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You went to school, graduated and found a job as a paralegal. Now what?

Continuing Education

Paralegals, like attorneys, must complete a certain number of continuing education hours.  Business and Professions Code section 6450(d) requires that: Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in either general law or in an area of specialized law. All continuing legal education courses shall meet the requirements of Section 6070. Certification of these continuing education requirements shall be made with the paralegal’s supervising attorney. The paralegal shall be responsible for keeping a record of the paralegal’s certifications.

One of most important benefits of membership in SVPA is free or discounted admission to our MCLE events.  Paralegals are responsible for keeping track of MCLE hours earned; there is no centralized database.

We suggest using a tracker like the one the State Bar of California suggests titled Personal MCLE Log found on the California State Bar website on the MCLE Compliance information page.


It is important to note that in order for California paralegals to get MCLE credit, programs must be approved by the State Bar of California.  Programs advertised as “CLE” may not meet the State Bar’s requirements for MCLE credit.  Be sure to ask the educational provider if the program has been approved for California MCLE credits.

MCLE Providers

All MCLE programs provided by SVPA are in conjunction with the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA).  CAPA is a state-bar approved MCLE provider; thus all of the MCLE programs provided by SVPA are approved by the State Bar.

Legal Compliance

Paralegals must be in compliance with Business and Professions Code Section 6450. We suggest you review this Guide to 6450 and be sure to check with your supervising attorney if you have any questions.

Certification Exams

The Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association encourages and supports the continuous education of its members through various activities and educational opportunities, including our monthly MCLE luncheons and other MCLE events.

Although certification for paralegals is not required by the State of California, SVPA encourages all of its members to pursue certification. According to California Business and Professions Code 6454, the terms “paralegal,” “legal assistant,” “attorney assistant,” “freelance paralegal,” “independent paralegal,” and “contract paralegal” are synonymous. Researching for available certifications and their corresponding exams can be just as time consuming as navigating through other aspects of the legal profession. To help you explore available certification exams, please contact a Board Member. If you know of additional certifications, please do not hesitate to contact our Education Director.

This information is provided as a public service, for informational purposes only. All information on this site is presented without any representation, guarantee, or warranty whatsoever regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information. SVPA does not endorse or recommend any individual vendors, products or services.

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