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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Paralegal Program at El Camino College ABA Approved?  Why is it important?

Yes, our program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA approval is important for many reasons. First, an approved program is relatively rare. Second, approval verifies that our program has met or exceeded all of the ABA's strict requirements and guidelines regarding faculty, curriculum, library, facilities and many other criteria by which it determines the quality of a legal studies program. Third, many law firms and other paralegal employers require graduation from an ABA approved program for employment, and it will generally command a higher starting salary.


2. How long does it take to finish the program?

Generally, the time required to complete this program is two academic years, assuming full-time attendance.


3. What's the difference between the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Certificate?

Both the A.A. Degree and the Certificate are designed to train students to assist lawyers in private firms, legal departments of companies, and/or governmental agencies. An A.A. Degree will require sixty (60) semester units including all major requirements, general education courses and selected electives; whereas a Certificate will be awarded to those possessing an Associate, Bachelor or higher degree by completing the major course requirements.


4. Is there an application to get into the program?

An application is not required for the program. However, you must be a registered student at El Camino College in order to enroll in classes.


5. What's the order I should take classes?

There is no particular order, but entrance to the program is gained by successful completion of Law 11 - Introduction to Legal Research. It is also recommended that students complete Paralegal Studies 1 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies during their first semester of the program.


6. Are law courses available online?

Yes, a number of courses are available on ground, hybrid, hyflex, and online formats.  A minimum of 9 semester credits of legal specialty courses must be taken through synchronous face-to-face instruction or remote synchronous instruction.


7. Are courses available in the evening?

Yes, most law courses are available in the evening to accommodate working students. Please check the current Class Schedule for course offerings.


8. Do you offer job placement?

Job placement assistance for students completing this program is currently available through the Program Coordinator, Dr. Vi Pham; however, job placement is not guaranteed.  Additional information on wages, employment, job postings and resume development assistance is available to all students at no cost through Career Coach.


9. Is there an internship program?

Yes, Law 95abcd – Cooperative Work Experience Education is offered as elective credit.


10. How much is tuition and books?

The estimated total program cost for California Residents is $3,386.49 (based on the 2011-2012 Gainful Employment Disclosure Statement). Tuition costs are based on $46/unit. Other costs may vary slightly depending on the student’s enrollment period and course scheduling patterns.


11. I've taken legal classes at other institutions.  Are they transferable to ECC?

Legal specialty courses taken from another ABA approved program may be transferable, provided the course objectives and course work are comparable to an equivalent class offered within the Paralegal Studies Program at ECC.  A maximum number of 18 units maybe transferred from other ABA approved programs.  The transferability of all legal specialty courses must be approved by the Program Coordinator and Business Division Dean.   For general education coursework, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic counselor or transfer center advisor for additional information.