Paralegal Schools

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The typical entry-level paralegal holds…Paralegal With Team

An undergraduate certificate in paralegal studies

Or

An associate’s degree in paralegal studies

Or

An associate’s in general studies or another area along with a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies

Or

A certificate in paralegal studies earned concurrent with an associate’s degree in a related field

A more select group holds bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s in another field in combination with a post-bac certificate in paralegal studies. The most elite go on to earn a graduate certificate or master’s degree.

*Accredited online paralegal and legal studies programs put an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree well within reach:

In the 1970s, legal secretaries, legal assistants and other clerical workers in law offices often received on-the-job training that moved them into positions with a greater level of responsibility and specialized legal knowledge, establishing and defining what would come to be known as the paralegal profession. Today, on-the-job training opportunities still exist, but are now almost exclusively found in smaller law offices serving smaller more rural communities where the pool of qualified candidates is small and paralegal programs aren’t as easily accessible. Often those selected for these positions have relevant education or experience in another field. For example, a person with a degree in environmental studies might find a willing mentor in a lawyer who specializes in environmental law.

Now, with the paralegal profession firmly established and the role expanding to include tasks that were once considered the exclusive domain of attorneys, formal education is a standard prerequisite for beginning a career as a paralegal and professional experience of some kind is a major plus. In fact, it is so common for people to transition from another profession and build off of an existing undergraduate education, that post-degree certificates in paralegal studies are among the most popular and widely available options for people entering the field.

Associate’s in Paralegal Studies or Associate’s Plus Certificate…

These days you are likely to discover that potential employers state a preference for a paralegal who has two or more years of experience or who has completed an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or an associate’s in another area along with a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies at minimum.

Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies or Bachelor’s Plus Post-Bac Certificate…

In most metro areas where major law firms have offices, entry-level paralegal jobs are competitive. You need to think of your education not only as something that will prepare you with a working knowledge of legal processes and the judicial system, but something that will give you an edge over other candidates competing for the same position.

This has made a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree in another field along with a post-bac certificate in paralegal studies the most common requirement with the nation’s biggest law firms and other top employers.

Advanced Degrees in Legal Studies…

For those already working in the field, advanced education can be a pathway to greater responsibility, more opportunities, and, of course, better pay.

The most ambitious paralegals choose to specialize in a particular type of law, seeking out graduate certificate or master’s degree programs to this end. Successful law offices know the value of a good paralegal and often cover the cost of earning an advanced degree or specialty certification as part of an overall compensation package.

Paralegal Program Approval and Accreditation – Selecting a Quality Program

There are currently over 1200 programs offering certificates and degrees in paralegal studies in the United States. These programs vary greatly in cost, length, course requirements, semester hours and format. Online-only programs, traditional classroom programs and hybrids of the two are available through community colleges, state schools and private universities and colleges alike. There are lots of options out there, but armed with a little knowledge about what to look for you’ll have no problem finding a program that aligns perfectly with your career goals.

Institutional Accreditation Vs Voluntary Approval

The American Bar Association (ABA) offers an elective approval process for paralegal programs that choose to participate in a voluntary review, while the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) maintains a list of member schools that offer programs in paralegal studies. Selecting a program approved by the ABA or that meets the criteria for membership with the AAfPE comes with the assurance that the program meets high standards. The voluntary processes for gaining ABA approval or qualifying as an AAfPE-member institution is a strong indicator of a program’s rigor and quality, but these voluntary processes aren’t the only way for a program to demonstrate that it offers a high quality education and career preparation. In fact, programs that have gone through the voluntary approval process represent only a small portion of the many options available.

Verifying institutional accreditation is still the primary way of making sure you select a quality program. Accreditation is the process by which an independent accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education (DOE) and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) reviews an institution and confirms that it meets high standards in terms of completion rates, job placement, and student loan repayment, among several other criteria. By selecting a program offered through an accredited school you can be sure that you’re going to learn under the guidance of experienced professors and qualified adjuncts, and that the certificate or degree you end up earning will be recognized and respected by the lawyers and court systems you’ll be interviewing with once you graduate.

Accreditation provided by three primary types of accrediting agencies – state, regional and national:

Regional accreditation agencies that review schools within their regional locale

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)

Only New York, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma have a state-specific accreditation agency recognized by DOE and CHEA, making regional accreditation standard. Still, in some cases schools that have received accreditation through a state agency may be better recognized by law firms and other employers working within that state:

  • New York State Board of Regents
  • Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education
  • Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education

National accreditation agencies review schools located anywhere in the country, specializing in either independent private schools, exclusively online schools or two-year career schools that primarily offer certificate and associate’s degree programs:

  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE)

Selecting an Online Program

As every major public and private university, state school, and community college has embraced online learning as a way to ensure everybody has access to an affordable, high quality college education, just about every prospective student now includes online options on the list of programs they consider. Exceptional online programs are available through accredited schools, but the ABA hasn’t caught up yet and as of 2017 still does not recognize any program that offers courses mostly or completely through a distance learning platform.

This not only makes an education in paralegal studies much harder to access and afford, it limits the options in a field that otherwise provides a diverse offering of programs designed for different people in different situations, whether we’re talking recent high school grads looking for an undergrad certificate, career-changers looking to transfer credits from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s in paralegal studies, or an experienced paralegal interested in specializing in a particular area of law by earning a graduate certificate.

Paralegal Programs Available Through Accredited Schools

Note: This list shows all accredited schools offering online and on-campus paralegal programs at all levels, from undergraduate certificates to master’s degrees. Campus-based programs with programmatic accreditation through the American Bar Association are also available, however ABA-approved programs are not available online.

Alabama

Whether you’re eager to get your paralegal career started or ready to make the next move so you can advance and specialize in your current position, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by the huge number of certificate and degree programs available to you.

Here, we’ve narrowed down the search by giving you our top picks of paralegal certificate and degree programs in Alabama based on quality and accessibility. The very first thing to look for in making a selection is a basic measure of the quality of the school, and the programs that school offers. That’s why our selection includes only programs with American Bar Association approval and schools accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, or one of the national accreditation agencies for distance learning programs.

Many more programs are available online through colleges and universities in other states, but this represents the full list of ABA-approved programs, and regionally and nationally accredited schools that call Alabama home.

We don’t attempt to rank these schools since they all offer the assurance of a quality education that teaches to the highest standards. We’re just presenting your options here with some important details about the type of programs they offer, cost and delivery options, allowing you to make an informed decision on your own.

Auburn University

Auburn University is a 4-year public university located in Auburn, with an additional satellite campus in Montgomery.

Paralegal Outreach Certificate – On Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree certificate for high school graduates)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • $1,289 for complete course (12 sessions)

We love this program for its convenient course schedule and minimal admission requirements. The Paralegal Outreach Certificate program at Auburn can be completed over 12 sessions at the Auburn campus delivered on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. How’s that for convenience? The only requirement for this program is a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Auburn University at Montgomery

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) is a satellite campus, with their main campus located in Auburn.

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Bachelor of Science in Justice and Public Safety – Legal Studies with paralegal minor

Master of Science in Justice and Public Safety – Judicial Administration with paralegal minor

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $10,740

What really stood out to us here is the variety of paralegal programs offered at AUM, and the fact that they’ve received ABA approval. Whether you want to follow the general legal studies track or study judicial administration, you can broaden your field of study while still maintaining your focus on a paralegal career.

Calhoun Community College

Calhoun Community College is a 2-year public institution with campuses in Tanner and Huntsville.

Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,960

What really stands out to us about this program is the inclusion of Alabama circuit court judges and federal bankruptcy trustees as faculty of the paralegal program at Calhoun. These professionals bring an element of real-world experience that can’t be found in a textbook.

Students at Calhoun also have the option of participating in an internship. Students are required to clock 150 hours of work in a paralegal capacity within a local law office or government organization. The internship is completely elective; students can choose to take an additional course in either commercial law or bankruptcy and collections in lieu of the internship.

Coastal Alabama Community College

Coastal Alabama Community College (CACC), previously known as Faulkner State Community College, is a 2-year public institution with campuses in Bay Minette, Fairhope, and Gulf Shores.

Associate of Applied Sciences degree in paralegal studies

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,800

What stood out to us about this program is the convenience of courses. In fact, both general education and core curriculum courses can be taken online and on-campus. The program also offers an internship at a local law office or other organization in the final semester of the program.

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is a 4-year private university located in Orange Beach.

Paralegal certificate

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • $3,999 for complete course

The paralegal certificate program at Columbia Southern is offered via the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program, which is a government-funded scholarship program for military spouses.

What we really like about this program is that it can be done entirely online and finished in as little as 9 months, though complete online access to the program is available for 24 months. Students also have the option of participating in an externship program, where the university places the student in a local law organization to work in a paralegal role. And, there’s no need to worry about where you are geographically – externship opportunities are available nationwide!

Community College of the Air Force

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is located in Montgomery and serves as the degree-granting academic institution for the United States Air Force.

Associate of Applied Science – Paralegal

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

We selected this program because of the convenience it offers to service members interested in furthering their education. The paralegal program at CCAF is available to service members through the General Education Mobile (GEM) platform. GEM is based on a partnership between the CCAF and accredited schools in the area and gives service members the ability to access courses online.

Enterprise State Community College

Enterprise State Community College (ESCC) is a 2-year public school with campuses in Albertville, Andalusia, Enterprise, Mobile, and Ozark.

Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

Short-Term Certificate in Legal Assistant/Paralegal

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,380

The associate degree option takes about 2 years to complete and is approved by the American Bar Association. The certificate option can be finished in less than a year, but students are required to take at least 18 general education credits before starting the paralegal certificate program. General education prerequisite courses can be taken online, but core curriculum courses are campus-based.

What we really love about this program is that the internship opportunity isn’t limited to only degree-seeking students – it’s offered with both the degree option and the certificate option that includes just paralegal courses. It’s important to note, though, that a minimum of 21 credit hours in core courses must be completed before becoming eligible for the internship. The internship consists of 100 hours of practical experience in a legal setting.

Faulkner State Community College

Faulkner University is a private Christian university. The university’s main campus is in Montgomery, with extended campuses in Mobile, Birmingham, and Huntsville.

Associate of Science in Legal Studies

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $21,930

We love this program for the direct-study national certification preparation course that it offers. Graduates of this program receive additional instruction in preparing for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) -Paralegals’ national certification exam – the Certified Legal Assistant Examination.

Faulkner’s program offers a handful of core paralegal courses online, but most courses are still campus-based. It is required that at least 10 credit hours be completed in a traditional classroom environment, but the campus course schedule is very flexible with courses offered days, evenings, and weekends.

Gadsden State Community College

Gadsden State Community College (GSCC) is a 2-year public school with campuses in Anniston, Centre, and Gadsden.

Associate in Applied Science Degree – Paralegal

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $4,764

The paralegal degree program is only offered at the Wallace Drive Gadsden campus location.

There is one really unique feature of this program that caught our attention, and that is that Gadsden State Community College is a qualified testing site for the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination. As a perk, students who complete the paralegal program at Gadsden State receive a full review course and supplemental preparation materials for national certification testing at no cost.

Courses are offered online and on-campus, though at least 10 credit hours of legal specialty courses have to be taken on-campus.

 

Samford University

Samford University is a private university located in Birmingham.

Post-associate Paralegal Studies Certificate

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $30,402

What stands out about this program is that it’s a bit more selective than most in its admission criteria. The certificate program at Samford is a post-degree program, meaning that students must currently hold either an associate or bachelor degree. In addition, students are required to provide a letter of recommendation from an academic professor or employment supervisor, a current resume, and a personal essay. Students are then selected for an interview with the Director of Paralegal Studies.

Samford does offer conveniently scheduled courses which can be taken online or in the evenings, or a combination of both.

South University

South University is a 4-year academic institution with campuses spanning nine states, including one in Montgomery, Alabama.

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

  • ABA approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $18,806

We love that this degree program encompasses a capstone externship course. The externship at South University gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience doing things like preparing legal documents, interviewing witnesses, and working side-by-side with attorneys. South University places paralegal students in a variety of different legal environments, including law firms, real estate companies, and government agencies.

Students can complete most courses online, but at least 4 legal specialty courses have to be done on-campus. Campus schedules are convenient, though, with classes being offered in the evenings and on weekends.

Alaska

Whether you’re just starting out and looking to get your paralegal career off the ground or you’re ready to advance and specialize, choosing a paralegal program that will help you achieve your goals is a big decision.

With several degree and certificate programs to choose from, trying to make the right choice can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve got you covered.

What we’ve done here is narrow down the selection by giving you our top picks available through schools in Alaska. Because our picks are selected based on quality, you’ll notice that all of the programs listed here are approved by the American Bar Association, and each school is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

There are many schools in other states that offer online programs, some of which don’t even have state residency requirements. But to keep thinks nicely organized, our picks for Alaska just highlight the regionally accredited schools with a campus presence. To make sure you have all the info you need to make an informed decision, we also included details about tuition and fees, as well as online and on-campus options. Enjoy!

University of Alaska Anchorage

University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a 4-year public school in Anchorage, with additional campuses in Fairbanks and Juneau.

Degree programs offered:

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

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies with AAS in Paralegal Studies – On-Campus

Certificate programs offered:

Legal Nurse Consultant – Paralegal Certificate – On-Campus (post-associate RN)

Paralegal Studies Certificate – On-Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $11,192 (in-state); $19,598 (out of state)

What we really like about this school is the fact that it offers a couple of undergraduate degree options, not to mention the advanced certificate options. In fact, the AAS in paralegal studies is designed to work in conjunction with the BA in legal studies. This allows students to easily transfer core course credits between the associate program and the bachelor program. Not only does this make the transition between programs seamless, it also reduces the time it takes to complete the BA program.

It’s important to note that, per ABA approval requirements, legal specialty courses for degree and certificate programs can only be completed at the Anchorage campus.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is a 4-year public university located in Fairbanks.

Degree programs offered:

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

Bachelor’s Degree with minor in Paralegal Studies – On-Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $7,376 (in-state); $19,584 (out of state)

The AAS in Paralegal Studies is a 61-credit, ABA-approved degree program. This program stands out because it includes a variety of practical law-related topics, like political science and justice, which most other programs don’t offer.

The Bachelor’s Degree with a minor in Paralegal Studies requires 120 credits for the degree, plus an additional 15 credits in paralegal studies. The degree option is accredited but not ABA-approved.

Courses are offered both online and on-campus, but most paralegal specialty courses must be taken on-campus.

Arizona

Fresh out of high school and eager to begin your career as a paralegal? Already been holding it down and ruling the law firm with your paralegal mastery, but looking to take your career to the next level by specializing in a specific area of law?

Choosing a paralegal program that’s going to help you reach your goals is a big decision. And, with such a large selection of options available, we understand that making that decision can be totally overwhelming.

What we’ve done here is simplify things a bit by listing our top picks for schools with a campus presence in Arizona. Our selections are entirely based on the quality of the school and the programs they offer. That’s why our curated list only includes schools that have received regional or national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. A few of the programs below have even received approval from the American Bar Association, one of the highest acknowledgements a paralegal program can have.

Each school below has a campus presence in Arizona, though many do offer exclusively online programs. We’ve also included information about tuition costs and delivery options.

Brighton College Paralegal Institute

Brighton College is a distance learning institution with a home base in Scottsdale. Since 2011, Brighton College has worked in joint partnership with the Paralegal Institute.

Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies – Online

Paralegal Certificate – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Complete course cost: $7,600 (degree); $4,195 (certificate)

Brighton got our attention because both the degree and certificate program are offered exclusively online. Both programs have open enrollment, so you can register and start at any time throughout the year. And, the schedule is flexible and self-paced – you get up to 2 years to complete the degree program and up to 1 year to complete the certificate program. As an added perk, the school offers a variety of flexible payment plans.

Brookline College

Brookline College is a 4-year, private, for-profit institution with campuses in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.

Associate of Science (AS) – Paralegal Studies – On-Campus and Online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $15,225 (in-state)

What we love about the AS in Paralegal Studies through Brookline is that students can complete the program on-campus in Tucson, exclusively online, or a mix-up of both. It really just doesn’t get much more flexible than that!

Brookline also offers a 160-hour paralegal externship opportunity.

Bryan University

Bryan University is a 4-year private college located in Tempe, Arizona.

Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies – Online

Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies – Online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $15,766 (in-state)

What’s really unique about the paralegal degree programs offered by Bryan University is the inclusion of e-discovery training. E-discovery is an increasingly used method used to streamline the discovery process, and it’s something that most paralegal programs don’t typically include in the basic curriculum. Both the associate degree and bachelor degree program at Bryan University incorporate e-discovery training via a simulation lab called ELSSA (E-discovery Lab for Software, Simulation, and Applications).

Both degree programs are available exclusively online. As an added perk, the cost of one Certified Paralegal (CP) exam attempt is included in the cost of tuition for the bachelor degree.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a 4-year private Christian institution in Phoenix.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies – On-Campus or Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $17,850 (in-state)

What’s unique about the bachelor degree offered by Grand Canyon University is the emphasis on government – more specifically, the relationship between American politics and government and how our constitutional foundation creates a framework for the legal process. This degree option is somewhat different than the rest in that students get the opportunity to earn both a legal and administrative education.

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires 120 credits and can be done on-campus in Phoenix or completely online. Courses taken on-campus can be scheduled during the daytime or the evenings, but evening classes only meet once per week.

Maricopa Community Colleges-Rio Salado Community College

  • Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal
  • Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Mohave Community College

Mohave Community College is a 2-year school located in Kingman.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Paralegal – Online

Paralegal Certificate – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $2,922 (in-state); $7,782 (out of state)

The AAS in Paralegal is a 63-credit program, while the paralegal certificate is a 30-credit program. Both the AAS in paralegal studies and the paralegal certificate can be completely entirely online.

An internship is a core aspect of the curriculum in both the associate degree and the certificate programs. During the internship, students spend a minimum of 120 hours working in a legal environment, learning to apply what they learned in theory to real-world practice.

National Juris University

National Juris University (NJU) is the graduate division of National Paralegal College (NPC).

Master of Science in Legal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Complete course cost: $11,095

The Master of Science in Legal Studies is a 36-credit online degree program. The program can be completed in as little as 12 months, though students attending part-time will need about three years.

What stood out to us about this school is the two-week no-obligation free trial offered to all students. With this free trial, students get complete access to all course materials and interactive classrooms and can then decide for themselves, without obligation, if the program offered by NJU is a good fit.

National Paralegal College

National Paralegal College (NPC) is a distance learning institution; the admissions office is located in Phoenix.

Associate of Paralegal Studies – Online

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies – Online

Paralegal Certificate – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $8,795

The Associate of Paralegal Studies degree requires 60 credits for graduation and can be completed in as little as 15 months. The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is a 120-credit degree program, which can be completed in about three years. The Paralegal Certificate requires 24 credits of study and can be finished in as little as 7 months.

NPC is exclusively a distance learning institution, so all courses offered are entirely online. What’s most unique about NPC is that it offers elective courses, like E-discovery and Cyberspace Law, which aren’t commonly offered with most paralegal programs.

Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College is a distance learning institution specializing in self-paced, flexible learning programs. The school’s administrative office is located in Scottsdale.

Associate of Paralegal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $1,300

The Associate of Paralegal Studies degree is a 65-credit degree program. The program is laid out over 4 semesters and is available entirely online.

What really stands out about Penn Foster’s paralegal programs is the flexibility they offer. In fact, the paralegal program is 100% self-paced with no set class schedule, which gives students the ability to design their course schedule to fit their personal needs.

As an added bonus, students who are completely paid up in tuition by the third semester can qualify for free tuition during the fourth and final semester.

Phoenix College

Phoenix College is a 2-year public college located in Phoenix and is part of the Maricopa County Community College District.

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

Paralegal Studies Certificate of Completion (CCL) – On-Campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $3,382 (in-state); $9,166 (out of state)

We love the fact that Phoenix College offers a program for aspiring paralegals at all levels – whether you’re just getting started and looking to pursue an associate’s degree, or you already hold an associate’s degree in some other area and are looking to get the legal skills you need through a post-degree certificate program.

It’s important to note that neither of the paralegal programs offered at Phoenix are available exclusively online. Though many of the general education courses can be taken online, only 10 of the required 14 paralegal specialty courses are available online.

What we really like about Phoenix College is that its paralegal programs are ABA-approved and regionally accredited, and the institution itself is uniquely designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Pima Community College

Pima Community College is a 2-year public community college in Tucson.

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

Paralegal Post-Degree Certificate – On-Campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $3,646 (in-state); $8,962 (out of state)

The AAS in Paralegal Studies is a 66-credit program and includes an internship. Some credits are also designed to transfer to a Bachelor of Applied Science program at a 4-year school.

The paralegal certificate is a 42-credit program designed for those who already hold an associate’s degree. An internship is included here as well.

We like the fact that Pima Community College recognizes that many of its students may already be employed and can’t follow a traditional daytime classroom schedule. So, while the core paralegal courses at Pima are not generally offered online, many of them are offered in the evenings.

Rio Salado College

Rio Salado College is a 2-year public college located in Tempe. Rio Salado College is also a joint member of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD).

Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal – Online

Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $3,382 (in-state); $9,166 (out of state)

The AAS in Paralegal is a 64-credit degree program available exclusively online. The program boasts two internship options – an 80-hour program and a 160-hour program. It also encompasses a few unique core topics not typically covered by most programs, like immigration law and environmental law. Some of the local internship hosts include the Arizona Center for Disability Law, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The certificate program is 39 credits in length and is also available exclusively online. However, the certificate program does not offer an internship opportunity.

What’s unique about this school is that paralegal students get the opportunity to participate in a Westlaw training program and receive certification.

Yavapai College

Yavapai College is a 2-year public college located in Prescott.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Paralegal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $3,880 (in-state); $10,720 (out of state)

The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from Yavapai College is a 61-credit program. It is an online degree program, and it takes about two years to complete for full-time students.

Arkansas

Perhaps you’ve just graduated from high school and you’ve got your sights set on working in one of Arkansas’ top law firms as a paralegal. Perhaps you’ve been working in the legal field for years, and now you’re ready to take that next step forward in your career. Regardless of whether you need that associate’s degree to just get you in the door, or you just want to sharpen your skills, choosing a school is one of the most important decisions you have to make.

We understand that it can be overwhelming with all the options available to you. To make this task of selecting a quality program a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite picks. In making our picks, we looked for schools that meet the national mark of excellence – accreditation. All of our picks are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting agency responsible for reviewing and evaluating post-secondary institutions in Arkansas. A few of the paralegal programs below have received the most prestigious recognition– American Board Association approval.

The schools listed below aren’t ranked in any particular order. We’re simply highlighting your options and providing some additional information about the cost of each program, and whether it’s available online or on-campus. This way, you can make the best and most informed decision possible.

Northwest Arkansas Community College

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a 2-year community college located in Bentonville, with additional campuses in Springdale and Farmington.

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

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $4,408 (in-district); $5,833 (in-state); $5,908 (out of state)

The paralegal associate degree at NWACC runs 64 credits in length and takes about two years to complete. The program also boasts a 160-hour paralegal internship. The internship program gives students the chance to work under the supervision of an attorney in a legal setting, learning real-world skills and applying theory to practice. Students are required to meet with their internship coordinator at least four times during their intern experience.

We really like the program offered at NWACC for its flexibility. Prerequisite courses can be taken entirely online, though core paralegal courses must be taken on-campus. For added flexibility, campus-based paralegal courses are scheduled in the evenings and can be taken at any of the college’s campuses – Bentonville, Springdale, or Farmington.

