Paralegal Schools in Pennsylvania

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

When it comes to life choices, some are tougher than others. But picking out the best paralegal school doesn’t have to be one of them. Undoubtedly, you have a million questions swirling around your head. How much will it cost? Does it offer online courses? Can I enroll as a part-time student? And since no two schools are quite alike, it’s important to take your time and weigh your options. But we’re here to remind you that a little help never hurts!

As your personal career crusaders, we’ve been burning up the phone lines and relentlessly cruising the internet to bring you our recommendations for our favorite accredited, and downright awesome, paralegal programs in Pennsylvania. Trust us, we’ve left no stone unturned.

So take a deep breath and become the master of your educational destiny.

 

Berks Technical Institute

ASB-Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

Berks Technical Institute is a 2-year private, for-profit, post-secondary school in Wyomissing that offers an Associate of Specialized Business (ASB) in Paralegal degree program.

This program requires students to successfully complete 98 quarter credit hours to graduate. To keep students actively engaged, the program’s curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format. Therefore, students learn material through classroom instruction, online coursework, and an externship.

Program leaders are particularly proud of the program’s mandatory externship component. To ensure an exciting experience, instructors help students find great positions at local law offices, private law firms, and even the nearby courthouse.

 

Bradford School

ASB-Paralegal—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

Bradford School is a 2-year private, for-profit, post-secondary school located in Pittsburg that primarily offers diploma and specialized associate degree programs.

This ASB program contains 63 credit hours over a 16-month period. Curriculum is covered through hands-on classroom instruction that culminates in an 8-week externship project. To facilitate academic excellence, students are taught in small-class sizes by faculty members with experience in the legal field.

 

Bucks County Community College

AA-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Bucks County Community College is a 2-year, public post-secondary school based in Newtown. The school’s outstanding paralegal program has earned the recognition of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

The AA program consists of 63 credit hours. Meanwhile, the certificate program holds 30 credit hours and is only available to incoming students that already possess an associate or bachelor degree.

Both programs are specifically designed for job preparedness. To polish learned skills, students complete a 120-hour internship/capstone course during their final semester. The internship is further enhanced by animated seminar sessions with fellow classmates.

 

Central Pennsylvania College

AS-Paralegal—Campus

BS in Legal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Central Pennsylvania College is a 4-year private, for-profit college in Summerdale that offers an associate degree in paralegal that stresses hands-on learning. The AS program covers 76 credit hours and boasts personalized instruction, high-quality coursework, and an extensive 360-hour internship.

 

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

BSBA-Paralegal Studies—Campus

AS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Advanced Paralegal Studies Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

Advanced Paralegal Studies Oil and Gas Certificate—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a 4-year public university within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Its paralegal program was ranked the most affordable ABA-approved paralegal program in Western Pennsylvania, which is a huge draw for financially conscience students.

The BSBA program includes 48 credit hours of classroom instruction taught by experienced attorneys and has been approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. Only students at the Clarion campus have access to this program.

The AS program requires 68 credit hours of coursework that is distinctively business-oriented. Its curriculum is intended to guide students into entry-level jobs or provide a segue into the BSBA program. This program is only available at the Clarion and Venango campuses.

Both certificate programs consist of 24 credit hours. To become eligible for these programs, incoming students must: possess a bachelor degree, have already completed at 60 credits from a post-secondary school or be currently enrolled in a bachelor degree program at Clarion University.

The certificate programs are only available at the Clarion and Venango campuses. Students that successfully complete these programs earn paralegal certification.

 

Community College of Philadelphia

AAS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Community College of Philadelphia is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that offers a progressive associate degree and a certificate program in paralegal studies.

The AAS program contains 60 credit hours but students that already hold a bachelor degree or have completed most of the general education requirements can jump aboard the program’s accelerated degree track.

The accelerated degree option can be finished in just eight months and allows students to attend day, night, evening or even online course to quickly move through the program. To add spice to its curriculum, the AAS program offers a wide-range of optional activities like attending guest lectures, fields trips, internship opportunities.

The certificate program is comprised of 27 credit hours. This program is available exclusively to students that already hold a bachelor or associate degree. Curriculum includes a 120-hour internship that is supplemented by weekly seminars and private meetings with course instructors.

 

Consolidated School of Business

ASB-Legal Administrative Assistant—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Consolidated School of Business is a 2-year private, for-profit, post-secondary school located in York. The school previously held a satellite school in Lancaster, but that campus recently closed its doors in March 2017.

The ASB program runs 77 credit hours in length over 18 months. Although the program’s curriculum revolves around fundamental core courses in communications and office technology, students receive plenty of specialized courses in law-related subjects such as civil litigation, torts, and contracts.

 

Delaware County Community College

AAS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Delaware County Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Media that houses an AAS and post-degree certificate program in paralegal studies. The AAS program requires 61-63 credit hours, while the certificate program only mandates 36-37 credit hours.

To help students easily transition from the classroom to the professional arena, both programs feature a 180-hour internship course that combines practical fieldwork in real-world legal settings with weekly discussions about the complex facets of legal ethics.

 

Duquesne University

Certificate- Paralegal Studies—Campus (non-credit, post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Duquesne University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit, Catholic university set in Pittsburg that offers a non-credit paralegal certificate from the university’s School of Law.

The certificate program contains 33 continuing education units (CEUs) earned throughout 10 courses. To freshen up practical skills, students take a 160-hour internship position for a 10-week period.

Although the program is available at the start of each term, there is an accelerated track option available to students that choose to enroll during the summer semester. For added flexibility, the school allows student to set their own pace by allowing both part-time and full-time enrollment.

