We take paralegal education serious here. Every major law firm, corporate legal department, financial services firm and government agency, from Jackson to Gulfport relies on qualified paralegals to grease the cogs of the legal process. Without well-educated paralegals hard at work to make it happen, there wouldn’t be many high-powered law firms and corporate entities making their home in our humble state. We owe a lot to the work they do and we want to show it.

That’s why we put together this list of the best paralegal schools throughout Mississippi. These schools offer degree programs and certificates that cater to a wide range of students – from recent high school graduates just getting their careers off the ground, to mid-career professionals pivoting to the paralegal field, to experienced paralegals thinking of going back to school to bolster their credentials.

Featured Programs:

Antonelli College

Associate of Applied Business in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $31,690

We like the fact that Antonelli offers a paralegal program that features day and evening class options, giving working students the kind of flexibility they need. An associate’s is increasingly being seen as the basic requirement for entry-level paralegals, particularly with bigger firms in the major metro areas. This program is delivered at AC’s Hattiesburg campus and can be completed in just 19 months.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,460 (in-state); $9,460 (out-of-state)

We like Copiah-Lincoln CC’s 62-credit two-year program because it offers everyone – from recent high school graduates to those changing careers – to become qualified paralegals. 36 credits focus on subjects directly relevant to working as a paralegal, while 26 credits are electives that you can choose to customize your education. The kind of well-rounded graduate programs like this produce are exactly why employers want the legal support staff they hire to hold an associate’s degree. This is a great choice for residents of the greater Jackson metro area.

Delta State University

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,260

This two-year 33-credit program covers the gamut of essential topics all paralegals need to know to be competitive and successful in their field. It culminates with a three-credit practicum in the greater Cleveland area, providing the kind of real world experience law firms want to see from paralegal candidates.

Hinds Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and online

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,680 (in-state), $11,280 (out-of-state), Technical Certificate: $3,750 (in-state), $7,650 (out-of-state); Career Certificate: $2,500 (in-state), $5,100 (out-of-state)

We really like the fact that Hinds CC provides a couple of options for aspiring paralegals in the Raymond and greater Jackson metropolitan area.

The AAS program takes two years to complete and prepares students for direct entry into the paralegal profession. The certificate program is an abridged version of the AAS, and is offered in two versions: a technical certificate (18 months) and a career certificate (12 months).

The legal research and legal writing classes are the only courses not offered online, but are offered during the daytime, evenings, and weekends to meet the scheduling needs of busy students.

Holmes Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $3,110; AAS: $6,220

With classes held at HCC’s Ridgeland campus, students can make a one or two-year commitment depending on which program they choose. Both programs are open to high school graduates as well as those making a career change.

The 30-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAS, and can be completed in one year. Students who want to continue with their education can transfer in the credits they earned to complete the 60-credit AAS program. This program culminates with a three-credit internship that takes place in a private law office, with a court, a government office, or a business in the greater Goodman area.

Itawamba Community College

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,240 (in-state), $9,640 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Itawamba’s paralegal programs because they offer a great value. Either program can be completed in two years and are open to anyone who meets ICC’s basic entrance requirements.

The 60-credit AA is offered at the Fulton campus, while the 61-credit AAS program is offered at the Tupelo campus. Both programs include a three-credit internship that can be completed in the greater Tupelo metropolitan area.

Jones County Junior College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,000 (in-state); $10,000 (out-of-state)

The Jones County Junior College AAS program is open to anyone who has a high school diploma and a score of at least 16 on the ACT (applicants with a score below 16 may be accepted on a probationary basis). An associate’s will put you ahead of the curve when it comes time to submit your application with law offices in the Laural and Ellisville areas. Classes are offered out of JCJC’s Ellisville campus.

