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Certificate in

Paralegal Studies


Build your credentials with a flexible, highly regarded program that empowers you with the educational foundation necessary for a successful career as a paralegal.

 
 

ABA-Approved Education that Moves You Forward

Distinguish yourself by earning your certificate from one of the first American Bar Association (ABA) approved programs in the East Bay and increase your earning potential by opening the doors to some of the most prestigious law firms in the San Francisco Bay area. Since its inception in 1980, the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program has earned high marks and qualified aspiring paralegals like you for positions at some of the most sought after practices.


American Bar Association (ABA) Approved

Member, American Association for Paralegal Education

Member, National Association of Legal Assistants

Member, San Francisco Paralegal Association

Approved California State Bar Provider of MCLE courses (MCLE provider #10897)



An ABA approved program that opens doors.

Gain the knowledge and training you’ll need to excel as a paralegal

Learn how to investigate and prepare cases for trial, draft legal documents, interview clients, and conduct legal research expertly while receiving hands-on instruction and practical assignments from legal experts and practicing attorneys.


Without a doubt the paralegal program helped my career.  It made the difference in landing my first paralegal job.  Being certificated increased my value to the firm, and substantially increased my salary.



Emil ForsbladClass of 2013

Personalized Education

At Cal State East Bay, you’ll experience maximum convenience and flexibility. Choose from a variety of course times and campus locations, and even take courses online.  You'll enjoy a personal, student-centered learning experience and benefit from the small class sizes, personal attention from faculty and staff, career assistance, and internship opportunities only East Bay has to offer you.

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Charles Jackson, a social justice advocate and former refugee from Liberia, embarks on a new phase in his life helping other African immigrants navigate complicated US residency laws.


Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, except as directed by an attorney, nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client in court.


FInd out more about the career options that await you. »

Stand Out in a Time of Growing Demand

Paralegals and legal assistants are found in all types of organizations. As a graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal program, you will have the experience and skills needed to succeed in the field, whether in law offices, corporations, government agencies, or other organizations.


As a paralegal, you will be involved in sophisticated legal work and aid in a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, drafting documents, and preparing for hearings, trials and corporate meetings.

Occupational Trends


Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $46,990 in 2012 and the top 10 percent earned more than $75,410.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


Paralegals and legal assistants held about 277,000 jobs in 2012.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


In 2013, California held the highest employment level for Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor




Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, except as directed by an attorney, nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client in court.


How can a certificate in paralegal studies impact your career? Find out directly from CSUEB graduates. »

A Reputation that Will Stand by You

Held in high regard by legal professionals, Cal State East Bay graduates have become accomplished paralegals at some of the most prestigious law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.


In fact, according to a survey of recent graduates, CSUEB ’s Paralegal Studies Certificate produces a 75% employment rate in the legal field for its graduates. Former students consistently reported finding work in the legal field, mainly as paralegals, within just six months of graduating the program.

Past graduates have secured legal jobs with organizations including the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office, Pixar Animation Studios, Intuit Inc., and Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean LLP.


Get Ahead in Your Career

As a student in the program, you will have access to career assistance in several ways:

Career Counseling

Take advantage of an experienced paralegal career counselor and quarterly career workshops, which assist you with resume writing and developing your interview skills.

Exclusive Jobs

Browse unique paralegal job opportunities available exclusively to students and graduates of the East Bay Paralegal Studies Program, which provides employment opportunities in settings from law firms to federal courts.

Legal Association Membership

Foster relationships with local legal associations, including a complimentary student membership to the San Francisco Paralegal Association.


And if you choose to continue your education as a legal professional, graduating from the Cal State East Bay Paralegal Studies Certificate Program qualifies you for a 50% discount when taking additional paralegal courses.


Program Objectives

As a graduate of the program, you will acquire:

The educational foundation necessary for a successful career working in a variety of organizations as a paralegal.


The educational requirements for paralegals set forth by the State of California Business and Professions Code section 6450 et seq.


An understanding of the structure of the state and federal court systems.


Sharpened skills in problem solving, analytical thinking, and professional legal research and writing.


An understanding of civil lawsuits and the skills and confidence necessary to assist in the discovery and preparation of related legal documents.


