyze and draft contracts
  • And more

Paralegal curriculum topics include:

  • Paralegal Studies Essentials
  • Contract Law for Paralegals
  • Tort Law for Paralegals
  • California Procedures for Paralegals

Contact Information

  • Address: One Capitol Mall, 1 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814
  • Phone: (530) 757-8777
  • Website: https://cpe.ucdavis.edu


About the School

Campus, formerly known as MTI College, is a community-based institution that offers respected vocational training in the areas of healthcare, law, information technology, business, cosmetology, and barbering.

Campus is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Courses Offered

An Online Paralegal Degree Program is available.

This program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to enter a successful paralegal career.

The program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Graduates are ready for employment as paralegals in both the private and public sectors.

They learn the skills needed when performing substantive and procedural behind-the-scenes legal work for legal departments and law firms.

Those who have previously completed an associate or baccalaureate degree or have completed 54 approved quarter units in general education from an accredited institution begin their Online Paralegal Degree Program in year two.

Contact Information

7Liberty University

About the School

Liberty University is an accredited Christian college with a 7,000-acre campus.

The university is located in Lynchburg, Virginia but many programs are available in an online format.

A variety of programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels and are taught from a Christian perspective.

The programs are available fully online and students can complete the coursework while keeping a job and remaining active in their community.

Students can transfer up to 75% of the degree total.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Courses Offered

The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program available at Liberty University provides students with the experience and practical skills that can be marketed while they pursue a Bachelor’s degree.

The program prepares students with a foundational knowledge of criminal law and procedures, writing depositions, and real estate transactions, and in-demand skills such as performing title searches.

The program includes 60 credit hours and can be completed in one and a half years, on average.

Contact Information

8Rasmussen University

About the School

Another online Paralegal program is available at Rasmussen University.

The university provides more than 50 programs and multiple start dates a year.

Training programs are available for more than 120 years.

Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Classes are available at 22 locations and online.

Courses Offered

The following justice studies programs are included in the university’s catalog.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Paralegal

The Paralegal program prepares students for careers as an integral part of the legal system.

The online paralegal program teaches students about the legal system and the importance of legal ethics.

Students learn from practicing judges, attorneys, and paralegals.

The program leads to a Paralegal Associate’s degree in as few as 18 months.

Those who already have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree can graduate with a Paralegal Certificate online in as few as eight months.

The curriculum includes courses such as:

  • Introduction to Law and the Legal System
  • Introduction to Legal Research
  • Paralegal Capstone
  • Legal Ethics
  • Law Office Management
  • Family Law
  • And more

Contact Information

9Arizona State University

About the School

Arizona State University helps students earn a degree from anywhere in the world, on their own schedule.

More than 300 online degrees and certificates are available at the university.

Courses Offered

The following law, criminal justice, and public policy degrees are available:

  • Tourism and Recreation Management
  • Justice Studies
  • Business- Law
  • Political Science
  • Sports Law and Business
  • Social Work
  • Legal Studies
  • And more

The Master of Legal Studies available at Arizona State University is an advanced degree designed for students who are interested in understanding law, but not practicing it.

The program helps students build a foundation in U.S. law, before choosing electives that support their career goals.

Ten classes are available in total.

The program includes 30 credit hours in total.

Students take courses on:

  • US Law and Legal Analysis
  • Administrative Agencies and Regulations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Fundamentals of Contract Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Property
  • And more

Contact Information

10American University- Washington College of Law

Online law-related programs are also available at American University- Washington College of Law.

About the School

American University- Washington College of Law provides an online Master of Legal Studies program that uses a rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum.

Six in-depth specializations are available to help students meet their career goals: general MLS, business, healthcare compliance, technology, cybersecurity, or U.S. legislation.

The program allows students to specialize by choosing an MLS track that meets students’ nonlawyer professional interests and aspirations.

Those who choose the business, health care compliance, technology, cybersecurity, or U.S. legislation specialization track, can earn a certificate in addition to their MLS degree.

Full-time students can complete their degree in only 12 months.

Contact Information

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA360$56,030$26.94$90,160$34,350
Chico, CA200$47,790$22.98$61,150$38,580
El Centro, CA50$60,060$28.88$95,700$37,560
Fresno, CA750$60,340$29.01$91,720$35,780
Hanford-Corcoran, CA40$56,950$27.38$78,130$40,390
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA16,530$75,850$36.46$105,670$48,460
Madera, CA40- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
Merced, CA60$53,780$25.86$74,520$38,960
Modesto, CA240$62,910$30.25$90,060$45,910
Napa, CA70$69,640$33.48$103,060$47,910
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA660$68,090$32.74$90,080$49,180
Redding, CA110$58,460$28.11$79,500$38,510
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA1,280$67,030$32.23$98,080$46,480
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA2,080$71,200$34.23$98,590$47,900
Salinas, CA270$63,400$30.48$92,160$46,390
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA4,110$71,420$34.34$100,700$50,040
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA6,330$88,270$42.44$129,900$51,400
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,770$96,460$46.37$140,520$62,600
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA210$58,290$28.02$79,560$35,170
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA80$72,360$34.79$105,020$43,570
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA270$63,060$30.32$91,340$40,540
Santa Rosa, CA360$62,450$30.03$95,170$37,790
Stockton-Lodi, CA330$59,280$28.5$80,770$36,460
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA90$67,570$32.49$92,160$43,090
Visalia-Porterville, CA80$58,640$28.19$71,340$37,440
Yuba City, CA30$61,430$29.54$76,170$40,160
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, OCC Code 23-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

If you want to become ready for employment as a Paralegal, there are plenty of schools that provide specialized training programs.

Classes are available online and in person so students can complete the coursework while keeping a full-time job.

Now that you have read our selection of the best Paralegal schools available to California residents, the next step is to continue the research and choose the program that best meets your needs.