This exclusive program is only available to students that hold an associate degree or higher.

 

Gannon University

BA-Legal Studies/Paralegal

AA-Legal Studies/Paralegal

Certificate-Legal Studies (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Gannon University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit, Catholic university located in Erie that provides a bachelor degree, an associate degree, and a certificate in legal studies/paralegal. All three programs are taught entirely by attorneys and paralegals.

The BA program takes 128 credits to complete and is specially geared toward students seeking advance positions in the legal assistant/paralegal field.

The AA program covers 67 credit hours. All work performed in this program is applicable toward a 4-year degree. Classroom instruction is greatly enhanced through internship participation.

The certificate program is 25 credits in length. Students are allowed to pursue this certificate while earning a 4-year degree. Curriculum is enriched through internship immersion.

 

Harrisburg Area Community College

AA-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Harrisburg Area Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that owns the bragging rights as being the largest and oldest community college in the state. The school proudly offers an associate degree and post-degree certificate in paralegal at its Harrisburg and Lancaster campuses.

The AA program contains 61 credit hours and helps students qualify for entry-level positions or transfer to a 4-year university. The certificate program holds 39 credits hours and must be complete within 3 semesters. Only students with a bachelor degree are eligible for the certificate program.

Students in a rush to start either program can enroll during spring, summer, and fall semesters. Both programs encourage students to partake in internship elective courses.

 

Lansdale School of Business

ASB-Paralegal—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

Lansdale School of Business is a 2-year private, for-profit, post-secondary school based in North Wales with additional campuses in Phoenixville and Warminster.

The school’s ASB program is packed with 70 credit hours and provides curriculum that is underscored by valuable courses in legal specialties, computer research, and practical legal skills.

 

Lehigh Carbon Community College

AAS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal Studies—Campus (undergraduate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Lehigh Carbon Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Schnecksville with satellite sites located in Allentown, Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe, and even the Lehigh Valley International Airport.

The AAS program requires 63-65 credit hours of study, which includes an internship experience. As a huge plus, the school has a collaborative agreement with Kutztown University for students wishing to major in Criminal Justice.

The certificate program spans 39 credit hours and includes an internship as an optional elective course. Although this is not a post-degree certificate, only students with at least 30 semester hours already under their belt are eligible for admission.

 

Manor College

AS-Paralegal—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Manor College is a 2-year private, not-for-profit, Catholic college located in Jenkintown that offers an associate degree and certificate in paralegal.

The AS degree runs 60-61 credit hours in length, while the certificate program contains 30 credit hours. Students must already hold a bachelor degree to meet eligibility requirements for the certificate program.

To help increase future employment potential, the program also provides internship possibilities and job placement counseling to all students.

 

McCann School of Business & Technology

ASB-Paralegal—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

McCann School of Business & Technology is a 2-year private, for-profit, post-secondary school based in Allentown with six campuses spread throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

The ASB program is available through the school’s Pottsville campus and provide 96 credits across 18 months. Curriculum is presented in hybrid format that integrates classroom instruction, group training activities, online learning, and an exciting externship.

 

Northampton Community College

AAS-Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Northampton Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Bethlehem that offers an associate degree in paralegal.

This AAS program requires 63-64 credits to complete. Throughout the program students are given the unique opportunity to handle the pleadings, forms, and computer software often used across federal, state, and local practices. Most legal specialty courses are even taught by attorneys.

However, some courses are only available during the fall semester.

 

Peirce College

BS-Paralegal—Campus/Online

AS-Paralegal—Campus/Online

Certificate–Paralegal—Campus/Online (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Peirce College is a 4-year private, not-for-profit college in Center City Philadelphia that boasts the only ABA-approved bachelor degree program in paralegal available in the Philadelphia area. It also offers an associate degree and certificate paralegal options.

The BS program is composed of 121 credits, while its AS program requires just 61 credits. Students enrolled in either of these degree tracks are only obligated to complete 4 classroom-based foundation courses. All other courses are available online to accommodate hectic schedules.

The certificate program covers 31 credits over 10 specialty courses. The majority of these courses are available in-class, online, or a combination of both.

All three paralegal programs culminate in a paralegal capstone or cooperative work experience.

 

Penn Foster

AS-Paralegal Studies—Online

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

Penn Foster is a private, for-profit college based in Scranton that offers an associate degree in paralegal

Studies that is 100% achievable through online learning. It’s definitely the ideal degree choice for students with active lifestyles.

The AS program features 24 courses over 4 semesters. To compliment the program’s online format, the school provides students with success coaches, webinars, progress tracking, and goal setting tools. All semesters culminate in proctored examinations.

 

Pennsylvania College of Technology

BS-Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS-Legal Assistant/Paralegal—Campus

Certificate-Nurse/Health Care Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a 4-year, public college based in Williamsport that is closely affiliated with Pennsylvania State University. The school currently offer undergraduate degrees and a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies.

The BS program contains 110 credits over 8 semesters. Its curriculum includes international field experience electives. Only students that to hold an associate degree can gain admittance.

The AS program houses 62 credits over 4 semesters. The program facilitates professional experience through its paralegal internship component.

The certificate program supplies 21 credits over 2 semesters. This rare certificate program offers paralegal education through the lens of the heath care field. Only students that hold an associate or bachelor degree are invited to apply for admittance.

 

Villanova University

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Villanova University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit university that offers full-time and part-time paralegal certificate track options. Both tracks require students to earn a bachelor degree prior to applying for enrollment.

The full-time track compiles 280 hours of instruction into a single semester.

The part-time track is only available at the start of the fall semester. Students enrolled in this track must complete all 15 courses within a 9-month time period.

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