Pulaski Technical College

Pulaski Technical College is a 2-year public school in North Little Rock.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Technology – On-Campus and Online

Paralegal Technology Technical Certificate – On-Campus and online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $6,211 (in-state); $7,351 (out of state)

The AAS in Paralegal Technology is a 61-credit degree program. The certificate option requires 31 credits for completion. Courses are conveniently scheduled on-campus in the evenings and online as well, so you can choose what works for you.

Southeast Arkansas College

Southeast Arkansas College is a 2-year public college in Pine Bluff.

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education program
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $4,490 (in-state); $7,130 (out of state)

We love this program for the flexibility that it offers. The certificate program can be completed entirely online, and it only takes six weeks to complete. As an added benefit, the program has four start dates to choose from.

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

University of Arkansas, Fort Smith (UAFS) is a 4-year public university. Additional campus locations include Fayetteville, Little Rock, Monticello, and Pine Bluff.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies – On-Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $6,995 (in-state); $13,643 (out of state)

We took special note of this degree program because the core paralegal courses are taught by highly experienced attorneys. Night courses are offered on-campus in Fort Smith, with occasional daytime offerings. The program also includes an internship experience; some of the local internship hosts include the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Credits earned from the AAS in Legal Studies also easily transfer to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

University of Arkansas – Little Rock

University of Arkansas, Little Rock is a 4-year public university in Little Rock. Satellite campus locations include Fayetteville, Monticello, and Pine Bluff.

Minor in Legal Studies – On-Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $9,776 (in-state); $21,214 (out of state)

The Minor in Legal Studies requires 18 credits of course work and can be paired with either an associate or bachelor degree. Courses that are specific to the legal studies minor must be taken on-campus in Little Rock. It’s worth noting, though, that some of the bachelor degree programs can be taken entirely online, with the exception of the legal studies courses.

California

From the burgeoning tech industry in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley to the massive real estate and entertainment industries in Los Angeles, there are plenty of reasons why California’s legal environment is stronger than ever. According to the State Bar of California, there are nearly 190,000 practicing attorneys in the state. In Los Angeles alone, there are at least five firms that each staffed with more than 200 attorneys, and hundreds more paralegals.

Whether you have visions of sitting in on the in-counsel boardroom meetings of mammoth companies like Facebook or Google, or you want to walk the halls of one of the more than 500 court buildings that make up the largest court system in the nation, you’ll find your opportunity here in California.

And education opportunities are just as varied here, from associate or undergraduate certificates in paralegal studies at the ground level to bachelor’s and master’s degrees for the established paralegal looking to specialize.

While the huge selection of programs in California has its benefits, finding one that suits your needs may be a particularly stressful process. We got you covered.

We’ve put together a list of the best programs available in the state—programs that have either achieved ABA approval or schools that have been regionally or nationally accredited. But we’ve gone one step further. We’ve listed tuition costs for each program and included key information about each program that we think makes it stand out from the competition.

Abraham Lincoln University

Associate of Paralegal Studies – online

Diploma in Paralegal Studies (post-baccalaureate)- online

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $15,350

Abraham Lincoln University offers two options, a 30-semester diploma program for bachelor’s degree holders that takes about one year to complete, and the 60-semester associate degree, which takes about two years to complete.

We love that these programs are available online, targeting working professionals who need a little extra flexibility in a degree program.

Allan Hancock College

AS in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate campus

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,346 (in-state), $6,750 (out-of-state)

You have your choice of either a pre-degree certificate in paralegal studies or an associate degree through Allan Hancock College. What’s great about this school is that if you choose to complete the certificate of achievement, you can easily transition into the associate degree at a later date.

American River College

Associate of Arts (AA) in Legal Assisting campus

Legal Assisting Certificate (post-associate) campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,104 (in-state), $7,704 (out-of-state)

American River College provides students with two avenues of study. If you are a high school graduate, you can pursue the AA in legal assisting. If you already hold an associate’s degree or higher, you can pursue the legal assisting certificate. We really like the flexibility of the AA offered through American River College, as it is fully transferrable to any of the California State University (CSU) campuses. If you hold the AA, you can transfer in as a junior.

Bristol University

  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

California State University East Bay, Division of Continuing and International Education: Hayward

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $6,564 (in-state), $17,724 (out-of-state)

The paralegal studies certificate through CSU -Hayward was one of the first ABA approved programs in the East Bay. We are impressed with the longevity of this program, which has been in existence since 1980. Courses are available at different times to accommodate working students.

California State University Los Angeles, College of Extended Studies

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $6,383 (in-state), $17,543 (out-of-state)

The CSU – Los Angeles paralegal studies certificate program offers two program schedule options: a part-time evening schedule that allows most students to finish the program within two-three semesters and a full-time compressed schedule, which allows student to complete the program in just one semester. If you’re looking for the best in scheduling flexibility, this is the program for you!

Canada College, Redwood City

AS in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – campus

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,344 (in-state), $7,588 (out-of-state)

You know you’re getting the best education at Canada College, as its paralegal programs were developed in cooperation with the San Manteo County Bar Association and the San Manteo County Legal Secretaries Association— and they have been since 1979! We’re also a fan of this program for offereing internship opportunities through their Cooperative Education Program, so students can get the best training before entering the workforce.

Carrington College

AS in Paralegal Studies – online

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Total Cost: $17,528

We are always a fan of online programs that can also provide students with practical skills, and Carrington is one of them. Carrington College’s online paralegal studies programs offers students convenient online study with interactive lab exercises, so they can gain the practical experience they need to confidently enter the workforce.

Cerritos Community College – Norwalk

Paralegal Associate of Arts (AA) Degree – campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) with the following specialization options: campus

  • Business Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Legal Technology
  • Litigation
  • Probate and Estate Planning
  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,346 (in-state), $8,598 (out-of-state)

If you want to focus your paralegal studies on a specific area of law, the Cerritos Community College post-associate degree is what you’re after. For high school graduates, Cerritos also offers an associate’s degree, and both programs feature internship opportunities at more than 50 locations.

Cerro Coso Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – online

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,290 (in-state), $7,786 (out-of-state)

Online study is Cerro Coso is convenient and flexible, so it’s no surprise it made our list of the best paralegal programs, both for its associate and pre-degree certificate option. But the paralegal programs through Cerro Coso are also highly interactive, featuring online lectures, videos, and discussion boards that bring students and faculty together in one, dynamic learning environment.

Chaffey College

Certificate in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,169 (in-state), $6,521 (out-of-state)

We are big fans of Chaffey College because all programs are taught by attorneys, senior legal office managers/paralegals, and other qualified legal professionals, so students always get the most relevant skills and knowledge, designed to translate well into the real world.

Coastline Community College

Paralegal Associate of Arts (AA) Degree – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,136 (in-state), $6,176 (out-of-state)

In addition to its beautiful, Newport Beach location, we are impressed with Coastline Community College’s hands-on efforts to inform and educate prospective and current students. They offer orientation sessions that bring students up to date on everything from course selection to course sequencing. Private counseling and advising sessions are available to students prior to graduation.

College of the Canyons

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,154 (in-state), $6,458 (out-of-state)

College of the Canyons earned a well-deserved spot on our list because of its participation in Pathway to Law School, a California community college initiative partners with six California law schools. Through this initiative, students can start with the associate degree level and seamlessly work their way through law school.

College of the Sequoias

Paralegal Certificate

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,138 (in-state), $7,296 (out-of-state)

We love the College of the Sequoias, not only for its quality paralegal program, but also because of its COS Business Internship program, designed to allow students to grow their skills at off-campus worksites. All internships here also allow students to earn transferrable college credit.

Cuyamaca College

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,388 (in-state), $6,896 (out-of-state)

We love Cuyamaca College’s commitment to the paralegal profession, as is evidenced by their ABA approval and strong student paralegal association, the Cuyamaca Association of Paralegal Students (CAPS). CAPS, which was originally created by a group of paralegal studies majors, works to grow the program and provide learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

DeAnza College

Paralegal Certificate of Achievement-Advanced (post-associate) – campus

Associate of Science/Arts (AA/AS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,549 (in-state), $8,569 (out-of-state)

De Anza College offers both a post-degree certificate and an associate degree in paralegal studies, and both programs satisfy the educational requirements under California law. We appreciate De Anza’s focus not only on the high school graduate looking to start a career as a paralegal, but the career changer who already holds an associate’s degree in another field.

El Camino College – Business Division

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate of Achievement (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,142 (in-state), $5,678 (out-of-state)

If you think you may want to continue your education at the bachelor’s and even master’s level, El Camino’s paralegal programs are for you. All courses in El Camino’s paralegal studies programs are ideal for not only preparing you to enter the paralegal field, but also for students looking to transfer to a four-year college or university, if desired. Plus, they offer an internship and job placement assistance.

Empire College

Associate in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Total Cost: $26,630

Empire College’s associate degree in paralegal studies is a great choice for those looking to gain valuable, on-the-job experience in addition to classroom theory. This is thanks to the 120-hour internship that’s included as part of the program and other applied learning opportunities throughout the course of the program.

Fremont College – Cerritos

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Total Cost: $33,710

The College of Legal Studies at Fremont College offers an associate degree in paralegal studies that can be completed in as few as 15 months. We are also fans of this program because in addition to legal and paralegal-related courses, it also includes courses in the communication, computer, organizational, and research skills paralegals need. Fremont College’s Real World Learning Model allows students to conduct research on areas of law and complete tasks such as writing reports, drafting correspondence, and obtaining affidavits, among others.

Fullerton College

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,138 (in-state), $6,010 (out-of-state)

Fullerton College stands out as a winner among paralegal programs, not just for its ABA-approved program, but also for the services students receive through the Academic Support Center (ASC). The ASC provides a host of free services to all students, including a state-of-the-art library/learning resource center, a cultural center a wellness center, and free tutoring services, among many others.

John F. Kennedy University

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate), can be completed concurrently with:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $23,052

John F. Kennedy makes our list of the top paralegal programs, thanks to its ABA approval and paralegal internship, which provides an opportunity for students to gain practical work experience under the supervision of an attorney or experienced paralegal. We also really like that students can complete the post-associate paralegal certificate and the BA in legal studies concurrently.

Los Angeles City College

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,120 (in-state), $7,538 (out-of-state)

As if Los Angeles City College’s ABA approval isn’t impressive enough, the highly affordable tuition makes an associate’s degree in paralegal studies very accessible.

Miramar College

Paralegal Associate Degree – campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,142 (in-state) $5,894 (out-of-state)

We love that Miramar College offers two options for those looking to enter the paralegal profession. While the associate’s degree is designed for the high school graduate, the paralegal certificate is designed for the career changer who already holds an associate’s degree in another field. We are also big fans of Miramar’s Paralegal Club, which is open to all students who want to share information and network with one another.

Mt. San Antonio College – Business Administration Department

Paralegal Associate of Science (AS) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,348 (in-state), $8,659 (out-of-state)

Mount San Antonio College, within the California University system offers students affordable tuition rates, as well as an opportunity to easily transfer to a four-year institution, if desired. We also really like that they stress practical application of knowledge to ensure that students are prepared to easily transition to the workforce upon graduating.

MTI College

Paralegal Associate Degree – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Total Cost: $31,625

There is plenty of reasons to love MTI College, but chief among them is the fact that their employment rate is probably one of the best. In fact, more than 90 percent of MTI College graduates secure employment in their field of study. We are also big fans of the small class sizes within its paralegal associate degree program.

National University (Los Angeles and Woodland Hills, CA campuses only)

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Specialist Certificate (post-associate), with concentrations in: campus

  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Litigation
  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,530

If you want to become a paralegal or advance in the field, there’s probably a paralegal program for you at National University. From the entry-level associate degree program to the post-associate certificate and bachelor’s degree programs for career changers and established paralegals, no matter where you are in your career National University has the program you need to succeed.

Pasadena City College – Business Education Division

Paralegal Certificate of Achievement (post-associate), can be earned concurrently with any Associate of Science (AS) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,348 (in-state), $6,332 (out-of-state)

Pasadena City College is the third largest community college in the U.S., so it comes as no surprise that they offer both an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, as well as a post-associate paralegal certificate of achievement, both of which have earned the ABA seal of approval. We also love the beautiful Pasadena campus, which boasts well-equipped classrooms, theaters, high-tech instructional facilities, and no less than 39 buildings.

San Diego Miramar College

  • AS in Paralegal
  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

San Francisco State University – College of Extended Learning

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) with concentrations in: campus

  • Corporations and Business
  • Advanced Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $6,484 (in-state), $17,644 (out-of-state)

San Francisco State University’s 30-unit certificate program is designed for the career changer who already holds an associate’s degree in another field or the practicing paralegal interested in specializing their career on a specific area of law. We are impressed with the courses within this program, which are taught by attorneys and working paralegals. Plus, it’s the only ABA-approved program in San Francisco.

Santa Ana College

Paralegal Associate Degree – campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,142 (in-state), $7,262 (out-of-state)

Santa Ana College has it all: ABA approval, regional accreditation, and tuition rates that make getting a college education more affordable than ever. Plus, Santa Ana College has a long history of excellence, receiving its first ABA approval in 1975. Students here also have the opportunity to complete an internship. Santa Ana has placed students in more than 50 internship sites throughout California, including the City of Santa Ana Attorney’s Office and the Superior Court of California.

Santa Barbara Business College – Bakersfield

AAS- Paralegal – online, campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,435

We love the flexibility of Santa Barbara Business College’s associate degree in paralegal studies, as students can complete it through the Bakersfield, Rancho Mirage, or Ventura campuses, or even online! We are also big fans of their career planning and job placement services.

South Coast College

AAS- Paralegal

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Total Cost: $23,194

South Coast College’s AAS program in paralegal studies takes you from classroom to boardroom in just 18 months. This program has made a name for itself among those targeted at busy, adult learners, as it offers both a daytime program (can be completed in 18 months) and an evening program (can be completed in two years).

University of California – Davis Extension

Paralegal Studies Certificate online, campus

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,046 (in-state), $40,728 (out-of-state)

The University of California – Davis has plenty going for it, including instructors who are licensed attorneys, student access to LexisNexis and Westlaw online legal research, and the ParaStudent website, where students can access lecture notes, templates, writing and research labs, mock exams, and more. We love that students of its paralegal certificate program can complete the program on-campus or online, for the best in flexibility and convenience.

University of California – Irvine Extension

Paralegal Certificate (post-AS/AA, cannot qualify with an AAS/AAA) – campus/hybrid

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $13,360 (in-state), $40,042 (out-of-state)

Study to become a paralegal through the University of California – Irvine, and you’ll be able to choose from on-campus evening courses (with select online courses) or full-time day courses. Choose the evening course format and you can complete your program in as little as 1 year. Choose the compressed, daytime format, and you can complete your program in as little as three months.

University of California – Los Angeles Extension

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $12,920 (in-state), $39,602 (out-of-state)

The University of California’s paralegal studies certificate is designed for the career changer who already holds an associate’s degree in another field. We are impressed with this program not just for its ABA approval, but for its career counseling and job search assistance. We also love that all instructors have been approved by the UCLA School of Law.

University of California – Riverside Extension

Paralegal Studies Professional Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $12,920 (in-state), $39,602 (out-of-state)

We are always impressed with the University of California – Riverside because of its flexible paralegal studies certificate designed for students who already hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in another field. We also really like that the school allow students to either complete select courses or the entire program.

University of California – San Diego Extension – La Jolla

Paralegal Certificate Accelerated Program (post-bac) – campus

Paralegal Certificate Part-Time Program (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $13,645 (in-state), $40,327 (out-of-state)

The University of California – San Diego offers career changers and working paralegals two programs and two formats for completing them. The accelerated program (designed for students with a bachelor’s degree and/or significant legal experience) is an intensive, one-quarter accelerated program that can be completed in just 12 weeks, while the part-time program (designed for students with an associate’s degree) features quarterly courses that meet once a week for up to 10 weeks.

University of California – Santa Barbara Extension

Paralegal Certificate Program (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,073 (in-state), $40,755 (out-of-state)

The University of California – Santa Barbara Extension offers an ABA-approved certificate program for students who have already earned an associate’s degree in another field.

University of La Verne

Certificate in Paralegal Studies, which can be completed concurrently with:

Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $39,900

We are impressed with the University of La Verne’s certificate in paralegal studies because all of the courses are taught by legal professionals with real-world experience.

University of San Diego

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac): campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $18,744

The University of San Diego’s paralegal certificate program is offered in two different formats: as a day program that can be completed in one or two terms, and an evening program that can be completed in three terms. We also love their active employment assistance program; USD says that they make every effort to help graduates secure jobs in the field.

Victor Valley College

Paralegal Certificate – campus

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,126 (in-state), $7,342 (out-of-state)

Victor Valley College made our list because of their commitment to training students in the practical application and development of current paralegal job skills. This affordable program also includes training in computer technology skills, including electronic databases and research tools.

West Los Angeles College – Culver City

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies (WLAC has transfer provisions with National University’s bachelor’s degree program in Paralegal Studies) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,220 (in-state), $7,538 (out-of-state)

If you have plans to eventually complete a bachelor’s degree in legal studies, then consider West Los Angeles College, which has a curriculum that aligns with national University’s bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. National University is one of just a few universities in the Los Angeles area that offer an ABA approved bachelor’s degree for paralegals.

West Valley College

Paralegal Associate of Science (AS) – campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $1,183 (in-state), $5,239 (out-of-state)

West Valley College accommodates both high school graduates and those who have already completed an associate’s degree in another field. All students of these programs complete an internship with a local employer, which provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable, on-the-job experience before graduating.

Colorado

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 in Colorado. The schools and programs we selected were chosen based on specific quality measures. Our entire selection of schools only includes those that are regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission; or nationally accredited through the Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. A few of our picks have even received the most prestigious mark of all – approval by the American Board Association.

Each of our selected schools has a campus presence in Colorado, and a few even offer an exclusively online paralegal program.

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
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,293 (in-state); $15,493 (out of state)

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
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $2,968 (in-district); $4,528 (in-state); $11,776 (out of state)

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
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,502 (in-state); $15,696 (out of state)

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
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,502 (in-state); $15,696 (out of state)

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
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,460 (in-state); $15,660 (out of state)

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 & Medical Careers

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
  • Average program cost: $32,640

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
  • Average program cost: $36,250

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
  • Complete tuition cost: $887

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!

Connecticut

The body of knowledge required to effectively perform paralegal support services can be gained from a formal education in paralegal studies. As attorneys, law offices, corporations and government agencies strive to work within an increasingly complex legal framework, the breadth of responsibilities given to the legal assistants they employ have increased accordingly. Law offices, as well as other private and public sector employers in Connecticut, are now more often turning to paralegals who have demonstrated competence through formal education.

Looking to break into the legal field for the first time? Looking to make a career change, or simply interested in adding a prestigious credential that’s going to help you move up in line for the next promotion?

We tried to simplify that task of selecting the right program by providing you with a list of our top picks of paralegal degree and certificate programs available through the best schools in Connecticut. We’ve evaluated each program and reviewed key quality factors like accreditation and American Bar Association approval. Each of the schools we selected has received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. A few of our selections even hold the unique distinction of having paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association.

Sure, there are plenty of out-of-state schools that offer exclusively online programs, but all of our school selections have a campus presence in Connecticut, so there’s no residency issues or jacked up tuition rates for out-of-state students. You’ll also find information here about tuition, curriculum, and course scheduling.

Branford Hall Career Institute

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus and online

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $18,177

What we like about Branford Hall’s program is the convenience it offers. The program is structured in a hybrid format, so some of the courses are taken on-campus while other courses are completed online. As an added bonus, the program also offers an externship opportunity and career placement assistance.

Branford Hall Career Institute is a continuing education school with campuses in Branford, Southington, and Windsor, and has additional campuses in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The paralegal program is only available at the Southington campus.

Charter Oak State College

Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $9,271 (in-state); $11,629 (out of state)

Charter Oak State College is a distance learning institution, with administrative offices in New Britain.

This certificate program caught our attention because it’s approved by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA). In fact, the paralegal program at Charter Oak State College was actually developed in conjunction with CBA.

Classes typically run 8 weeks in length and can be completed entirely online. There is an optional internship opportunity included with the program. Any student without previous legal experience would be required to participate in the internship.

Manchester Community College

Associate of Science (AS), Paralegal – On-campus

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,368 (in-state); $13,704 (out of state)

The associate degree option through Manchester Community College is a traditional 60-credit program. The paralegal certificate is 23 credits and is available to students who already hold an associate degree.

To help accommodate students working full-time, most classes are offered during the evening hours. Of course, many of the general education courses can be completed online. However, according to ABA standards, at least 10 legal specialty credits must be completed in a traditional classroom setting. As an added bonus, both the degree and the certificate program offer students an internship opportunity.

Naugatuck Valley Community College

Associate of Science in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Certificate in Legal Studies/Paralegal – On-campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,408 (in-state); $13,744 (out of state)

Naugatuck Valley Community College is a 2-year school with campuses in Waterbury and Danbury. The paralegal degree requires 62 credits of study, while the paralegal certificate only requires 24 credits. Both programs include core topics like litigation, probate practice, legal research and writing, and bankruptcy law. As an added perk, both programs also include an intern experience. Courses can be completed on the Waterbury or Danbury campus.

Norwalk Community College

Associate of Science (AS) – Legal Assistant – On-campus

Legal Assistant Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $5,3888 (in-state); $13,724 (out of state)

What we like about the paralegal programs at Norwalk Community College is that both the degree and the certificate program are approved by the American Bar Association. The associate degree is 61 credits in length. The paralegal certificate is 30 credits in length and is open to students who have already earned an associate degree.

Students must have a minimum of 18 liberal arts credits in order to enroll in the certificate program. Both programs offer the opportunity to work alongside experienced paralegals in an internship program at area law firms and businesses.

Post University

Certificate in Paralegal Studies – On-campus and online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $18,010

What we really like about the paralegal program through Post University in Waterbury is the flexibility and convenience it offers. In fact, students can opt to complete courses on-campus or online, whichever works best for their schedule.

The program includes core topics like civil litigation, real estate law, and business law and includes an optional legal studies internship at the end of the program.

Quinnipiac University

Minor/Certificate in Legal Studies – On-campus (concurrent with bachelor degree)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $44,740

The Legal Studies Minor at Quinnipiac is a 21-credit program taken concurrently with a bachelor’s degree program. What really stands out about the program they offer is that it’s ABA-approved and taught by a faculty of highly experienced lawyers and legal experts.

The program includes the usual core paralegal topics and offers additional elective courses in intellectual property, mediation/negotiation, and legal advocacy. An internship work experience is included as well. All courses are offered on-campus at the Mount Carmel, York Hill, or North Haven campuses.

Sacred Heart University

Paralegal Certificate – Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

Legal Secretary Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic university with campuses in Fairfield, Bridgeport, Griswold, Trumbull, and Stamford. These programs are offered in conjunction with the Center for Legal Studies (CLS), a legal education entity providing high-quality online legal education to colleges and universities nationwide.

The paralegal certificate is offered online in two 7-week consecutive courses. The total cost to complete the program, including books, tuition, and Westlaw access, is $1,740.

The advanced paralegal certificate course is open to students who have completed the paralegal certificate course. The advanced certificate requires six additional topics of study, and students are allowed to take up to three topics per 7-week session. The total cost to complete the advanced certificate program is $1,800.

The legal secretary certificate is offered in one 7-week online session and costs $645.

