8 Best Paralegal Schools in San Diego, CA

Paralegals work alongside lawyers to complete a variety of tasks.

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They are in high demand, which makes it a great career choice.

If you love the legal field but don’t want to spend years in college, a paralegal program may be a good fit for you.

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Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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1 Miramar Community College

Miramar Community College is a community college that offers 70 Associate degree programs and 90 technical education certificate programs.

The college offers in-person classes, as well as synchronous and online classes.

They are committed to diversity and have students from all walks of life.

Courses Offered

Miramar Community College offers a few paralegal programs, which are approved by the ABA, or American Bar Association.

The Paralegal Associate of Science degree requires 30 general education credits, as well as 18 credit hours for core courses, and 12 credits for elective courses.

You’ll need a total of 60 credits to graduate.

Required courses include Legal Procedures, Legal Research, Legal Writing and Communications, and Tort Law.

You’ll also choose 4 Paralegal elective courses.

If you already hold an Associate or Bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for the Paralegal certificate program.

If you’ve already earned an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you can choose the Paralegal Certificate of Completion.

This course requires 30 credit hours, including core and elective paralegal courses listed above.

Contact Information

  • Address: 10440 Black Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92126-2999
  • Phone: (619) 388-7800
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Southwestern Community College

Southwestern Community College earned the Best Colleges “Best Community College and Trade Schools” award in 2020.

This was the fourth time they’ve made the Top 10 in the last 13 years.

They are also the only community college in the country to have a scientific partnership with NASA.

Courses Offered

Southwestern offers several options for paralegal training.

These programs are ABA-approved.

All programs can be completed on campus, or online.

The shortest program is a Paralegal Studies Certificate of Achievement.

This course requires 32 to 35 credit hours. Courses include Legal Terminology, Legal Research, Civil Litigation, and Computer Skills for Legal Professionals.

You’ll also need to complete a work experience.

This program typically takes 2 semesters to complete.

You can also earn a Paralegal Studies-Bilingual Certificate of Achievement.

You’ll complete the studies required for the Paralegal Studies Certificate, along with bilingual course electives.

This program typically requires 3 semesters to complete.

The Paralegal Studies Associate’s Degree program requires the coursework of the Paralegal Certificate, along with 30 credit hours of general education requirements.

This program typically takes 4 semesters to complete.

The Paralegal Studies Associate’s Degree Bilingual program can be completed in 5 semesters.

Contact Information

  • Address: 900 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Phone: (619) 421-6700
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 Cuyamaca college

Cuyamaca offers a unique accelerated class schedule for students who are interested.

This allows them to complete a course in only 8 weeks, rather than the traditional 16-week semester.

This can mean graduating much sooner than you would at other institutions.

74% of graduates who apply to SDSU are accepted.

This is the highest acceptance rate in the region.

Courses Offered

Cuyamaca’s Paralegal Studies program is taught by judges and attorneys, many of whom are still practicing.

The school also offers tutoring services.

Students can join CAPS or the Cuyamaca Association of Paralegal Students.

Contact Information

  • Address: 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon, California 92019
  • Phone: 619-660-4000
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 National University

National University focuses on adult education.

They offer programs online or on-site for your convenience.

It’s a veteran-founded, not-for-profit college.

They offer a unique 4-week class schedule.

Classes begin once a month, so you can enroll anytime.

They also offer generous needs-based scholarships.

They take a holistic approach to education, supporting you as a person, in addition to fostering learning.

Courses Offered

National University is a great way to prepare for a legal career.

Their shortest program is an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies, which can be completed in 2 years or less.

If you want to earn a 4-year degree, they also offer a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies.

If you dream of becoming an attorney, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law studies, which may also prepare you for a career as a paralegal while you further your education.

Contact Information

  • Address: 9388 Lightwave Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: 855-355-6288
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 University of San Diego

According to the Princeton Review, the University of San Diego has the second most beautiful campus and ranks third in best quality of life.

It’s also fifth in public service, according to Washington Monthly.

