Paralegal Schools in Michigan

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

From the Upper Peninsula across the Straits of Mackinac, all the way to the big city of Detroit, Michigan has some of the best opportunities for anybody looking to become a paralegal.

With rural areas on the Lower Peninsula offering the highest average paralegal salaries of all non-metro regions in the nation (US Department of Labor, 2016), you’ll need to come with some competitive credentials if you want to land an entry level job or carve out your niche here. In fact, this isn’t bad advice no matter where you might live in the state, whether you plan to work for the local law office in your hometown or if your goals are to land a job in a big firm with offices in a downtown skyscraper in Grand Rapids or Detroit.

You’ll find some recommendations above for what we think are the best paralegal programs in the state and online. You’re sure to find one that fits your schedule, budget, and your career goals. All the programs we selected are offered through schools that hold regional or national accreditation.

 

Baker College

Associate of Business in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • ABA-approved – Both programs at the Auburn Hills campus and the associate’s program at the Jackson campus and Clinton Township campus are ABA approved; online programs and those at campuses not mentioned are not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We’re singling out this school because it has one of only three ABA-approved bachelor’s programs in the state. If you’re not ready to make a four-year commitment with a bachelor’s degree, the school also offers an ABA-approved associate’s program that you can apply towards a BS if you continue.

In addition to being offered online, you can find these paralegal programs on the following campuses: Clinton Township, Auburn Hills, Muskegon, Owosso, Allen Park, and Jackson.

Only the associate’s and BS programs at the Auburn Hills campus, and the associate’s programs at the Jackson and Clinton Township campuses, are ABA-approved – the ABA only grants approval to campus-based programs.

The associate’s program can be completed in two years and totals 93 quarter credits. The BS program can be completed in four years and totals 181 quarter credits. Both degree programs include a four-credit paralegal work experience course that those in the Auburn Hills area can complete in wider metropolitan Detroit.

 

Career Quest Learning Centers

Paralegal AAS – Campus

  • Accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education

We’re featuring CQLC because they provide a strong grounding in the paralegal field that is open to prospective students from all walks of life. All you need to make a complete application is a high school diploma or GED.

This 61-credit program is offered at CQLCs in Jackson and Lansing. It can be completed in 15 months and includes a 180-hour externship that provides real-world experience in the paralegal profession.

 

Davenport University

AS in Legal Studies – Campus

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We like this school because it offers an ABA-approved program for students with a wide range of educational goals. The 64-credit AS program takes two years to complete, the 120-credit BS program takes four years to complete, and the 27-credit certificate program takes 18 months to complete. All programs include the opportunity for a paralegal internship that can be completed in the greater Grand Rapids area.

Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to the AS and BS programs, while the certificate programs requires applicants to already have a bachelor’s degree in any field.

 

Delta College

Associate in Business Studies, Legal Support Professional – Campus

Advanced Certificate in Law Office Specialist – Campus

Advanced Certificate in Law Office Foundation – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The 64-credit three-year associate’s degree is offered in two formats: one designed for graduates going directly into the paralegal field upon graduation, and one designed for those transferring to a four-year school.

The law office specialist certificate is 47 credits and takes two years to complete. The law office foundation certificate is 32 credits and takes 18 months to complete.

The paralegal certificate is 30 credits and is offered in an open-ended online format that students can complete as quickly as desired, up to a maximum of one year. Students enrolled in this program have access to Westlaw and resources through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED can apply to any of these programs. All programs except the paralegal certificate include an internship in Bay County or the greater Michigan area.

 

Eastern Michigan University

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

This ABA-approved program is on our list because it offers the only attorney-supervised legal clinic for paralegal students in the nation. Classes are offered during the daytime and evenings to accommodate busy schedules.

To apply to this 124-credit four-year degree program you’ll need to already be admitted to EMU. As you near the end of your studies you’ll have opportunities to complete clinical and internship experiences in the Ypsilanti and greater Detroit areas.

 

Ferris State University

AAS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

From FSU’s Big Rapids campus, students can complete this 64-credit ABA-approved program in two years. To apply to this competitive program you’ll need to submit SAT and ACT scores and make it through FSU’s general admissions process.

The school also includes the option to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration that’s combined with this AAS.

 

Grand Valley State University

BA/BS in Legal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We’re featuring these two competitive ABA-approved programs because they offer highly respected academic credentials in the form of a bachelor’s or post-baccalaureate certificate, one of the highest achievements paralegals can aspire to. Starting with those who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field, the certificate program augments existing qualifications. This 30-credit program is designed to be completed in one year.