University of Hartford

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in University Studies with a Paralegal Studies concentration – On-campus

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $38,762

University of Hartford is a 4-year private university with an expansive campus that provides convenient access to students in Hartford, West Hartford, and Bloomfield. What we really like about this school is that all three program offerings are ABA-approved and that the programs are designed with the flexibility needed to meet the demands of working students. In fact, courses are offered in the evening hours and on Saturdays, and students can choose to attend on a part-time or full-time basis.

The associate degree option requires 60 credits, while the bachelor degree option requires 120 credits. An internship is included only with the bachelor degree program, during which students complete at least 120 hours of work in an assigned law office, government agency, or legal clinic.

The post-associate certificate program requires enrolling students to have 30 credits in liberal arts. Students attending full-time can finish their certificate in as little as 9 months.

University of New Haven

Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Studies – On-campus

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies with a Paralegal Concentration – On-campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – On-campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $38,060

The University of New Haven is a 4-year private university with satellite campus locations in Orange, Old Lyme, and New London. The associate degree option is 60 credits in length, while the bachelor degree option is 125 credits – 5 credits more than the typical bachelor’s program. In order to enroll in the 18-credit certificate program, students need to have at least 42 college credits.

Students can participate in a legal internship with any of these programs, though only bachelor’s program students receive credit hours for participating. Students pursuing a paralegal associate degree or certificate still have the option to participate in a non-credit internship.

Delaware

Maybe you’re looking to get a jump on your career straight out of high school… maybe you’ve got a degree in another area but want to make a career change… maybe you’ve been in the legal field for years and this is your year to make your next big move by earning an advanced certificate or even a master’s. Whether you’re new to the field, looking to refocus your career, or just looking to advance in your current position, choosing a school to entrust with your future is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make.

Here, we’ve tried to make that task a bit easier by listing our top picks for Delaware. Our selections are based on quality, so we’ve reviewed key factors like school accreditation and American Bar Association programmatic approval. All of the schools we selected are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting agency that recognizes quality colleges and universities in the region. A few of our program selections even carry the distinction that comes with being approved by the American Bar Association.

While there are schools in other states that offer paralegal programs online, for this list we selected only regionally and nationally accredited schools with a campus presence in Delaware. The schools shown below aren’t ranked in any particular order. We included some key details including tuition and the delivery format, all in an effort to help you make an informed decision.

Delaware Technical and Community College

Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) is a 4-year public college located in Georgetown, with additional campuses in Dover, Stanton, and Wilmington.

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

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus (Post-associate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $6,207 (in-state); $12,499 (out of state)

The paralegal program at Delaware Technical Community College caught our attention for its longstanding ABA approval. DTCC’s paralegal program is eligible for the Connected Degree Program, a transfer program the school offers to help students seamlessly make the transition from an associate’s straight into a bachelor’s program.

The post-degree certificate program is open to students with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any field. A legal internship with an area law firm is included in both the associate’s and certificate program. Paralegal courses are only offered at the Dover and Georgetown campuses.

University of Delaware – Professional & Continuing Studies

The University of Delaware (UDC) is a 4-year university located in Newark. The Division of Professional and Continuing Studies at UDC offers continuing education certificate programs.

Paralegal Certificate – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $13,630 (in-state); $33,050 (out of state)

The paralegal certificate offered by the University of Delaware is a continuing education program led by a faculty of experienced attorneys. The program covers topics like contract law, legal research and writing, and criminal law. The program is available online, and students are given complete access to LexisNexis, an online legal research database, for the duration of the program. The only prerequisite for enrollment is a high school diploma or GED.

Wesley College

Wesley College is a 4-year private, non-profit, college in Dover.

Bachelor of Science in Law and Justice Studies – On-campus

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Law and Justice Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $27,646

The bachelor degree program at Wesley College is a 124-credit, ABA-approved program, so it easily made our list of the best options in Delaware. The program offers a legal internship opportunity, though it’s not required as part of the curriculum. It’s important to mention that students transferring into the program can only transfer courses from another ABA-approved program, and at least 15 credit hours have to be completed on-campus at Wesley College. Graduates of the program also receive a paralegal certificate in addition to their degree.

Widener University – Delaware Law School

Widener University, Delaware Law School, is a 4-year university located in Wilmington, with an additional campus location in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Associate of Science in Legal Studies – On-campus and Online

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies – On-campus and Online

Certificate in Paralegal – On-campus and Online (Post-associate)

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

What caught our attention about the paralegal programs offered at this school is that students can concentrate their studies within a specific area of law. Areas of specialization include corporate law, criminal law, litigation, health law, estate administration law, and intellectual property law.

Both the degree and certificate option are conveniently scheduled to accommodate working students. All programs are available on a full-time or part-time basis, and courses are available online and in the evenings on campus. However, as an ABA-approved program, at least 10 credits worth of courses must be completed on campus.

The paralegal certificate is a 15-week program and is open to any student who already has an associate’s degree in any major.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a 4-year private college located in New Castle, with a satellite campus in Dover.

Bachelor of Science (BAS) in Legal Studies – On-campus

Certificate in Legal Studies – On-campus (Post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $12,470 (in-state)

We can’t help but love the fact that all of Wilmington U’s paralegal programs are ABA-approved, and there’s a program option for students at all levels. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree, or you’ve already earned one in another major and are ready to take your legal studies courses, there’s a program here for you. As an added benefit, students who earn a bachelor’s degree at Wilmington receive guaranteed admission to the Widener University Delaware Law School Juris Doctor (JD) program.

As an ABA-approved school, most courses must be completed on-campus. Although some of the prerequisite courses can be taken online, at least 10 credit hours of legal specialty courses have to be completed in a traditional classroom setting.

District of Columbia

With there being so many degree and certificate programs available to you, we know that deciding on a program to fit your needs can be a bit overwhelming. To make the process a little easier, we’ve done the research and selected what we think is the best paralegal program in the District. We choose programs based entirely on the quality of the education they offer. It’s no coincidence that our school of choice is regionally accredited throuhg the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

While there are online programs available through schools all up and down the Atlantic coast and around the nation, we made our pick based on regional accreditation and a local campus presence.

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a 4-year public school located in Washington.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Legal Assistant – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition/fees per academic year: $6,892 (in-state); $13,036 (out of state)

The paralegal program at the University of the District of Columbia is a 62-credit degree program that covers core topics like principles of the American legal system, civil case procedure, and business law. Classes are generally taken over four semesters, with full-time students being able to complete the program in about two years.

General education courses can be taken online, but the core paralegal courses are only offered on-campus. Campus-based courses are conveniently offered in the mornings, late afternoon, and evenings.

What’s really unique about UDC is that in addition to being regionally accredited, it has also been recognized as the best community college in the region for cost, student-to-teacher ratio, and graduation rate.

Florida

Want to escape the grind of that dead-end job and get the respect and money you deserve? Just graduating high school and dreaming of strolling into the lobby of a Miami law firm every morning to start your day? Maybe you realized that dream years ago and now you’re looking to climb the ladder and specialize so you can prove you’re in it for the long haul.

If you’re interested in a career in law, there’s no shortage of opportunities in Florida… and no shortage of schools offering paralegal programs either. Finding options isn’t the issue, narrowing them down to find the right fit is more the challenge.

We’ve tried to simplify that task a bit by giving you a list of our favorite programs offered at top schools throughout Florida. Our selections are based solely on the quality of the programs, so we only include schools that are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, or nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Many of our selections have also received the highest quality mark of all – program approval from the American Bar Association.

Barry University

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Administration, Legal Studies Specialization – On-campus and online

Legal Studies Certificate – On-campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

Legal Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certificate – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $30,300

Barry University is a 4-year university in Miami, with additional campus locations in Orlando and Palm Beach. The bachelor degree option includes 24 credits in the legal studies specialization. The core curriculum can be completed entirely online, while the legal studies courses are only offered on-campus. On-campus courses are offered in the evenings and on Saturdays and typically only meet once per week, making it the perfect fit for working students. Students get all the coursework they need to qualify to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) exam, and graduate with the credential in hand.

Both the undergraduate paralegal certificate and the post-baccalaureate certificate include the same 24 credits in the legal studies specialization. Students who earn a post-baccalaureate certificate are eligible to sit for CLA exam too.

Broward College

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $3,987 (in-state); $10,109 (out of state)

Broward College is a 4-year public college in Fort Lauderdale, with additional campus locations in Davie, Pembroke Pines, Coconut Creek, Miramar, Weston, and Dania Beach.

The paralegal associate degree at Broward College is a 64-credit program with an internship that gives you the kind of real world experience you need to enter the field with confidence. Paralegal courses are only offered at the Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines campus locations. Courses are conveniently offered during the daytime and in the evenings.

City College

Associate of Science (AS), Legal Assistant/Paralegal – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $14,329

City College is a 2-year public school headquartered in Fort Lauderdale. Additional campus locations include Orlando, Gainesville, Hollywood, and Miami. We like the fact that this program encompasses a wide variety of core topics relevant to paralegals, including court proceedings and litigation, immigration law, real estate law, torts, and contracts. The paralegal program is only available at the Orlando and Fort Lauderdale campuses.

The program also offers an externship where students get an opportunity for real-world experience in a legal setting. Many students work in the Public Defender’s office or the State Attorney’s office during their externship.

College of Central Florida

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $17,850 (in-state)

The College of Central Florida is a 4-year school with campus locations in Ocala, Lecanto, and Chiefland. What’s unique about the program here is that the curriculum is taught by a highly experienced faculty of lawyers. The program is 64 credits in length and gives students the added benefit of participating in a working internship experience.

As an added perk, students who earn their associate degree are able to transfer seamlessly to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management program.

Daytona State College

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies/Legal Assisting – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,312 (in-state); $13,201 (out of state)

Daytona State College is a 4-year institution located in Daytona Beach, with additional campus locations in DeLand, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach, and Palm Coast. The paralegal degree program at Daytona State College is a 64-credit program. Students attending full-time can complete the program in two years.

As a capstone, students are given the option of taking a law office management course or participating in an internship. Graduates of the program are offered guaranteed enrollment in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management program.

Eastern Florida State College

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,096 (in-state); $11,339 (out of state)

Eastern Florida State College is a 4-year public school with campuses in Cocoa, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and Titusville. What really stands out about the program offered here is the large variety of legal specializations available to students. Students can choose to specialize in litigation with courses like bankruptcy, torts, and family law. Students interested in the transactional law specialization would take courses that cover wills and trusts, probate, and real estate transactions.

Courses are available on the Melbourne campus during the daytime and evening for added convenience and flexibility. A full semester-long internship is also part of the program.

Everest University

  • BA- Paralegal (online)
  • AAS- Paralegal (online)
  • Certificate- Paralegal/Legal Assistant (online)
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Florida Atlantic University

Paralegal Certificate – On-campus

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Complete program cost: $3,660

Florida Atlantic University is a 4-year public university with campuses in Boca Raton, Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, and Jupiter. This program stands out for its convenient course schedule and fast pace. If you’re attending full-time, the 12-course certificate program can be completed in just one year. Classes are scheduled during the evenings and meet three times per week to accommodate the busy schedules of working students.

Florida Gulf Coast University

Paralegal Certificate – Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Florida Gulf Coast University is a 4-year public school in Fort Myers. The paralegal certificate is offered online in two 7-week consecutive sessions, while the advanced paralegal certificate is offered in one 7-week online session. Students enrolling in the advanced paralegal certificate program must already have a basic certificate to apply.

The total cost of the paralegal certificate program, including books, tuition, and Westlaw access, is $1,740. The total cost of the advanced paralegal certificate program is $1,800.

Florida International University

Legal Assistant Certificate – On-campus or online

  • Non-credit continuing education
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $1,300

Florida International University is a 4-year public university in Miami. What’s unique about the paralegal certificate program here is that it can be completed entirely online, entirely on-campus, or a combination of both! Campus-based courses are conveniently offered in the evenings and Saturday mornings.

The program is 10 weeks long and includes specialty workshops in the most relevant areas of law, such as bankruptcy and litigation. Enrollment is open throughout the year with start dates in January, May, and August.

Florida SouthWestern State College

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $5,051 (in-state); $14,629 (out of state)

Florida SouthWestern State College is a 4-year public college located in Fort Myers, with additional campus locations in Naples and LaBelle. The AS in Paralegal Studies is a 64-credit program offered on a full-time and part-time basis. The program includes core topics like constitutional law, legal research and writing, litigation, torts, and law office management.

One of the coolest aspects is the capstone project, a 135-hour internship, in which students get the opportunity to serve in a paralegal role in a local law office or government agency.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville is a 4-year public college located in Jacksonville.

Associate in Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,278 (in-state); $11,392 (out of state)

What caught our attention about this program is that it’s the only ABA-approved paralegal program in northern Florida. The program is 64 credits in length and culminates with a 180-hour professional internship. Students who are unable to participate in the internship are placed into a simulated law office class. Core curriculum includes courses like probate, estate planning, tort law, preparation of legal documents, and conducting legal research.

Gulf Coast State College

Gulf Coast State College is a 4-year school located in Panama City. The college has additional campus locations in Port St. Joe and Southport.

Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Assisting/Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $3,405 (in-state); $9,668 (out of state)

The AS in Paralegal Studies is a flexible 64-credit program. Many of the prerequisite courses can be taken online. All of the core paralegal courses are taught on the Panama City campus, with most courses offered during the evening hours.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College is a 2-year community college in Tampa.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Advanced Technical Certificate – Paralegal Studies – On-campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $3,826 (in-state); $10,431 (out of state)

Hillsborough Community College offers two program options – an associate degree in paralegal studies and a paralegal certificate. The associate degree is a 64-credit program, while the certificate is a 21-credit program. There are no enrollment requirements for the degree program, other than a high school diploma or GED. The certificate program, however, is only open to students who have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Indian River State College

Indian River State College is a 4-year public college in Fort Pierce, with additional campuses in St. Lucie West, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $3,764 (in-state); $11,201 (out of state)

The AS in Paralegal Studies is a 64-credit program. The core paralegal curriculum is 25 credits and includes courses like survey of law, civil litigation, and corporate law. An additional 25 elective credits are required as well, which gives students an opportunity to focus on certain areas of law, such as criminal law, constitutional law, or family law. An optional internship is also offered with the program.

Courses are offered at the Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex on the main campus in Fort Pierce.

Keiser University

Keiser University is a non-profit university with multiple campus locations throughout Florida. The university’s main campus is located in West Palm Beach.

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus or online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $14,329

What stands out about this program is its accessibility. The AA in Paralegal Studies program is available at the Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Melbourne, Miami, New Port Richey, Orlando, Pembroke Pines, Port St. Lucie, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach campus locations.

The program is also offered through the Fort Lauderdale Online Division. Students can complete the program entirely on-campus at one of the above locations, entirely online, or a combination of both!

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College is a 4-year public college with campuses in Hialeah, Homestead, Miami, and Doral.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,434 (in-state); $11,261 (out of state)

What’s unique about this program is that all core paralegal courses are taught by experienced attorneys. The program consists of 64 credit hours and is available on the Wolfson Campus in Miami. Most students who enroll in the program work full-time, so many of the legal specialty courses are offered in the evenings. As an added benefit, students are trained in the use of software applications, including Westlaw.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is a 4-year private university with a main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Additional campus locations include Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami-Kendall, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Paralegal Studies Minor – Bachelor Degree – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $30,236

The paralegal programs offered at Nova Southeastern University stand out as highly-rated ABA-approved programs. One of the most unique features is that students actually participate in a mock trial event and get the opportunity to meet with judges and legal analysts.

The bachelor degree program consists of 138 credits, including 45 credits in core paralegal topics. The program also includes an internship in the last semester.

Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College is a 4-year college with campus locations in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, and Palm Beach Gardens.

Associate in Science (AS) – Paralegal – On-campus

Paralegal Advanced Technical Certificate – On-campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,244 (in-state); $10,532 (out of state)

Palm Beach State College offers both a degree and certificate program in paralegal studies. The associate degree requires 64 credits and covers core legal topics such as immigration law, estate law, business law, and the court system. Specialization courses available include family law and criminal litigation. The paralegal certificate is a 21-credit program available to students who have a bachelor degree from any field of study.

Most courses are available on-campus in the daytime and evenings. The only core paralegal courses that can be completed online are bankruptcy law and immigration law.

Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida is a 4-year school with campuses in Sanford, Oviedo, Heathrow, and Atlamonte Springs.

Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Assistant/Paralegal – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,561 (in-state); $12,886 (out of state)

The AS in Legal Assistant/Paralegal is a 60-credit, ABA-approved program. Students can take many of the prerequisite general education courses online. However, per ABA requirements, at least 10 credit hours of legal specialty courses must be taken in a traditional classroom setting. Currently, the only legal specialty course which is offered fully online is Business Law. Legal specialty courses are conveniently scheduled during the daytime and evening hours. Classes are currently not available on Saturdays.

South University – West Palm Beach

South University is a 4-year university with campuses in nine different states, including a campus in West Palm Beach.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $18,806

What stands out about this program is the variety of paralegal courses included with the associate and bachelor degree programs. Some of the core courses include civil litigation, family law, estate planning, probate law, and criminal law with electives in worker’s compensation law and administrative law. The program also boasts a capstone internship in the last semester.

Southern Technical College

Southern Technical College is a 2-year private college with campuses in Auburndale, Bonita Springs, Brandon, Fort Myers, Mount Dora, Orlando, Port Charlotte, Sanford, and Tampa.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Paralegal – Online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $14,940

This program caught our attention for the fact that the entire paralegal degree program can be completed online. The program teaches key skills like legal research methods, trial practice, and document preparation and incorporates core courses such as bankruptcy and immigration law. Although the program can be completed entirely online, courses are also available on the Fort Myers, Tampa, and Port Charlotte campuses.

St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College is a 4-year public college with campus locations in Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Largo, and St. Petersburg.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – On-campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $4,985 (in-state); $13,267

What’s unique about St. Petersburg is that all three paralegal program offerings are approved by the American Bar Association. Another interesting caveat to this program is that students can specialize in up to three areas, including estate and guardianship administration, real estate, and criminal litigation. Courses are staggered and not all courses are available each semester. All legal specialty courses, however, are offered during the evenings.

The paralegal certificate is only open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.

Valencia College

Valencia College is a 4-year public school located in Orlando, with additional campus locations in Winter Park, Lake Nona, Kissimmee, and Poinciana.

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – On-campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition/fees/books per academic year: $3,740 (in-state); $10,649 (out of state)

What stands out about the AS in Paralegal Studies at Valencia is that the program offers two specific specialization options – litigation and transactional. The litigation specialty includes courses like civil litigation and bankruptcy law. The transactional specialty includes courses like real estate law and probate. As an ABA-approved program, it cannot be completed entirely online. However, many of the general education courses can be completed online while legal specialty courses are completed on-campus.

Georgia

No matter where you are in planning your paralegal career, picking a school is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make… Maybe you’re in the early stages of planning, still daydreaming about walking through the marble-floored lobby of one of Atlanta’s big dog firms and being welcomed onboard as the newest addition to their paralegal staff… Maybe you’re ready to advance and after years of walking through that grand lobby you’re more focused than ever on how you can take your career to the next level.

Whether you’re looking to get your foot in the door with an associate’s or certificate in paralegal studies, looking to advance in your current position by finally completing your bachelor’s, or if you’re ready to specialize through graduate work, you’re going to need some help selecting a quality program.

To help simplify the task, we put together a list of our favorite picks. All of these schools have a presence in Georgia, but many offer their programs online. In making our selection, we only looked at programs that have gone through the rigorous ABA approval process and those offered through schools that are either nationally accredited or that hold accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional agency responsible for evaluating and accrediting colleges and universities in Georgia.

Armstrong State University

BA in Law and Society—Campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $5,360/yr. (in-state); $15,616/yr. (out-of-state)

Students that gain entrance into the BA in Law and Society program can choose between three different tracks: government and judicial studies, human behavior and law or social theory and philosophy.

Ashworth College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Online

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Online

Diploma in Paralegal Studies – Online

Certificate in Paralegal Studies – Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,467/yr.

Ashworth College is a private, for-profit college based out of Peachtree Corners. Despite its home base location, all paralegal programs are delivered exclusively online. This college caught our attention because it offers four different paralegal programs open to all incoming students. No educational prerequisites are needed to enroll.

Athens Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Estimated Cost: $2,794/yr. (in-state); $4,930/yr. (out-of-state)

Athens Technical College is a 2-year public that hosts an associate’s degree that runs 72-73 credits in length. This program stands out because it is both accredited and recognized by the American Bar Association. The college is also a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

As an added perk, the program includes two 6-credit internship courses to introduce and improve upon practical skills.

Central Georgia Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,714/yr. (in-state); $4,810/yr. (out-of-state)

Central Georgia Technical College is a 2-year public college that offers an associate paralegal program at its Macon and Warner Robins campus locations.

This associate’s program is 69 credits in length. There is entrance availability each semester, making this program very student-friendly. The program also equips paralegal students with crucial real-world experience through internships.

Clayton State University

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate/post-associate)

BS in Legal Studies—Campus

AAS Degree in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $5,340/yr. (in-state); $15,596/yr. (out-of-state)

Clayton State University is a 4-year public university in Morrow, GA. The college is largely unique because it’s a rare classroom-based school that offers paralegal programs at the certificate, associate, and bachelor degree levels.

Generally speaking, admission into the paralegal certificate program requires a bachelor degree. But exceptions are possible for students that hold an associate’s degree combined with approved credits that indicate equivalency.

We highly recommend this university’s paralegal programs because all courses are taught by full-time, experienced attorneys.

Emory University

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $47,954/yr.

Emory College is a 4-year private, for-profit university located in Atlanta, GA. As a graduate-level certificate program, only students that have a bachelor’s degree are eligible for admission.

The program shines as the longest-running post-baccalaureate paralegal program in the state and runs over 100 course hours in length. Along with traditional coursework, students accepted into the program are treated to two complimentary seminars.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Paralegal Certificate—Campus

  • Non-credit continuing education program
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,764/yr. (in-state); $4,900/yr. (out-of-state)

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is a 2-year public college with campuses spread throughout: Catoosa County, Floyd County, Gordon County, Polk County, Walker County, and Whitfield Murray.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,850/yr. (in-state); $4,986/yr. (out-of-state)

George Piedmont Technical College is a 2-year public college with campuses located in DeKalb and Newton. Its associate degree program runs 69 credit hours in length and includes an internship component. Although the paralegal program is classroom-based, students also use online teaching tools.

We took special notice of this school because it supports the standards outlined by the Technical College System of Georgia Instructional Faculty Consortium Committee.

Gwinnett College & Institute

AS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Diploma in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; Council on Occupational Education
  • Estimated Cost: $13,000/yr.

The AS in Paralegal Studies program is only available at the Lilburn campus. The program runs 124-125 credits in length and is greatly enhanced by its externship experience.

The AAS in Paralegal Studies program is only offered through Marietta campus. The program consists of 120 credits.

The Diploma in Paralegal Studies program is housed at both the Lilburn and Raleigh campuses and includes 107-108 credits.

Herzing University-Atlanta

BS in Legal Studies—Campus

AS in Legal Studies/Paralegal–Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $13,830/yr.

Herzing University is a 4-year private, for-profit university with a campus located in Atlanta, GA. The excellence of both programs have gained the attention and approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

As an added bonus, students graduating from either program are eligible to sit for the certified paralegal examination through the National Association of Legal Assistants.

The BA program requires 126 credits and typically takes 36 months to complete. The AS program requires 66 credits and typically takes 20 months to complete.

Kennesaw State University

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $3,627/yr.

