Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 10% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects.
Private law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but a growing array of other organizations, such as corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real estate and title insurance firms, and banks hire paralegals. Corporations in particular are boosting their in-house legal departments to cut costs. Demand for paralegals also is expected to grow as an expanding population increasingly requires legal services especially in areas such as intellectual property, health care, international law, elder issues, criminal law, and environmental law.
In California, a legal document assistant or paralegal is required among other things, to obtain a certificate of completion or a degree from a paralegal program at an accredited postsecondary institution. California Business & Professions Code sections 6402.1(c) and 6450(c). The Legal Assisting/Paralegal Studies Program satisfies the requirements of the California Laws. Oxnard College's Legal Assisting/Paralegal Program prepares students to be a paralegal or legal document assistant with responsibility for assisting the attorney in preparation of cases for trial or arbitration, researching existing laws.
The certificate program now provides in-person and online courses.
Currently, all online classes have a synchronous component and have a weekly virtual classroom experience via Zoom conferencing which ensures every student can access the same live lecture whether they are in a traditional classroom setting or taking a class remotely. Professors teaching online classes are committed to student success and have designed the classes with the online student in mind. Professors are also accessible to online students to help them succeed in their classes. At times, courses may be offered asynchronously. Should a student take asynchronous courses to fulfill program requirements, that student must complete at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction, which includes traditional in-person, hybrid, and synchronous online courses.