Campus: San Francisco State University -- February 15, 2002

SFSU Paralegal Studies, Legal Nurse Consultant certificate programs earn accreditation from American Bar Association

San Francisco State University's Paralegal Studies and Legal Nurse Consultant certificate programs are now accredited by the American Bar Association.

The Paralegal Studies Program joins the list of 250 ABA-approved paralegal programs among the nearly 1,000 programs offered by colleges and universities across the country. It is the only ABA-approved program in San Francisco and one of only four in the Bay Area.

Accreditation for both programs was approved at an ABA meeting held this month in Philadelphia.

Recent California legislation establishes criteria for professionals to legally identify themselves as paralegals. One criterion is graduation from an ABA-approved program.

Teri Cannon, associate dean of the SFSU College of Extended Learning and former director of both programs, said the newly accredited programs will provide stronger career opportunities for students and benefit the entire Bay Area legal community.

"As the cost of legal services rise, the utilization of paralegals to increase the efficiency and availability of legal services is more important than ever," she said. "We are pleased to be a crucial part of that process and delighted to earn this recognition for our programs by the organized bar."

Founded in 1975 as the first paralegal certificate program in the Bay Area, the Paralegal Studies Program offers instruction in practical legal skills and substantive law and has more than 800 graduates.

With ABA accreditation, the Legal Nurse Consultant certificate program now offers greater career options for licensed registered nurses. The program prepares nurses to render informed opinions on the delivery and outcomes of health care, particularly in cases of personal injury, toxic torts, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, risk management and products liability. The program was established in 1998 and has about 35 graduates.

The ABA, the largest voluntary professional association in the world, provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system.

Classes are offered through the SFSU College of Extended Learning at the SFSU Downtown Center at 425 Market St. (at Fremont Street) in San Francisco. For details on the Paralegal Studies and Legal Nurse Consultant programs, call (415) 405-7770 or visit:

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