The Paralegal Studies courses at San Francisco State University are taught at the upper-division level by a connected faculty of experienced professionals who currently practice in the legal field, including attorneys, paralegals and law school professors. Their expertise has trained legal professionals for the practice of law in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationwide.
Paul P. DeAngelis runs his own firm in San Francisco, Law Office of Paul P. DeAngelis, and concentrates on real estate litigation matters. Paul graduated with honors from Boston University School of Law. Since 1998, he has practiced law in San Francisco. Paul has successfully represented clients in jury and bench trials, and in trials in arbitration cases. He has worked closely with paralegals on trial teams. Paul regularly swims in the San Francisco Bay as a member of the South End Rowing Club.
Deborah de Lambert received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). She practiced criminal defense with the San Francisco Public Defender’s office and the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Northern District of California, as well as working in private practice. She later received her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of San Francisco. She has taught English as a Second Language at ELS in Berkeley and ELI in San Francisco. Recently, she has been teaching English on the island of Lesvos, Greece, to refugees.
Eddie Donnelly has practiced law in San Francisco for 17 years, with a focus on litigation and corporate counseling. Eddie is specialized in employment litigation, contract disputes, civil rights, election law and mediation. He is currently an attorney at the Renne Public Law Group.
Eddie earned his J.D. from University of San Francisco (magna cum laude) and his B.A from University of California, Los Angeles (Economics).
In addition to his law practice, Eddie has coached high school basketball for the past eight years at public high schools in San Francisco and Marin.
Anika Hosseini is a Bay Area native and received her B.A. from San Francisco State University, and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is an Associate at a family law firm in San Francisco, Van Voorhis & Sosna LLP, where she also previously worked as a paralegal prior to being admitted to the State Bar. She has served as a judicial extern for the Family Law division at San Francisco Superior Court and Contra Costa County Superior Court. Anika was also on the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Paralegal Executive Committee, and regularly participates in Continuing Learning Education speaking engagements for paralegals.
Mark Iverson was a deputy public defender for over 29 years at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office. During his career at that office, Mark was primarily in the felony rotation where he handled a variety of serious felony cases, including special circumstances homicide cases. Mark was lead counsel in 85 jury trials and promoted to head attorney in 2009. He was lead attorney in the Homicide unit from 2008 until 2012. For over a year, he was in the research unit where he wrote and filed motions, writs and appellate briefs and argued before the First District Court of Appeals.
Mark has lead seminars or trainings for lawyers on several subjects including the law of homicide, recent court decisions and statutes, cross examination of gang experts and laws involving gangs, legal issues & trial strategies when using mental health experts, ballistics, and DNA. For the past 20 years, Mark lead or assisted in trial practice groups, and mentored law students/interns.
Currently, Mark is in private practice where he represents clients on a court appointed basis in criminal cases.
William Jenkins is a Deputy Attorney General for the Office of Attorney General of State of California. He currently works in the Natural Resources Section representing state agency with responsibility for managing natural resources and environmental protection. Mr. Jenkins has been a member of the State Bar since 1989.
David M. Morfin received his Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Mr. Morfin has extensive experience with personnel policy, investigations and appeals for a large employer. He directs and oversees the development and advancement of policies, procedures and guidelines that ensure personnel processes align with state and federal law. Mr. Morfin also directs and oversees independent investigations regarding allegations of improper personnel practices, policy violations and whistleblower retaliation.
Mr. Morfin previously taught college Paralegal courses year-round for nearly 12 years in subjects including, but not limited to: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Labor and Employment Law, Immigration, Advanced Trial Procedures, Property Law, Evidence, Legal Research and Writing, Torts, Contracts, Ethics, Family Law, Wills & Trusts and Civil Litigation. Mr. Morfin also taught several upper-level Criminal Justice courses, such as Criminology, Corrections and Juvenile Justice.
Mr. Morfin is active in Civic Leadership, where he has served as a Planning Commissioner, Public Safety Commissioner and Citizens’ Oversight Board Member.
Romy Rahmanian is an adjunct professor of law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and Southwestern Law School. He teaches Legal Research and Writing, and Trusts and Estates.
Romy received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Southwestern Law School where he served as a Senior Editor for the Southwestern Law Review and as a full-time judicial extern for the Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Romy earned his undergraduate degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Romy is also the principal attorney at the Law Office of Romy S. Rahmanian, a law firm that is dedicated to assisting clients in the areas of estate planning, trust administration, estate litigation, probate, real estate and business law. His work includes advising clients on how to strategically position themselves before litigation becomes necessary. Romy also utilizes his litigation experience to assist clients in crafting estate plans which minimize the risk of problems.
He is a member of the California Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Sacramento County Bar Association. Romy has also worked as a volunteer for the Bet Tzedek, a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free legal services for underprivileged, elderly and disabled residents in Los Angeles County.
Nicole leads Candelaria PC’s estate planning and trust administration group. Her experience includes preparing all types of estate planning documents for a diverse range of clients, as well as handling complex trust administration and probate matters. Nicole has a particular interest in counseling clients regarding separate property and community property issues, business succession planning, and California real property taxes.
Prior to joining the firm, Nicole was an attorney at a prominent trusts and estates law firm in Orinda. There, she assisted high net-worth clients with family wealth preservation, advised married clients with substantial separate property assets, and helped clients meet their charitable giving objectives.