Assistance in securing employment in the paralegal field and fostering involvement in paralegal professional associations.


The knowledge and confidence necessary to meet the highest professional and ethical standards.


Thanks to this program and its professors, I understand how to draft memoranda and briefs professionally, be efficient on legal research, and know how best to serve a client.

Jason PfisterClass of 2014


My Paralegal certificate and knowledge gave me a great advantage looking for a job in the legal field. The training I received through the program allowed me to jump right into my job with little training from my employer.

Daisy Llanos Class of 2014


Everything I learned in my classes has helped me be a functional paralegal in my new firm. I was stuck at a dead-end retail job before completing the program at East Bay and now my quality of life has improved exponentially. Not only am I already making more money than I was, but there are endless opportunities for advancement within my position.

Stephanie SpearmanClass of 2013


Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, except as directed by an attorney, nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client in court.


Explore job opportunities available exclusively to CSUEB Paralegal graduates. »

Opportunities Available Exclusively To You

Cal State East Bay is committed to helping you find the perfect job to fit your personal and professional needs. That’s why this job board was created exclusively for current students and graduates of the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program.

Please view the job listings below. For specific application information for these positions, please contact Janet Kelly with the reference number for the job.

Reference NumberJob TitleJob Location
03-09-15AParalegalSan Francisco, CA
03-10-15ALegal AssistantPleasant Hill, CA
03-13-15ACase ManagerSan Francisco, CA
03-13-15BClaims Administrative Assistant San Francisco, CA
03-17-15AParalegalSanta Clara County
03-18-15AParalegal San Francisco, CA
03-26-15AParalegalSan Francisco, CA

Certificate Requirements

To earn your Certificate in Paralegal Studies, simply complete 11 courses:

  • Nine required courses
  • One elective course
  • Internship

You must complete the program within three calendar years from your initial start date. A "C" grade or above is required for a class to count towards your certificate.

If you have no previous legal experience, you must attend the Introduction to Paralegalism Seminar as a prerequisite for Introduction to Law, which can be taken in your initial quarter.

The ABA requires students to demonstrate writing proficiency at the college level. To comply with this requirement, you will need to achieve an acceptable score on the University's Writing Skills Test. This requirement is waived if you have a Bachelor's degree or have otherwise met the UWSR (University Writing Skills Requirement).

Program Format

Courses are delivered in a variety of formats, making them an easy fit to your busy lifestyle. Evening courses are available year-round at the Hayward and Concord campuses, and in the morning at the Oakland Center downtown. You can also take courses online.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, pursuant to ABA requirements, does not offer a fully online program. You must complete at least 15 units (4 courses) through traditional classroom instruction in order to complete the program and receive your certificate. Please note: This does not include EXSP 8220 Introduction to Paralegalism.

Textbooks

The majority of courses do have required textbooks. For your purchasing convenience, you can view and download the complete list of textbooks at any time.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite Courses
Units
Fall
Winter
Spring
Summer
EXSP 8220: Introduction to Paralegalism (for students with no previous legal experience)
0.6 CEUs
X
X

Required Courses

Required Courses
Units
Fall
Winter
Spring
Summer
*ENGL 7017: Legal Research & Writing I (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
ENGL 7018: Legal Research & Writing II
4
X
X
*POSC 7011: Introduction to Law (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
*POSC 7012: Litigation I (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
*POSC 7013: Litigation II (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
POSC 7022: Personal Injury and Tort Litigation
4
X
X
*POSC 7023: Contract Law (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
*POSC 7040: Computer Applications for Paralegals† (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
*POSC 7042: Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
X
X
POSC 7020: Paralegal Internship
3
X
X
X
X

*Course is available online and in-class.

†Students who demonstrate proficiency in all of the legal software that is taught in this class may, with the program director's consent, substitute another course from the electives offered.

Elective Courses

Elective courses
Units
Fall
Winter
Spring
Summer
POSC 7004: Corporate Law
4
X
POSC 7009: Family Law
4
X
POSC 7021: Criminal Law
4
X
POSC 7027: Wills & Trusts
4
X
POSC 7029: Immigration Law
4
X
POSC 7031: Intellectual Property
4
X
POSC 7033: Employment Law
4
X
POSC 7037: Evidence for Paralegals
4
X
*POSC 7056: E-Discovery, Advanced Legal Research & Motion Writing (Available online & in-class)
4
X
X
POSC 7060: Patent Law
4
X

Please note: the list of elective courses above is tentative and subject to change.

