Paralegal Studies { College of Extended Learning }

Image: Photographs of Paralegal Studies classes in session. Students learning in computer labs and classrooms.

Paralegal Studies (ABA-Approved)
Academic Credit Certificate

ABA-Approved School for Paralegal Studies

San Francisco State University is pleased to announce that the American Bar Association has granted approval to the Paralegal Studies program offered by SF State Extended Learning.

This is the only ABA-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.

Recent California legislation defines who may call himself or herself a paralegal and sets forth educational criteria for paralegals. One of the criteria is graduation from a program approved by the American Bar Association. Please refer to the section on New California Legislation on Paralegals.
For more information on the ABA approval, please contact our program coordinator at 415.817.4223.

Daytime Classes

  • PLS 300: Introduction to Law/Civil Procedure
    Tuesday, June 9 - August 11, 1:00pm - 4:45pm, plus 1 Saturday TBA
  • PLS 320: Legal Research & Writing
    Wednesday, June 10 - August 12, 1:00pm - 4:45pm, plus 1 Saturday TBA
  • PLS 310: Communication Skills & Legal Ethics
    Thursday, June 11 - August 13, 1:00pm - 4:45pm, plus 1 Saturday TBA

Paralegal Education & Training

Paralegal Courses & Certificate

Our school offers a variety of courses in all aspects of paralegal studies. You may select any class that interests you, or follow our comprehensive Paralegal Studies certificate curriculum.

Paralegal Studies Graduate Benefit

Paralegal graduates may audit an elective course of their choice at a 50% registration fee discount. Registration forms must be submitted to Pat Medina for verification. Payment must be made in person at the 6th floor front desk.

Financial Aid

SF State Extended Learning receives no state money to support its programs; therefore, Federal Financial aid is extremely limited. In order to be eligible for Federal Financial Aid, you must have completed 60 units or 90 quarter units prior to your acceptance into the program. Financial aid is only available in the fall and spring semesters. Students should start the financial aid application process as soon as possible.

For further information, see our financial aid section, and go to the SF State Financial Aid site. For Financial Aid questions, please contact Jimmie Wilder at 415.338.2765 or

Students who don't qualify for Federal Financial aid or have conditional acceptance into the program, can finance their program through the Alternative Loan Program.

Program Data Disclosure:

The U.S. Department of Education requires that we disclose the information below for this financial aid-eligible certificate program.

Occupations the Program Prepares Students to Enter: The Paralegal Studies program prepares students for positions as Paralegals and Legal Assistants (SOC code 23-2011). Please see the Occupational Outlook Handbook - Paralegals and Legal Assistants for information about these positions.

Program Cost: The total cost of the program is approximately $8,200 plus a $50 non-refundable application fee. Most courses are $275 per unit. Lab fees are added for courses thatrequire computer lab sessions. Students pay for courses on a semester-by-semester basis only. Additional costs for texts and materials vary by course from approximately $15 to $100.

On-Time Completion Rate: The program of ten classes (30 units) can be completed in 12-24 months. The average time for completion varies between four and five semesters, 18-24 months. For the 2010-11 academic year, 126 students earned certificates in Paralegal Studies, and 93 of these students (73.8%) completed the program within 24 months.

Job Placement Rate: The job placement rate for students who completed the program in 2010-11, based on those graduates who responded to surveys sent by the Paralegal program staff, is 65%. It should be noted that many graduates relocated without leaving a forwarding address, and also several graduates were accepted into law school.

Median Loan Debt: Based on data from 2013-14, the median Title IV loan debt for financial aid students in this certificate program is $7,500 and the average Title IV loan debt is $10,970. The median private educational loan debt for financial aid students in this certificate program is $7,938 and the average private educational loan debt is $7,938.

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