The paralegal industry has changed significantly since the 1970s when being a legal assistant first emerged as a bona fide career. Client demands, economic necessity and explosive growth have made paralegals a popular career choice, and there never has been a better time to be a paralegal.
Cerro Coso Community College is offering a complete line-up of paralegal courses online this fall.
PARA C101 - Introduction to Paralegal Studies. Professor Dawn Ward will instruct the class, an introduction to the field a paralegal studies, and examines the role of the paralegal in the legal profession. Students complete practical exercises designed to acquaint them with the varied procedures carried out by paralegals in a typical law practice. Research and case analysis are used to familiarize students with the various types of law and legal documents. This class is a great place to start if you are considering a career as a paralegal.
PARA C223 – Legal Research and Writing. It is also taught by Ward will provide students with the knowledge and tools to properly complete legal research. Students learn to use correct citation form and complete several research assignments. There is an emphasis on researching federal and state law using both internet sources and electronic databases.
Other paralegal courses being offered by the college online include: PARA C140- Civil Litigations and Procedure II, PARA C210 - California and Federal Civil Procedure Legal Forms, PARA C240 - Criminal Law and Procedure, and PARA C260 - Personal Injury and Tort Litigation.
Vital in the practice of law, a paralegal career can be just as fulfilling and significant as any other law career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median annual wage for paralegals was $51,740. Despite economic ups and downs, statistics show chances of the paralegal salary exceeding expectations. What's even better are bonuses and overtime pay paralegals earn for all their hard work.
For students aspiring to work as professional paralegals or legal assistants, Cerro Coso’s Paralegal Studies Certificate program prepares graduates for the workplace as well as for national examinations in the field. The focus is on investigation methodologies, data analysis, legal document preparation and pretrial materials.
If you are interested in a career as a paralegal or legal assistant who provides support to lawyers, Cerro Coso’s program was ranked #6 in the country by Accredited Schools Online in 2018. Contact the college Counseling Department at 760-384-6219 today. More information available at www.cerrocoso.edu.
Natalie Dorrell is the director of public relations and institutional advancement for Cerro Coso Community College.