Kennesaw State University is a 4-year public university with an undergraduate paralegal certificate program available at its Marietta and Kennesaw, GA campuses.

Since the certificate is open to undergraduates, incoming paralegal students can simply gain admission by obtaining a high school diploma (or equivalent) and completing the school’s basic skills assessment.

The school’s certificate program consists of 13 courses and meets three times a week over a six-week period. This school is perfect for students intending to work in the state, because this program highlights instruction in Georgia law.

Miller-Motte College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $10,920/yr.

Miller-Motte Technical College is a 2-year private, for-profit college with campuses located in Augusta, Macon, and Columbus, GA. The associate program is available on all Georgia campuses and is especially ideal for students looking for a hybrid education structure.

Coursework is a combination of online video, audio, and interactive discussion activities and is accentuated with weekly campus training events. The program can be completed within 18 months and culminates with an externship through local businesses.

Savannah Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,704/yr. (in-state); $4,840/yr. (out-of-state)

Savannah Technical College is a 2-year public college with an AAS in paralegal studies program available at its Liberty and Savannah campuses. The program is 69 credit hours in length.

While enrolled, students can fine-tune their newfound skills through internship opportunities that could potentially connect them to future employers.

South University – Savannah

AS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $17,016/yr.

South University is a 4-year private, for-profit university with an associate paralegal program that requires 92 credits to graduate and typically takes 24 months to complete.

For added flexibility and ease, the program offers online courses alongside traditional classroom-based learning.

Another program advantage is the supervised externship that professionally links students to federal government agencies, local law firms or other applicable business settings.

University of Georgia

Paralegal Certificate—Campus and Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate—Online

  • Non-credit continuing education programs
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,289/yr.

University of Georgia is a 4-year public university that offers a paralegal certificate program either through classroom-based education on their Gwinnett campus or via online completion.

The campus-based program is 84 credit hours in length, while the online version is 90 credit hours long. Online attendees will interact with staff and classmates digitally through virtual discussion boards and email exchanges.

The advanced certificate program is 45 credit hours in length.

University of North Georgia

BAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,397/yr. (in-state); $12,752/yr. (out-of-state)

University of North Georgia is a 4-year public university with three stellar paralegal programs available at its Gainesville campus location. The certificate program is only open to incoming students that already possess an associate’s (AA or AS) or a bachelor’s (BA or BS) degree.

Hawaii

While extensively researching the best paralegal programs in Hawaii, we made a startling discovery: there was really only one school that lived up to our high standards. It doesn’t matter whether you’re fresh out of high school and embarking on your first college experience or you’re a retuning student looking to switch careers; picking a paralegal program that maximizes your potential can be daunting at best.

We thought it extremely important to zero in on schools that offered paralegal programs that were well respected and recognized by a well-known accreditation agency, like the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. By doing so, we could ensure paralegal students received the kind of high quality instruction needed to eventually gain professional certifications, land that dream job, and be taken more seriously in the legal world.

By exploring our program recommendation below, you’ll find that it offers two ways for aspiring paralegals to open that window into their professional futures. Both featured programs are accredited and are approved by the American Bar Association, which are among the highest honors an educational program can achieve.

University of Hawaii Kapi’Olani Community College

AS in Paralegal—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $3,084/yr. (in-state); $8,220/yr. (out-of-state)

Kapi’Olani Coummity College is a 2-year public community college located in Honolulu. It is also a branch of the University of Hawaii school system.

The AS program in paralegal studies is comprised of 20 courses and is 60 credits in length. The program also includes a capstone portion in which students participate in a cooperative education course to gain experience while earning credits. It is also the only ABA-approved AS paralegal program in the state. This program is perfect for students searching for both full-time and part-time attendance options.

The Paralegal Certificate is a post-degree certificate program, which means incoming students must have already completed a bachelor’s degree in any field to become eligible for admission. The program runs 27 credits in length.

Idaho

Since paralegals are not required to become certified or registered in Idaho, often times employers look at a potential employee’s formal education history to gauge their competency and skill level. Would-be paralegals need to put some serious thought into the quality and comprehensiveness of the program they choose.

Right now there are literally thousands of paralegal programs popping up across the United States. With almost too many options to choose from, what should be an exciting career adventure can quickly turn into stressful decision. Well, not anymore!

To help alleviate school search anxiety, we’ve diligently compiled a detailed list of the top paralegal programs in Idaho.

Every single paralegal program on our list hails from schools accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges for offering a quality education. We also zeroed in on schools and programs that showed dedicated interest in delivering hands-on training through internship opportunities. These featured programs are not just a great jumping off place for new students but are equally advantageous for experienced professionals seeking an exciting career change.

Boise State University

Paralegal Studies Minor/Certificate—Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $7,080/yr. (in-state); $21,530/yr. (out-of-state)

Boise State University is a 4-year public university that offers a great paralegal studies minor/certificate program that exists within the baccalaureate degree pathway. However, students are not required to pursue a bachelor’s degree if they enroll in the shorter certificate program.

However, this is a post-bachelor’s certificate so to gain admission, incoming students must have a bachelor’s degree (in any major) or an approved combination of college credits and work experience in the legal field. The program runs 24 credits in length and includes a stimulating paralegal internship component.

Eastern Idaho Technical College

AAS in Legal Technology—Campus

Intermediate Technical Certificate (ITC) in Legal Technology—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $2,434/yr. (in-state); $8,836/yr. (out-of-state)

Eastern Idaho Technical College is a 2-year public college located in Idaho Falls that houses an AAS degree and an intermediate technical certificate (ITC) in legal technology. The AAS degree program spans 4 semesters while the ITS program is only 2 semesters.

The school’s emphasis on small class sizes, hands-on-training, and internship opportunities make these programs perfect for students that crave a more personalized teaching style.

Idaho State University

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

BAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $6,956/yr. (in-state); $21,023/yr. (out-of-state)

Idaho State University is a 4-year public university where students can earn an associate or bachelor degree in paralegal studies through its Pocatello campus.

The AAS program is a 62 credit program that typically takes 2 years to complete. During their last semester, students get the chance to test skills and knowledge by partaking in an internship.

Once admitted into the BAS program, students have two track options: 1) general BAS degree with an undeclared major or 2) BAS degree with a declared paralegal studies major.

The general BAS degree option consists of 120 credit over a 4-year period. The BAS degree with declared major option is 138 credits including 18 upper division course credits.

Lewis-Clark State College

Intermediate Technical Certificate (ITC) in Paralegal—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

BAS in Paralegal—Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $6,120/yr. (in-state); $17,620/yr. (out-of-state)

Lewis-Clark State college is a 4-year public college that offers paralegal education at the certificate, associate, and bachelor degree levels. We were impressed that both the AAS and the BAS programs incorporated internship experiences.

Students in the AAS program must complete 89 credits, while those in the BAS program are required to complete 120 credits to graduate. The ITC program is 38 credits in length and meets the Limited License Legal Technician requirements of Washington state.

North Idaho College

AAS in Paralegal

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $3,288/yr. (in-state); $4,624/yr. (out-of-state)

North Idaho College is a 2-year public college that features an associate degree program that stretches 62-64 credits in length.

Students lucky enough to gain admittance into this program will undoubtedly benefit from its internship portion. During the internship, students gain real-world experience for 9 hours/week at a law office or performing other legal work in an office environment.

Illinois

Recent high school graduates, career-changers, and second-income seekers alike flock to Illinois with dreams of bursting into the booming paralegal career field. And why not? Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the entire country, catering to millions of people residing within and spreading far beyond its city limits. Because of the expansive reach of Chicago’s economic and cultural influence, educational institutions must hustle to remain competitive in attracting new students.

This competitive atmosphere serves aspiring paralegals tremendously since it opens up a seemingly infinite number of diploma, certificate, and degrees options in legal studies. But this wide-range of paralegal programs also poses a challenge. With so many schools and programs to choose from, how can anyone find the perfect fit?

We understand that post-secondary education decisions are often met with an equal measure of excitement and anxiety. But fear no more. We’ve already done the hard part for you.

Our team has tirelessly researched which post-secondary schools host the very best paralegal programs in the state. While compiling our comprehensive paralegal school guide we deliberately included schools that were accredited and/or approved by the American Bar Association. To give you the full picture, we’ve provided additional program details such as estimated cost, program lengths, curriculum formats, and a few other notable details.

City Colleges of Chicago – Wilbur Wright College

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,506/yr. (in-state); $8,126/yr. (out-of-state)

Wilbur Wright College is a 2-year public community college that is part of the larger City Colleges of Chicago school system. Its well-respected AAS in Paralegal program is composed of 63 credit hours and comes equipped with an internship loaded with practical hands-on-training.

The program also grooms students for future paralegal work by making them familiar using online legal research services. Students are also introduced to potential employers during their required internship. For added flexibility, the program comes with full-time and part-time scheduling options.

College of DuPage

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (undergraduate, post-associate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,050/yr. (in-state); $9,660/yr. (out-of-state)

College of DuPage is a 2-year public college located in Glen Ellyn that features both an associate degree and a certificate program in paralegal studies. To facilitate seamless progress, the programs offer daytime, evening, and online learning options.

The AAS program requires 67 credit hours to graduate. The post-degree certificate program is exclusively available to students that have already completed an AA or AS degree or higher. This program is 27 credit hours in length.

Both programs include a terrific practicum unit where students perform an extensive 120 hours working as paralegal interns at local law offices.

College of Lake County

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,780/yr. (in-state); $8,736/yr. (out-of-state)

College of Lake County is a 2-year public community college. Right now, it offers an associate degree and a post-degree certificate paralegal program at all three of its campuses: Grayslake, Waukegan, and Vernon Hills.

The college’s paralegal AAS program is the only ABA-approved paralegal program in Lake County. The AAS program spans 63 credit hours, while the certificate program is 30 credit hours. The paralegal certificate program is only available to incoming students that hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

Students interested in continuing their education to the bachelor level will be especially pleased to find that College of Lake County has an articulation agreement for bachelor degree completion programs at: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, California University of Pennsylvania, and Roosevelt University.

Elgin Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,012/yr. (in-state); $10,439/yr. (out-of-state)

Elgin Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that sponsors an associate degree and a basic vocational certificate (BVC) in paralegal studies. Along with being accredited and ABA-approved, this paralegal program is also a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AAS program requires 60 credit hours, while the certificate program mandates 24 credit hours. Both programs include an 80-hour internship during its last semester. We were immediately drawn to these programs because all courses are taught by experienced paralegals, attorneys, and judges.

Governor’s State University

BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Can be earned as a dual degree in combination with the AAS in Paralegal Studies/Legal Assistant from South Suburban Community College as part of an articulation agreement between GSU and SSC)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $10,516/yr. (in-state); $18,676/yr. (out-of-state)

Harper College

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
  • Paralegal Studies Certificate
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Illinois Central College

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,200/yr. (in-state); $9,000/yr. (out-of-state)

Illinois Central College is a 2-year public community college campus based in East Peoria. This college is a terrific fit for students interested in earning a post-degree paralegal certificate. Only students that have completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited school are eligible for admission.

The paralegal certificate program is structured around 37 credit hours and includes an internship. Since the college deems internships to be a critical learning tool, students are provided assistance in finding local law offices interested in hosting an intern.

Illinois Eastern Community Colleges

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,466/yr. (in-state); $9,399/yr. (out-of-state)

Wabash Valley College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Mount Carmel. It is one of four schools within the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges system and currently offers an associate degree program in paralegal studies.

The AAS program consists of 70 credits and requires participation in an internship during its last semester. One of the program’s major highlights is the availability of scholarship and tuition awards for qualified students looking to ease financial burdens.

Illinois State University

BA/BS in Legal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $14,061/yr. (in-state); $25,168/yr. (out-of-state)

Illinois State University is a 4-year public university situated in the Bloomington-Normal community. It also has the distinguished reputation of being the oldest university in the state.

The university currently offers BA and BS in legal studies degree options, which require 120 credit hours to complete. Students will delight in the program’s internship options, small class sizes, and the availability of its experienced faculty members.

Kankakee Community College

AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,260/yr. (in-state); $9,292/yr. (out-of-state)

Kankakee Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that offers an associate-level paralegal degree. The program’s general focus is preparing students to qualify for baccalaureate degree programs at transfer schools.

The AAS program is comprised of 64 credit hours and uses a combination of traditional classroom instruction with on-campus workshops and paralegal internships to keep students absorbed in the learning process.

Kaskaskia College

Certificate in Legal Office Personnel—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,470/yr. (in-state); $7,530/yr. (out-of-state)

Kaskaskia College is a 2-year public community college located in Centralia. It presently offers an undergraduate certificate in legal office personnel that runs 34 credit hours in length. This program is a quick and easy way for students to qualify for jobs as legal secretaries.

Lake Land College

AAS in Office Assistant-Legal—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,789/yr. (in-state); $7,613/yr. (out-of-state)

Lake Land College is a 2-year public community college based in Mattoon. Its AAS degree program in office assistant/legal covers 65 credit hours throughout four semesters in a classroom setting.

Aspiring paralegals that enroll in this program will greatly benefit from courses in legal terminology and the introduction to criminal justice. The program culminates in an office assistant internship along with an office professional seminar.

Lewis & Clark Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies—Campus (undergraduate)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,264/yr. (in-state); $8,688/yr. (out-of-state)

Lewis & Clark Community College is 2-year public post-secondary with campuses located in Godfrey, Edwardsville, and East Alton. It boasts an associate degree and an undergraduate certificate in paralegal studies programs.

The AAS program offers 66 credit hours of classroom-based learning and an internship position (paid or unpaid) working for licensed attorneys. The certificate program is only 33 credit hours in total.

Lewis University

BA in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Paralegal Studies-Minor—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $30,050/yr.

Lewis University is a 4-year private, for-profit university located in Romeoville. It offers a bachelor degree and minor in paralegal studies program.

The minor in paralegal studies program takes 21 credit hours to complete and includes practical training. We took a special interest in the university’s BA in paralegal studies program because it’s offered in a standard 16-week timeframe and an 8-week accelerated option. Both BA degree formats contain 128 credit hours.

Lincoln Land Community College

Paralegal Certificate—Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

Advanced Paralegal Certificate—Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,024/yr. (in-state); $5,784/yr. (out-of-state)

Lincoln Land Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Springfield that offers two different paralegal certificate programs. Both are undergraduate, pre-degree programs that are offered exclusively online.

The paralegal certificate program requires no previous college education to qualify for admission. The online learning format features curriculum that involves legal document writing assignments, homework obligations, and required quizzes.

The advanced paralegal certificate program is basically an extension of the standard paralegal certificate program. Therefore, only students that graduate from the standard program become eligible for the advanced program. The online learning structure primarily centers around online forums, email correspondence, and digital examinations.

Loyola University Chicago

BA in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $42,032/yr.

Loyola University Chicago is a 4-year private, for-profit university that offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies program. The program runs 120 credit hours in length and allows students to simultaneously earn a specialized certificate in civil litigation, a unique feature rarely seen in other programs.

Only students that possess an AAS in paralegal studies degree or who have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours in paralegal-specific coursework is eligible for this program. Once enrolled, students are given the luxury of a blended curriculum which includes online, evening, and weekend scheduling options.

At its height, the program requires students to participate in an unpaid internship lasting at least 120 hours through preselected law firms, government agencies, and corporate law departments.

MacCormac College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $12,660/yr.

MacCormac College is a 2-year private, not-for-profit college located in Chicago. Its AAS degree option is the oldest 2-year paralegal studies program in the state. However, since paralegal courses are taught year-round, day and/or night, the degree can be completed in just 16 months.

The AAS in paralegal studies program consists of 62 credit hours and is well suited for students searching for small class sizes, supervised internship opportunities, and who prefer instructors that are all licensed, practicing attorneys.

McHenry County College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

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

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,404/yr. (in-state); $10,701/yr. (out-of-state)

McHenry County College is a 2-year public community college located in Crystal Lake. The school is home to an associate degree and post-degree certificate in paralegal studies.

These paralegal programs are definitely a godsend to any students hoping to work locally upon graduation. Both curriculum plans are specifically designed with a focus on the paralegal markets of Chicagoland and McHenry. Along with classroom-based learning, students are also outfitted with practical internships.

As an added incentive, each student is also given (for keeps!) a tablet upon enrollment.

The AAS degree program includes 60 credit hours, while the certificate program requires 27 credit hours to complete. Only students that already hold a college degree may apply for the certificate program.

Midstate College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $16,230/yr.

Midstate College is a 4-year private, for-profit college located in Peoria. Its AAS in paralegal studies program has memberships in the Central Illinois Paralegal Association (CIPA) and the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

Students enrolled in the AAS program are required to complete 92 credit hours. Although the program’s curriculum is classroom-based, some courses are available online to help students navigate busy lives while graduating in a timely fashion.

Moraine Valley Community College

Certificate -Legal Office Assistant—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,176/yr. (in-state); $9,216 (out-of-state)

Moraine Valley Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Palos Hills. It is also the second-largest community college in the state.

The certificate in legal office assistant program extends for 40 credit hours over 18 months. The program’s sole prerequisite is the ability to keyboard type 40 words per minute. Students that intend on paralegal careers will surely benefit from courses in business law, legal documents and terminology.

Oakton Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate—Campus (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,621/yr. (in-state); $9,746/yr. (out-of-state)

Oakton Community College is a 2-year public, secondary school with an associate degree in paralegal studies program located at its Des Plaines campus location.

The AAS program consists of 60 credit hours, while the certificate program has 24 credit hours. Both programs welcome students to fine-tune their learned skills through practicum courses that combine internship experiences with weekly seminars.

Richland Community College

Certificate – Paralegal Study—Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,230/yr. (in-state); $6,420/yr. (out-of-state)

Richland Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Decatur that features one of the few accredited paralegal programs on our list that is available completely online.

The online certificate in paralegal studies consists of only 5 courses dedicated to research, jurisprudence, litigation, management, and more. This program runs for 12-months and is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

Robert Morris University

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $25,800/yr.

Robert Morris University Illinois is a 4-year private, not-for-profit university with an associate’s paralegal program based in Chicago with 8 other campuses located throughout the state. The school is also an active member of the American Association of Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AAS in paralegal program requires 92 credit hours in total. Its curriculum is centered around classroom-based learning that is accentuated by hands-on practical assignments lead by professional paralegals.

Rockford Career College

AAS- Paralegal Studies—Online

Diploma-Paralegal—Online

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $10,776/yr.

Rockford Career College is a 2-year private, for-profit career college that offers an associate degree and a diploma program in paralegal studies. Both programs are only available through online learning and require significant out-of-class assignments.

The paralegal diploma program is 10 months in length. To spice up online curriculum content, the program asks students to perform mock depositions and participate in an externship position with area law offices.

The AAS is paralegal studies program is only open to students that already hold a diploma in paralegal studies (or equivalent) and can be completed in 7 months.

Roosevelt University

BA in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $28,119/yr.

Roosevelt University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit university with a bachelor degree and post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies at its Chicago and Schaumburg campus locations.

The BA program consists of 120 credit hours. The curriculum presents a heavy emphasis on civil litigation and delivers hands-on training in litigation software and e-discovery applications. An internship component is also an integrated feature of the program.

The paralegal certificate program is comprised of 24 credit hours and emphasizes civil litigation. Its also involves internship opportunities with government agencies and legal entities such as: Il Dept. of Corrections, Circuit Court of Cook County, and Lawyers Committee for Better Housing.

Southeastern Illinois College

AA – Paralegal Assistant—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,390/yr. (in-district); $5,340/yr. (in-state); $5,580/yr. (out-of-state)

Southeastern Illinois College is a 2-year public, community college situated in Harrisburg. Its AA in paralegal assistant program consists of 62 credit hours to graduate and provides relevant courses in career-related topics such as medical terminology and business law.

This program’s classroom-based curriculum is specifically designed to help students seamlessly transfer to a 4-year college that offers a paralegal major.

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

BS – Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $13,481/yr. (in-state); $27,130/yr. (out-of-state)

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale is a 4-year public university located in Carbondale. Its BS in paralegal studies program has been around for over 30 years and only hires licensed attorneys as instructors.

The program is made up of 120 credit hours along with a 150-hour internship portion. However, its most distinctive quality is the program’s pre-law specialization pathway option.

South Suburban College

AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant—Campus

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate—Campus (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,583/yr. (in-state); $10,786/yr. (out-of-state)

South Suburban College is a 2-year public, community college based in South Holland that is also a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AAS in paralegal/legal assistant program is 60 credit hours long. Although the curriculum is classroom-based, there are certain courses that students can complete online or through distance learning formats. Students exercise practical training skills through a 210-hour internship experience.

The paralegal/legal assistant certificate program is 39 credit hours. Only incoming students with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree are eligibile for enrollment. Although most courses are taught on-campus during night hours, some classes can be completed online or via distance learning.

University of Illinois – Springfield

MA in Legal Studies—Campus and/or Online

BA in Legal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $11,413/yr. (in-state); $20,938/yr. (out-of-state)

University of Illinois—Springfield is a 4-year public university that is one of three campuses within the University of Illinois school system. Students enrolled in the school’s legal studies programs learn courses in small class environments led by instructors that hold doctorate and/or PhDs.

The MA program allows students to complete all degree requirement through a blended learning format (50% on-campus, 50% online) or completely online. Students may also enhance their curriculum by participating in internships and clinical education experiences to earn credits.

The BA program is only taught through classroom-based instruction or a blended learning format, and requires the completion of an internship. Students that achieve a high GPA throughout the program will also be awarded a legal assistant certificate upon graduation.

William Rainey Harper College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,360/yr. (in-state); $9,528/yr. (out-of-state)

William Rainey Harper College is a 2-year public community college situated in Palatine that provides an associate’s degree and a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies.

The AAS program consists of 63 credit hours taken over 4 semesters. The certificate program includes 24 credit hours and only takes a year to complete. The school’s educators take a strong stance on the value of practical skills training, so an internship is an important component of the program.

Indiana

No matter what your age, there’s nothing quite like the first day of school. You wake up extra early that morning with butterflies fluttering excitedly in your stomach. Instead of your same old attire, you wear that new outfit you bought just for this occasion. As you grab breakfast, fill your backpack with unfamiliar books, and head for the front door, you think: Today is a big day. And you are right.

The first day of school has always been this milestone event marking the starting point of a new chapter in life. This is particularly true of your college experience. Setting the educational groundwork for your career is no easy feat. In fact, it can very well dictate how successful that career turns out to be—just ask anyone returning to college to qualify for a better job or change professions.

But before you start that first day of school, you must go through the not-so-fun school selection process. To make that process a little less painful, you’ve done some homework to find which post-secondary schools in Indiana provide the top paralegal programs to date. Rest assured, we’ve included all schools approved by the American Bar Association in the state.

And, of course, every paralegal school on our top ten list is accredited.

Anderson University

Legal Studies Minor (Prelaw)—Campus

  • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $28,650/yr.

Anderson University is a 4-year private, non-for-profit, Christian college with strong ties to the Church of God. Its legal studies minor program requires 15 credit hours of coursework, which includes 3 hours working in a legal internship.

Although this program is not ABA-approved, it is structured around the ABA’s Statement of Prelaw Preparation to give students a solid foundation for a future in the legal field.

Ball State University

BS – Legal Studies- Business Option—Campus

BS – Legal Studies – Public-Law Option—Campus

  • ABA-approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $9,654/yr. (in-state); $25,428/yr. (out-of-state)

Ball State University is a 4-year public university located in Muncie. We highly recommend this school because it’s the only one of our list that allows students to pursue a bachelor degree in legal studies with concentration tracks for business or public law.