Career Workshop

Career Workshop
Units
Fall
Winter
Spring
Summer
EXSP 8459: Career Seminar for Paralegals
0.4 CEUs
X
X
X
X

Course Sequence

Courses with two parts must be taken in sequence. Please note any prerequisites.

First Quarter (Fall/Spring)
EXSP 8220: Introduction to Paralegalism (This class is required only if you have no experience working in the legal field)
POSC 7011: Introduction to Law
ENGL 7017: Legal Research and Writing I
Second Quarter (Winter/Summer)
ENGL 7018: Legal Research and Writing II
POSC 7012: Litigation I
Third Quarter (Spring/Fall)
POSC 7013: Litigation II
POSC 7023: Contract Law
Fourth Quarter (Summer/Winter)
POSC 7022: Personal Injury and Tort Litigation
POSC 7040: Computer Applications for Paralegals
Fifth Quarter (Fall/Spring)
POSC 7042: Paralegal Ethics & Professional Responsibility**
An Elective

**POSC 7042 Paralegal Ethics & Professional Responsibility may be taken at any time after completion of ENGL 7017 Legal Research & Writing I

Credit Transfer

It is possible to transfer credit for two paralegal program classes from other ABA-approved Paralegal Programs. Please note that transferred courses must have been completed within the past five years.


Paralegals cannot provide legal advice, except as directed by an attorney, nor can they establish a client/business relationship or represent a client in court.


Who will you be learning from? Meet your professors. »

Upcoming Information Sessions

Thurs., Jan. 29, 2015

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Hayward Campus, VBT 137

RSVP

Thurs., Feb. 5, 2015

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Concord Campus, LB 149

RSVP

Thurs., Feb. 12, 2015

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Oakland Center

RSVP

Thurs., Feb. 12, 2015

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Oakland Center

RSVP

Featured Faculty

Ernest Aglipay

Computer applications is more than just a class, you will learn a valuable skill set that will give you an edge in the legal environment.

Ernie Aglipay designs his course to give CSUEB graduates an edge in the workplace.  His goal is to equip each student with the necessary skill set to succeed in any paralegal setting.  Aglipay brings a unique perspective to the Paralegal Studies Program with his law degree and paralegal work experience.  He was the lead trial paralegal for the Apple v. Samsung case (aka “Patent Trial of the Century”) that received world-wide press.  He received his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, and BS from the University of Southern California.

Sharlene Alim

It is tremendously rewarding to be part of life-changing, career-related decisions of others and lead those individuals to discover and choose the professional path which best suits their experiences and interests.

As the principal Paralegal Career Counselor, Sharlene Mae Alim provides career counseling services for prospective and current students and graduates of the Paralegal Studies Program. Alim conducts career seminars which cover job search strategies, drafting cover letters and resumes, networking and interviewing skills, and legal trends. Legal industry experience since 1998 coupled with her genuine concern and determination to help others succeed in their own profession qualifies Alim to provide practical as well as sound career advice. Alim works full-time as a paralegal at Ross Stores, Inc. She is also a Notary Public and a member of the San Francisco Paralegal Association (2006-present)/Real Estate Practice Section Chair (2008-2011).

Alim earned a BA in Psychology and a Paralegal Certificate from San Francisco State University. 

Jeffrey Allen

I have always enjoyed teaching and have taught my entire adult life.  I use what I like to call a “Modified Socratic Method” of teaching to combine lecture and discussion to engage my students in the process and help them better understand the subject matter as a result of their own analysis.

Jeffrey Allen tries to provide his students with insight into the daily work of a paralegal and an attorney and the practical experience of doing the type of work for class credit that they will do as working paralegals. He is gratified that many of his students have returned to tell him how much more they appreciate his courses in retrospect  and after they get jobs as paralegals.

Allen has practiced law since 1973, focusing on real estate and business transactions and litigation.  He has a Martindale AV rating, is listed in numerous Who’s Who publications, and listed as a Northern California “Superlawyer”.  He is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court, and all US District Courts located in California.  He is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He currently teaches Litigation and Introduction to law in CSUEB’s Paralegal Studies Program and frequent presents at continuing legal education programs.

