Why should you choose our Program? (the source of the information on "How to Choose a Paralegal Program" is located at http://www.aafpe.org/choose.html) - the following organizations participated in the development of these guidelines to assist you in selecting a "high qualilty" paralegal program -American Association for Paralegal Education, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistants, Association of Legal Administrators, Legal Assistant Management Association, National Association of Legal Assistants, and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations
The American Bar Association and the American Association for Paralegal Education (AaFPE) promote high standards in the paralegal profession. The AaFPE suggests the following important factors to consider in evaluating the quality of paralegal programs:
1. What is the reputation of the institution and the paralegal
" The general public and the legal community should hold the institution offering the program and the program itself in high regard. Check with people you know in the community, in the legal field and in higher education for information."
Mission College Paralegal Studies Program has been in
existence since 1987. Our program has been approved by the Board
of Governors of the Los Angeles Community College District. Our
College is part of the Los
Angeles Community College District, the largest system of
two-year higher education in the United States. Mission
College is one of the nine colleges which forms the L.A. Community
College District and offers transfer and occupational programs
that are open to anyone who is a high school graduate, or at least
18 years of age and is able to profit from instruction. Mission
College is approved by the California
Department of Education, and the Western
Association of Schools and Colleges. Mission College Paralegal
Studies Program is an institutional member of the American
Association for Paralegal Education (AaFPE).
Our Paralegal Program has a rich history. The program has an excellent reputation in the legal community. Many of our paralegals are currently employed in the courts, federal and state agencies, and large, small, and solo practitioner law firms in the greater Los Angeles area.
2. What services are offered to students?
"Assistance should be offered in these areas: orientation,
tutoring, academic counseling, financial aid, career information
and counseling, and placement assistance. Information on the placement
rate and job satisfaction of graduates should be available."
Mission College and the Paralegal program provides orientation, and the college provides tutoring, academic counseling, financial aid, and career information, and placement assistance, along with a Center for Student Success.
3. What facilities are available to students?
"Programs should have a legal research library, computer
laboratories, and properly furnished classrooms. Facilities should
accommodate students with disabilities."
Mission College Paralegal Program is a high-tech program. Take a tour of our webpage. Our program uses computers, the internet, and on-line legal research to assist its paralegal students in obtaining a high quality paralegal education. We have a new Learning Resource Center, with 350 computers all connected to the internet maintained by the Computer Systems Services Staff at the college. Computers assist students in legal writing and legal research.
4. What activities are available to students?
"Students should have the opportunity to participate in
such activities as honor societies and volunteer work in the legal
community. Information about paralegal associations and continuing
paralegal education should be available."
Our Paralegal Program has established a law clinic which provides "hands on" experience for the paralegal student. We have also created a Paralegal Student Association, and an Alumni Association.
5. What is the mission of the institution and what are the goals of the paralegal program?
" The mission and goals should be clearly stated in the
institutional and program literature. You should assess whether
the mission and goals match your individual needs."
Mission College has the following mission statement:
"Los Angeles Mission College exists to provide the highest quality education for each student who comes to us".
The Los Angeles Community College District has the following mission statement.
The mission of the Los Angeles Community Colleges is to provide
comprehensive lower-division general education, occupational education, transfer
education, transitional education, counseling and guidance, community services, and
continuing education programs which are appropriate to the communities served and
which meet the changing needs of students for academic and occupational
preparation, citizenship, and cultural understanding.
6. What is the content and nature of the curriculum?
"The courses should teach practical job skills in conjunction
with the underlying legal theory. The curriculum should cover
legal research and writing, litigation, ethics, contracts, business
organizations and torts. Courses should develop students' critical
thinking, communication, computational, computer and organizational
skills, and competency to handle ethical issues. Programs should
offer an experiential learning component such as an internship,
practicum or clinical experience. "
Mission College Paralegal Studies Program provides a solid academic curriculum to its paralegals. Take a virtual tour of our program. Our program consists of 13 courses for a total of 36.5 units which cover legal research and writing, litigation, ethics, contracts, business organizations and torts, property, creditors rights, wills and trusts, probate administration, family law, criminal and civil evidence, law office management, and legal internships.
7. What are the graduation requirements?
"Students should be required to take both paralegal and
general education courses unless students have completed general
education prior to enrollment. "
Mission College Paralegal Program provides in addition to its certificate program an Associates Degree in Legal Assisting/Paralegal. The Paralegal Students takes Plan B Graduation Requirements (which includes courses in natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, languages, and health) along with the paralegal classes and then receive their Associates Degree.
8. What are the backgrounds of the program director and
"The program director and members of the faculty should possess appropriate academic credentials. Most program directors have a law degree or formal paralegal education; some have advanced degrees in related areas. Many have experience in the legal field. Faculty members should have expertise and experience in the subject areas they teach and experience working with or as paralegals. The program director and faculty must be committed to the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services."
The director of the Mission College Paralegal Program is David Jordan, Esq. He is a graduate of Georgetown University ( B.A. Economics - 1968), and Loyola Law School ( Juris Doctor - 1975) , a licensed attorney in both the federal and state courts, and has practiced law for over 20 years. He is a committed educator, and a leader in the new technology of internet and its use in the classroom. He has written a number of articles which have been published in the "Paralegal Educator" - a legal publication of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AaFPE). His most recent article is "How to keep the student "ontask" in the online classroom". "Mr. Jordan is a committed, respected and innovative paralegal educator.
9. What are the special considerations of enrolling in a
distance education program?
A growing number of educational institutions and other providers
are offering paralegal courses and/or entire paralegal programs
through distance education. Prospective students need to supplement
the above criteria with additional factors when evaluating these
offerings. You should find out the type of distance delivery system
used, such as interactive video broadcasts to distant sites, telecourses,
or web-based courses on the Internet and determine whether the
institution provides training to students in using the system
and technical assistance throughout the course. You should find
out how much interaction takes place among teachers and students
during courses and through what medium. Additionally you should
assess whether you are well suited to learn through a distance
delivery system which requires a high degree of self-discipline,
self-motivation and independence. "
Mission College Paralegal Studies Program offers a fully online paralegal certificate (since summer 2002).
In Conclusion, Mission College Paralegal Studies Program is an excellent paralegal program.