About the Program

Certificate and Degree Programs

De Anza College offers both an advanced certificate of achievement and an associate degree in Paralegal Studies.

Paralegal Studies iconThe De Anza College Paralegal Studies Program was among the first paralegal studies programs to be initially approved by the State of California in 1984. Since then the program has continually provided a quality educational course of study that incorporates basic legal instruction along with practical training that graduates will need to successfully enter the work force. Our graduates are employed in private law offices, public agencies and corporate law offices.

The De Anza College Paralegal Studies Program received approval from the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1993 and was the first community college paralegal program to be so approved in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the initial approval, the program has undergone normal re-approvals from the ABA on three separate occasions.

De Anza College offers both a certificate and a degree program to help individuals prepare for employment as paralegals. These programs include courses in various types of law, relevant paralegal topics, legal writing and research, and civil litigation procedure. Both programs satisfy the educational requirements of California law.

Note: Paralegal graduates cannot give legal advice, appear in court, or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law. The practice of law by non-attorneys is strictly prohibited by law.

Pathway to Paralegal Degree and Certificate

The information in these charts can help you plan which courses to take as you work toward your degree and certificate in Paralegal Studies. The Master Class Schedule/Sequencing Matrix contains course offerings by quarter as well as the recommended order for taking classes. If you have any questions, please see your counselor.

Paralegal Career Fair

Our annual career fair is an opportunity for students in the Paralegal Studies program to meet representatives from a number of Bay Area law offices and other organizations, including private law firms, public agencies, professional associations and recruitment agencies.

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Recent Career Fair Participants

  • Bergeson LLP
  • Element Professional Staffing
  • Kilpatrick Townsend LLP
  • Legal Ease
  • Lincoln Law School
  • Morrison Forester LLP
  • Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County
  • Robert Half Legal
  • San José City Attorney
  • Santa Clara County Counsel
  • Santa Clara County Legal Professionals Association
  • Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender
  • Sidley Austin LLP

Mission Statement: 

Our students will be able to

  • Demonstrate effective legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform substantive legal work under the direction of an attorney
  • Demonstrate appropriate paralegal skill development and professionalism through practical experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical responsibilities in the paralegal profession
  • Articulate the paralegal's role in the delivery of legal services to the public
  • Write clearly and think analytically
  • Read, analyze, and synthesize complex information in an organized and logical manner
  • Utilize technology necessary to meet employer needs
  • Manage multiple projects and tasks
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