Allen has co-authored two books:“The iPad For Lawyers” and “Litigation Solutions For Today’s Attorney,” and numerous articles.  He serves as editor in chief of the GPSolo eReport and GPSolo Magazine and on the editorial boards of Experience Magazine and the ABA Journal.  He served as ABA adviser to the Uniform Law Commission’s drafting committee for eDiscovery Rules and as an ABA Division Advisor to the drafting committee for the appointment and powers of receivers."

William Bart

My goal is to make the learning experience both effective and enjoyable for them.  I try to involve the students in the learning process, and not just teach ‘at’ them.

William L. Bart has been an instructor in the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at Cal State East Bay for 28 years. . He has been an active member of the State Bar of California since 1977. Bart regularly teaches “Introduction to Law”, a comprehensive introductory survey course which all paralegal students take at the beginning of the course curriculum and which, in 1986, he originally helped to design. He also regularly teaches “Personal Injury and Tort Litigation”, which is also part of the required course curriculum, and is taken by the students towards the conclusion of the program. In addition, Bart has taught courses in contracts, criminal law, and legal research and writing.

Bart graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1974 and received his undergraduate degree, a BS in Conservation of Natural Resources. He then attended U.C. Davis, School of Law (King Hall) from 1974 through 1977 and graduated with a J.D. from U.C. Davis, School of Law in 1977. Over the years, Bart’s areas of legal practice have included plaintiff personal injury, family law, criminal defense, and landlord-tenant. However, in more recent years his primary area of practice has involved workers’ compensation. He continues to practice in this particular field and finds it to be both challenging and rewarding.

Over his many years of teaching paralegal students in this program, Bart has found his paralegal students to be highly motivated, very intelligent, and extremely hard-working as they have gone through the program.

Jacob Blea

It is not the function of the teacher to cover the material, it is their duty to uncover it.

The Honorable Jacob Blea III is a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County.  He is a former Presiding Judge of Family Law and is currently the Supervising Judge of the Pleasanton Court. Judge Blea maintained an extensive Civil Litigation, Family Law, and general law practice before his appointment to the bench in 1998.

Judge Blea is also a past president of the Alameda County Bar Association. Judge Blea has been a member of CSUEB’s Paralegal Studies faculty since 1986 teaching Civil Litigation, Introduction to Law, and Family Law. He is a graduate of CSUEB, where he also received his teaching credential He received his JD from UC Berkeley School of Law-Boalt Hall.

Elizabeth Cavanaugh

During the course I use a lot of real examples and scenarios in my classes.  I also provide a number of references the students can consult if they encounter an ethical issue at work.

Betty Cavanaugh is a senior freelance paralegal who has taught in the Paralegal Studies Program since 2011.  She teaches Legal Ethics online and at the Concord and Oakland campuses. Cavanaugh provides resume review and career counseling services to students and graduates of the CSUEB Paralegal Studies Program.  She is a member of the program’s advisory board.

Cavanaugh received her bachelor's degree from the California University of Pennsylvania's Legal Studies program and has been a paralegal since 1995.  She began her paralegal career as the intake coordinator for the Alameda County Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Services Corporation.  She worked for many years as an environmental paralegal and senior project manager, providing environmental litigation support to both government and private clients.

Dennis Chin

Students in my class learn through fun and games.

Dennis Chin is a partner at Ogas Chin, LLP and practices civil litigation. He has been with the faculty since 2005 and is an alumnus of the Paralegal Studies Program. Chin received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. He obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence from McGeorge School of Law and an LL.M. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

In 2006, the Alameda County Bar Association honored him as the Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Low-Income Landlord Eviction, Family Law Day of Court, and Immigration Clinics. The State Bar of California honored him with the Wiley W. Manuel Awards in 2006 and 2007. Chin was also a contestant on the nationally-televised game show Wheel of Fortune.

Dwight Dickerson

Program Director

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

Dwight Dickerson, Esq., sincerely believe as professionals that we have a duty to bring along the next generation of professionals. The joy of teaching is to inspire students to move forward with the desire of learning and doing and not be afraid to take risks. Life is not about the ultimate destination but the journey getting there and what we experience and learn along the way.

