Paralegal Schools in Colorado

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 Colorado have come to rely on paralegals with the kind of expertise that can only come from earning a certificate or degree in paralegal studies.

Maybe you’re fresh out of high school and have been dreaming of the day you land a job with one of the big law firms with offices in a downtown Denver skyscraper … Maybe you’ve got several years under your belt in an entry level paralegal position and want to start impressing the partners so you can catch your next big break and get promoted … Maybe you’ve been working in a completely different profession where you’re getting burnt out and you’re ready to transition to your real career as a paralegal.

No matter where you are in your career and no matter what your reason is for starting to look at your education options, deciding on which school to attend isn’t something that always comes easy.

To simplify things, we’ve created a list of our top picks for online options and schools with campus locations in Colorado. The programs we selected were chosen based on specific quality measures. Our entire selection of schools only includes those that are regionally or nationally accredited.

 

Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College is in Littleton, with additional campuses in Parker and Castle Rock.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Paralegal – On-campus

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

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

The degree and certificate programs at Arapahoe Community College have both qualified for approval through the American Board Association.  The degree program requires 60 credits of study and can be completed in as little as 2 years full-time.  The certificate program is a post-associate program that consists of 36 credits.  Students with at least 5 years of documented paralegal work experience can use their experience as a substitute for the associate degree requirement.

A few of the general education courses can be completed online.  However, students are required to complete at least 27 credits of core paralegal courses on-campus.

 

Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is a 4-year school in Glenwood Springs.  Additional campus locations include Aspen, Breckenridge, Dillon, Carbondale, Buena Vista, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Vail Valley at Edwards, Leadville, and Steamboat Springs.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal – Online

Paralegal Certificate – Online (post-associate)

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

What we really like about the programs offered at CMC is that they can be completed entirely online.  There’s even flexibility for those who prefer a traditional classroom setting – all courses can be completed at any of the CMC campuses.

Colorado Mountain College also has a joint agreement with Colorado Mesa University (CMU), in which students who complete the AAS paralegal degree at CMC can transfer seamlessly to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Administration/Public Safety at CMU.

An internship is only available with the degree program.

 

Community College of Aurora

Community College of Aurora (CCA) is a 2-year community college located in Aurora.

Associate of General Studies Degree (AGS) – Paralegal – On-campus

Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) – Paralegal – On-campus

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Management with Paralegal Emphasis – On-campus

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

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

This school caught our attention because it offers four different ABA-approved paralegal programs.  Most, if not all, of the general education courses can be completed online, though paralegal core courses are only available on-campus.  However, the paralegal program at CCA is predominantly a night program, so all of the core paralegal courses are offered during the evening hours for added flexibility.

 

Community College of Denver

Community College of Denver (CCD) is a 2-year community college located in Denver, with additional campuses throughout the Denver area.  CCD is regionally accredited and also a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

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

General Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

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

The paralegal degree program at CCD is a 60-credit program, while the paralegal certificate program is 33-credits. General education courses can generally be taken online; a maximum of two paralegal core courses can be taken online. Both the certificate and the degree option offer a local internship opportunity.

 

Front Range Community College

Front Range Community College is a 2-year public institution located in Westminster.  There are additional campuses in Brighton, Fort Collins, and Longmont.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal/Legal Assistant – On-campus and online

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate – On-campus and online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

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

We love the programs available through Front Range CC for offering such flexibility.  General education courses can usually be completed entirely online.  Paralegal core program courses are available on-campus in the mornings and evenings, and a handful of them are available online format as well.

It’s important to note that both the paralegal degree and certificate programs are only available at the Fort Collins and Westminster campus locations.

 

Institute of Business and Medical Careers College

The Institute of Business and Medical Careers College (IBMC) is a 2-year private institution with campuses in Fort Collins, Longmont, and Greeley.

Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) – Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

The AOS in Paralegal Studies is a 90-credit degree program that includes both a theory and a lab component.  Full-time students are able to finish the program in as little as 19 months.  An additional benefit is that students who complete the program also receive Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification.  The paralegal program at IBMC is only available at the Greeley campus.

 

Regis University

Regis University is a 4-year Catholic university located in Denver, with additional satellite campuses in Thornton and Colorado Springs.

Bachelor of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies – On-campus and online

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

This school stood out to us because it has such a great variety of class delivery options. Students can opt for a mixture of campus-based and online courses. The school even offers a directed study program, in which students work independently and meet with their instructor at designated times.  Students can also choose to enroll in the accelerated paralegal program, in which courses run in five-week or eight-week terms and enrollment is open six times per year.  The degree requires 120 credits of study, with 15 credit hours in the paralegal specialization.

 

U.S. Career Institute

U.S. Career Institute is a distance learning institution with a home base in Fort Collins.

Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education program
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission

This program caught our attention because it’s offered exclusively online.  The program also offers open enrollment, so you can register and start any time.  The program is also self-scheduled, so you set the pace that works best for you.  Best of all, there are no extraordinary enrollment requirements – a high school diploma or GED is all you need to get started!

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