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

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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, a profession the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects to grow 17% by 2022.

  • Recognized quality and highly regarded in the legal community
  • 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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Financing Options


"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

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.

Information Sessions

Register to attend an upcoming Information Session to learn more about our ABA-approved Paralegal Program from our dedicated Paralegal Program staff:

Register to attend an upcoming Career Forum to hear from recent graduates of the Paralegal Program about their experiences in the Program, job search tips, and career satisfaction:

  • July 2016 (TBD)

Professional Resources

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