Dickerson is the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at California State University, East Bay and a former member of the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals Approval Commission and an active member of and presenter for The American Association for Paralegal Education.

He has been a member of the faculty of the CSUEB Paralegal Studies Program since 1991, and is an instructor of Contract Law and Nonprofit Law. Dickerson graduated from Brandeis University with honors majoring in American & Urban Studies and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He has been an active member of the State Bar of California since December 1977, specializing in real estate, consumer, business, and non-profit law related matters.

Jeff Feinberg

Jeff D. Feinberg, Esq., is a solo practitioner teaching Civil Litigation in the Paralegal Studies Program at California State University, East Bay.  Before starting his own practice, Feinberg was senior counsel at Toschi, Sidran, Collins & Doyle, where he specializes in first and third party auto liability, personal injury, premises liability, and subrogation defense. He earned his BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, San Diego, and his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.

Michael Greathouse

I use an interactive style with students in which legal questions and issues are resolved through the active participation of the class.

Michael Greathouse is a 1981 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law. He has been a practicing attorney in the State of California since 1981. Greathouse has tried approximately 20 criminal and civil jury cases to completion in state and federal court. He has prepared and argued numerous motions in state and federal courts in real estate, personal injury, business, and employment cases. Greathouse is an experienced appellate attorney who has handled appeals in state and federal court. He has also worked as General Counsel for a nutritional and high technology map company.

Greathouse has been teaching on a part-time basis for the past nine years in CSUEB’s Paralegal Studies and Human Resource Management programs. He teaches Legal Research and Writing and Electronic Discovery in the Paralegal Studies program. He teaches Discrimination Law and Wage and Hour Practice in the Human Resource Management program. His teaching philosophy is teaching students practical skills that will help them succeed as paralegals. Students learn through direct participation, writing exercises, and visual presentations that teach the basics of research and writing.

Pege Kramer-Amann

Pege Kramer-Amann is a litigation paralegal with the California State Attorney General's office, serving in the Environment Section of the Public Right Division. Kramer-Amann teaches Computer Applications for Paralegals in the California State University, East Bay Paralegal Studies Certificate program.  She earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from California State University, East Bay and is also an alumnus of the Paralegal Studies program at CSUEB where she received her certificate in 2005. She is a former software engineer with leading high tech companies in the Silicon Valley including Sun Microsystems. 

Edward Lai

In my trial experience, I have found that cases are often handled by lawyers who thought they knew everything and paralegals and secretaries who really did.

Edward M. Lai practices in the areas of employment and general liability defense, construction defect, and Americans with Disabilities defense. He also brings with him experience as an insurance claims representative at several national insurance carriers.

Lai has had overwhelmingly successful results in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts and arguing civil appeals before the California District Court of Appeal. He has represented building contractors, developers, small business owners, national corporations, and individuals alike in the defense of various general liability and business litigations.

Lai is also very active in the East Bay community. In addition to being an associate professor at Cal State East Bay, he is a Special Master for numerous Bay Area Counties and a commissioner with the City of Oakland Rent Board. Lai is secretary of the Board of Directors for the Alameda County Meals on Wheels, president of the Redwood Heights Neighborhood Association, and an oral board assessor for the Oakland Police.

Alexander Lubarsky

I enjoy bringing real world legal research problems directly from my law office into the classroom to allow the students an opportunity to tackle an actual 'live' legal matter. I am proud to say that on many occasions, my students have sharpened their legal skills while helping a client in need at the same time.

Alexander H. Lubarsky, LL.M., Esq. is a practicing litigator and a legal technology enthusiast. Upon graduating from law school, Lubarsky co-founded Community Legal Centers in East San Jose to provide low cost immigration, bankruptcy, family law, and criminal defense representation to low income immigrant communities. He also consults on litigation software solutions and e-discovery practices to corporate legal departments and law firms of all sizes.

