One of the smallest among the University of California campuses, UC Irvine used to be known as “the little campus on the golf course,” because its beautiful modern architecture spreads across rolling green lawns not far from southern California’s famed “flower fields.” Pacific Ocean breezes caress the little campus, and the sun shines nearly every day. Despite its relatively few acres and small enrollment, UC Irvine has built a towering academic reputation, supporting some of the finest, most innovative research of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Now, in the age of the internet, UC Irvine educates and graduates some of the best-prepared, highly motivated professionals in the world.
UC Irvine boasts arguably the world’s finest, most comprehensive and rigorous online program; the school especially excels at preparing para-professionals. UCI’s paralegal program has neither equal nor rival, and alumni of the paralegal program are in demand at the nation’s most prestigious law firms. In addition to building their job skills, UCI assures paralegals a solid foundation in the law. Paralegal students must complete a core curriculum very similar to that required of “One L’s”-first year law students; they must master contracts, property, civil procedure, and constitutional law before they begin more specialized study in what will become their areas of expertise. Because of this demanding initiation to the law, UCI paralegals understand “how to think like lawyers,” an attribute surprisingly rare among paralegals from other schools.
Because paralegals either work for firms or freelance as researchers and document specialists, UCI pays special attention to students’ reasoning and professional writing skills. At the time students apply for admission to the program, they must submit writing samples, demonstrating they have fundamental command of English. As they complete their courses, students prepare contracts, settlements, and briefs, demonstrating their command of the subject matter by putting their knowledge to use just as they will in their day-to-day professional lives.