The BS in Legal Studies—Business option is 69 credit hours with many courses devoted to topics in accounting, economics, and finance.

The BS in Legal Studies—Public Law option also consists of 69 credit hours but more heavily emphasizes aspects of government, public policy, and politics.

Indiana State University

BS in Legal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $8,746/yr. (in-state); $19,076/yr. (out-of-state)

Indiana State University is a 4-year public university based in Terre Haute. The school’s BS in Legal Studies program is 122 credit hours in length and offers curriculum designed according to the Pre-Law Committee of the ABA’s section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.

Students enrolled here enjoy customized course schedules, visits to the US Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals, small- to medium-sized classrooms, award-winning instructors, study abroad and internship opportunities, and participation in massive research projects.

International Business College

AAS- Paralegal—Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $13,920/yr.

International Business College-Indianapolis is a 2-year private, for-profit college that offers an associate degree in paralegal studies. The program strings together 63 credit hours including real-world practical training during its 8-week legal externship segment.

Full-time students can expect to complete the program in just 16 months. And since the college believes in the power of one-on-one instruction, courses are offered in small class settings.

Ivy Tech Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,175/yr. (in-state); $8,052/yr. (out-of-state)

Ivy Tech Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Indianapolis with satellite campuses throughout the state. Both the campus-based and online AAS programs cover 60 credit hours and include an internship elective course option.

Students lucky enough to attend Ivy Tech gain access to faculty members that are also practicing attorneys and judges. They also gain professional insight through mock classroom simulations and by hosting the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The classroom-based AAS degree program is available at the Bloomington, Evansville, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, Muncie, Sellersburg, South Bend, and Valparaiso locations.

Students that opt for the online AAS degree program will receive curriculum via online and video formats.

Marian University

AS in Paralegal Studies—Online

Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Online (undergraduate, pre-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $31,500/yr.

Marian University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit, Roman Catholic university located in Indianapolis that houses online associate degree and certificate programs in paralegal studies.

The undergraduate certificate program consists of 29 credit hours, while the AS program is 66 credit hours. Although both programs are online-based, students are asked to plunge head-first into an internship position as a curriculum requirement.

We applaud this university’s paralegal program for establishing close relationships with area firms such as Wagner Reese, Kammen & Moudy, Mallor|Grodner Attorneys, and Lopez Law Office, P.C., as these connections help open up create future job opportunities for students.

Purdue University Global

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Online (post-degree)

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $14,324/yr.

Purdue University Global is a 4-year private, for-profit university that offers a post-baccalaureate certificate program through its Indianapolis campus. The exclusively online certificate program requires 36 credit hours to complete.

Despite its online format, we were impressed by the school’s determination to keep its curriculum interactive and lively through live seminars, discussion boards, and personalized instructor feedback. The program is also taught entirely by legal practitioners.

Saint Mary-Of-The-Woods College

BS in Paralegal Studies—Online

AS Paralegal Studies—Online

Paralegal Certificate—Online (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $28,932/yr.

Saint Mary-Of-The-Woods College is a 4-year private, not-for-profit, Roman Catholic college. Its paralegal program is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and currently awards a bachelor degree, an associate degree, and a certificate of completion.

The BS program is 120 credit hours in length and allows students to choose a specialty track in either litigation or personal law. This program’s unique characteristic is its focus on teaching law within the context of politics, society, and history.

The AS program demands 41 credit hours that supplements engaging online learning with applied practical experience. The certificate program requires 32 credit hours and is only available to students that have already obtained a baccalaureate degree.

All three programs include a legal practicum unit, which cannot be completed online. Instead, students are compelled to land an internship position working with an attorney or in a law-related office setting for a total of 150 hours.

University of Southern Indiana

Legal Studies Minor—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $7,605/yr. (in-state); $17,847/yr. (out-of-state)

University of Southern Indiana is a 4-year public university based in Evansville that offers a legal studies minor program for students to quickly get their foot in the door of the paralegal profession.

This program is comprised of only 21 credit hours with courses in economics, political science, and criminal justice. Students are also encouraged to complete a legislative- or political science-related internship to enhance classroom learning.

Vincennes University

AS – Paralegal—Online

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $5,575/yr. (in-state); $13,184 (out-of-state)

Vincennes University is a 4-year public university. The school’s commitment to academic excellence has cemented its legacy. Did we mention it is the oldest college in Indiana? Its paralegal program is also an esteemed member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

Students that enroll in the AS program must earn 60 credit hours to graduate. Those anxious to begin working in real-life paralegal capacities can take law-related internship positions and receive school credit.

Iowa

Let’s face it: not everyone hopes to be accepted to a major university. In fact, many people become paralyzed with anxiety even thinking about becoming another nameless, faceless student in an ever-expanding sea of classmates. This may ring especially true for aspiring paralegals that understand more personalized instruction could very well equate to a richer educational experience.

Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to listen up. Unlike most states, all of the paralegal programs on our recommendation list are offered through community colleges in Iowa. This means that in just two years, paralegal students attending these programs are fully prepared to either promptly enter the workforce or smoothly transition into a 4-year degree track.

If that isn’t enough, these Iowa community colleges also help students and professionals that already hold a college degree to keep climbing the higher education ladder by earning a post-degree certificate. Some of these schools even offer online paralegal degree and certificate options.

And to make sure we only show you the cream of the crop, all paralegal programs on our list are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission.

Des Moines Area Community College

AAS-Paralegal—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,410/yr. (in-state); $8,820/yr. (out-of-state)

Des Moines Area Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Ankeny that offers an associate degree and a post-degree certificate program for paralegals.

Both programs happily allow students to start at the beginning of any semester. Students enrolled in either program are treated to an internship experience that includes 225 hours working in a private law office, government agency or private business that hires attorneys.

The AAS program requires the completion of 64 credits hours, while the certificate program only requires 26 credit hours. Only students that already hold a bachelor, AA or AS degree are eligible to apply for the certificate program.

Hawkeye Community College

AAS-Legal Office Assistant—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,786/yr. (in-state); $5,496/yr. (out-of-state)

Hawkeye Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Waterloo with a great legal office assistant associate degree program.

The legal office assistant program requires 63 credit hours and includes insightful law-based courses such as legal document processing, business law, legal office concepts and procedures, introduction to criminal justice, and legal terminology. A 192-hour business internship is likewise included.

Iowa Lakes Community College

AAS in Paralegal/Legal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $5,900/yr. (in-state); $6,252/yr. (out-of-state)

Iowa Lakes Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Estherville with satellite campuses located in Algona, Emmetsburg, Spirit Lake, and Spencer. Right now its main campus in Estherville houses an associate degree in paralegal studies/legal studies program.

This AAS program stands out because of its enthusiasm for practical experience. Not only do students get the unique opportunity to work on actual cases with the Innocence Project of Iowa, but they also earn credits through an approved internship.

The program consists of 70 credit hours that are primarily taught in small classroom settings. However, a few select courses are available through online learning.

Iowa Western

AA in Paralegal Studies—Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $5,472/yr. (in-state); $5,376/yr. (out-of-state)

Iowa Western Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school situated in Council Bluffs that offers an online-based associate degree in paralegal studies.

The school’s AA program consists of 64 credit hours, which are mostly taught online. The mandatory 3-hour experiential internship places students in a law office for the kind of real-world experience employers love to see on a resume. The program features an average class size of 18 students and graciously accommodates both full-time and part-time schedules.

Kirkwood Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,362/yr. (in-state); $5,202/yr. (out-of-state)

Kirkwood Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Cedar Rapids. It is also a longtime member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The school’s AAS in Paralegal Studies program holds 63 credit hours and culminates in a final semester practical internship. To accentuate the internship experience, students engage in spirited monthly seminars to discuss and reflect upon its career significance.

Marshalltown Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus/Online

AA in Paralegal Studies—Campus/Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $4,536/yr. (in-state); $4,824/yr. (out-of-state)

Marshalltown Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school with a satellite campus at Iowa Valley Grinnell. This satellite campus offers students both an AAS and an AA degree option in paralegal studies. For greater flexibility, both degrees are also available entirely online.

We were particularly intrigue by the school’s decision to create two similar yet different associate degree programs based on career goals.

The AAS program is designed for students planning on immediately joining the workforce upon graduation. Meanwhile, the AA program is better suited for students aiming to transfer credits to a university that offers a bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies.

Both programs are 64 credit hours in length with experienced Iowa attorneys offering instruction. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on Iowa procedures and law, designed to serve students to work in the state court systems.

Northeast Iowa Community College

AAS-Legal Assistant—Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $5,012/yr. (in-state); $5,152/yr. (out-of-state)

Northeast Iowa Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Calmar that offers an AAS in legal assistant program at its Dubuque and Peosta campus locations.

The program requires 65 credit hours and includes relevant courses like introduction to paralegal studies, legal and medical terminology, criminal law and procedure, and family law. Students are welcome to enroll during summer, spring, and fall semesters.

Kansas

Landing a job as a paralegal might mean spending the morning delivering a report that determines what evidence to seek in the discovery process of a lawsuit. During lunch you’ve got a meeting scheduled with your boss to brief her on what you’ve found combing through records at the county courthouse. Before you go home you have to follow up with a potential new client about his case.

This is all in a day’s work for a paralegal in Topeka, Overland Park, or anywhere else in Kansas. You don’t get to this point in your professional career by luck. You work for it. This means acquiring competitive credentials that give you the skills and real-world experience to rank above your peers.

This is where our list of the best paralegal schools in Kansas comes in. We’ve assembled a statewide directory of the schools that offer the best paralegal programs for aspiring professionals who want to reach the top.

The programs on our list are for people from all walks of life – career changers, recent high school graduates, and those who already have work experience as a paralegal.

Fort Hayes State University

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Cost (per-credit estimate): $167 (in-state), $232 (neighboring state), $494 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring FHSU for offering a paralegal certificate to anyone who wants to build their professional paralegal credentials. It can be completed in combination with any degree or other program offered by FHSU. It can also be completed as a stand-alone certificate program for those coming in from high school or making a career change.

Subjects covered in this campus-based program range from emerging areas like cyberspace law to conventional study of the criminal justice system. Students in this program can draw on the Center for Legal Studies as a valuable resource.

Hutchinson Community College

AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated tuition – Degree $6,784 (in-state); $8,768 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,816 (in-state); $4,932 (out-of-state)

One of the reasons we chose Hutchinson Community College is because its graduates consistently report being really satisfied with their experience. Students talk about this program as the best in Hutchinson, they love where its campus is located, and see it as a good value in the region in terms of both quality and cost.

The AAS degree is comprised of 64 credits while the certificate program is 36 credits. The AAS degree is open to those coming from high school or anyone else looking for a competitive academic foundation in this field. Graduates of either program will have a solid foundation of knowledge that will prepare them to take the national certification exam through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

This program is part of the Public Safety Department and offers scholarship opportunities from the NFPA, the Kansas Paralegal Association, and the Douglas L. Bebout Memorial Foundation.

Johnson County Community College

AA, Paralegal – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved: Yes, both the degree and certificate programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Cost – AA tuition and fees: $5,859 (local resident); $13,860 (out-of-state); Certificate tuition and fees: $3,630 (local); $7,260 (out-of-state)

One of the reasons we chose this school is because it offers the only ABA-approved paralegal certificate and associate’s programs in the Kansas City metro area – and the entire state for that matter. Applicants need good exam scores and a competitive academic record because the AA program is popular and selective. Enrolling in the certificate program requires at least an associate’s degree in any major.

From its Overland Park campus, the certificate program is 33 credits while the AA program is 63 credits. Both programs are designed to be completed in two years, and both include two internships worth one credit each.

All prospective students need to complete an English composition course and paralegal introductory courses before being admitted to these programs. Applicants also need to contact their selected program and arrange to take the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test.

Kansas City Kansas Community College

AAS Paralegal – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees: $6,666 (in-state); $17,226 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this program because it has an exceptional paralegal curriculum. This includes courses on litigation, criminal, family, probate, insurance and real estate law, and culminates with two paralegal internships.

Over the course of two years and 66-69 semester credits, this Kansas City, Kansas-based school prepares new college students and career changers for a promising future in the paralegal field.

National American University

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate (total) – BS: $75,000; AAS: $40,000

Graduates of National American University paralegal programs are qualified to sit for the national paralegal certification exams sponsored by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

Both these programs are offered at campus locations across Kansas: Wichita East, Wichita West, Garden City, and Overland Park. The AAS program is designed to be completed in two years while the BS program is designed to be completed in three years and nine months. Students usually exceed these periods of estimated enrollment.

Newman University

AS Paralegal – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees (estimate) – $29,360 per year

This program ranks on our list because of the ease with which graduates go from the classroom into the professional field. With a campus in the heart of Wichita, students have the chance to develop and foster relationships in the legal community that blossom into strategic networking opportunities.

Totaling 36 semester credits, this program has two time tracks for completion: a two-year plan for students without prior college experience, and a one-year plan for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. Both tracks include a paralegal internship.

Rasmussen College

Paralegal Certificate – Campus, blended, and online

Associate’s Degree, Paralegal – Campus, blended, and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees (estimate) – Certificate: $18,485; Degree: $28,640

This program is on our list because of the competitive advantages it provides its graduates. Upon graduation students meet the requirements to take an optional paralegal certification exam through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Students can choose to take classes either online, or on-campus in Overland Park or Topeka. This program also includes an internship component: at least 130 hours working as a paralegal in a community of your choosing.

The certificate program is designed to be completed in 18 months, and about half the students graduate on time. The associate’s degree program is designed to be completed in two years, and about a quarter of students graduate on time.

Washburn University

Legal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

Bachelor of Legal Studies (BLS) – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $9,938 (in-state); $22,322 (out-of-state); BLS: $7,754 (in-state per year); $17,386 (out-of-state per year)

We chose this school because its Topeka campus allows for a high degree of inter-connectedness between paralegal students and the local legal community.

The BLS is designed to be completed in four years while the certificate program is designed to be completed in just 12 months, and both programs include an internship. Those coming from high school or making a career change are welcome to apply for the BLS program, while the certificate program is open to anyone with at least an associate’s degree in any major.

Kentucky

If you want to make it as a paralegal you need to work hard and be smart.

This includes working paralegals who want to pad their résumés and advance, young up-and-comers who have just finished high school, and career changers who want to start on a new path.

If you’re just entering the field and know you have what it takes, then it’s time to get the education you need, both to develop legal research and support skills, and to start convincing your future employer you’re the one for the job.

Earning a degree or certificate is the ticket. If you’re looking at getting started with a big firm in one of Louisville’s glass towers, college education is an absolute must if you want your application to make it to the top of the stack. Even with small town law firms serving rural clients, a formal education will make a huge difference in your prospects.

To help you in this endeavor we’ve compiled a list of the best paralegal schools in Kentucky to help make selecting a quality program easier. All the programs on our list have either earned the stamp of approval from the American Bar Association or are otherwise offered through a school accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Beckfield College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA approved: yes, all three programs
  • Tuition and fee estimates: AAS – $35,611; BS – $66,565; Certificate – $14,921

This program stands out among the rest with three ABA-approved programs that are all available from Beckfield’s Florence campus. Those in the midst of a career change or coming from high school can apply as undergraduate students to the AAS and BS programs, while the certificate program accepts applications from those who already have a bachelor’s degree.

The AAS is designed to be completed in eight quarters (two years), the BS in four years, and the certificate in three quarters (39 weeks). All programs include an externship where aspiring paralegals get to apply the skills they’ve learned in the real world, gaining valuable experience.

Students enrolled in any of these programs have the opportunity to develop contacts and gain work experience in the greater Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Eastern Kentucky University

AAS in Paralegal Science – Campus, online blend

BA in Paralegal Science – Campus, online blend

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus, online blend

  • ABA approved: yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Estimated tuition: BA – $49,080, AAS – $26,176, Certificate – $12,270

EKU makes our list because we love the way it offers ABA-approved programs that prepare students to launch into the professional workplace. 90 percent of graduates from EKU are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

All three of these programs are available as blended online-campus programs (Richmond campus) as well as full campus-based programs from the EKU’s Richmond campus.

The BA program is 120 credits (four years), the AAS program is 64 credits (two years), and the certificate program is 30 credits (one year). Students in this school’s degree programs complete a 280-hour internship in a law office or legal environment of their choice.

Madisonville Community College

AAS Paralegal Technology – Online

Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $5,616; AAS $10,692

We chose this program because it has one of the highest cost-to-quality ratios in the state. It also has a job placement program for graduates to ensure they find positions in Kentucky’s legal field.

The AAS program is designed to take two years to complete and consists of 66 credits. The certificate program is designed to take 48 weeks and consists of 39 credits. Consideration for admission to either is open to anyone who can provide a high school diploma/GED and a test score from the ACT, TABEA, or Compass exams.

Morehead State University

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA approved: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $35,800 (in-state); $53,704 (out-of-state)

We chose this program for several reasons, especially because of the extensive opportunities for hands-on experience. Students participate in everything from community projects and pro se divorce clinics, to clinics about wills and internships in the community at large. Based out of the university’s eponymous city, students here have region-wide internship opportunities.

This BA program takes approximately four years to complete, and students report very high satisfaction with how their career prospects turn out after graduation. Of those that choose to go on to grad school, 100 percent were accepted.

Those coming from high school or making a career change to the paralegal field are welcome to apply to MSU, and need to have ACT/SAT scores as well as a high school transcript or GED.

Sullivan University

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA approved: Yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Total tuition and fees estimate – AS: $39,840; BS: $78,765; Certificate: $24,270

With three ABA-approved programs offered at campus locations in Louisville and Lexington, this program definitely makes our list.

The AS (92 credits) can be completed in 18 months, the BS (182 credits) in 33 months, and the post-bac certificate (56 credits) in nine months. Prospective students who meet SU’s general admissions requirements are welcome to apply for any of these competitive paralegal programs.

All paralegal students at SU have access to LexisNexis and Westlaw, taking part in a curriculum that emphasizes practical skill development.

University of Louisville

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Political Science, Paralegal Studies Track – Campus

  • AA program is ABA-approved; BS program is not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition estimate – AA: $22,136 (in-state), $52,180 (out-of-state), BS: $44,272 (in-state), $104,360 (out-of-state)

This program makes our list because of its quality and the level of student satisfaction reported after graduation.

The 63-credit AA program is designed to take two years to complete, while the BS program is designed to take four years to complete. Students enrolled in both these programs will benefit from the university’s membership with the American Association for Paralegal Education and the Louisville Association of Paralegals.

Both programs offer paralegal internships where students get a chance to leave the Louisville campus and go out into the greater metro area to explore all their professional options. As an ABA-approved program, students are welcome to transfer credits from other such programs. Those who meet the UL’s competitive entrance requirements can apply to the program of their choice.

Western Kentucky University

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Estimated total tuition and expenses – AA: $19,824 (in-state), $49,584 (out-of-state); BA: $39,648 (in-state), $99,168 (out-of-state)

The fact that both these programs are ABA-approved and both provide the opportunity for a paralegal internship earns this school a place on our list. Admission to either program is open to anyone who meets WKU’s general admission requirements.

The AA program is designed to take two years to complete (66 credits). The BA program is designed to take four years to complete (120 credits). Each program culminates in a three-credit internship in the greater Bowling Green area.

Louisiana

Louisiana’s paralegal programs are for high school graduates looking to start a new career, for experienced paralegals looking to add to their qualifications, and for those changing careers who are looking forward to trying something new.

Whether you’re from the bayous, the banks of the Mississippi, or Baton Rouge, there’s a paralegal program for you in Louisiana.

We’ve compiled a list of the best paralegal schools in the state to help you find the ideal program based on where you are in your career. As one of the fastest growing professions in the state and nation there’s never been a better time to make yourself stand out from the competition with a recognized credential from a respected school.

Baton Rouge Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $8,442 (in-state); $16,598 (out-of-state)

This program’s unique course choices earn it a place on our list. Core courses combined with the electives this program offers allows students to become well versed in the most relevant paralegal skills and legal specialties. Anyone who meets BRCC’s basic enrollment criteria is welcome to apply.

You’ll need to maintain a 2.0 GPA or better throughout your studies to graduate. This program is designed to take two years to complete and is comprised of 60 credits. Located in its namesake city, enrolling at BRCC means easier access to opportunities in the legal field the greater metro area has to offer.

Delta School of Business and Technology

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Undergraduate Certificate/Diploma in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Tuition and fees estimate: Certificate – $10,185; Degree – $20,370

We’re featuring this school because it provides a great paralegal foundation with day and night class options for students in the Lake Charles area. Both these programs accept applications from those coming from high school or who are making a career change. All you need is a high school diploma or GED to apply.

The certificate/diploma program is for those who aren’t in a position to invest the time it takes to earn a degree. It is comprised of 63.3 credits and can be completed in 12 months (day program) or 15 months (night program). The degree program is 104.1 credits and can be completed in 18 months (day program) or 24 months (night).

This school is a member of the American Bar Association (not approved), the Louisiana Bar Association, and the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association.

Grambling State University

BS in Criminal Justice with a Paralegal Studies Concentration – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $29,484 (in-state); $65,576 (out-of-state)

We chose this school because it does an exceptional job of preparing its students for success as professionals in the field of legal assistance. This 120-credit degree is designed to be completed in four years. It includes two internships in the greater Grambling area that are worth three credits each.

Whether you’re in the midst of changing careers or just out of high school, you can apply to this program if you have at least a 2.0 GPA from high school and have either taken English and math courses, or have achieved a minimum score on the ACT or SAT.

Upon graduation you can go directly into the paralegal field or apply to continue on to GSU’s criminal justice master’s program.

Herzing University -New Orleans

AS in Legal Assisting/Paralegal – Campus

AS/AAS in Legal Studies – Online

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • ABA-approved – The campus-based AS and BS programs are ABA-approved; the online AS/AAS in Legal Studies and BS programs are not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS/AAS online/campus: $34,625; BS online/campus: $62,325

Herzing U makes our list because it offers a range of different programs that allow you to pick and choose what is best for your own individual situation. All you need is a high school diploma or GED and you can apply for admission to the program of your choice.

If you want an ABA-approved program then you’ll complete your studies from HU’s campus located in Kenner, part of the greater New Orleans metro area. The campus-based AS Legal Assisting/Paralegal program is 66 credits and takes an average of 20 months to complete. The AS/AAS Legal Studies program is 62 credits and can be completed in five semesters. The online and campus-based BS program is 126 credits and can be completed in nine semesters, with the average student finishing in 36 months.

All programs include an internship capstone experience. Graduates of all programs will be prepared to sit for the paralegal certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Louisiana State University

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Fee total estimate – $4,500

We chose LSU because it offers an ABA-approved program with an accommodating full or part-time schedule.

This is a non-credit continuing education program open to those who already have some level of college experience, who want to bolster their professional paralegal credentials, and who may be earning continuing legal education to fulfill national certification maintenance requirements.

This program is offered on a full and part-time basis. It can be completed in one year full-time (two semesters), or in up to 30 months part-time (five semesters). All classes are held on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus, and include an internship in the greater metropolitan area.

Ideally, applicants for this program should have a bachelor’s degree, but if you have 45 semester credits and a 2.3 GPA you can fill out an application for consideration.

McCann School of Business & Technology

  • Paralegal Diploma (Online)
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

McNeese State University

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – $14,620 (in-state); $36,770 (out-of-state)

We particularly like this program because of its flexibility. It’s offered fully online as well as on MSU’s Lake Charles campus. Furthermore, campus classes are available during the day and at night.

This program can be completed in two years and totals 71 semester credits. It is proud of the local connections it has made in the Lake Charles area legal community, which gives students even more resources when they complete their capstone internship.

