Some certificate programs admit students with high school diplomas or minimal higher education. Most commonly, these programs can be found through vocational schools, business schools and proprietary schools. They can take from a few months to two years to complete, depending on their rigor.
Certificate programs offer courses specific to paralegals without many general education requirements. Those who complete certificate programs become certificated paralegals and may find work as paralegal generalists.
Some certificate programs have a focus on assisting working paralegals in specializing within a particular area of the law. These programs offer a concentration of courses in one area of the law, such as litigation, real estate, intellectual property or environmental law, thereby allowing paralegals to become more skilled within that area. ABA approved paralegal schools can be found here.