Upon successful completion of the Pre-Law Studies Certificate of Achievement program, the student will demonstrate skills, knowledge, and training for positions benefiting from communication skills and general knowledge of law and society, such as legal assistants, legal secretaries, or other legal support workers. Students will be able to identify and apply industry-specific employability skills in law-related careers. Additionally, such students possess the skills and knowledge necessary to continue to pursue a legal education to become a paralegal or lawyer. Since this certificate program is intended to incorporate the course requirements for completion of the statewide Pathway to Law program, students who successfully complete an application to the Pathway to Law program will be eligible to become a California LAW Scholar upon successful completion of the required courses. Students who complete this certificate will also satisfy the existing articulation agreements between several California community colleges and several four-year undergraduate institutions to facilitate admissions, as well as to meet the minimum requirements of a special partnership between the community colleges and law schools. According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with local universities and law schools, if students achieve specific criteria such as successfully completing certain community college courses that are based on the Shultz-Zedeck Lawyering Competencies (Effectiveness Factors), support for the students, including fee waivers, mentoring, pre-law activities, counseling, internships, and possibly scholarships, will be developed as part of the Pathway to Law program in order to provide students with the best possible chance for success on the LSAT, in the law school admission process, in law school, and/or in a law-related career. The courses in this certificate program are intended to meet the minimum requirements set forth in the MOU. Ultimately, training in the law can help secure employment in a variety of positions in the field of law and elsewhere, including as an attorney, judge, mediator, paralegal, secretary, consultant, educator, court administrator, governmental administrator, business entrepreneur, corporate executive, law enforcement official, or politician.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to identify and explain the ideas and institutions that make up the American political system, including the legal system, to describe the evolution of civil liberties and rights in the United States and apply this knowledge to current events and legal issues, and to recognize the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties regarding the electoral process, law, and public policy.
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively write and speak to persuade a diversity of audiences, to analyze, criticize, and advocate for ideas, to communicate for a variety of purposes, to read and comprehend a diversity of texts, to develop awareness of society and its historical roots, to appreciate diversity and to be sensitive to the impact of race, sex, and class on the American experience, to organize information, to engage in argumentation to support a position, to evaluate and cite sources, to explain the historical development of American institutions in law and society, to demonstrate facility with numbers, and to conduct research.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the various classifications of the law, including being able to distinguish among the various parts of a contract.