Lubarsky has consistently been active in legal technology. In 2003, he was elected to the California State Bar Law Technology Executive Committee. He is a certified trainer/consultant in the four major litigation support applications: Catalyst CR , Summation, Concordance, and CaseMap. Lubarsky is EnCase Certified and spent several years as a Director for Guidance Software – the world’s leading computer forensic software manufacturer. Further, he has taught litigation support courses to students at various law schools and paralegal schools throughout California. He has remained a member of the paralegal education faculty at California State University, East Bay for over a decade. Lubarsky is a regular speaker on the topic of litigation support systems and electronic discovery as well as computer forensics. He has presented at multiple legal technology conferences and State Bar events throughout the nation.

He has held past positions with Summation Legal Technologies, ZANTAZ Guidance Software, Catalyst Repository Systems, and TERIS. He assists small law firms and solo practitioners implement technology to allow them to compete ‘head-on’ with AMLAW 200 large law firms. He has authored various articles for legal technology publications such as the electronic discovery chapter of CEB’s Internet Law, Law Office Computing, and The Bottom Line. He is currently authoring the textbook Computer Applications for the Paralegal for Aspen Law and Business Publishers. Lubarsky has trained and consulted to hundreds of law firms, corporate legal departments, and government counsel offices.

Paul Mahler

An oral contract is not worth the paper it is written on.

Paul F. Mahler serves as general counsel to privately held and closely owned businesses of all sizes from his office in Alameda, California. Mahler is a 1980 graduate of the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law. His transactional work includes entity formation and agreements among owners and investors; the purchase and sale of assets, stock, or other interests; intellectual property matters, including copyright, trademark, and trade secret work; intellectual property licensing; employment matters; and commercial real estate matters, including sales, acquisitions, and leasing.

Mahler’s clients include high technology and computer game companies, biotechnology companies, web-based businesses, authors and publishers, advertising companies, professional practices such as accounting and insurance firms, doctors and veterinary practices, companies with significant retail operations, and construction companies.

Thomas Ogas

I give context. Rules and procedures alone are confusing and forgettable. Paralegal students need to understand the big picture of what is going on and where their work fits in the grand scheme of litigation.

Thomas Ogas practices criminal and family law. He has been a criminal defense attorney for more than ten years. In that time, he has personally handled thousands of cases, from misdemeanors to juvenile offenses to serious felony matters, and tried more than 40 cases before a jury. Ogas’ success rate in trial is unusually high. He has won more than 60 percent of his cases, including winning cases where the potential punishment is life in prison. This is an outstanding success rate in the field of criminal law, a field where District Attorneys win 90 percent or more of their trials.

Ogas has served as Judge Pro Tem in the Small Claims and Traffic Division of the Alameda County Superior Court. He is an adjunct professor at Cal State East Bay's Paralegal Studies Program where he teaches Criminal Law. He has previously taught a course in Investigation for Paralegals.

In 2010, Ogas was the recipient of the Alameda County Bar Association Barristers Distinguished Service Award. He has served on the Alameda County Bar Association Board of Directors and chair of the Barristers Executive Committee. He is past president of Cherry City Toastmasters in San Leandro, overseeing a club that received the President’s Distinguished Award (the highest possible award for excellence) during both years of his term.

Ogas volunteers his time by providing free legal services to the San Leandro community through the Lawyers in the Library program that he started. The program provides monthly pro bono clinics to the community on all legal matters.

He also volunteers in the annual High School Mock Trial competitions where he serves as a scorer and presider. For six years, he previously coached his own High School Mock Trial team, the team from his home town of Exeter, California.

Ogas earned his J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and his BA in Communications from Pepperdine University.

Ronald Shingler

Success in education requires two key players: A teacher, who is willing and able to teach, working with a student, who is willing and able to learn. For both players, willingness will lead to enhanced ability.

Ron Shingler is the principal of SHINGLER LAW, a litigation practice located in Antioch, California. He earned a degree in Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento in 1980, and a secondary teaching credential at California State University, East Bay in 1984. After teaching high school for a couple of years, Shingler attended the Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco and earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1989. He was also admitted to the California State Bar in 1989.

Shingler is the son of an asbestos plant worker, and he has devoted his entire career to representing men and women who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. SHINGLER LAW handles the civil action for these individuals, and assures that their estate planning needs are met.

