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

Not offered this quarter. Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.