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
6:00PM to 9:00PM
Sep 26, 2024 to Dec 05, 2024
Web-based Instruction
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Web-based Instruction
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (3 units) $575.00
Available for Credit
3 units
Section Notes

Steps to Enroll

How to Access Your Online Course on Canvas

Late Registrations Notice: 

Self-enrollment will be available until 11:59 PM PT of the second business day after the 1st class session (i.e. If the first class starts on Thursday, self-enrollment is open until the following Monday at 11:59 pm).  If you wish to enroll after that time, please contact PaCE Support at help@professional.ucsb.edu

Required Textbook(s):
Students are required to purchase the textbook(s) assigned by the instructor. The instructor will provide details to the class prior to the course start date.

No refunds after 10/13/24
A minimum $40 non-refundable administrative fee per course is charged for all drops. See the full Drop Policy here.