Anyone can apply to this program with a high school diploma/GED and adequate SAT/ACT/Compass/Accuplacer English and math scores.

Nunez Community College

AA Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate of Technical Studies in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Total tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $4,200 (in-state), $7,700 (out-of-state); AA: $8,206 (in-state), $15,204 (out-of-state)

We liked these programs because they give aspiring paralegals progressive choices for what kind of education they want to invest in from NCC’s campus in Chalmette.

Both programs are open to anyone who wants to advance their professional credentials. The certificate program is a shorter version of the AA program, and credits earned as part of the certificate program can be applied later to the AA.

The certificate can be completed in a year, while the AA program takes two years to complete. The AA program includes a practicum as part of its curriculum.

Tulane University

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Total tuition and fees estimate – AA: $24,360; BA: $48,720; Certificate: $10,962

Tulane makes our list as the school with the oldest ABA-approved programs in the region, with all of its courses being taught by practicing paralegals and attorneys. This university offers two Louisiana campus locations in New Orleans and Harahan.

Students in all programs undertake a 100-hour internship as they near graduation. The AA program is designed to take two years to complete and is comprised of 60 credits. The BA program is designed to take four years to complete and is comprised of 120 credits. Anyone who meets Tulane’s general admission requirements can apply to these programs.

The certificate program is open to those who already have a bachelor’s degree. It takes one year to complete this 27-credit program.

Maine

Whether you’re looking for a job in with the State Legislature in Augusta, major companies like MainHealth, Hannaford Bros, and L.L.Bean, or a public service career at your local attorney’s office, it’s important you’re a well-qualified and competitive job candidate.

There are two schools in Maine that offer academic paralegal credentials. These credentials range from a half-year undergraduate paralegal certificate to a four-year bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Included on that spectrum is a two-year associate’s degree for newcomers to the field as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate for those who’ve already graduated from a college program.

Maine offers something for everyone, and we’re here to help by categorizing the two schools in the state with paralegal programs. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate, a paralegal with extensive experience, or someone embarking on a new career, you can find a program that’s right for you.

Bay Path University

  • BS in Legal Studies
  • BA in Legal Studies
  • AS in Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE

Husson University

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

Advanced Civil Practice Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

Advanced Criminal Practice Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Tuition and fees total estimates – AS: $34,070; BS: $68,140; Certificate programs: $8,518

We’re featuring this school because it offers one of the widest ranges of different paralegal program options of all schools in the nation.

The AS program has 61 semester credits and takes two years to finish. The BS program has 122 semester credits and takes four years to finish. Both programs are open to anyone who meets HU’s basic admission requirements.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program is open to anyone and designed for students who are changing careers or who are already working as paralegals and want to gain more professional qualifications. This program is 15 credits, and can be used as a stepping-stone to the advanced certificates. The two advanced certificates offered by HU are both 15 semester credits and are open to those who have already earned the Paralegal Studies Certificate. All certificate programs take approximately half a year to complete.

Students in the AS, BS, and advanced certificate programs have the opportunity to complete an internship in the greater Bangor area.

Purdue University Global – Lewiston

AAS Legal Support and Services – Campus and online

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

Undergraduate Legal Secretary Certificate – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fess total estimates – AAS campus locations: $28,930; AAS online: $35,795; BS campus locations: $57,545; BS online: $71,250; undergrad certificate campus locations: $10,345; undergrad certificate online: $12,431; post-bac certificate campus locations: $11,525; post-bac certificate online: $14,286

This school made our list because it offers current and prospective paralegals a range of options tailored to specific career and credential goals.

All programs are offered on KU’s Portland and Augusta campuses, as well as online. The AAS, BS, and undergraduate certificate programs are open to any students that meet KU’s basic enrollment requirements. The post-bac certificate program is open to anyone who already has a bachelor’s degree.

The AAS degree is comprised of 90 credits that can be completed in two years. The BS degree is comprised of 180 credits and can be completed in four years. The undergraduate certificate is 31 credits and can be completed in 44 weeks. It is a shorter version of an AAS or BS degree, and the credits you earn in this certificate program are transferable to those programs. The post-bac certificate is 36 credits and can be completed in 55 weeks.

University of Maine at Augusta

  • Paralegal Studies Certificate
    • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE

York County Community College

  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE

Maryland

Maryland punches above its weight when it comes to the paralegal profession. Even as the 19th most populace state in the nation, we have the 11th highest number of paralegals (US Department of Labor, 2016). That can be explained by several factors, not least of which is that we’re in close proximity to the nation’s legal epicenter.

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 by having a recognized paralegal credential.

To help you make an informed decision about what’s out there, we’ve compiled a list of the best paralegal schools in the state. 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.

Allegany College of Maryland

  • AAS- Paralegal
    • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate: AAS programs – $9,128 (in-district); $24,668 (out-of-state); Certificate programs: $4,050 (in-state); $11,863 (out-of-state)

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).

Cecil College

  • AA-Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Baltimore City Community College

AAS Legal Assistant – Campus, blended, and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees total – $5,156 (in-state), $12,140 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – Certificate: $5,215 (in-state); $10,060 (out-of-state); AAS: $7,640 (in-district); $14,720 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – Certificate: $4,734 (in-state), $12,143 (out-of-state); AAS: $8,100 (in-county), $22,680 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AAS: $6,900 (in-district), $18,036 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,229

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AA: $7,128 (in-district), $13,576 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,564 (in-district), $6,788 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AS: $7,142 (in-district), $15,494 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,615 (in-state), $12,182 (out-of-state)

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).

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AAS: $9,804 (in-district), $25,788 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,979 (in-district), $10,488 (out-of-state); Letter of Recognition: $1,719 (in-district), $3,933 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AAS: $7,300 (in-district), $16,180 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,700 (in-state), $10,610 (out-of-state)

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.

Purdue University Global

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
  • Program cost estimate: AAS – $35,795; BS – $71,250; Certificate – $14,286

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.

Stevenson University

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and hybrid

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – $141,960

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
  • Tuition – $34,680 (in-state); $59,880 (out-of-state)

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.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has one of the oldest legal systems in the nation. However the law in Massachusetts’ is only as good as the professionals who practice it, and this includes paralegals.

As the state that offers the 10th-highest average paralegal salary in the nation (US Department of Labor, 2016), paralegals in Massachusetts have some of the strongest career indicators of any profession. This has caused demand for paralegals to skyrocket, and if you want to stand out among the competition you need solid credentials.

That’s why we’ve put together our list of the best paralegal schools in the state. These schools offer programs for career changers, high-school graduates, and experienced paralegals who are looking to add to their qualifications.

Assumption College

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,520

We selected this program to feature because it offers a supportive environment for students. No surprise that graduates here have a strong record of going on to success. Located in Worcester, students can complete this certificate in one year. It is made up of six courses covering legal research, litigation, corporations, estates and trusts, family law, and real estate law.

This program is open to anyone who wants to add to their paralegal credentials. To apply you need a high school diploma and you can optionally include SAT or ACT test scores.

Bay Path University

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS/BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AS: $65,478; BS/BA: $130,956; Certificate: $9,975

Ladies, if you are looking for an ABA-approved program at the associate’s, bachelor’s or certificate level, look no further. This women-only school offers classes for all these programs from its Longmeadow campus on the weekdays and weekends to accommodate all types of schedules. Classes for the certificate and AS programs are also available from BPU’s Sturbridge campus.

The 60-credit AS program takes two years to complete and the BA/BS programs take four years to complete. If you already have an associate’s degree and want to earn the stand-alone 21-credit certificate you can do this in 18 months. If you complete the AS or BS/BA program you also automatically get the certificate. You can apply the credits you earned for your AS degree towards a BS or BA in legal studies if you decide to continue your education.

Each of these programs includes a paralegal internship as part of its curriculum.

Boston University

Paralegal Certification – Blended and online

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition estimate – $3,495

Named the best paralegal program by readers of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2017, this certificate is designed for anyone who wants to bolster their paralegal credentials. There are several different scheduling options to complete this non-credit program. For example, you might meet seven Saturdays in a row on BU’s Boston campus and complete an online segment, all of which take place over the course of three months.

Applicants to this program must have a strong command of the English language, while a bachelor’s degree or related work experience is recommended. Topics covered include legal research, legal writing and reasoning, probate and family law, litigation, and more.

Bunker Hill Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AS: $7,776 (in-state), $17,664 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,752 (in-state), $10,314 (out-of-state)

This school makes our list because it offers two ABA-approved programs that develop professional relationships with the legal field in the heart of Boston.

The AS program takes two years to complete and is 65 credits. The certificate program is 30 weeks and 27 credits. Both programs culminate with an internship in the greater Boston metro area.

You can apply for the certificate program if you already have at least an AA or AS degree. If you have an AAS you may need to complete additional prerequisites before you can apply. The AS program is open to anyone who meets BHCC’s general admission standards.

Cape Cod Community College

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and partial online

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $4,914 (in-state); $10,654 (out-of-state)

This 28-credit program puts student schedules at the forefront, offering options for evening classes and two-year part-time completion, or a one-year schedule for full-time students. Internship opportunities are available year-round in the West Barnstable and greater Cape Cod area.

Those changing careers or coming from high school need only a high school diploma or GED to apply for this program. Two of this program’s 11 classes are offered online as well as on-campus along with the rest of the classes.

College of Our Lady of the Elms (Elms College)

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BA Social Services Paralegal – Campus

Certificate of Advanced Paralegal studies (post-associate) – Campus

Paralegal Nurse Consulting Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all five programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – Associate degree: $66,824; BA: $133,648; Advanced paralegal certificate: $66,824; Paralegal-nurse certificate: $33,412

We chose to feature this school because it has been producing top-qualified paralegals from its Chicopee campus for decades with the oldest ABA-approved paralegal programs in the state. This school is unique in the nation for offering such a wide variety of ABA-approved paralegal programs.

The two-year associate’s degree program and four-year 120-credit bachelor’s degree programs are open to anyone who meets the school’s general admission requirements. Students can apply the credits they earn in the AA program towards the BA programs. Completing either the AA or BA programs also earns the advanced paralegal certificate automatically, and includes a paralegal internship.

To be eligible to apply to the 18-credit nurse consulting certificate program you must have a current RN license and at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice.

If you already have an associate’s degree in any field and want to complete the advanced certificate independently, this requires earning a total of 60 college credits, 27 of which must be in the paralegal subject area.

If you’re earning a bachelor’s degree from this college in a different subject and want to minor in paralegal studies you can do this too. This involves completing at least 27 credits from the paralegal program and also results in the advanced certificate upon graduation.

Along these lines Elms College offers a Social Services Paralegal program. This is for bachelor’s or master’s degree students who are in a social work program or law program with a social work emphasis, who complete 27 credits from the paralegal department.

The college also offers its distinguished double-major Legal Studies-Spanish program for students earning a bachelor’s degree who want to add both these fields to their academic achievements.

Massachusetts Bay Community College

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus and partial online

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and partial online

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS program: $9,610 (in-state), $19,504 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,496 (in-state), $9,440 (out-of-state)

We like this program because of the way it accommodates students’ busy schedules. MBCC offers many of its courses in the evening, on the weekend, and online. As they near the end of their studies students have the option to participate in an internship in the Wellesley Hills and greater Boston metro area.

The 62-credit AS degree can be completed in two years, and the 27-credit certificate can be completed in one year. The certificate program is a shorter version of the AS program, and students can apply credits from their certificate towards an AS if they decide to continue studying. Both programs are open to anyone who meets MBCC’s general admission standards.

Massasoit Community College

  • Paralegal Certificate
  • Online Paralegal Certificate
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE

Middlesex Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and hybrid

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus and hybrid

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $9,460 (in-state), $19,348 (out-of-state); Certificate: $6,196 (in-state), $11,758 (out-of-state)

This program makes our list because of its quality and degree choices. The 60-credit two-year AS program is offered in two versions: a career version designed for paralegals who are going directly into the workforce upon graduation, and a transfer version designed for students who intend to continue their education with a four-year degree after graduation. Both these versions are ABA-approved and open to anyone who meets MCC’s general admission requirements.

The ABA-approved certificate program is for students and career changers who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field. This 27-credit program takes approximately eight months to complete.

All programs include an internship in the Bedford or greater metropolitan area. There are some options to complete some courses online, while students can take evening classes at MCC’s Bedford campus and day classes at the Lowell campus.

Mildred Elley College – Pittsfield Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accreditation – Licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of Private Occupational School Education, Division of Professional Licensure
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $12,519

We like how this program provides a supportive atmosphere for students to earn their education. The certificate program is 39 credits and takes 12 months to complete. Students also have the option to complete an internship in the greater Pittsfield area that counts for up to six credits. All you need to apply to this program is a high school diploma or GED.

Mount Wachusett Community College

Associate Degree in Legal Studies – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Degree: $10,376 (in-state), $20,216 (out-of-state); Certificate: $6,306 (in-state), $12,046 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school’s paralegal programs because of how it prepares career changers and those coming from high school for success as paralegals.

The 60-credit degree program takes two years to complete. The 28-credit certificate program is a shorter version of the degree program and takes one year to complete. Both programs include the opportunity for a paralegal practicum and are open to anyone who meets MWCC’s basic entrance requirements. Students can complete this program entirely online or enroll in classes from MWCC’s main Gardner campus.

Newbury College

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – $134,040

This school has a legal studies BS program that is open to anyone. To fill out a complete application all you need is a letter of recommendation, high school transcripts, a writing sample, and a letter of recommendation.

Over the course of 121 credits and four years you’ll learn the knowledge it takes for success in the legal field. This includes an opportunity for an internship somewhere in the Brookline or larger Massachusetts area.

North Shore Community College

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $9,696 (in-state), $20,832 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,662 (in-state), $11,926 (out-of-state)

We chose this school because it has two great ABA-approved paralegal programs. The 60-credit two-year AS program is open to anyone who meets NSCC’s general admission requirements. The 27-credit one-year certificate program is open to anyone who already has an associate’s degree in any field.

The AS program includes a field placement course, while students in the certificate program can find similar opportunities in the greater Danvers area.

Northern Essex Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $9,552 (in-state), $21,120 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,776 (in-state), $10,560 (out-of-state)

We like this school because it offers a program for everyone. The AS degree is offered in two formats: one designed for students going directly into the workforce upon graduation, and one designed for students going on to transfer and pursue a four-year degree. Both formats are ABA-approved and open to students just out of high school as well as career changers.

The 27-credit ABA-approved certificate program is for students who already have an AS/AA degree. Those who have an AAS or AAA may need to take additional prerequisite courses before applying. This program can be completed in one year.

Students in all programs have the opportunity to take a paralegal practicum course as an elective. Classes are based out of NECC’s campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence.

Quincy College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $11,820; Certificate: $5,910

We like this school because it’s in a great location and offers options for prospective paralegals who want a one or two-year credential.

The two-year AS program is 61 credits. The certificate program is a shorter version of the AS degree, consisting of 30 credits that can be completed in one year. Both programs are open to students who meet QC’s basic admission standards, however some courses that are part of the certificate program have prerequisites that must be completed before students can take the core program courses.

Both programs include a three-credit paralegal studies internship in Quincy or the greater Boston metro area.

Roxbury Community College

Paralegal Certificate

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $4,482

We’re featuring this one-year 27-credit program because it’s designed to get graduates from the classroom into professional jobs in the field as efficiently as possible. Anyone can apply to this program, which requires submitting high school transcripts and taking the school’s academic skills assessment test.

Courses based from RCC’s Roxbury campus introduce students to the basic concepts of law and how it is applied in different areas.

Suffolk University

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $71,156; Certificate: $37,270

We like these programs because they are the peak of professionalism and preparedness, located in the state’s legal-sector capital.

The AS program takes two years to complete, while the 24-credit certificate program can be completed in nine months. Both programs are ABA-approved and both include an internship in the professional legal field in the greater Boston metropolitan area.

If you meet SU’s general entrance requirements you can apply for the AS program and earn the certificate as you go. The stand-alone certificate program is designed for students who already have an associate’s degree in any field.

Michigan

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 get the education they need to become a paralegal, including plenty of programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

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.

We compiled a list of the best paralegal programs from throughout the state to help you find the one that fits your schedule, budget, and your career goals. All the programs we selected are either ABA approved or otherwise offered through a school that holds 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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – Associate: $23,250; BS: $45,250

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $34,977

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.

Central Michigan University

  • Minor in Legal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AS: $41,820; BS: $83,640; Certificate: $18,718

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate degree: $9,408 (in-district), $24,576 (out-of-state); Foundation Certificate: $3,866 (in-state), $6,053 (out-of-state); Specialist Certificate: $5,813 (in-state), $9,125 (out-of-state); Paralegal Certificate: $1,995

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – $44,836 (in-state); $110,808 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – $22,580 (in-state); $36,096 (out-of-state)

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 Rapids Community College

  • AA in Legal Assistant/Paralegal
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $18,120; BA/BS: $46,080 (in-state), $65,568 (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated tuition and fees – Degree program: $5,644 (in-district), $12,220 (out-of-state); Certificate: $2,867 (in-state), $6,192 (out-of-state)

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.

Lake Superior State University

  • BS- Business Administration/Legal Management
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate’s program: $6,700 (in district), $18,580 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,350 (in-district), $9,290 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,564 (in-district); $14,810 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees total estimate – AS: $39,000; BS: $78,000; Certificate: $29,250

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,456 (in-district), $14,896 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,296 (in-state), $5,462 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Bachelor’s degree: $39,064 (in-state), $61,048 (out-of-state); AAS: $19,532 (in-state), $30,524 (out-of-state); Certificate: $14,430 (in-state), $22,530 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,880 (in-district), $10,860 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,390

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
  • Tuition and fees estimate: $4,848-$7,272 (in-district), $10,320-$15,480 (out-of-state)

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
  • Tuition and fees – $5,676 (in-district), $7,684 (out-of-state)

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.

Minnesota

There’s a reason why Minnesota ranks eighth in the nation for highest average paralegal salary (US Department of Labor, 2016). That’s because it attracts some of the most talented paralegals from throughout the nation to work in finance and business and, of course, for the Twin Cities top law firms.

One of the best kept secrets here in Minnesota is that we rank among the top in the nation for having the most Fortune 500 companies headquartered here– 19 of them. This means a lot of busy legal departments with a lot of high-powered corporations – and a lot of talented paralegals to staff them.

Saint Paul-based Ecolab is one of those companies, and when its CEO was asked how the Land of 10,000 Lakes earned the privilege of playing host to so many major corporations he said, “We have a highly educated workforce; we have a great work ethic.” Well that just says it all.

While you take care of building a strong work ethic, we’ve taken care of assembling a list of the best paralegal schools throughout the state.

The following schools offer paralegal certificates and degrees for aspiring professionals at all stages in their career, ranging from those who’ve just graduated from high school to career changers, to those who already have experience in this field and want to boost their credentials.

Alexandria Technical & Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,716 total

We’re featuring this 63-credit two-year program because its graduates enter the workforce with a strong foundation in the paralegal field. Students from any background are welcome to apply to this program, but must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA throughout their studies.

A fifth summer semester is included in this program, consisting of a four-credit internship in the greater Alexandria area.

Hamline University

Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The certificate program is ABA-approved, the other program is not
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate total – Certificate: $20,200; Bachelor’s degree: $156,724

Hamline easily made our list for offering the opportunity for students to participate in an internship and mock trial experience with both its programs.

Students who meet HU’s general admission requirements can major in legal studies and earn a BA or BS, degrees that take about four years to complete and that readily prepare students to move on to a master’s program if they choose. The legal studies major itself is 40 credits.

The 32-credit ABA-approved certificate program is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field. It can also be completed concurrently with a bachelor’s degree in any field. It is usually completed in 9-12 months.

Herzing University – Minneapolis

AS/AAS in Legal Studies – Online

BS in Legal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated total cost – AS/AAS: $34,625; BS: $62,325

Both paralegal programs at Herzing are open to anyone who meets HU’s general admission requirements, no previous college education or legal experience is required. The associate’s program is 63 credits and can be completed in two years, while the bachelor’s program is 126 credits – six credits beyond a standard bachelor’s – but still can be completed in just four years. The online format is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule.

Hibbing Community College

AAS Legal Administrative Assistant – Campus with some classes also available online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (total estimate) – $10,618 (in-state), $12,982 (out-of-state)

This 60-credit two-year degree is perfect for those in the greater Hibbing area who want to bolster their paralegal credentials. It emphasizes computer applications used in law offices and prepares students to effectively communicate, research, and write in the legal field.

Inver Hills Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $10,570; Certificate: $5,285

We like IHCC because it has ABA-approved options for students just starting their education, as well as for those who are specifically returning to school for a paralegal credential. This program focuses so much on legal knowledge that it expects students to enter the program with strong computer skills. It’s all about paralegal studies here; you won’t spend valuable time taking typing classes at IHCC.

The 60-credit two-year AS program is for students who meet IHCC’s general admission requirements and want to establish a firm foundation in the paralegal field. The 30-credit 18-month certificate program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field, or an AS/AA degree. If you have an AAS/AAA you may need to take additional prerequisites before you enroll.

Both programs are offered at the Inver Grove Heights campus and include a two-credit internship in the greater Saint Paul-Minneapolis area.

Lake Superior College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS/AAS: $10,192 (in-state), $18,940 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,096 (in-state), $9,470 (out-of-state)

We love Lake Superior College because it has something for everyone. All programs are open to anyone who meets LSC’s general admission requirements. Students can choose the program that’s right for them based on the time they want to invest and future goals. Classes are offered from the school’s Duluth campus and are also available fully online.

The 30-credit certificate program takes just one year to complete. If you decide to pursue the AAS or AS programs afterward you can transfer in the credits earned in your certificate program. The AAS and AS programs are two years and 60 credits each. The AAS is for students who want to go directly into the workforce upon graduation. Students can use the AS for the same purpose in addition to being able to transfer to a four-year school.

Minneapolis Business College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $30,290

We like the AAS program through Minneapolis Business College because of its focus on experiential learning. Students study everything from litigation to legal research, and the program culminates with an eight-week externship somewhere in the Roseville or greater Twin Cities metro area.

This program can be completed in 16 months and considers students from all backgrounds, whether you’re in the midst of changing careers or just looking to get started fresh out of high school.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,676

This program provides a two-year 60-credit foundation to prospective paralegals looking to get a competitive credential under their belts. This includes a three-credit internship as well as introductory classes to a range of relevant legal topics. For convenience this program can be taken entirely online or from MSCTC’s Detroit Lakes campus.

Minnesota State University – Mankato

Paralegal Certificate – Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Cost – Paralegal Certificate: $1,289; Advanced Certificate: $1,800

These online certificate programs are offered for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. CLE credits can be completed to meet professional paralegal organization membership requirements or national paralegal certificate requirements. You may also want to earn these certificates to enhance your professional qualifications.

To complete the paralegal certificate program you’ll need access to Westlaw. Once you sign up for this course you’ll have 14 weeks to complete it. To enroll in the advanced certificate course you must have already completed the basic certificate course. You can complete this program in as soon as 14 months, and doing so will earn you the certificate plus 27 CLEs.

Minnesota State University – Moorhead

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $32,456 (in-state); $61,000 (out-of-state)

One of only several ABA-approved four-year programs in the state, we’re featuring this school because you couldn’t get a better educational foundation to become a paralegal. Not only that, this program offers two unique emphasis tracks you can choose from within its paralegal program: a transactions emphasis or a litigation emphasis.