90% of alumni are attending graduate school, employed, or serving in the military.

Courses Offered

USD’s Paralegal Certificate Program began in 1975.

In 1977, it became the first ABA-approved Paralegal Program in San Diego.

In 2019, it became USD School of Law Paralegal Program.

It’s one of just a few ABA-approved paralegal programs that are affiliated with an ABA-accredited law school.

This means you’ll get a great law education.

If you want to continue your education and earn a law degree, you can continue your education at USD.

The Paralegal Certificate program can be completed in as little as 4 months.

Classes are held online in a synchronous format, which means you’ll attend classes from the comfort of your home in a video format at set times.

You can choose from day or evening classes to fit your schedule.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110
  • Phone: (619) 260-4600
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 University of California at San Diego

According to U.S. News and World Report, the University of California San Diego has been one of the top 10 public universities in the U.S. for more than a decade.

Forbes recently named it the third-best university in the country.

They offer a variety of clubs and organizations for students, as well as student support services.

Courses Offered

University of California at San Diego offers a few paralegal programs.

The quickest to complete is the accelerated program.

You can complete this program online in a synchronous format, which requires Zoom meetings and online courses.

You’ll study from 9-4 Monday through Thursday.

This can be completed in 1 quarter.

You can also take the accelerated program in person.

You can also choose the part-time paralegal program.

This is a great choice if you work full-time.

You can complete the course in 12-24 months.

To complete the program in 12 months, you’ll need to take 3 to 4 courses each semester.

Contact Information

  • Address: 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0021
  • Phone: 1-858-534-2230
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 San Diego State University

San Diego State University was founded in 1897.

It’s the oldest college in San Diego and is located on Kumeyaay land just 30 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The college has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

It’s a Hispanic-serving institution. 54% of students are of color.

It’s also a great choice for LGBTQ students.

Courses Offered

San Diego State University offers a self-paced fully online paralegal program.

The course prepares you to sit for the Certified Paralegal exam and includes a voucher for the exam in tuition.

The course requires 225 course hours and can be completed in 12 months or less.

You’ll learn about the legal system communication and litigation skills, and legal research skills.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182
  • Phone: 619-594-5200
  • Website: Visit School Website

8 National Paralegal College

National Paralegal College, or NPC, was founded in 2003.

They offer paralegal and business courses.

You can earn a certificate, associate, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree.

Courses Offered

You can earn your paralegal certificate in only 7 months.

The certificate program requires 24 credits.

You’ll complete four core courses, including Tort Law, Contracts, Legal Research, Writing, and Civil Litigation, and Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics.

You’ll also choose four elective courses.

Some of these courses include Criminal Law, Real Property, Business Law and Bankruptcy, and Domestic Relations.

The Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies requires a total of 60 credits. You’ll take the core courses listed above.

You’ll choose 8 elective courses.

You’ll also need 24 credits from other courses offered by NPC, with 15 of these being required general education credits.

This can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Earn your paralegal certificate in just 7 months, your paralegal associate’s degree in 15 months, or your bachelor’s degree in either legal studies or business administration in under 3 years.

The Bachelor’s in Legal Studies requires 120 credit hours.

You’ll complete the 4 core courses.

You’ll also complete 12 legal elective courses.

The remaining 72 credits required can come from any course offered by NPC.

However, you will need to complete 30 general education credits.

Contact Information

  • Address: 717 E Maryland Ave, Phoenix AZ 85014-1561
  • Phone: 800-371-6105
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Miramar Community College
#2 Southwestern Community College
#3 Cuyamaca college
#4 National University
#5 University of San Diego
#6 University of California at San Diego
#7 San Diego State University
#8 National Paralegal College

Salary Information

Paralegals in California can expect to earn an average of $65,735 per year.

Salaries range from  $40,914 to $99,612.

How much you can earn will depend on your experience, certification, education, and where you choose to work.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in San Diego, CA

City Name Salary
San Diego, CA $65,735

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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