Tara Murphy, Esq. is the director of the University of San Diego School of Law Paralegal Program, which was first approved by the American Bar Association in 1977. She has served in that capacity since 2014 and has worked at the University of San Diego since 2011. Prior to her career in education, Ms. Murphy practiced law for Skadden Arps in Los Angeles and Luce Forward in San Diego, with a focus on business transactions, and worked as a certified public accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Moss Adams in San Diego, working on audits of public and private companies. She earned a JD from UCLA School of Law and a Masters in Health Policy and Law and a BA in Sociology from UC San Diego. She is an active member of the State Bar of California and an inactive member of the California Board of Accountancy.
As the director of a paralegal program in California, I am well acquainted with the value of ABA-approval. California is the first, and currently only, state to regulate paralegals. Our Business and Professions Code sets forth educational and experience standards, with completion of an ABA-approved paralegal program the first way a paralegal can meet the educational requirement. The Paralegal Program at the University of San Diego is honored to have held ABA-approval since 1977 and to foster connections between our graduates and the legal community.
I volunteered for my first site visit in 2017 as second seat on a re-approval application and quickly saw the benefit in meeting with others similarly dedicated to the profession and enhancing my understanding of the Guidelines. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to maintaining the relevance and reputation of the profession. The paralegal education community is a supportive group dedicated to providing a rigorous and meaningful educational experience to students and promoting the effective utilization of paralegals by attorneys, and the American Bar Association is a central part of that endeavor.