There are certain laws relating to California paralegals worth knowing about.
According to the California Business and Professions Code, a paralegal is defined as...
being someone who holds themselves out to be a paralegal.
This person is qualified via training, work experience or education and is employed by or contracts with...
- a corporation,
- a governmental agency,
- a law firm,
- an attorney or other business.
Under this code, a paralegal performs significant legal work. All of this is done under the supervision and direction of an active member of the California Bar Association.
American Association For Paralegal Education
The American Association For Paralegal Education states that ...
California paralegals perform a great deal of procedural work as they are authorized by law to do so.
This work -- in the absence of a qualified paralegal -- would be conducted by an attorney. Paralegals need considerable knowledge of the law which they obtain through work experience and/or education.
Business and Professions Code
Additionally, a paralegal in California, under the Business and Professions code, needs a certificate of completion from an ABA approved paralegal program.
Once you've successfully completed 24 semester's worth of units in a law related course from an accredited school you're good to go.
A baccalaureate degree or further advanced degree with one year of law related experience will benefit you.
So long as you work under the supervision of a licensed attorney for at least three years you can obtain a written declaration stating you're qualified to perform paralegal duties.
Additionally, you can become a California paralegal if you have a high school diploma or a GED, and three years of law related experience under the supervision of a license lawyer.
Continuing Legal Education
Paralegals in California have to certify completion every two years of four hours of continued legal education in legal ethics. These courses must meet certain requirements found in the code, Section 6070.
Each of these two year terms has to be verified to continue to work as a paralegal. Your supervising attorney will generally be the one verifying this, though you'll be responsible for keeping records of your certifications.
California is a great place to find work as a paralegal. The justice system, as well as the vast business ecosystem makes for a wealth of employment opportunities.
Top of Page
Back to Paralegal Definition
California Paralegals Back to Paralegal-Legal-Profession.com