Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Paralegals in San Francisco, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for paralegals in the San Francisco, California area. About 4,400 people are currently employed as paralegals in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 5% to about 4,600 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for paralegals, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. In general, paralegals assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents.

Income for paralegals is about $18 per hour or $38,440 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,130 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Representation, people working as paralegals in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Representation nationally. Jobs in this field include: closing agent, judicial clerk, and legal assistant.

The San Francisco area is home to eighty-six schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree as a paralegal. The most common level of education for paralegals is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a paralegal if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Paralegal

In general, paralegals assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. They also may meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.

Every day, paralegals are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for paralegals to ready real estate closing statements and help in closing process. They are often called upon to search for and study legal documents to investigate facts and law of cases, to establish causes of action and to ready cases. They also inspect and file pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions. They are sometimes expected to ready affidavits of documents and maintain document files and case correspondence. Somewhat less frequently, paralegals are also expected to serve copies of pleas to opposing counsel.

Paralegals sometimes are asked to store and maintain currency of legal volumes. And finally, they sometimes have to research and analyze law sources to ready drafts of briefs or arguments for review and use by attorney.

Like many other jobs, paralegals must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Lawyer. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
  • Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Paralegal Training

John F Kennedy University - Pleasant Hill, CA

John F Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817. John F Kennedy University is a small university located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,511 students. John F Kennedy University has a post-master's certificate program in Law which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. University of San Francisco is a medium sized university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,772 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of San Francisco has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 227 students in 2008.

University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California-Berkeley, , Berkeley, CA 94720. University of California-Berkeley is a large university located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,353 students and an admission rate of 23%. University of California-Berkeley has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 291 students in 2008.

Golden Gate University-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate University-San Francisco, 536 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2968. Golden Gate University-San Francisco is a small university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,555 students and an admission rate of 100%. Golden Gate University-San Francisco has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 271 students in 2008.

University of California Hastings College of Law - San Francisco, CA

University of California Hastings College of Law, 200 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4978. University of California Hastings College of Law is a small university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 23 students. University of California Hastings College of Law has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 397 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.