Paralegal Schools in Arkansas

The body of knowledge required to effectively perform legal support services can only come from a formal education in paralegal studies. As attorneys, corporations and government agencies work within an increasingly complex legal framework, the level of responsibility they expect paralegals to be able to take on has also increased. Law offices and other employers in Arkansas have come to rely on paralegals with the kind of expertise that can only come from earning a certificate or degree in paralegal studies.

Perhaps you’ve just graduated from high school and you’ve got your sights set on working in one of Arkansas’ top law firms as a paralegal.  Perhaps you’ve been working in the legal field for years, and now you’re ready to take that next step forward in your career.  Regardless of whether you need that associate’s degree to get your foot in the door, or you’re looking for something more advanced to sharpen your skills, choosing a school is one of the most important decisions you have to make.

We understand that it can be overwhelming with all the options available to you.  To make this task of selecting a quality program a little easier, we’ve compiled a selection of our favorite picks. In making our picks, we looked for schools that meet the national mark of excellence – accreditation. Most of our picks offer an online option, and all are accredited by regional or national accreditation bodies.

 

NorthWest Arkansas Community College

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a 2-year community college located in Bentonville, with additional campuses in Springdale and Farmington.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – On-Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

The paralegal associate degree at NWACC runs 64 credits in length and takes about two years to complete.  The program also boasts a 160-hour paralegal internship.  The internship program gives students the chance to work under the supervision of an attorney in a legal setting, learning real-world skills and applying theory to practice.  Students are required to meet with their internship coordinator at least four times during their intern experience.

We really like the program offered at NWACC for its flexibility.  Prerequisite courses can be taken entirely online, though core paralegal courses must be taken on-campus.  For added flexibility, campus-based paralegal courses are scheduled in the evenings and can be taken at any of the college’s campuses – Bentonville, Springdale, or Farmington.

 

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

University of Arkansas, Fort Smith (UAFS) is a 4-year public university.  Additional campus locations include Fayetteville, Little Rock, Monticello, and Pine Bluff.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies – On-Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

We took special note of this degree program because the core paralegal courses are taught by highly experienced attorneys. Night courses are offered on-campus in Fort Smith, with occasional daytime offerings. The program also includes an internship experience; some of the local internship hosts include the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Credits earned from the AAS in Legal Studies also easily transfer to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

 

Pulaski Technical College

Pulaski Technical College is a 2-year public school in North Little Rock.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Technology – On-Campus and Online

Paralegal Technology Technical Certificate – On-Campus and online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

The AAS in Paralegal Technology is a 61-credit degree program.  The certificate option requires 31 credits for completion.  Courses are conveniently scheduled on-campus in the evenings and online as well, so you can choose what works for you.

 

Southeast Arkansas College

Southeast Arkansas College is a 2-year public college in Pine Bluff.

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education program
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

We love this program for the flexibility that it offers. The certificate program can be completed entirely online, and it only takes six weeks to complete.  As an added benefit, the program has four start dates to choose from.

 

University of Arkansas – Little Rock

University of Arkansas, Little Rock is a 4-year public university in Little Rock.  Satellite campus locations include Fayetteville, Monticello, and Pine Bluff.

Minor in Legal Studies – On-Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

The Minor in Legal Studies requires 18 credits of course work and can be paired with either an associate or bachelor degree. Courses that are specific to the legal studies minor must be taken on-campus in Little Rock. It’s worth noting, though, that some of the bachelor degree programs can be taken entirely online, with the exception of the legal studies courses.

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