Course Description

Acquire the basic knowledge needed to begin your career as a paralegal. Designed for the student entering the Paralegal Studies Professional Certificate Program, this course provides an in-depth overview of the legal system with special emphasis on the areas in which the paralegal works. Topics include:

  • Structure and function of the legal system
  • Roles of the attorney, paralegal, and other law office personnel
  • Issues within the paralegal profession
  • Legal ethics
  • Investigation in a law office
  • Introduction to legal research, writing, and analysis
  • Law office administration and economics
  • Career development and planning

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the various components of the legal system
  • Summarize the role of the paralegal within the legal system
  • Recognize and describe current issues of professional responsibility facing a paralegal
  • Characterize the role of an investigator working under the direction of an attorney
  • List and apply the basic steps of performing legal research
  • Integrate the basic components of sound legal writing
  • Apply the concepts of law office administration and economics


Certification Disclosure: In California, an individual may qualify to hold one’s self out as a paralegal in one of several ways including earning a certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §6450(c)(1).) The Paralegal Professional Certificate program offered by UCSB PaCe satisfies the requirements of California Law in this regard.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
10:00AM to 1:00PM
Sep 24, 2022 to Dec 03, 2022
Web-based Instruction
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Web-based Instruction
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (3 units) $515.00
Available for Credit
3 units
Section Notes

Last Day to Enroll: 9/30/22 (Contact PaCE Support if you wish to enroll after this date)

One business day after enrollment but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.

This course meets on Saturdays between 10am and 1pm via Zoom 

A link to the Zoom meeting room and additional course materials will be posted to the course page in Gauchospace two weeks before the class start date

If you have enrolled within 48 hours from the first session, please contact PaCE Support [LINK] to ensure that you are able to access Gauchospace.

Students are required to purchase the following textbook(s) prior to the first class meeting:

Introduction to Paralegal Studies, A Critical Thinking Approach

Seventh edition
ISBN 978-1-5438-0890-2

Please order textbooks from the bookseller of your choice. Be sure to order the correct ISBN and textbook edition.

No refunds after 10/7/2022