Mississippi College

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees – $66,960

Mississippi College made the cut because it offers one of the only four-year degrees for paralegals in the state. It also offers the convenience of a fully online option, as well as a campus-based option for students in the Clinton area who prefer a more traditional college experience. You’ll need to score an 18 on the ACT or a 940 on the SAT to be eligible for admission to MC.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Paralegal Technology Diploma – Campus

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Diploma: $3,100, Certificate: $4,650, AAS: $6,200

Can you believe it? Mississippi Gulf Coast CC offers a Gaming Concentration in each of its three paralegal programs for students who want to work in the casino and gaming industry. But you won’t paint yourself into a corner by choosing to concentrate your studies in Gaming since the programs still offer all the traditional paralegal coursework.

These programs can be completed independently for stand-alone credentials. They also progressively build on one another, starting with the 30-credit one-year paralegal technology certificate. From here you can complete an additional 15-credits in a one-semester program to earn the paralegal technology diploma. Finally you can complete another semester and 15 credits to earn the AAS; 60 credits in total. All programs are offered out of the Jefferson Davis campus in Gulfport.

Mississippi University for Women

BS/BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus and online

  • ABA-approved – Yes, the BS/BA programs are ABA-approved, the minor is not
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • BS/BA tuition and fees estimate – $24,260 (in-state); $66,536 (out-of-state)

Mississippi University for Women offers one of only two ABA-approved programs in the entire state, so it easily made out list. With a total of 124 credits – four credits more than a conventional bachelor’s – the program culminates in a practical legal lab where students have a chance to apply the skills they’ve learned in the classroom in a mock legal setting.

While not ABA-approved, the legal studies minor can be tacked on to any four-year degree program at MUW by completing a series of six courses (18 credits). Both programs are offered out of MUW’s Columbus campus, though the minor can also be completed online.

Northeast Mississippi Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,464 (in-state), $9,964 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,964 (in-state), $11,400 (out-of-state)

We like Northeast Mississippi CC because it offers a great value in paralegal education and provides students with options that fit their goals.

The 30-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAS, and can be completed in 30 weeks. If you decide to continue your studies, you can apply your certificate credits towards the AAS. The AAS is 63 credits in total and can be completed in two years (just one year if you’re transferring in credits from the certificate program). This program culminates with a three-credit 135-hour internship at a courthouse, law office, government office, or bank in the greater Booneville area.

Northwest Mississippi Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and online

Paralegal Technical Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,600 (in-state), $10,400 (out-of-state); Certificate: $2,800 (in-state), $5,200 (out-of-state); Technical Certificate: $4,200 (in-state), $7,800 (out-of-state)

Northwest Mississippi CC provides options for every type of student, whether you’re looking to get your education wrapped up in a single semester or are able to commit to four.

The AAS program is 60 credits and takes four semesters to complete. The certificate programs only take a semester each, and can be stacked, allowing you to work your way up to an AAS incrementally if you choose: After one semester of study you earn a law office assistant certificate. After two semesters you earn a paralegal certificate. After three semesters you earn the technical paralegal certificate, and after four semesters you get the AAS.

You can take all your classes online, or complete these programs at NMCC’s Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center in Oxford or its Senatobia campus.

University of Mississippi

BPS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $30,976 (in-state); $88,048 (out-of-state)

From its Oxford campus, University of Mississippi offers its four-year, 120-credit BPS program for anyone who meets the university’s basic admission requirements.

The paralegal major is comprised of 18 credits of core courses. After completing these core courses you can choose between one of two emphases: a paralegal emphasis for an additional 21 credits, or a pre-law emphasis for an additional 40 credits. If you choose the paralegal emphasis you have the opportunity to complete a three-credit internship.

You can also add a legal studies minor to any four-year degree the university offers by completing 18 credits of core courses.

University of Southern Mississippi

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $30,636 (in-state); $66,116 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this four-year 124-credit program because it’s the only ABA-approved program in Southern Mississippi, open to students who meet USM’s basic admission guidelines.

You can choose two tracks within U of Southern Mississippi’s BA in Legal Studies: legal studies, designed for aspiring paralegals, or pre-law, designed for those planning to transfer to a master’s program in preparation for the Bar.

You’ll complete at least 27 credits of core-courses in the paralegal major, as well as additional courses in your chosen track. This includes up to nine credits earned through a paralegal internship.

This program is offered from USM’s Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses.

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