5 Best Paralegal Schools in Fresno, CA

Imagine working in a tightly packed courtroom where everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting for the judge and jury to deliver their latest life-changing verdict as you provide hands-on support for high-powered attorneys on the case.

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This is the potential reality of a future Fresno paralegal.

America’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for California paralegals will be faster than most other occupations in the next few years.

If you’re thinking about beginning a lucrative legal career with a well-paying salary, becoming a paralegal could be the right move for you.

Our guide provides an overview of the daily job duties of local paralegals, along with crucial information on how to become a paralegal in California.

Read on to learn more about what it takes to work as a highly-skilled paralegal in Fresno and where to get the best paralegal education that meets state standards.

Best Paralegal Schools in Fresno

The road to your lucrative career begins with finding and researching the best educational options that meet state and national certification standards.

Our list includes details on some of the best paralegal schools in Fresno that meet the state of California’s requirements for comprehensive paralegal education.

These local paralegal training programs provide entry-level and continuing education students with the latest in-demand skills for case management, client management, and the ethical skills needed when providing administrative and legal support.

Many of the programs below also offer opportunities for immersive learning through internships or externships and job placement.

The following local colleges, universities, and adult vocational programs offer routes to entry-level paralegal employment in Fresno, CA.

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1 Fresno City College

Aspiring paralegals in Fresno can begin their legal career by enrolling in the paralegal studies program at FCC.

Fresno City College offers two paralegal career tracks.

The first option is for a 37-hour paralegal certificate that introduces new legal eagles to the profession.

They also provide a two-year associate’s degree program that trains students on the law, ethics, and legal research and prepares them for national certification through NALA or the NFPA.

FCC students have a wealth of support options in the form of knowledgeable instructors and networking opportunities through the Student Paralegal Association.

Courses Offered

  • Litigation I and II
  • Law Office Administration and Ethics
  • Debt Collection and Enforcement of Judgements
  • Employment Law
  • Law and the Legal System
  • Civil Rights and Liberties

Contact Information

  • Address: 1101 East University Avenue, Fresno, California - 93741
  • Phone: 559-442-8200
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Fresno Pacific University

Future legal professionals seeking to get local paralegal education can enroll for online certification in paralegal studies at Fresno Pacific University.

FPU delivers its online curriculum to provide students with 4-6 months of immersive legal education.

Their program readies graduates to complete certification and begin entry-level employment in local legal facilities.

Takeaways from the program include:

  • Legal interviewing and research skills.
  • A clear understanding of the justice system.
  • Legal ethics for paralegals.

Courses Offered

  • State and Federal Court Systems
  • Legal Research
  • Document Preparation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Legal Electives
  • Criminal Law and Procedure

Contact Information

3 Oak Brook College of Law

The Oak Brook College of Law’s comprehensive one-year program helps local students jumpstart their paralegal careers.

Their online program gives future paralegals a solid foundation in law, ethics, policy, and community service.

Graduates who complete the program are ready to work in area law firms and courtrooms, providing hands-on legal support upon graduation.

OBCL’s program heavily emphasizes substantive law concepts and the use of legal technology in its comprehensive training program.

Courses Offered

  • Common Law Jurisprudence
  • Torts
  • Legal Philosophy and Reasoning
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Family Law
  • Business Organizations

Contact Information

4 Fresno Adult School

High school graduates and GED holders in Fresno can begin their legal education at the Fresno Adult School.

Their Certified Paralegal training program trains students in legal investigation, research, writing, and document preparation skills.

This comprehensive program follows the NALA certification track.

It includes a test voucher for graduates to sit for the exam upon program completion.

Courses Offered 

  • Introduction to the US Legal System
  • Litigation Communication Skills
  • Legal Research Skills
  • Westlaw
  • Estates and Family Law
  • Paralegal Electives

Contact Information

  • Address: 2500 Stanislaus, Fresno, California - 93721
  • Phone: 855-520-5806
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Fresno State

The Department of Political Science and Criminology work jointly to maintain a legal studies program at Fresno State.

Fresno State administers a certificate in legal studies program that provides a foundational legal education for students pursuing careers as paralegals and beyond.

Their special career certificate educates students on critical legal topics, including constitutional law, appellate court procedures, criminal procedures, and legal evidence.

This 12-unit legal studies program is offered as a stand-alone certificate or as an elective add-on to undergraduate degree programs.

