Requirements for completion of the Legal Assistant Certificate include both Legal Specialty Courses and General Education Requirements. However, General Education Requirements may be completed at the same time students are completing their Legal Specialty Courses.
Legal Specialty Course Requirement: 42 units
A unit equals one day of classroom time (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), therefore the student will attend class for 42 Saturdays. Most classes meet for two or three Saturdays; seminars meet for one Saturday. (A unit is equivalent to one-half credit hour. The 42 units of legal specialty courses are equivalent to 21 credit hours of academic study.)
A 12-point grading scale is used in which A+=12 and F=0. The certificate candidate must maintain a minimum 4.00, or C-, in required legal specialty courses and a passing grade in elective legal specialty courses. A candidate who receives a grade of D+ or below in a required legal specialty course must retake the course.
General Education Course Requirement: 40 hours
General education courses must be from an accredited institution of higher education with grades of C- or better. General education means those courses designed to give a student a broadly based liberal arts education. The courses shall be at the college level and provide students with critical reasoning and writing skills. Courses must be in at least three different disciplines, such as social and behavioral science, English composition and literature, foreign language, mathematics, humanities, natural science and the fine arts. Courses specifically designed to develop professional, vocational and technical skills are not considered general education. Examples of courses that are not considered general education include, but are not limited to, physical education, performing arts, accounting, computers, technical writing, business mathematics, keyboarding and business law.
The candidate must demonstrate writing proficiency at the college level by satisfactory completion of a college-level English composition course or acceptable scores on recognized tests that measure writing proficiency.
General education courses must be completed in logical sequence. For example, the candidate should complete English composition courses early in the course of study because writing is essential in paralegal studies.
The general education, writing proficiency and total credit-hour requirements are assumed to have been met if the candidate has completed a baccalaureate or academic associate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.