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Legal Studies

Overview

The Legal Studies program at American River College is approved by the American Bar Association. ARC’s Legal Studies program has been preparing students for entry-level positions in this profession for over 30 years.

California Business & Professions Code (B & P Code) section 6450 defines a “paralegal” as a person qualified by education, training, or work experience, who either contracts with or is employed by an attorney, law firm, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, and who performs substantial legal work under the direction and supervision of an active member of the State Bar of California or an attorney practicing law in the federal courts.

Tasks performed by a paralegal include, but are not limited to, case planning, development, and management; legal research; interviewing clients; fact gathering and retrieving information; drafting and analyzing legal documents; collecting, compiling, and utilizing technical information to make an independent decision and recommendation to the supervising attorney; and representing clients before a state or federal administrative agency if that representation is permitted by statute, court rule, or administrative rule or regulation.

Paralegals do not provide legal advice. It is unlawful for anyone not currently licensed to practice law in California to give legal advice.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

  • A.A. in Paralegal Studies
  • Law Office Clerical Assistant Certificate
  • Paralegal Studies Certificate