Courses Offered 

  • Constitutional Law
  • State and Local Governments
  • Criminal Legal Process
  • Legal Evidence
  • Legal Policy
  • Women and Violence for Public Policy and the Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 5201 Maple Avenue, Fresno, California - 93740
  • Phone: 559-278-2261
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Fresno City College
#2 Fresno Pacific University
#3 Oak Brook College of Law
#4 Fresno Adult School
#5 Fresno State

Paralegal Salary Information

Fresno legal assistants have an average annual take-home pay of just over $68,000.00 per year.

Legal support professionals on the lower end of the earnings scale make starting yearly salaries of just over $60,000.00 each year.

Higher-earning paralegals in Fresno make over $77,000.00 per year.

Aspiring paralegals who want to make high-paying salaries in their careers should consider advanced certification options and work for larger or higher-paying legal industry employers.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Fresno, CA

City Name Salary
Fresno $68,000

Paralegal Job Duties in Fresno

Becoming a paralegal means beginning a fast-paced legal career that can involve meeting with licensed attorneys, court clerks, judges, and other legal professionals as you complete your daily tasks.

Today’s paralegals offer crucial support under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

They interview clients to gain information and insight on upcoming trials and depositions.

Paralegals also compile and maintain case records, schedule court dates, and e-file or manually file time-sensitive court documents with local clerks.

Other Paralegal Duties Can Include:

  • Legal Research: Legal support professionals spend the bulk of their time conducting thorough research on case law, statutes, and regulations to help attorneys prepare for trial.
  • Legal Document Preparation: Highly skilled paralegals work side by side with attorneys to draft legal documents for pleadings, motions, briefs, and contracts using legal terminology.
  • Legal Analysis: Legal secretaries use critical thinking skills to analyze legal issues, evaluate evidence, and assess cases to provide informed insights to practicing attorneys preparing for trial.
  • Legal Compliance: Paralegals must stay updated on the latest changes in rules and regulations that can affect the outcomes of legal proceedings.
  • Legal Technology: Legal assistants use the latest technology, software, and applications, such as Westlaw, to conduct legal filings, trial prep research, and case tracking.

Where Fresno Paralegals Work

Along with working alongside some of the state’s best attorneys in private law firms, Fresno paralegals can work in a variety of legal employment settings.

The rapid pace of the profession means that more opportunities are opening up in different fields where legal assistant skills are becoming more in demand.

The most common places of employment for local paralegals currently include the following:

  • Law Firms
  • Legal Clinics
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Court Systems
  • Federal, State, and Local Government Offices
  • Corporate Legal Departments

How to Become a Paralegal in Fresno, CA

Now that you know what a day in the life of a California paralegal looks like, let’s explore what steps you need to take to become a paralegal in Fresno!

California’s legal assistants are highly skilled professionals who make up the backbone of the local judicial system.

The good news for people looking to make a quick entry into the legal field is that this career has a low entry barrier.

California doesn’t require its paralegals to hold an occupational license.

Most local employers prefer new candidates to prove their competency through a combination of education, certification, and years of substantive experience working under the supervision of a licensed local attorney.

The state of California requires professionals providing legal assistant services to meet some or all of the following criteria.

  • Graduate from an American Bar Association-approved paralegal program.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in legal studies a related discipline.
  • Get certified by a nationally recognized agency like the NFPA or the NALA
  • Have a high school diploma and substantive legal experience working under a licensed attorney for at least three years.

*Aspiring paralegals with three years of supervised substantive experience may be eligible for special waivers or certifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. – What Agency Certifies Paralegals in Fresno, California?

Fresno paralegals are certified by the National Association of Legal Assistants, the National Association for Legal Support Professionals, and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

Q2.- Do I Need a License to Work as a Legal Assistant in Fresno?

No. Legal support assistants like paralegals aren’t currently required to have a license.

Local legal employers prefer to hire experienced candidates who show proof of competency, such as a bachelor’s degree, national paralegal certification, or many years of substantive legal experience.

Q3.- How Long Does it Take to Complete Paralegal School in Fresno?

The time it takes to complete your paralegal education can vary and is also dependent on a number of factors.

Local paralegal schools offer programs that take between four and twelve months for full-time students. Students who enroll in a part-time capacity may take longer to complete their programs.

Online students taking advantage of self-paced learning options for paralegal studies can complete their programs at their own pace.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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