Paralegal Certificate - Evening Program

Earn an ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate in under One Year

Graduates of the ABA-approved Paralegal Program are well prepared to assist in the effective delivery of legal services in both the private and public sectors of our society. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Paralegals are trained members of a legal team who work under the supervision of attorneys. A team concept approach to legal matters ensures professional representation of clients and reduces the cost of legal services. Through classroom lectures, readings, and practical assignments, students become familiar with the role of the paralegal in the legal environment.

Learner Outcomes

  • Earn an ABA approved paralegal certificate
  • Develop professional competence through a focus on practical skills
  • Become familiar with basic legal concepts and terminology, the elements of legal research, court structure, technology used in the legal environment, and legal ethics
  • Receive instruction in substantive areas of law
  • Become familiar with the role of the paralegal in a legal environment

Certificate Requirements

Available to both graduates and undergraduates, the USD Paralegal Certificate - Evening Program is ideal for candidates who are working full time and are seeking a career change or advancement. Students in the evening program will complete 24 units in just under one year (three terms). Self-paced options are also available.

Admission Requirements

Previous Education -- Applicants for the evening certificate program must possess a baccalaureate degree or an associate of arts or science degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. The program also admits a limited number of applicants to the evening program who have completed some college credits and/or have documented business or legal work experience.

English Proficiency/Citizenship -- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (recommended minimum 92) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (recommended minimum 7.0) is mandatory for all applicants educated outside the United States. The test can be waived if English is your primary language or you have obtained a bachelor degree from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia. Other exceptions can be made on a case by case basis. Applicants must be United States citizens or show proof of permanent residency. The program does not issue I-20 forms. Any international applicant must provide proof of status.

Core Courses

Minimum required: 4 courses

  • PLST 500: Introduction to Law
  • PLST 505: Legal Research and Writing
  • PLST 510: Computers in the Legal Field
  • PLST 551: Civil Litigation

Elective Courses

Minimum required: 4 courses

  • PLST 521: Introduction to Business Entities
  • PLST 524: Administrative Law
  • PLST 525: Contracts
  • PLST 526: Intellectual Property
  • PLST 527: Employment/Labor Law
  • PLST 553: Estates, Wills and Trusts
  • PLST 554: Criminal Law
  • PLST 555: Family Law
  • PLST 556: Real Estate
  • PLST 598: Internship

Upcoming Program Dates

 Term Evening (3 terms)
Fall 2019 Sept 10, 2019 - Aug 20, 2020
Spring 2020 Jan 14 - Dec 10, 2020
Summer 2020 May 26, 2020 - May 13, 2021

Upcoming Term Dates

Fall 2019: Sept 10 - Dec 12, 2019
Spring 2020: Jan 14 - May 14, 2020
Summer 2020: May 26 - August 20, 2020

Dates subject to change.

Schedule and Fees

Paralegal Program tuition is $250 per semester unit. The program consists of 24 total units (12 core and 12 elective). View a course-by-course cost breakdown.

Info Sessions and Graduate Panels

Visit our Request Info page for upcoming event dates or to speak with an adviser.