Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

This program is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Career Development (ICD). The curriculum and instructors are provided by ICD and vetted by the UC Davis School of Law.

Admission Criteria

In order to enroll in this program, we recommend you hold either a high school diploma, GED or an advanced degree. In addition, participants need both word processing and basic Internet skills. 

About The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

The paralegal profession continues to be one of the fastest growing career opportunities in the country. A recent survey conducted by ALM Research, a leading source of business intelligence for legal professionals, also indicates compensation for paralegals is rising steadily above the cost of living. Acquire the knowledge you need to enter the paralegal profession through the acclaimed Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, offered online every quarter. Program highlights include:

  • Instructors who are licensed attorneys
  • Individual access to LexisNexis and Westlaw online legal research
  • Lecture notes, exercises, diagrams, charts, forms, templates, writing and research labs, and mock exams (exams must be taken in English) accessed through the ParalegalSpace website
  • The UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education online Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is in compliance with California Business & Professions Code 6450 through 6456 regulatory standards for paralegal education

This dynamic certificate program provides you with the skills you need to enter this exciting profession.

Why choose this program over other paralegal programs?

The expertise of its instruction, provided by members of the bar association, result is an unparalleled and dynamic educational experience. According to the 2020 Salary Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), paralegals who obtained their training from paralegal certificate programs are among the highest paid.

Who should enroll?

  • Legal staff who wish to enhance or advance their careers by earning a professional credential
  • Career changers looking for a professional career with strong compensation
  • Those involved in legal matters who want to gain a clearer understanding of legal processes
  • Those considering law school (this program gives you a distinct advantage)

Comprehensive Program

Excellent resource materials--including, texts, workbooks and interactive study support site. Access to a website with additional resources only for program participants, including lecture notes, mock exams, templates and forms, online citation assistance, online court rules, textbook summary and quizzes, and practice exercise questions. Please feel free to test drive our online support materials and experience the UC Davis Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. To visit the test drive site, please go to

Statement Regarding California Regulatory Requirements

The UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education online and classroom Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is in compliance with California Business & Professions Code 6450 through 6456. The California regulations require that a paralegal program offer either 24 semester units or an equivalent amount of hours related to law. This course meets or exceeds the regulatory standard of 360 educational hours. In addition, students earn up to 21 quarter units of academic credit for the program. Students should expect to devote at least 360 hours of academic work.

Program Outline

Introduction: Paralegal Studies Certificate Program Essentials

Explore legal ethics, legal terminology, legal research and writing, pleading preparation, utilization of forms and form books, legal analysis, client correspondence, interviewing, investigation, citation forms, the specifics of evidence, trial preparation and how to manage your clients.

Advanced Topics

Build upon the introductory portion with more in-depth study of those topics as well as preparation of discovery documents, e-discovery, motions, notices, legal technology, employment strategies, and online legal research with both LexisNexis and Westlaw.

California Procedures for Paralegals

Explore litigation procedures in the state courts of California, from both an academic, as well as a law practitioner's point of view. Receive step-by-step instruction on how to:

  • Prepare summons and complaints
  • Obtain default judgment
  • Prepare answers and cross Complaints
  • Evaluate and draft various pretrial motions and discovery requests
  • Prepare cases for trial and trial related documents and motions
  • Enforce a judgment after trial

In addition, learn the California court system and basic appellate processes, how to interpret and apply California Code of Civil Procedure, California Rules of Court, as well as various local court rules and legal forms.

Tort Law for Paralegals

Gain an understanding of laws pertaining to personal injury, product liability and malpractice. Examine the intentional torts of battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of mental distress, trespass to chattel, trespass to property and conversion. Analyze negligence, breach of duty, causation and damages, liability issues and defenses, and malpractice.

Contract Law for Paralegals

Contracts are involved in virtually every field of law. Focus on the specialized skills of contract drafting, analysis and litigation. Examine several kinds of contracts and draft a contract as a part of your course requirements. Learn about remedies for non-performance (i.e., breach of contract) and third party contracts.

Program Designers

Alyssa Navallo and Daniel Barber are paralegals and nationally-recognized educators who have designed, developed courses and consulted for paralegal programs at some of the most highly respected universities in the United States, including Duke University, DePaul University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Emory University, Rice University, the University of Miami, the University of Tennessee, Xavier University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Online class

Section Notes

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program is offered each quarter. Tuition is due in full at time of enrollment.

Students who enroll in this course will have six months to complete the program from the course start date. This is a self-paced course and requires strong time-management skills. Students are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Materials, which are approximately $800, are not included in the cost of tuition.

Please contact with any questions about the Paralegal Studies Program.

If you anticipate needing any Disability Accommodations, please contact our Student Services representative PRIOR to enrolling in this course. The accommodations must be organized before starting the program. Please contact Tina Ehrke at (530) 757-8727 if you would like to register for a course and you have disability-related needs or concerns.

Enrollment Policies

Drop requests (withdraw with a refund) will be approved, less a $30 processing fee, if the request is received by the Refund Deadline: November 1, 2024. Refunds and/or enrollment transfers will not be approved after this date

Requests to withdraw must be received in writing via email before your allotted time has expired. Send an email to requesting a withdrawal. You will need to include your name, the course title and the course section number. Following the proper withdrawal procedure will ensure an appropriate grade assignment.

Technical Requirements

To ensure your success in this online course, please review our technical requirements page at online learning.

Section Course Materials

Essential Skills for Paralegals

This bundle is required for all students enrolled in the complete Paralegal Studies Program. IMPORTANT: Students enrolled in the Paralegal Studies Program are required to purchase the Essential Skills for Paralegals Bundle from this site (linked below) because it includes the fee for those books as well as online legal research and study support fees. Do not purchase the Essential Skills for Paralegals textbooks from resale sites.
Daniel R. Barber and Alyssa Navallo-Herman

Basic Contract Law for Paralegals

Jeffrey Helewitz

Personal Injury and the Law of Torts for Paralegals

Emily Lynch Morifsette


Info Session Discount

Attendees of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Information Sessions may be eligible for $100 discount on a class by entering the Coupon Code provided at the Information Session.  Contact UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Student Services office, at (800) 752-0881, if you have questions about this discount.

SVPA Member Discount

Members can receive a 10% discount on the course fee by entering the Coupon Code.  If you don't have your association discount code contact UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education at (800) 752-0881.