Geoffrey Steele

A partner in the Walnut Creek firm of Steele, George, Schofield & RamosLLP, George Steele has decades of experience in civil litigation. Steele’s practice focuses on complex litigation involving elder financial abuse, contract, real property, finance, fiduciary, probate litigation, and business-to-business litigation. He has substantial experience in complex civil litigation matters as well as administrative appeal boards. Steele has been before the California Courts of Appeals and the California Supreme Court in both civil and capital death penalty matters. He is an active member of the State Bar of California Rules Committee (Northern California) and Business and Real Property sections. Steele serves as the current co-chair of the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Litigation section and past president of the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Pro Bono section and the Business Law and Corporate Counsel section. He is also the current president of the Law Center and Elder Law Center, the BAR Fund, and the Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank.  

Carol Thornberry

The Introduction to Paralegalism gives me the opportunity to meet all the incoming paralegal students as they being a new career path. Then, I see them at the end of the program in the Internship class. It is always rewarding for me to see the growth, confidence and skill development they have gained over the past 15 months.

Carol Thornberry is a paralegal and the coordinator of the Paralegal Internship classes for the Paralegal Studies program. She also teaches the Introduction to Paralegalism class. Thornberry currently works as a real estate paralegal in a land development business. She is also a licensed realtor. Thornberry previously worked for the law firm of Burnham and Brown. Thornberry earned her Paralegal Certificate from California State University, East Bay in 1993.

Stuart West

My philosophy of teaching is based on the concept that when a student graduates they should be able to perform the tasks that will be expected of them in the real world. Accordingly, I endeavor to make my in-class instruction and take-home assignments as practical as possible to ensure that students are well-prepared for their future careers.

Stuart West is a registered patent attorney with extensive domestic and international experience in all areas of Intellectual Property Law. West holds undergraduate and advanced degrees in electrical and structural engineering, and he is a fully-qualified and licensed solicitor and registered European attorney who speaks fluent German and French. West is also a registered professional engineer, general and engineering contractor, and real estate broker. He is licensed to practice law in California, Washington D.C. and before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Northern and Central Districts of California, the Central District of Illinois, and the Northern District of Florida. West is also a fully-qualified member of Mensa®.

West earned his J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law.

Asha Wilkerson

My favorite part of teaching is that moment when it all clicks and comes together. This moment gives me the greatest joy because it means that I’ve accomplished my goal of sharing information in a way that students are able to receive it and apply it.

Asha Wilkerson, co-founder of Wilkerson Stanley, A Professional Law Corporation, practices criminal law and also provides skilled advice and counsel to business owners in the subject area of labor and employment law.

In 2013, Wilkerson was honored to be a graduation speaker at L’École Superiéure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie, a public interest law school in Jérémie, Haiti. She also received the Power 40 Award from Allen Temple Baptist Church’s Young Adult Ministry for her dedication to, and empowerment of, her community and those around her. Presently, she is the Continuing Legal Education Chair for the Charles Houston Bar Association.

When out of the office, Wilkerson enjoys traveling, reading, relaxing, and teaching classes at The Bar Method. She is conversational in both Spanish and Haitian Creole and is currently learning Portuguese.

Andres Williams

I teach how to prioritize, when everything is a priority!

Andres L. Williams, Esq., is a skilled negotiator and talented trial attorney with diverse advocacy experience in corporate, contract, labor/employment, and insurance law. Prior to going to work for the federal government, Williams was a Senior Associate with Sellar Hazard Manning Ficenec & Lai. He clerked for the Honorable John S. Rhoades, United States District Court, Southern District of California. Williams received his BA degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his MS degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law. He has been an active member of the State Bar of California since 1988.

 
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Ernest Aglipay

Ernest Aglipay

Sharlene Alim

Sharlene Alim

Jeffrey Allen

Jeffrey Allen

William Bart

William Bart

Jacob Blea

Jacob Blea

Elizabeth Cavanaugh

Elizabeth Cavanaugh

Dennis Chin

Dennis Chin

Dwight Dickerson

Dwight DickersonProgram Director

Jeff Feinberg

Jeff Feinberg

Michael Greathouse

Michael Greathouse

Pege Kramer-Amann

Pege Kramer-Amann

Edward Lai

Edward Lai

Alexander Lubarsky

Alexander Lubarsky

Paul Mahler

Paul Mahler

Thomas Ogas

Thomas Ogas

Ronald Shingler

Ronald Shingler

Geoffrey Steele

Geoffrey Steele

Carol Thornberry

Carol Thornberry

Stuart West

Stuart West

Asha Wilkerson

Asha Wilkerson

Andres Williams

Andres Williams

Admission Requirements

New students are admitted to the program twice a year, in fall or spring quarter.