The four-year BS/BA programs are open to those enrolling straight out of high school as well as those changing careers to the paralegal profession. For students wishing to further their education, these BS/BA programs can be combined with a JD in GVSU’s LEAP (Legal Education Admission Program) that can be completed in six years total.

Both the certificate and four-year programs include the option for students to complete up to six credits-worth of an internship in Ottawa County or the greater Grand Rapids area.

 

Henry Ford College

Associate of Business in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The Associate of Business in Paralegal Studies program is ABA-approved; the certificate program is not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We like Henry Ford College because it features options for people straight out of high school as well as for career changers who already have a degree.

The associate’s degree program is 63 credits and designed to be completed in two years. It is open to anyone who meets HFC’s general admissions requirements. The 25-credit certificate program is designed to be completed in 32 weeks. Applicants to this program must have an AS/AA/AB degree in any field, and are strongly recommended to have a bachelor’s degree.

Both programs include a paralegal internship that can take place in Dearborn, Detroit, or the greater metropolitan area. Some courses may be offered online, though most take place on campus.

 

Lansing Community College

Associate of Business in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Lansing Community College offers ABA-approved programs with everybody in mind: both high school graduates or un-credentialed paralegals (associate’s), and experienced professionals in other fields who already have a degree but who want to make the switch to a paralegal career (post-bac certificate).

The 67-credit associate’s program takes two years to complete, while the 34-credit certificate program is designed to be completed in one year. Both programs include a paralegal internship that is worth three credits.

 

Macomb Community College

AAS in Legal Assistant Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Macomb’s two-year program accepts applications from all types of people – career changers, high school graduates, and even certificated paralegals looking to boost their academic credentials by earning a degree.

From its beautiful campus in Warren, this ABA-approved program gives students everything they need to be successful. Administrators are available to assist graduates looking to transfer credits to another school to pursue a four-year degree.

 

Madonna University

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Madonna is proud to say that 95 percent of its students find a job in their field after graduating

The AS and BS programs are open to applicants who meet MU’s basic admission criteria, while the certificate is for professionals in any field who already have a bachelor’s degree. The AS takes two years to complete, the BS takes four years to complete, and the 40-credit certificate program can be completed in 18 months.

All programs include an internship opportunity in the Livonia or greater Detroit metro area that’s worth up to three credits.

 

North Central Michigan College

AAS Legal Assistant – Campus

Legal Assistant Certificate of Development – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We chose to feature North Central because it offers convenient one and two-year options for aspiring paralegals from all walks of life. Both programs are open to anyone who meets NCMC’s basic admission criteria. You choose whether you want to make a one-year commitment with the 21-credit certificate program, or a two-year commitment with the 64-credit associate’s. Both options also include a three-credit internship component in Petoskey or elsewhere in Michigan.

 

Northern Michigan University

Paralegal AAS – Campus

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

From its Marquette campus, NMU offers something for everyone located in the Upper Peninsula. The two-year AAS and four-year bachelor’s programs are open to anyone who meets the university’s general admission requirements. The one-year 40-credit certificate program is offered for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in any major looking to make the transition to the paralegal profession.

One particular highlight of each of these programs is a capstone internship experience in public policy or law that can count for up to 12 credits.

 

Oakland Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We’re featuring OCC because it offers two ABA-approved programs from its Bloomfield Hills campus for students at different points in their education.

If you’re just beginning your higher education there is the 62-credit two-year AAS program that takes applications from anyone who meets OCCs general admission requirements. This program culminates with a three-credit trial preparation course.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any field there is the 32-credit post-bac paralegal certificate. This program can be completed in one year over the fall, winter, and summer semesters.

 

Oakland University

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

This ABA-approved certificate is designed for students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field. It can be completed in two semesters and offers evening classes. There are three campus locations that offer this program, two in Auburn Hills and one in Rochester.

This program culminates with a 100-hour internship at the Oakland County Circuit Courthouse or with Michael Morse P.C.

 

Washtenaw Community College

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus with the option for some online courses

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

We like this program because it provides two competitive options for students in the greater Ann Arbor area: an AA degree for students who are planning to enter the paralegal profession upon graduation, and an associate’s degree designed for transfer to a four-year college or university.

The AA program can be completed in four semesters and totals 62 credits. The transfer associate’s program is 82 credits and can be completed in 30-36 months.

 

Wayne County Community College District

Paralegal Technology AAS – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Anyone who meets WCCCD’s general admission requirements can apply for this four-semester 64-credit program. Offered from the downtown campus in Detroit, this degree is designed for prospective paralegals who want to develop a strong foundation in education and add to their professional credentials. Students can develop contacts among their peers and faculty that extend into the greater metro area.

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