Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Apply to Paralegal

To join this program, you must apply for admission. This program is not competitive and accepts up to 50 students each Fall, Winter, and Spring Term.

Questions? Schedule a visit or talk with a program advisor.

How to apply

  1. Apply to PCC

    Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes. Complete this step as soon as possible so you can start using PCC resources.
    Apply to PCC angle right

  2. Take prerequisites

    If you have a qualifying prior degree, you are eligible for the paralegal certificate. The paralegal degree and legal assistant career pathway are for students who do not yet have a degree. Prerequisites depend on which award you’re pursuing:

    Application timeline

    Applications are evaluated as they are received: this means the sooner you apply, the more likely you are to get in.

    Term you
    want to
    Apply to Paralegal
    Regular: May 1-15
    Late: August 1-10
    Regular: October 10-20
    Late: November 1-10
    Regular: January 1-20
    Late: February 10-20
    Legal Assistant Career Pathway
    • Only an application is required. You must submit the application by the relevant deadline, or consideration will be delayed until the next opportunity.
    Paralegal Certificate
    • One of the following: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science. Degree must be from an accredited US institution with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (or foreign equivalent).
    Paralegal Degree
    • WR 121: English Composition I
    • One general education communications class*
    • One general education political science class*

    *Be sure the general education courses you choose satisfy the legal assistant and paralegal programs’ requirements. Check the catalog or talk to our program advisor if you have questions about which program is a better choice to meet your goals.

  3. Paralegal only: Submit your transcripts to PCC
    • If you have a prior degree or courses you want to transfer to PCC from another college, submit your official transcripts to PCC.
    • Separately, you will upload a copy of your transcripts in PDF format to the application.
  4. Paralegal only: Write a letter of application

    Write a 1-2 page letter about your interest in the Paralegal program. You will upload this letter with your application, below. The letter should cover:

    • Why you are interested in this program
    • Your proficiency level with writing
    • Your proficiency level with office software, including word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. If you have formal training, we’d love to hear about it.
    • Your career goals
  5. Paralegal only: Update your resume

    You’ll include a copy of your current resume with your application. If you need help, consult with Career Services or use their starter resume template.

  6. Submit application

    Complete the application:

After you apply

Notification emails will be sent to your MyPCC email address. You’ll hear back about your status within a few weeks after the application closes. If you’re not admitted, you’re welcome to re-apply at any time.

Course planning meeting

If accepted, your next step will be to meet with a program advisor and plan your class schedule. Check your notification email for instructions on making an appointment. You won’t be able to register for paralegal classes until completing this meeting.

The deadline for a course planning meeting for admitted students is ten days before the start of the term. Students who do not complete the meeting will need to reapply at the next opportunity.

How are applicants selected?

Legal Assistant applicants are evaluated based on:

  • Desire to enter the legal profession
  • Commitment to successfully completing the program
  • Potential to contribute to a diverse and productive learning community

Paralegal applicants are evaluated based on:

  • Quality of presentation of application materials
  • Quality of writing in a letter of application
  • Prerequisite and overall GPA
  • Commitment to program completion as demonstrated in the letter of application
  • Potential to contribute to a diverse and productive learning community demonstrated in the letter of application
  • Potential for successful employment as an entry-level paralegal upon graduation

Paralegals may not practice law and may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Paralegal program students must complete 14 quarter credit hours of synchronous instruction. Synchronous instruction means students must attend a scheduled class meeting time each week. This restriction is not applicable to Legal Assistant students.