As part of this 120-credit program you have the option to complete an internship in the greater Moorhead-Fargo area that’s worth up to 12 credits.

National American University

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and blended

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and blended

  • ABA-approved – These campuses offer ABA-approved programs: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Burnsville and Roseville
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $40,000 ($15,158 with unexpired US Uniformed Services ID); BS: $75,000 ($30,157 with unexpired US Uniformed Services ID)

We’re featuring this school because of the flexibility and options it offers its students.

NAU has five campus locations in the Twin Cities area that each offer AAS and BS paralegal programs. Four of those – located in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Burnsville and Roseville – offer ABA-approved paralegal programs. The Rochester campus’ paralegal programs are currently not ABA-approved.

The AAS program can be completed in as little as 104 weeks, while the BS can be finished in as few as 195 weeks. Graduates of either program are qualified to take a national certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). With two years of work experience in the legal field, graduates of either program can also take a national certification exam offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

North Hennepin Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $8,734; Certificate: $5,459

North Hennepin CC’s ABA-approved programs offer one of the best value-to-cost ratios in the state.

The two-year 60-credit AS program is open to anyone who meets NHCC’s basic admission requirements, including everyone from career changers and high school graduates. The 30-credit 16-month certificate program is open to those who already have an AS, AA, or bachelor’s degree in any field.

Both programs include a three-credit internship in the greater Saint Paul-Minneapolis area.

Rasmussen College-Minnesota

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus, online, and blended

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus, online, and blended

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $28,640; Certificate: $18,485

You can complete your paralegal program online or at one of RC’s campuses located in Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, Lake Elmo, Mankato, Moorhead, or Saint Cloud.

Open to anyone who meets RC’s basic enrollment requirements, the AAS program is 94 credits and can be completed in two years. The certificate program is 61 credits, can be completed in 18 months, and is open to anyone who already has at least an associate’s degree in any field.

Both programs include the option to participate in either a five-credit paralegal internship or a five-credit capstone online simulation exercise. Upon graduation you’ll be prepared to take the national certification exam offered through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

St. Cloud Technical & Community College

AAS in Legal Administrative Assistant Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,590

St. Cloud Tech’s 60-credit two-year program is open to students who meet SCTCC’s basic enrollment requirements. As part of this program all students complete internships at law firms, court administration offices, and other legal services facilities in the greater Saint Cloud area.

Winona State University

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees: $36,300 (in-state); $59,088

We’re featuring Winona’s bachelor’s program because it’s a great value and one of only a few ABA-approved bachelor’s programs in the state. It provides a solid four-year foundation in the paralegal field and culminates with a six-credit internship in the greater Winona area.

Students typically complete all their prerequisite courses and begin taking classes in this major starting their junior year. Students also have the option of completing a 22-credit legal studies minor they can tack on to another bachelor’s major.

Mississippi

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.

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.

Missouri

The Missouri Courts official government website representing the state’s entire judicial branch – everything from municipal courts to the state Supreme Court – released a 69-page document called Significant Missouri Law Distinctions. This document lists 11 areas – ranging from administrative law and evidence to family law and estates – in which Missouri law differs substantially from other state and federal laws. Even in the era of national universities offering online programs, this means the schools best qualified to prepare legal professionals to work in Missouri are the schools located here.

Even after narrowing it down to just the programs in Missouri, the number of options can still be somewhat overwhelming. To help you make the most informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the best paralegal programs throughout the state. Here you’ll find degree and certificate programs designed for paralegals at all stages in their professional development, whether you’re fresh out of high school, changing careers, or an experienced paralegal looking to advance and specialize.

Drury University

AS Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $51,810

We like the AS program through Drury U because it provides a thorough grounding in the legal field – from legal research to the discovery process – and the fact that it culminates in an internship. There’s nothing employers like more from a job candidate than a degree in combination with some experience.

Classes are offered at DU’s Springfield campus, or the program can be completed fully online. In 2015 the Open Education Database ranked DU’s online paralegal program second in the nation.

Hickey College

Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $27,840

A full 94 percent of Hickey College graduates work in a field related to their area study. How’s that for producing a useful education and a degree employers recognize and respect.

The paralegal associate’s degree is no exception. From its Saint Louis campus, this 16-month program prepares graduates for success in the legal field. At the end of the program you’ll participate in an eight-week externship in the greater Saint Louis metro area, giving you the experience you need to hit the ground running.

Maryville University

  • BA-Legal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Metropolitan Community College

AAS in Paralegal Practice – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,760 (in-district); $14,100 (out-of-state)

Metropolitan CC’s AAS in paralegal practice offers an exceptional value. From it’s Penn Valley campus in Kansas City, students can complete this 64-credit program in two years. As they approach graduation, students participate in a three-credit internship in the greater KC metro area.

Students from any background – whether recent high school graduates or college grads interested in changing careers – are welcome to apply to this program.

Missouri Southern State University

Paralegal Studies Certificate/Minor – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,677

We like the paralegal program from Missouri Southern State because of the flexibility it offers. Whether earning the certificate by itself or as a minor in a degree program, the coursework is the same: a total of 10 classes that amount to 30 credits, including the option for a paralegal internship.

Students who are already enrolled at MSSU pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any field can enroll in the paralegal minor program. If you don’t want to enroll in a bachelor’s program you can complete the certificate as a stand-alone credential independently.

All classes are offered online with some also being offered on MSSU’s Joplin campus.

Missouri Western State University

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Assistant Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

AS in Legal Assistant Studies – Campus

BS in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all four programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $8,035 (in-state), $15,106 (out-of-state); AS: $14,660 (in-state), $26,140 (out-of-state); BS: $29,320 (in-state), $52,280 (out-of-state)

Missouri Western State U stands out for offering four paralegal programs. As if that wasn’t enough, they’re all ABA-approved.

The two-year AS degree is comprised of 60 credits. These credits can be applied towards a four-year 124-credit BS in criminal justice with a legal studies concentration. For students who already have an associate’s degree in any field, the post-degree certificate provides an excellent option. The certificate can also be earned concurrent with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

These three programs each include a three-credit paralegal internship.

Anyone earning a bachelor’s degree in any other field can also complete 21 legal studies credits as a minor.

National American University

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and blended

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and blended

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $40,000 ($15,158 with unexpired US Uniformed Services ID); BS: $75,000 ($30,157 with unexpired US Uniformed Services ID)

We’re featuring this school because it has two great programs that provide a significant discount to those who wear the uniform of the United States. NAU has three convenient campus locations in Independence, Lee’s Summit, and Kansas City that each offer both the AAS and BS programs.

The AAS program can be completed in as little as 104 weeks, while the BS can be finished in as few as 195 weeks. Graduates of either program are qualified to take a national certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). With two years of work experience in the legal field, graduates of either program can also take a national certification exam offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

Rockhurst University

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

Paralegal Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Certificate tuition and fees estimate – $10,926

We’re featuring Rockhurst for its remarkable flexibility. As a student here, you can enroll in the fall, spring, or summer and have the option of evening and weekend classes. Without a strict completion timeframe, you can take the program part time or complete it quickly in as little as two semesters. You can apply the credits you earn for this certificate towards a bachelor’s degree program at RU should you choose to later.

The certificate can be completed independently as a stand-alone program, or its 18 core paralegal credits can be tacked on as a minor to a bachelor’s degree in any field.

St. Charles Community College

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition estimate – $1,289

This non-credit certificate program is designed for anyone with a high school diploma or GED who wants to gain a competitive credential to work as a paralegal. Courses can be completed fully online or from SCCC’s Cottleville campus. This program is divided into five sessions that cover different topics, each lasting approximately six weeks.

Saint Louis Community College

AAS in Legal Studies for the Paralegal – Campus

Certificate in Legal Studies for the Paralegal (post-associate) – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $6,360 (in-district), $12,480 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,180 (in-state), $6,240 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring SLCC because its paralegal programs provide great options and an even greater value.

The 65-credit two-year AAS program is designed for new students and career changers looking to establish their educational foundation in this field. The 30-credit 20-month certificate program is designed for those who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field, and many come into the program with some experience in the legal field.

You can complete general course requirements for this program from any of SLCC’s campus locations and online, however the core courses that make up these programs are only offered at the Florissant Valley and Meramec campuses in the greater Saint Louis area.

Stevens – The Institute of Business & Arts

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $28,620; BA: $48,230

We like this school because of the flexibility it offers students. You can take classes from Stevens’ Saint Louis campus during the day or in the evening, and complete these programs on a full or part-time basis. The school has a generous admission policy and considers applications regardless of college of entrance exam scores. The AAS program can be completed in 18 months, while the BA can be completed in 36 months.

Vatterott College-Sunset Hills

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $38,123

You can complete Vatterott’s associate’s degree program in paralegal studies completely online or attend classes in person at VC’s Sunset Hills campus in Saint Louis. In either case, this 97-quarter-credit program can be completed in 70 weeks.

Students complete a final capstone project worth 7.5 credits structured as a case study, research paper, or any other approved project.

Webster University

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

MA in Legal Studies – Campus and synchronous online

Legal Studies Graduate Certificate (post-bac) – Campus and synchronous online

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all three programs on Saint Louis area campuses are ABA-approved except the minor
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BA: $105,200; MA: $28,470; Certificate: $17,520

Webster stands out for offering three different ABA-approved programs, including both undergraduate and graduate program options:

  • The 128-credit ABA-approved BA program takes four years to complete and is open to students who meet the entrance requirements.
  • While the legal studies minor isn’t intended to prepare you to become a paralegal, nor approved by the ABA, you can add this to any WU bachelor’s degree by completing 18 credits of core legal studies courses.
  • Students who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field can apply for the 24-credit ABA-approved graduate certificate. It can be completed in two semesters as a stand-alone certificate, and can also be completed concurrently with any other master’s program from WU.
  • The 39-credit MA program can be completed in 18 months and is open to students who already have a bachelor’s degree. Students in the MA and graduate certificate program who can’t make it to class every day have the option to attend their courses synchronously.

Classes for all programs are offered from WU’s main Saint Louis campus, and some are available from the Gateway Campus in downtown Saint Louis.

William Woods University

BS in Paralegal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $27,450

The four-year BS program is 122 credits in total (two credits more than what is found in a traditional bachelor’s program), and includes 42 core-paralegal credits. It culminates with a six-credit practicum and capstone experience that will help prepare you with the experience you need to hit the ground running your first day on the job.

To accommodate students with up to 25 transferable college credits, WWU offers an online degree completion program that allows you to earn a BS in less time than you might have thought possible

While this school is based in Fulton, you can take classes online from anywhere in the world.

Montana

Maybe you’ve been walking the halls of a big Billing’s law firm for years as a legal secretary and are looking forward to the challenge of moving up to become a paralegal. Or maybe you’re a recent high school graduate with dreams of moving into the legal field. Or perhaps you want to take your paralegal career to the next level by specializing in intellectual property or real estate law.

Whatever your dreams, there’s a paralegal program for you.

From undergraduate certificate programs for young up-and-comers fresh out of high school to four-year bachelor’s degree for the paralegal with visions of specialization or advancement, there’s no lack of options for getting an education in legal studies and the paralegal profession.

But sometimes too many choices can be overwhelming. Worry not—we’ve done the research to provide you with a list of the best schools in Montana to narrow down your options.

Our list only includes the two schools that have earned national or regional accreditation and/or ABA approval, so you can be sure that the following programs are the best of the best.

But we’ve gone one step further by also providing you with important points about each program so you can examine them closely and choose your favorite.

University of Montana – Missoula

Associate of Applied of Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $3,611 (in-state), $12,551 (out-of-state)

ABA approval, the flexibility of attending classes at the university’s Mountain and East campuses, and the ability to complete the program in just four semesters makes the U of M paralegal program a sure bet for a quality education.

University of Providence – Great Falls

Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies – online

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies online

Army Paralegal Program (entry requires completion of Army 27D10 AIT Training) – online

Air Force Paralegal Studies Program (entry requires an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies from the Community College of the Air Force) online

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $24,534

The University of Providence (formerly the University of Great Falls) is one of those schools that understands the importance of providing flexibility in course delivery. Case in point: All paralegal programs offered here are online programs. Students need only attend campus for 10 credits of legal specialty courses. Plus, the faculty here work with students to adapt course formats that fit specific needs and schedules.

Nebraska

A lotta gumption, a keen eye for detail, and razor sharp decision-making skills are the makings of a great paralegal. But whether you’re looking to begin a paralegal career or advance or specialize in your current position, you must also have a solid education behind you.

From the halls of Omaha’s county courthouses to the boardrooms of Lincoln’s largest law firms, paralegals serve as valuable members of the legal team. And thanks to a burgeoning job market for paralegals, education options are plentiful here in Nebraska with 5 schools offering certificate and degree programs.

However, while a wide array of programs, both on-campus and online, makes it easier than ever to enter or advance in the profession, it may make finding a program that meets your needs a bit overwhelming.

But we’ve done the legwork for you, listing only those programs that have met specific criteria, so you can view all quality programs in Nebraska in one place.

Through a thorough research process, we narrowed down the schools in Nebraska to include only those that are regionally or nationally accredited, as well as the programs that have earned ABA approval.

But we’ve also provided you with key points about each program, which we hope will shed light on their unique features and make the process of finding your first or next paralegal program even easier.

College of Saint Mary

Associate of Arts (AA) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-bac) – Campus

Paralegal Studies Minor (only for nursing students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost:

The College of St. Mary holds the distinction of offering the region’s only ABA-approved four-year paralegal program. Many of the students of this program have been accepted into some of the region’s most distinguished law schools, with many receiving full scholarships. Post-bac certificate holders also enjoy great successes following graduation – 100 percent have historically been employed within six months of graduation.

Doane University

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $10,665

Doane University’s Lincoln campus is targeted at the adult non-traditional student. We love the low student-teacher ratio (14:1) and the unique learning environment that caters to students who must juggle school with professional responsibilities.

Metropolitan Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies – Paralegal Option – Campus

Legal Studies – Paralegal Accelerated Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $2,880 (in-state), $4,208 (out-of-state)

Metropolitan Community College’s unique legal studies course allows students to focus on a wide array of areas of study, including the paralegal option, which prepares students to jump into the profession immediately upon graduation, and the paralegal accelerated certificate, which prepares paralegals for entry-level employment in law-related occupations. And, thanks to the fact that these programs are available through community colleges, the affordable tuition makes these programs accessible for a wide variety of students.

Southeast Community College

AAS in Business Administration- Legal Focus – Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $3,214 (in-state), $3,929 (out-of-state)

Southeast Community College’s AAS in Business Administration with a legal focus stands out, thanks to its 95 percent graduate employment/transfer rate and its attractive 12:1 student-teacher ratio.

University of Nebraska Omaha

BS in Business Administration-Concentration in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $7,204 (in-state), $19,124 (out-of-state)

The University of Nebraska’s BS in Business Administration is a unique program that prepares students in both general business administration and legal studies. If you have visions of moving into a supervisory role, this program is the ideal option for you. It also caught our attention for its reasonable in-state tuition rates.

Nevada

There’s a lot of excitement beyond the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. Head to any of the many law firms, nonprofits, and government agencies in Vegas and throughout the State of Nevada, and you’ll find paralegals working alongside attorneys or as a crucial part of corporate legal teams.

Whether you’re a career changer, a high school graduate, or a working paralegal looking to specialize or advance your career, there are plenty of educational options. While the sheer number of paralegal certificate and degree programs makes it easier than ever to begin or advance your paralegal career, it may also make it difficult to narrow down your options and decide which program is right for you.

We’ve taken the work out of finding a program that best suits your educational background and career goals by providing you with a list of schools offering paralegal programs that have achieved national and/or regional accreditation, along with programs that have earned ABA approval.

We’ve also provided you with annual tuition rates and unique features of each program, both of which are important to keep in mind as you compare your options.

College of Southern Nevada

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $2,910 (in-state), $9,555 (out-of-state)

The College of Southern Nevada’s Charleston campus is home to the AAS in Paralegal Studies. We love this program because as far as programs go, you simply can’t beat the in-state tuition here, which is less than $3,000 a year.

Truckee Meadows Community College

Paralegal/Law Program Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $3,611 (in-state), $12,551 (out-of-state)

We took special notice of the AAS at Truckee Meadows Community College for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s the only ABA-approved program in Nevada. It’s also the only community college in Northern Nevada to offer the Westlaw online research tool for its on-campus paralegal/law program. Plus, you can take many of the credits you earned in your associate degree program and apply them toward a bachelor’s degree at many of Nevada’s four-year institutions.

University of Nevada Las Vegas

Paralegal Certificate – Online/Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $7,183 (in-state), $21,093 (out-of-state)

The University of Nevada’s paralegal certificate is all about convenience and flexibility. Students here can complete the program online or on-campus. If you’re looking for a program that has a time-tested curriculum, look no further. UNLV’s paralegal certification course has been honed and perfected over the last 20 years. Thanks to its success, many leading universities from across the country have adopted it, including Duke University, Howard University, the University of Miami, and the University of California, Berkeley and Davis, among others.

University of Nevada Reno

Paralegal Studies Certificate Campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $7,142 (in-state), $21,052 (out-of-state)

The paralegal studies certificate is offered through the University of Nevada Reno’s Extended Studies school. We love this program because of its long-standing reputation as a quality program (it’s now in its 25th year). But that’s not all. It is taught by an experienced attorney and municipal court judge, both of whom have extensive experience in Nevada’s state and federal courts. They also bring in guest experts who provide unique insight on everything from procedures and functions to trial preparation and presentation.

New Hampshire

Congratulations! You’ve decided you’re ready to either enter the paralegal profession or advance in it. Now it’s time to consider which paralegal education program you’ll need to complete to get you where you want to be.

Whether you imagine yourself assisting a civil litigator in trial preparation, being part of a dynamic legal team focused on healthcare law, or working closely with a small law firm specializing in bankruptcy law, you must have an education in paralegal studies to make your dream a reality.

But when it comes time to make a concrete decision about your education, you struggle to narrow down the options available to you. But fear not!

We’ve done the legwork for you by locating all the best paralegal programs in New Hampshire and providing you with key features and details about them, so that you can feel good knowing that the program you choose will prepare you for your first – or your next – step in the paralegal profession.

Our list only includes the four programs in New Hampshire that have earned ABA approval or schools that have achieved regional or national accreditation. We’ve also included key points about each program, including annual tuition costs, so you can get a good idea which programs meet your needs while staying in your budget.

Franklin Pierce University

Paralegal Studies Online Undergraduate Certificate – Online

  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $34,050

The fact that this undergrad paralegal certificate is available online means you’ll enjoy the flexibility that an on-campus program simply can’t offer. It also means that you can complete the program no matter where you’re located.

Keene State College

Paralegal Studies CertificateOnline

  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $13,613 (in-state), $21,997 (out-of-state)

If you’re an adult with visions of completing a certificate program that’ll get you into a paralegal position, then Keene State College is a great choice for you. This program caught our attention because of its fully online format that offer students the opportunity to study at their own pace. This program fits around your busy lifestyle so that you can accomplish your career goals while satisfying your professional and family obligations.

Nashua Community College

AS in Paralegal StudiesCampus

  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $6,912 (in-state), $15,072 (out-of-state)

We love this program because of the flexibility it affords working adults – all courses are offered in the evening. The courses in this program are designed to provide easily transferability to a four-year bachelor’s degree if you have the desire to progress in the profession in the future. Plus, experienced attorneys teach students here, so you know you’re getting valuable instruction that will easily translate into the real world legal domain.

New Hampshire Technical Institute

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (admission requires at least 45 college-level credits) Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $7,104 (in-state), $15,264 (out-of-state)

New Hampshire Technical Institute, in addition to being among a select few schools in the U.S. to earn ABA approval, is also regionally accredited, so there’s no doubt the paralegal programs offered here are of the highest quality. These programs stand out for their flexibility (the associate degree can be complete on a full- or part-time basis), and many of the courses are offered in the evenings. The certificate program’s courses are only offered in the evenings, thereby accommodating students who must juggle their professional responsibilities while in school.

New Jersey

You know that your education is the first—and most important—step to either beginning or advancing a career as a paralegal. But frankly, the sheer number of choices is so overwhelming that you’re just not sure how you’ll weed through all the schools and make the best decision for you and your career.

Nationwide, paralegal programs number in the hundreds. But not all programs are created equal. We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding a paralegal program by providing you with a list of the best of the best—programs that have earned ABA approval and institutions that are regionally or nationally accredited.

Plus, we’ve taken it one step further and provided you with tuition rates, delivery method (on-campus, online or a combination of the two) and key points about these programs that make them stand out from the competition.

So, whether you have dreams of working in one of Newark’s leading law firms, or you see yourself working for a nationally renowned nonprofit in Paterson, we have you covered with programs that’ll get you there.

Atlantic Cape Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal StudiesCampus

Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal StudiesCampus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $4,407 (in-district), $6,147 (in-state), $7,707 (out-of-state)

The affordability alone was enough to capture our attention for Atlantic Cape Community College’s two programs in paralegal studies. But we also really like the three-credit cooperative education course built into both programs, something that provides students with a valuable opportunity to work in the field.

Bergen Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate (post-associate, admission also requires current RN license) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $ 4,362 (in-district), $7,878 (in-state), $8,238 (out-of-state)

We love Bergen Community College’s paralegal programs because they are designed with the adult learner in mind. Many of the programs are offered in the evening, which makes returning to school to pursue an education in paralegal studies convenient. And, with tuition rates of just over $4,000 for students in-district, it’s also available at a price students can afford.

Brookdale Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal StudiesCampus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $3,861 (in-district), $6,639 (in-state), $7,239 (out-of-state)

Brookdale Community College stands out not only for its affordability (under $4,000 for in-district students), but for its flexible learning options for the AAS in Paralegal Studies: students here can attend classes in the day or the evening and on a full- or part-time basis.

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Paralegal Certificate (post-degree) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $40,234

The post-degree paralegal certificate program offers the best in study for adult non-traditional students. Ready to complete the program in six months? Take classes Monday through Friday. Want flexibility so you can maintain your current job? Consider the evening program, which can be completed in 12 months.

Mercer County Community College

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS)Campus

Paralegal Certificate of Proficiency (post-associate)Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $ 3,768 (in-district), $4,932 (in-state), $7,068 (out-of-state)

The specialized paralegal courses in Mercer County Community College’s programs are offered in the evening, with the remainder of the courses offered in the day or evening (your choice), and on a full-time or part-time basis. These programs stand out for catering to career-focused students who don’t have plans to transfer to a four-year college or attend law school. We also love these programs for offering an internship opportunity, which is completed in the final semester, prior to graduation.

Middlesex County College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $3,420 (in-district), $6,840 (in-state), $6,840 (out-of-state)

What’s better than ABA approval? How about a tuition for in-district students that’s less than $4,000 a year? We love these programs both for their reliable education and the fact that they’re affordable for a wide variety of students.

Montclair State University

Minor in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Justice Studies with a Paralegal Studies Concentration – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $12,116 (in-state), $20,007 (out-of-state)

Montclair State University’s paralegal programs stand out because they provide students with plenty of options when it comes to preparing for career opportunities. The certificate program sets students up for direct employment in the paralegal field and also provides a foundation for future study in law school, while the Minor in Paralegal Studies prepares students for direct employment in the legal field.

Raritan Valley Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal StudiesCampus

Paralegal Studies Certificate)Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $4,224 (in-district), $5,064 (in-state), $5,064 (out-of-state)

Raritan Valley Community College’s paralegal studies certificate is designed for students who are either currently working toward or already have an associate or bachelor’s degree in a related field. The affordability of these programs stands out – they are accessible to a wide variety of students looking for a quality program that prepares them to immediately enter the profession.

