With over 27,000 paralegals, California boasts the largest number of working paralegals in the nation according to the Bureau of Legal Statistics’ 2010 report. In Los Angeles, the average yearly pay for paralegals is $59,260. Since 1977, it has worked toward unifying the profession across the state and supporting the increased use of paralegals throughout the legal and business community. CAPA is a NALA affiliate, as are its regional associates. Like Arizona, California regulates “legal document assistants” (LDAs) who prepare court documents for and offer legal information (but not advice) to people choosing to act as their own counsel in legal matters. Some of the larger law firms include: National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), Association for Legal Professionals (NALS), The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations. 2011 average income for paralegals in California: Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff, Tichy & Mathiason. The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) offers advocacy and education on a statewide level as well as support for its regional affiliates. Certificate programs, which offer a certificate of completion for a paralegal studies program but not a degree, must be ABA approved. Find schools and get information on the program that's right for you. Certification recognizes those paralegals that have mastered the national requirement of legal information and thus highly competent in their field. The Commission for Advanced California Paralegal Specialization, Inc. California Business and Professions Code (CBPC 6450) Governing Paralegals, American Bar Association Interpretation of CBPC 6450, CAPA Document to Help Paralegals Ensure Compliance with CBPC 6450, American Bar Association Approved Schools for California, State of California Employment Development Department – Detailed Guide for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, Degrees and Certification to Advance and Specialize, Top Post-Degree Certificate Programs (Post-Associate and Post-Bac), Top Entry-Level, Pre-Degree Paralegal Certificate Programs, Top Associate’s Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies, Top Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies, Paralegal Studies Professors Interview Series, Bachelor's in Legal Support and Services - Paralegal Concentration, Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Degree, Online Paralegal Associate’s and Post-Degree Certificate Programs, Completion of a paralegal certificate program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), Completion of 24 semester units of paralegal education at a state-approved or accredited institution, Completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field combined with one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a three-year California-licensed lawyer or a lawyer working in California’s federal courts. It also works to disseminate information matters of concern to paralegals at the federal, state and local level. Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29,180 were employed in this state in 2015. A tremendous number of paralegals work in California. CAPA offers an annual educational conference each June. Paralegal Job Description in California. All rights reserved. Before becoming a paralegal, you must complete an educational program. California Paralegal Certification Basic Paralegal Certification Requirements. LDAs are required to register with the State of California. Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Certification: A certificate from a program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or a certificate from a regionally accredited institution that had at least 24 credit hours focused on legal courses. Paralegals may voluntarily choose to become California Advanced Specialists. Institutions that award associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies must be accredited or approved by the state. Becoming a paralegal in California requires fulfilling certain requirements related to your education and work experience. California is one of the most exciting states in the country, no matter your chosen profession. Therefore, in 2001, California State Legislature defined the paralegal profession and set minimum qualifications for people wishing to work as paralegals. San Diego is the second most populous city in California. Typically, you would become a certified paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Because of the legislative requirements, aspiring paralegals planning to work in California must be selective about the program that they choose to attend. Certification recognizes those paralegals that have mastered the national requirement of legal information and thus highly competent in their field. (It’s fast and free!). San Diego paralegals will generally have a salary of $58,710. Paralegals have a wide range of responsibilities that attorneys, law offices, and even government agencies rely on every day. They also offer the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education credits that are required by CBPC 6450. In addition to earning a degree or certificate in paralegal studies, paralegals may choose national certification, which is awarded by the national professional paralegal associations. NALA certification can help to improve your career prospects. After you complete one of the four certification requirements—an ABA approved certificate, a certificate with 24 hours of legal coursework, a bachelor’s degree with one year of work experience or a high school diploma and three years of work experience—can begin working as a paralegal in California. Copyright © 2020 Paralegal-Edu.Org. CAPA affiliates include: the Central Coast Paralegal Association, the Los Angeles Paralegal Association, the Fresno Paralegal Association, the Kern County Paralegal Association, the Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County, the Redwood Empire Association of Paralegals, the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association, the San Diego Paralegal Association, the San Francisco Paralegal Association, the Santa Barbara Paralegal Association, the Sequoia Paralegal Association, the Orange County Paralegal Association, the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals, and the Ventura County Paralegal Association. They work to increase the role of paralegals in California’s legal community and to support paralegals who wish to attain advanced standing in that community. According to the California Employment Development Department, from 2008 to 2018 it is expected that jobs for paralegals and legal assistants in California will increase by more than 17 percent. Law firms are the largest employers of paralegals. Pursuing an education in paralegal studies is vital to your success as a paralegal or legal assistant. Prior to 2001, some LDAs used the term “paralegal” to describe their work even though they were not trained as paralegals nor were they supervised by a lawyer. With California’s high population density, law firms are abundant throughout the state in medium to large metro-areas. For those employed in San Francisco, the salary for a paralegal is $72,310. San Francisco is that state’s third largest with 837,442 residents. 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