Nicole obtained her J.D. from Golden Gate University, School of Law, where she was a merit scholarship recipient. She also obtained an LL.M. in Taxation with honors from Golden Gate University, School of Law. This advanced degree allows Nicole to design and implement sophisticated estate planning techniques, and to effectively identify and minimize gift, estate, and property tax issues.
Raymond R. Rollan is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office - Trial Division. Previously, Raymond served as a Deputy City Attorney for the Hayward City Attorney's Office, where he performed both litigation and advisory responsibilities. Mr. Rollan also served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Kandis A. Westmore at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Rollan received his paralegal certificate from the SF State Paralegal Program and worked as a paralegal at the intellectual property law firm, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Mr. Rollan is actively involved in various bar associations in San Francisco, including the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), the Asian American Bar Association (AABA), and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.
Michael Schiraldi is a paralegal at Fox Rothschild LLP. Originally from Long Island, he completed the SF State Paralegal Studies program in the spring of 2015. He has served as a board member/director at the San Francisco Paralegal Association and the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations. He resides in San Francisco.
Steve Weisberg, JD, operates a contract service for legal and sociologic services and is a partner in a continuing education lecture business. He has acted as both a small claims court advisor and mediator for Marin County and has over 20 years of experience in teaching and curriculum design in the legal field. Faculty member since 1991.
Louis Wu, JD, is a patent attorney specializing in the commercialization of technological innovation. He has been teaching courses on various forms of property law, e.g., patents, trademarks, patents, and other forms of intellectual property law, at San Francisco State University for over a decade. His technical background includes: a BS degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MS degree in industrial engineering from Northeastern University, extended course work from the Advanced Biosciences Program at the University of California at Berkeley, and years of experience as a research scientist/engineer. Since graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law, he has represented numerous technology-based start-ups, research institutions, and industry leaders. He is currently in private practice in Oakland and holds professional licenses from the California State Bar, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Bureau of Real Estate for the State of California.
Mark Yates, JD, is an attorney living and practicing in San Francisco. After graduating from Hastings College of the Law, he worked in San Francisco as a Litigation Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop, and eventually moved to Mendocino County to work as a Deputy Public Defender. Currently, besides teaching at San Francisco State University, he represents indigent criminal defendants on appeal and teaches at Golden Gate University School of Law.
What Faculty Say
I have worked with paralegals throughout my career, and litigated in countless cases against firms and attorneys who had paralegals on their staff.
In my first job litigating medical malpractice claims, I worked closely with paralegals during the discovery process to obtain and review medical records, as well as investigate medical conditions and causation.
When I litigated prisoner civil rights cases, I worked with paralegals on a regular basis. Paralegals opened cases and initially investigated the claims, and then worked with me to follow up and prepare for trials. Some of the civil rights cases were large class actions that involved electronic database management and voluminous discovery with the corresponding data management for trial. In these class actions, each side of the litigation had teams of paralegals and I was required to work with my opponents' paralegal teams.
I have been involved with paralegals since 1980 in a variety of ways. I have been an instructor at the San Francisco State University Paralegal Studies Program since the early 1980s. During those early years, I also taught in the paralegal programs at Napa Valley College, California State University Hayward, and the University of San Francisco.
In addition to teaching, over the last twenty-eight years I have had various and numerous contacts with paralegals. I have interfaced with various firms' support staff to insure correct calendaring, proper pleading practices, optimization of discovery plans and trial preparation.
Paralegals are utilized in various manners in different firms. While some of the firms I have worked with use their support staff in "paper-flow" situations, others use paralegals to create pleadings and, in some cases, prepare briefs. The full range of contacts I have had with paralegals over the past decades is varied and substantial.
Louis L. Wu
My experience working with paralegals primarily involves patent prosecution matters in a law firm and in-house corporate settings. As a patent attorney, I rely on patent paralegals and administrators to assist me with all aspects of patent prosecution.
Typical duties include preparing and filing formal documents associated with patent applications in a timely manner, docketing all domestic and foreign response dates in a patent management database and organizing files and other information related to clients' intellectual property portfolios.
As a result, the paralegals and administrators must be current with the procedures and requirements for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as international procedures and requirements.
In my experience, attorneys and paralegals are more like collaborators than teachers and students. For example, patent laws and procedures are constantly revised, particularly the format of filings, fee calculations, etc. It is generally more efficient and cost-effective to have paralegals rather than attorneys flag changes in such laws and procedures. Once such changes are brought to my attention, we work together to adjust our practice accordingly.
As a litigation associate at Pillsbury Winthrop, I worked quite a bit with paralegals. Mostly they helped me with document review and management. They sorted documents according to issue and they worked with me in creating databases.
As a public defender we also relied to some extent on paralegals. Paralegals played a much more active role in actual legal work. They assisted me with research, drafting motions, and investigation.
In either setting it was important that the paralegals have a grasp of the basic legal issues involved in the cases they worked on. Using them effectively led me to take a much more focused and efficient approach to my own work.
S. Joseph Tobener
I have worked alongside paralegals for eight years. From 2004 to 2005, I supervised two paralegals as co-lead attorney for eighteen months during a multi-million dollar black water lawsuit. As a housing rights attorney, I have worked with or supervised paralegals who performed many tasks, including conducting research, interviewing clients and witnesses, hiring expert witnesses, translating and drafting briefs.
ABA-Approved Paralegal Program
The SF State Paralegal Studies certificate program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).