To be admitted to the program, you must have at least 53 semester units (80 quarter units) of previous college credit. Of these 53 semester units, at least 18 units must be from three distinct areas of Liberal Arts (28 for quarter units).

How to Apply

To apply to the program, simply complete the certificate application form and email or fax the form to Program Coordinator Janet Kelly . On receipt of the application form, your Paralegal “Plan” (student record) will be built for you so that you’re able to register for classes.

You must mail your official transcripts and statement of personal objectives (a couple of paragraphs stating why you’re entering the program and what your professional goals are) to the Continuing Education office. You can start taking classes before these two items are complete, but will not be officially admitted to the program until your transcripts and statement have been received. Upon receipt of these two items, an official letter of acceptance to the program will be mailed to you.

Common Questions

What other legal studies programs does Cal State East Bay Continuing Education offer?

In addition to the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, Cal State East Bay Continuing Education offers MCLE classes that fulfill the required minimum continuing legal education of legal professionals.

Is the Cal State East Bay Paralegal Studies Certificate Program approved by the American Bar Association?

Yes. The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1994. To find out more about the ABA approval process and to find a list of ABA approved programs, visit the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals website.

What is the California law regarding paralegals?

The State of California adopted legislation—Business and Professions Code section 6450 et seq.—that defines the titles paralegal and legal assistant, and sets educational criteria and continuing education requirements. Cal State East Bay's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program meets the education requirements of the California law because we are an accredited institution and the program consists of more than 36 quarter units (equivalent to 24 semester units) of paralegal course work. Cal State East Bay offers continuing legal education to meet the continuing education requirements established by the law. For a complete text of the Business and Professions Code section 6450, visit www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.

Are paralegals in California required to be licensed?

No. Currently, there is no licensing requirement in effect for paralegals in California.

Are paralegals in California required to be certified?

California paralegals are not required to be certified. However, paralegals may choose to become certified by taking the Certified Legal Assistant Exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants or the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Candidates for these exams must meet certain prerequisites before they are eligible to take the exams.

Are there any special scholarships available for students studying to be paralegals?

The National Federation of Paralegal Association, the San Francisco Paralegal Association, and the Mount Diablo Legal Professional Association offer scholarships for paralegal students.

Where can I find information about the paralegal profession?

There are two national organizations for paralegals: the National Association of Legal Assistants and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Both organizations have extensive information about the paralegal profession on their websites.

The local paralegal associations in California are the San Francisco Paralegal Association, the Mount Diablo Legal Professional Association, and the The California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA). The websites of these organizations have information about activities and events for paralegals in California.

I am interested in attending law school. Where can I find out more information about law schools?

The American Bar Association website contains helpful information for students considering law schools, including a complete list of ABA-approved law schools.

Where can I find out more information about the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)?

The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admission Council. The LSAC  website includes a schedule of test dates as well as information on how to prepare for the LSAT.

What happens if I need to withdraw from a course?

Withdrawal and Refund Policies vary depending on the type of program in which you enroll and some Continuing Education programs have course-specific refund policies that supersede the refund policy. Please contact the Program Coordinator directly if you have any questions about the refund and drop policies or click here for more details.

Financing

Is financial aid available for this program?

Traditional Financial Aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for certificate programs, but there may be other suitable options to help you in financing your program. Learn more about other financial aid options.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment your inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of study: Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Ideal for: Professionals interested in working with attorneys in all areas of civil and criminal law as a paralegal and who wish to meet the educational requirements dictated by California Law.

Current paralegals who seek to differentiate themselves with an ABA-approved Paralegal Studies Certificate.

Program format: Online and in-person options

Number of courses: 11 courses (including required internship)

Program length: 15 months

Tuition costs: $6,900; Tuition includes all computer lab fees and WestLaw access (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)

Questions?

Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Paralegal Studies program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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