Paralegal Studies

In addition to the graduate degrees and credential programs in a variety of disciplines described in this course catalog, the University of San Diego also offers an ABA-approved paralegal certificate program. This program is an alternative to a graduate degree for those who wish to attain a marketable skill within a relatively short time.

A paralegal is a specially trained professional who aids attorneys in the delivery of quality legal services. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Employed by law firms, corporations, financial institutions and government agencies, paralegals work under the supervision of attorneys and may be responsible for preparing pleadings, interviewing clients, researching legal problems, drafting documents and assisting attorneys at trial.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. No previous training in law is required. Applicants who do not have a degree may be considered for the evening program if they have some college credits and/or business or legal experience. Contact the program office for more information. All applicants must submit two professional or academic references and official transcripts and arrange for a personal interview.


The university offers a day program that may be completed in one or two terms and an evening program that may be completed in three terms. Students take classes in Introduction to Law, Legal Research and Writing, Computers in the Legal Field, Civil Litigation and other substantive law topics. In addition, each student in the day program completes an internship in a corporation, law office, legal clinic or government agency.

Employment Assistance

To assist graduates in finding employment within the legal field, the program office maintains a very active employment assistance program, functioning as an intermediary between graduates and employers. USD makes every effort to assist graduates in securing positions as paralegals. Pre-employment workshops are offered to assist students in developing resumes and preparing for job interviews.

Contact Information

For more information, contact the Paralegal Program office at (619) 260-4579;

USD Paralegal Program Calendar

Day Programs

Summer 2017 May 30-Sept. 6, 2017
Fall 2017 Sept. 12-Dec. 19, 2017
Spring 2018 Jan. 16-April 26, 2018

Evening Programs

Summer 2017 May 30-Aug. 24, 2017
Fall 2017 Sept. 12-Dec. 7, 2017
Spring 2018 Jan. 16-May 17, 2018

All dates are subject to change. 


Tara Murphy, JD, DIRECTOR