Enter a Dynamic Profession and Become a Valued Member of a Legal Team

Graduates of the ABA-approved Paralegal Program are well prepared to assist in the effective delivery of legal services in both the private and public sectors of our society. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Paralegals are trained members of a legal team who work under the supervision of attorneys. A team concept approach to legal matters ensures professional representation of clients and reduces the cost of legal services. Through classroom lectures, readings, and practical assignments, students become familiar with the role of the paralegal in the legal environment.

Complete your application by November 30 and we will waive your application fee.

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  • Recognized quality and highly regarded in the legal community
  • Day and evening program options
  • Employment assistance offered to all qualified students
  • Full service law library with convenient hours, right on campus
  • Internships to gain real world experience and hit the ground running
  • Faculty comprised of experienced practitioners, committed to the training and utilization of paralegals
  • Superior student support and personalized attention from dedicated program staff
  • Federal government loans available to qualified graduate students
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"I chose the USD Paralegal Program because it is an American Bar Association approved, well-respected program offering a broad curriculum in a condensed format. The program greatly increased my confidence and proficiency in interviewing, writing, and research, as well as computer and analytical skills. Each day I build upon what I learned in the program. I am grateful for the excellent training I received." - Nicki S., Paralegal
"I owe much of my success to the USD Paralegal Program! USD circulated my resume to employers, so I got a wonderful paralegal job at a local firm. The firm was only interested in paralegals from USD. The program prepared me to work directly for a partner at the firm because it was both substantive and practical. Bringing my experience full circle, the firm hired another USD paralegal from a fresh batch of resumes before I left for Notre Dame Law School." - Daniela P., Law Student

ABA Approval

American Bar Association (ABA) approval, a national benchmark, ensures students quality in curriculum, faculty, libraries, and student services. California’s Business and Professions Code lists graduation from an ABA-approved paralegal program as one of the criteria for using the title of paralegal. The USD Paralegal Program began in 1975 and in 1977 became the first ABA-approved paralegal program in San Diego. An Advisory Committee comprised of attorneys, paralegals, educators, and members of the general public meets regularly to review curriculum issues and employment trends.

Program Goals

Our goal is to familiarize students with basic legal concepts and terminology, the elements of legal research, our court structure, computer software use in the law office, and legal ethics. Supplementing this generalized background, students will receive instruction in substantive areas of law.

On-Campus Law Library

The Pardee Legal Research Center is one of the premier academic law libraries in the country. USD paralegal students enjoy a full-service law library with convenient hours.

Professional Resources

Learn more about the dynamic profession of paralegalism including local and regional networking opportunities.

Information Sessions & Career Forums

Visit our Contact Us page for upcoming event dates or to request more information.