Paralegal Schools in Maryland

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

Maryland punches above its weight when it comes to the paralegal profession with the 11th highest number of paralegals of any state in the nation (US Department of Labor, 2016).

It’s important to be as competitive as possible in a job market where law firms expect you to hit the ground running on day one. In Maryland and the surrounding area you could be going up against paralegals that already have experience in multinational corporations, international lobbyist groups, and the most important federal offices in the nation. Distinguishing yourself in this pack starts with the right education.

To help you make an informed decision about what’s out there, we’ve made some recommendations for the best online paralegal schools. These institutions have programs for aspiring paralegals from all types of backgrounds. This includes those making a career change, students who are fresh out of high school, and experienced paralegals who want to add to their professional qualifications.

 

Anne Arundel Community College

AAS Paralegal Studies, Business – Campus

AAS Paralegal Studies, General Practice – Campus

AAS Paralegal Studies, Litigation – Campus

Paralegal Studies Business Certificate – Campus

Paralegal Studies General Practice Certificate – Campus

Paralegal Studies Litigation Certificate – Campus

  • ABA-approved – All AAS degree programs are ABA-approved; all certificate programs are not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We’re featuring this school because of its amazing range of program choices offered with flexible scheduling options that include day, evening, and weekend courses offered on a full or part-time basis. All classes are based out of AACU’s Arnold campus in the greater Baltimore-DC metro area.

All AAS programs are ABA-approved, comprised of 60 credits, and designed to be completed in two years. These are open to anyone who meets the general admission requirements for getting into AACC.

All certificate programs are comprised of at least 31 credits and designed to be completed in one year. Applicants to any certificate program must already have a bachelor’s degree or at least 18 college credits in English and other basic subjects.

The litigation certificate, business certificate, and business AAS programs all feature internships as part of their curricula.

AACU also offers continuing legal education (CLE) courses that are approved by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

 

Baltimore City Community College

AAS Legal Assistant – Campus, blended, and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We like this program because it requires all students to complete 90 hours of attorney-supervised experience in a paralegal internship somewhere in the greater Baltimore metro area. This program is designed to be completed in two years and consists of 60 semester credits.

Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED can apply to this program thanks to BCCC’s open admissions policy. That means you can apply if you’re making a career change or if you’ve just graduated from high school.

 

Chesapeake College

AAS in Legal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We like this program because the cost-to-quality ratio is extraordinary. The AAS program is 60 credits and designed to take two years, while the certificate program is 29 credits and also scheduled to be completed over the course of two years part time. These programs are based out of CC’s Wye Mills campus.

Both programs include a cooperative work experience segment, while the certificate program also offers the opportunity for job shadowing. The AAS program is designed for career changers and students out of high school. The certificate program is designed for students who already have a degree in a legal-related subject or work experience as a paralegal.

 

Community College of Baltimore County

AAS in Legal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The AAS degree is ABA-approved; the certificate program is not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

This program makes our list because it connects paralegal students with professionals in the legal field in one of the most important metro-area markets in the nation.

The AAS degree can be completed in two years and is 60 credits. The certificate program can be completed in one year and is 31 credits. During the last semester of each program students have the opportunity to engage in an internship at a legal institution located in the greater Baltimore metro area.

Some courses may be offered online, but the majority are delivered through CCBC’s three campus locations, all within the city limits of Baltimore. Anyone can apply for admission to the AAS program, while the certificate program requires that you have at least an associate’s degree.

 

Frederick Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

This AAS program is 60 credits and takes two years to complete. The certificate program is 33 credits and takes 18 months to complete. Both programs include a three-credit internship at a legal institution in the greater Frederick area. Both programs are open to anyone who meets FCC’s general entrance requirements.

The certificate program is an abbreviated version of the AAS for students who don’t want to commit to a two-year program. This school’s paralegal program is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education and offers opportunities for students to join the Paralegal Student Association.

 

Hagerstown Community College

AA Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

HCC makes our list because it offers incremental options for paralegals that want to start with a certificate with the option to earn an AA degree.

The certificate program is 30 credits and takes one year to complete, while the AA program is 60 credits and takes two years to complete. You can apply the credits you earn in the certificate program towards an AA if you decide to continue your studies.

Both programs offer students an internship opportunity that takes place in a law office or other legal environment in the greater Hagerstown area. Anyone can apply to either program if they meet HCC’s basic admission requirements.

 

Harford Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We’re featuring this ABA-approved program for offering a direct-entry-to-work program for its graduates. Classes take place on campus in the daytime and evenings.

Both programs offer an internship in the Bel Air and greater metro areas. The AS program is 60 credits and takes two years to complete. The certificate program is 35 credits and also takes two years to complete. Anyone who meets HCC’s general admission requirements can apply to the AS program, while the certificate program is designed for students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field.

HCC’s paralegal program is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

 

Kaplan University (Hagerstown)

AAS in Legal Support and Services – Campus and online

BS in Legal Support and Services, Paralegal Concentration – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

KU makes our list because it offers students three attractive options.

The AAS program is 90 credits and can be completed in two years. You can use this degree as a stepping stone to a BS at KU if you decide to continue with your education. The BS program is 180 credits and can be completed in four years. The certificate program is 36 credits and can be completed in 55 weeks.

All programs are offered on KU’s Rockville and Hagerstown campuses as well as online. Anyone can apply for the AAS and BS programs. To apply for the certificate program you need to already have a bachelor’s degree in any field.

 

Montgomery College

AAS Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

Legal Analysis Letter of Recognition – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Anyone who meets MC’s general admission requirements can apply for the program of their choosing. The AAS program can be completed in two years, totals 60 semester credits, and culminates with an internship located in the Rockville or greater DC metro area.

The certificate program is 24 credits and can be completed in two semesters, while the letter of recognition is nine credits and can be completed in one semester. You can apply the credits you earn in these programs towards the AAS degree should you choose to pursue this later.

 

Prince George’s Community College

AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies – Campus and online

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We chose this program because of its convenience and opportunity. From its campus location in Largo, students have tremendous opportunities for paralegal internships in the greater DC metro area. Students have the convenience of studying fully online as well as on campus.

The AAS degree can be completed in two years, while the certificate program can be completed in 18 months. Both programs offer the opportunity for internships. The certificate program is a shorter version of the AAS, and you can apply classes you take for the certificate towards the AAS degree if you decide to continue your education.

 

Stevenson University

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and hybrid

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

We’re featuring this four-year 120-credit program because it is the only ABA-approved bachelor’s degree option in the state. Another great feature of this program is its internships: students are placed in law firms of all sizes, insurance companies, government agencies, and more. SU’s campus is in convenient proximity to the DC and Baltimore metro areas.

As a graduate of this program you are qualified to work as a paralegal directly out of school. If you want to continue school you can opt to combine a master’s degree with your BS.

 

University of Maryland, University College

BS in Legal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Four-year degrees in legal studies are hard to find, especially those that are offered in a convenient online format. This school has both, which is why it makes our list.

Anyone with a high school diploma or GED qualifies for admission to this school. If you’re coming in with some college courses under your belt, this program allows you to transfer up to 90 credits.

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