Rowan College at Burlington County

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS)Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $4,065 (in-district), $4,545 (in-state), $6,495 (out-of-state)

All students in Rowan College’s AAS program complete an internship, which provides them with valuable opportunities for real-world learning. Rowan College’s commitment to providing students with relevant experience caught our attention for having a paralegal program coordinator on staff to assist students in locating an internship that’s right for them while ensuring the placement meets program standards.

Rowan College at Gloucester County

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS)Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $4,445 (in-district), $5,225 (in-state), $8,975 (out-of-state)

Completing a paralegal program through Rowan College positions you perfectly for additional study. This college has a new premier partnership with Rowan University, along with other college partnership programs, that allow students to be admitted concurrently and work toward an advanced degree. But that’s not all. The college has 75 program articulation agreements with a number of four-year institutions, so after completing your associate’s degree, you can move on to a four-year degree, if desired.

Union County College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal StudiesCampus

Paralegal Certificate of Achievement (post-associate)Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $4,620 (in-district), $9,240 (in-state), $9,240 (out-of-state)

If you’re not sure where your future paralegal career will take you, the paralegal programs through Union County College are ideal for you. The certificate of achievement prepares students to immediately enter the workforce, while the AAS offers students the flexibility of being able to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree.

New Mexico

A paralegal certificate or degree program is the first step to entering or advancing in the profession. You may be ready to enter the field after years of working as a legal secretary, or maybe you’re a high school graduate with visions of entering the profession and working you way up to one of Albuquerque’s largest law firms. Or perhaps you’ve been in the profession for a number of years and are ready to specialize in criminal law, contract law, or even healthcare law.

Whatever your ambitions, finding the right paralegal program is critical to your success.

Thanks to the meteoric growth of the paralegal profession in the last decade, paralegal programs of every variety are widely available—include online programs. This makes getting the education you need easier than ever. But often times, the sheer number of programs makes narrowing down your options a tricky endeavor in itself.

No need to fret! We’ve taken the overwhelming number of options and narrowed them down to only the best of the best, so you can browse the top paralegal programs and find one that best meets your career and personal goals.

We started by assembling only those schools that have achieved regional or national accreditation, and then included programs that have earned ABA approval. Then, we examined each program and provided tuition rates and key points that we thought made it stand out from the rest.

Brookline College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Online

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $15,225

Need a flexible program that meets your needs and accommodates your professional and family life? The Brookline College program is for you! The convenient, online delivery means that earning an associate degree is more attainable than ever. And did we mention that it boasts a 16:1 student-teacher ratio?

Central New Mexico Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $1,472 (in-state), $6,848 (out-of-state)

Central New Mexico Community College’s paralegal programs welcome students with different educational backgrounds. While the AAS in paralegal studies is ideal for the traditional learner, the post-associate paralegal studies certificate is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s or associate degree. If you’re a career changer, this program is ideal for you.

Clovis Community College

AAS in Legal Assistant Studies – Online

Certificate of Completion in Legal Assistant Studies – Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $1,176 (in-district), $1,248 (in-state), $2,376 (out-of-state)

The AAS in Legal Assistant Studies consists of 66 credits that can be completed in five semesters, while the Certificate of Completion consists of 30 credit hours that can be completed in two semesters. Regardless of your educational goals, Clovis Community College makes it easy and convenient to finish your paralegal education by offering these programs in a fully online format.

Dona Ana Community College

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

San Juan College

AS Legal Assistant – Campus

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $1,474 (in-state), $4,114 (out-of-state)

We love the low student-teacher ratio at San Juan College (17:1), as well as its unique role as being a Navajo Tribal Advocacy training program, giving students the option of qualifying to become an officially-licensed Tribal Advocate.

University of New Mexico

Post-Baccalaureate Paralegal Certificate – Online

Legal Assistant Certificate – Online

  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $7,340 (in-state), $21,929 (out-of-state)

The online paralegal programs at the University of New Mexico offer the flexibility and convenience working students need to get the education required to enter the paralegal profession. In-state tuition is also enviable, and students here are part of the larger University of New Mexico system, which offers an endless array of students services.

New York

Are you one of those ambitious types always looking for new ways to position yourself over your competition? If you’re a practicing paralegal, Game Theory would dictate that a specialized certificate or advanced degree is your next move… Or maybe you’re shifting gears and looking to transition to the field of law after grinding it out for several years in some other job. If that’s the case, then a post-degree certificate in paralegal studies might be what you’re after… Are you just now putting high school behind you and looking to make your first foray into the professional world by way of a paralegal career? Well, then an undergraduate degree could be your best option.

Whether you’re just getting started, changing careers or looking to advance, you could be strolling across the marble floors of a downtown high-rise on your way to work in the law offices of a major firm, and it could happen sooner than you think.

Dubbed Wall Street’s most powerful law firm by Forbes, Skadden is an example of why the nation’s best paralegals are in New York. Headquartered in the heart of NYC, today Skadden is made up of 22 offices with over 1,700 attorneys and thousands of paralegals and support staff. Specializing in mergers and acquisitions among other areas, some of the firm’s most recent cases have included a $2.5 billion insurance company acquisition, a $3.6 billion healthcare company acquisition, and a $2.6 billion industrial manufacturing company acquisition – all within a three-week period in 2017.

Ready to run with the big dogs at a firm like Skadden? If you’re ready to work, we’ve got your back. To help you find the right program to get started or advance, we put together a list of the best schools offering the best paralegal degree and certificate programs in the state. Every program shown here is offered through an accredited school and many have even earned the distinction of having their paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association.

Asa College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Executive Legal Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $23,760; Certificate: $12,890

Asa’s AAS in Paralegal Studies and Executive Legal Assistant Certificate are open to any student with a high school diploma or GED.

The certificate program takes 30 weeks to complete, and courses you take as part of this program can be seamlessly transferred into the AAS program if you decide to continue your studies and earn the degree. The AAS program also includes a three-credit internship experience in the greater NYC metro area.

Classes are offered from AC’s Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn campuses.

Berkeley College

AAS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate: AAS – $50,600; BS – $101,200

Berkeley provides solid degree programs for students who can make a two or four-year commitment to preparing for a career in the legal field.

The two-year AAS program is comprised of 60 credits, including 33 credits of core courses. The four-year BS program is comprised of 120 credits, including 48 credits of core courses. Both programs include a three-credit internship that will provide you with the kind of real world experience employers look for.

In addition to New Jersey locations, these programs are offered at Berkeley’s New York City and Brooklyn campuses, or can be taken completely online.

Boricua College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $21,200

Boricua offers students a unique learning model based on five pillars of inter-personal education that put the student first. To be eligible for the AS in Paralegal Studies through Boricua, all you need is a high school diploma or its equivalent, participate in a face-to-face interview, and pass a basic entrance examination.

The 69-credit two-year AS program culminates with two practica, including an internship in the greater New York City metro area.

Courses are offered from BC’s Manhattan, Bronx, and two Brooklyn campuses.

Branford Hall Career Institute

  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

Briarcliffe College

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $10,412 (city resident), $16,172 (out-of-city/state); Certificate: $5,205 (in-state), $9,600 (out-of-state)

Bronx CC offers two ABA-approved programs that offer tremendous value.

The two-year 60-credit AAS includes two tracks: traditional paralegal and lay advocate paralegal. The lay advocate option focuses on paralegal subjects relating to community health, family law, legal advocacy, and criminal law. This program is open to any student who meets BCC’s basic entrance requirements.

The 30-week 30-credit certificate program is for working professionals in the legal field or other fields who already have a two-year college degree.

As part of the AAS program you have the opportunity to complete a 210-hour internship at a local law firm. The certificate program also offers an internship opportunity. Classes are offered from CUNY’s Bronx campus.

Broome Community College of the State University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus, online options

Paralegal Certificate – Campus, online options

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $9,902 (in-state), $18,738 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,962 (in-state), $9,186 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school because it offers two options tailored to fit a student’s time investment, both of which are open to anyone who meets BCC’s general admission requirements.

The 30-credit certificate program can be completed in nine months. It’s an abridged version of the AAS program, and you can apply the credits you earn for a certificate towards the AAS. The AAS takes two years to complete and is 64 credits.

Both programs include an internship in the Binghamton or surrounding metro area. Classes are offered during the days from BCC’s Binghamton campus, with some also being offered in the evenings. If you choose, approximately 90 percent of all classes can be completed online.

Bryant & Stratton College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

Legal Office Assistant Diploma – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificates – Online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $35,800, Diploma: $17,900, Certificates: $593 per credit, totals ranging from $8,895 to $12,453

This school offers some of the widest variety of paralegal credentials for students to choose from, all open to those who have a high school diploma or GED.

The 60-credit AAS program takes two years to complete and is made up of 39 credits of key paralegal courses. It culminates with a three-credit internship or capstone course. This program is offered at the Albany, Amherst, Henrietta, and Syracuse North campuses, as well as fully online.

The one-year 30-credit diploma program includes 24 credits of core courses. It is offered at the Amherst, Buffalo, Greece, Henrietta, Southtowns, Syracuse, and Syracuse North campuses, as well as fully online.

There are six types of paralegal certificates offered, all of which are only available online:

  • Basic Paralegal Certificate – 15 credits, six months to complete
  • Paralegal Business Litigation Certificate – 21 credits, nine months to complete
  • Paralegal Civil Litigation Certificate – 18 credits, nine months to complete
  • Paralegal Criminal Litigation Certificate – 15 credits, six months to complete
  • Paralegal Domestic Law Certificate – 15 credits, six months to complete
  • Build-Your-Own Paralegal Certificate – 18 credits, nine months to complete

Credits earned through the diploma or certificate programs can be applied to other programs including the AAS degree.

College of Technology at Canton (SUNY)

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $31,524 (in-state); $49,084 (out-of-state)

This eight-semester program offers one of the best four-year degrees for paralegals in the region. Your professors have a wide range of experience in the legal field and are welcoming to all students, whether you’re coming directly from high school or you’re making a career change to focus on the legal field.

During your final semester of studies you’ll complete a one-semester internship in the Canton or wider state area. Courses are offered from CTC’s Canton campus as well as fully online.

Daemen College

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BS: $107,760; Certificate: $9,800

This school offers some of the only ABA-approved paralegal programs in Western New York, and its graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate.

The four-year 120-credit BS program is designed for students coming from high school or professionals who want to strengthen their resumes. The 18-month certificate program is designed for those making a career change or who are bolstering their academic credentials. To be eligible for admission you must already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, or be an undergraduate student at DC.

Both programs offer the chance to take a three-credit paralegal internship course where you’ll gain hands-on experience at a location in the greater Amherst area.

Dutchess Community College of the State University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $8,068 (in-state), $15,124 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,680 (in-state), $8,208 (out-of-state)

The one-year 34-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAS in Paralegal Studies available through Dutchess CC. You can apply the credits you earn in this program to the AAS if you decide to continue your studies.

The two-year 64-credit AAS program is open to anyone who meets DCC’s basic admission requirements. The program even allows you to participate in a 3-credit internship in the Poughkeepsie region.

Erie Community College of the State University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,816 (in-state); $20,282 (out-of-state)

We like the fact that Erie CC has arranged for an articulation agreement with SUNY at Buffalo, allowing AAS graduates to transfer into its four-year legal studies program – an exceptional policy for any AAS program.

This 61-credit program can be completed in two years. As you near graduation you have the option to participate in an internship to gain first-hand experience of the law in action. This program is offered from ECC’s main campus in Buffalo.

Excelsior College

AS in Paralegal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $31,590

We like the Excelsior College for giving credit where credit is due. EC goes above and beyond to make sure your experience in the professional world, previous college courses, and even military experience is counted towards your academic credit at EC. To apply, all you need is a high school diploma or GED.

This 60-credit program can be completed in two years and is offered entirely online. This includes 24 core courses that culminate in a three-credit capstone project.

Finger Lakes Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $9,904 (in-state), $18,640 (out-of-state); Certificate: $6,671 (in-state), $12,686 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring the paralegal programs through Finger Lakes CC for having earned the ABA stamp of approval, while still remaining affordable.

The 64-credit AAS program can be completed in two years, while the 34-credit certificate program can be completed in 16 months. The certificate program is a shortened version of the AAS, and the credits you earn can be applied toward the AAS if you choose to pursue the degree.

Classes are offered from FLCC’s Canandaigua campus.

Genesee Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and partially online

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $8,920 (in-state), $10,120 (out-of-state)

We like the AAS through Genesee CC because it provides the ultimate in flexibility, allowing you to study at your own pace and take as many as six years to complete the program if needed. And get this, it’s even ABA-approved.

You’ll take all the paralegal core courses from GCC’s Batavia campus, and you’ll have the option to take the general requirements for the AAS online. As you near graduation you can participate in an internship to get hands-on experience in the legal field.

You also have the option to transfer the AAS to similar four-year legal studies programs with a junior status at Daemon College, Hilbert College, and SUNY Buffalo.

To be admitted to this school you must have a high school GPA of at least 2.5 and/or score well on college entrance examinations and admissions tests.

Globe Institute of Technology

  • AAS- Legal Office Management – Business Management with Computer Applications
  • Certificate – Legal Office Management- Business Management with Computer Applications
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

Herkimer University of New York

AAS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $9,960 (in-state), $16,020 (out-of-state)

HCCC caught our eye because it has arranged a matriculation agreement with four area colleges and universities that allows graduates of the AAS in Legal Studies program to transfer in to similar four-year legal studies programs as juniors.

This 62-credit program can be completed in two years. Classes are offered at HCCC’s campus in Herkimer, or can be taken completely online.

Hilbert College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $42,600; BS: $85,200

HC’s paralegal program is the oldest of its kind in Western New York. It offers the region’s only ABA-approved four-year bachelor’s program… its two-year AS program is also ABA-approved… and it boasts a low, 14:1 student-teacher ratio.

From its Hamburg campus, both programs offer four concentrations you can choose from: research/writing, litigation, child/family law, and business/corporate law.

Both programs include an internship in the legal field at places like law firms, courts, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Hofstra University

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,760

Hofstra U offers this unique ABA-approved certificate program as a non-credit program through its continuing education department. As part of the program you have the option to complete an internship in the Hempstead greater metropolitan area.

If you already hold a degree and national certification, you may also be able to complete this 34-week, 306-hour program to fulfill continuing education requirements.

To apply for admission to this program you must already have at least 60 college credits or an associate’s degree.

Hostos Community College (CUNY)

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $9,600 (city resident), $19,200 (out-of-city/state)

We’re featuring Hostos CC for offering one of the most affordable paralegal AAS programs in the New York City area, and without compromising quality.

This 60-credit two-year program includes 36 credits of core paralegal courses. During the final year you’ll take a legal practicum two-part course worth a total of six credits.

Classes are offered out of HCC’s Bronx campus. You can apply to the AAS in Paralegal Studies at Hostos if you have a high school diploma or GED.

Ithaca College

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $171,536

The BA program at Ithica has one of the best paralegal internship programs around. In addition to doing your three-credit internship in the Ithica area, you can also arrange to do a paralegal internship in Washington DC or through the school’s London center.

The internship takes place during your last semesters at IC. The legal studies minor as part of a bachelor’s in a relevant major involves taking six additional legal studies courses.

Anyone admitted to Ithica can apply to enter the BA program once they are a sophomore.

Jefferson Community College of the State University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,134

We’re featuring the AAS in Paralegal Studies through Jefferson CC because it is a high-quality and highly affordable option. This 61-credit degree includes 24 credits of core paralegal requirements, all of which can be completed in two years. During the final semester you’ll complete a three-credit internship in the greater Watertown area.

Aside from core courses, some general courses may be offered online. JCC has articulation agreements with two universities, allowing you to transfer credits earned during your AAS to any one of the 4-year legal studies programs these schools offer.

Johnston Community College

  • AS-Paralegal Technology
  • General Law Office Certificate
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

LaGuardia Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $9,600 (city resident); $19,200 (out-of-city/state)

We’re featuring the AAS through LaGuardia CC because it has earned the quality stamp that comes with ABA-approval, and is also one of the most affordable programs in the greater NYC area.

This Associate of Applied Science includes a strong foundation consisting of 39 credits of core courses, and also features a two-credit business internship component that gives you hands-on experience at a location in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Classes are offered from LCC’s Long Island City campus.

You can apply to this program if you have a high school diploma or GED, and you may also need to submit standardized testing scores from exams like the SAT, ACT, or New York Regents.

Le Moyne College

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Anyone pursuing a bachelor’s degree at LMC can add this 15-credit minor to their major, which draws from the subjects of legal studies, Constitutional law, the history of law, business law, and the philosophy of law. Classes are offered from LMC’s Syracuse campus.

Long Island University – Brooklyn

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition estimate – $5,350

We’re featuring the Post-Associate Certificate through LIU because it’s one of the few ABA-approved non-credit certificate programs in the state. That means you can fulfill continuing education requirements for optional national certifications through this program, as well as add to your existing paralegal credentials.

Over the course of 328 hours you can complete this 13-class program in three months by day or seven months by evening. You are eligible to apply to this program if you already have an associate’s degree or at least 60 credits of college coursework. Once you apply you’ll be invited to participate in an in-person interview.

Long Island University – Brooklyn

  • Paralegal Studies Certificate
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

Marist College

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $16,360 (evening program); $11,880 (weekend program)

This ABA-approved program provides two great options for working students with busy schedules: a two-year evening program and a one-year weekend program.

Anyone who meets MC’s general entrance requirements can apply to this 60-credit program. This includes 36 credits of general education and 24 credits of paralegal core courses. The program culminates with a three-credit legal internship course that gives you hands-on experience with a law firm or corporate employer in the Poughkeepsie area.

Mercy College

BS in Legal Studies: Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $73,568

We’re featuring this school because it offers one of the few ABA-approved four-year programs in the state.

You can complete this 120-credit program in four years. It includes 36 credits of core paralegal courses and 24 credits of open electives. As part of this program you can complete a field internship in the Dobbs Ferry area.

As Mercy College puts it, this program will ensure you “stand out for future employers.” Anyone can apply to this school so long as they have a high school diploma or GED. All factors of an applicant’s background are taken into consideration. Exams like the SAT and ACT are optional.

Mildred Elley College

AAS in Advanced Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $22,410; Certificate: $17,184

Mildred Elley provides two options for prospective paralegals who are willing to make a one or two year investment in their professional credentials.

The 48-week certificate program is offered from the Albany campus and is comprised of 39 credits. It is a shortened version of the two-year advanced paralegal program, and the classes you take as part of the certificate program can be applied to the AAS program later.

The two-year AAS program is 65 credits and offered from MES’s Albany and New York City campuses. As part of this program you’ll complete a three-credit internship that gives you valuable real-world experience.

Molloy College

Paralegal Studies Certificate/Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Certificate tuition and fees estimate – $3,465

Molloy College provides two great choices for aspiring paralegals: in as few as two semesters you can either earn a non-credit paralegal certificate or enroll in 21 credits worth of paralegal classes for an official minor that you can tack on to any MC bachelor’s degree.

Both routes involve taking the same classes. The first is designed for paralegals who want to add a certificate to their repertoire and/or fulfill continuing education requirements that are part of an optional national certification. The second is designed for those who want to bolster their academic credentials as they explore the paralegal field, and also results in earning the paralegal certificate along the way.

Anyone can apply to either program and classes are offered from MC’s Rockville Centre campus.

Monroe Community College of the State University of New York

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,909 (in-state); $13,059 (out-of-state)

This ABA-approved program based out of Monroe CC’s Rochester campus is one of the best-quality and most affordable options in northern New York for those with prior education who want to make a career change or refocus an existing legal career to become a paralegal.

Being admitted requires at least an associate’s degree, preferably a bachelor’s degree, in any subject. This 33-credit program can be completed in as few as 50 weeks and includes a three-credit internship.

Nassau Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $10,496 (in-state), $20,232 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,236 (in-state), $10,104 (out-of-state)

Nassau CC offers two ABA-approved programs from its Garden City campus, offering both quality and affordability.

The AAS program is open to anyone who has a high school/equivalency diploma. This 64-credit program can be completed in two years. The nine-month 24-credit certificate program is for those who already have at least an associate’s degree and who want to earn a competitive credential for the paralegal field.

Both programs include the option for a three-credit practicum: supervised experience in a law firm or law-related institution.

Nazareth College

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $133,296

NC’s legal studies major is one of the only interdisciplinary self-standing programs of its kind in the nation offered at a small liberal arts college.

Those majoring in legal studies can choose among five areas of specialization: nonprofit management and advocacy, business and administration, law, criminal justice, and public policy, politics and government. It takes four years in total to graduate from this 124-credit program.

The minor is 21 credits and can be added on to any four-year undergraduate degree program.

Students in the minor and major programs have the opportunity to complete a legal studies internship consisting of 120 hours of real-world legal-field experience in Rochester or the wider area. To apply for enrollment at this school you need a high school diploma or equivalent. NC does not require standardized test scores like the SAT or ACT.

New York Career Institute

  • AOS- Paralegal Studies
  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

New York City College of Technology

AAS in Legal Assistant Studies – Campus

BS in Legal Assistant Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $13,060 (city resident), 34,800 (out-of-city/state); BS: $26,120 (city resident), $69,600 (out-of-city/state)

New York City College of Technology has some of the most affordable paralegal programs in the NYC metro area, which are both ABA-accredited to boot.

The AAS program is 60 credits and can be completed in two years, while the BS program is 120 credits and can be completed in four years. Both programs include a four-credit internship that can take place at law offices, corporations, and judicial and administrative agencies. Classes are offered days, evenings, and weekends from the school’s Brooklyn campus.

To apply to the AAS program you need a high school diploma or a minimum score of 2700 on the High School Equivalency (GED), TASC, HSET exam. To apply to the BS program you need a high school diploma or a minimum score of 2750 on the High School Equivalency (GED), TASC, HSET exam.

Pace University

Paralegal Certificate Program – Online and hybrid

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,995

This nationally-acclaimed program is designed by paralegals for paralegals with input from judges and lawyers.

As a continuing education program you can gain continuing legal education (CLE) credits to apply towards renewing an optional national paralegal certification, or you can complete this one-year program to add an extra credential to your list of qualifications. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply.

While this program is available fully online, you can elect for a hybrid format, which would include both online courses and on-campus courses at PU’s campuses in midtown Manhattan and White Plains. You also have the option to complete a paralegal specialist course in one of 20 different areas, including everything from bankruptcy and business law to immigration and healthcare.

Plaza College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $30,400 ; Certificate: $12,450

Located in Forest Hills in the Queens borough, the AAS in Paralegal Studies at Plaza will prepare you to be a leader in the local legal field.

The 60-credit AAS program can be completed in two years, while the 30-credit certificate program can be completed in one year. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to either program. You can apply the credits as part of the certificate program towards the AAS if you decide to continue your studies.

Queens College

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,945

We’re featuring this high-quality ABA-approved program because it also happens to be one of the most affordable post-degree paralegal certificates in the NYC metro area.

This non-credit certificate may fulfill continuing education requirements for those with an optional national certification. You can also earn this certificate to bolster your professional qualifications.

Anyone who has at least 60 credits of college-level coursework can apply to this program, making it ideal for career changers or legal professionals who already have an academic background in another subject but who want to refocus on a paralegal career. The program is comprised of 12 paralegal courses. Completion time varies between as little as one semester (accelerated day program) to eight months (weekend program) and even more slowly on a one-class-per-semester basis.

Students may have the option to participate in one of QC’s limited paralegal internships at a public agency or private law firm. The internship schedule is either a total of 168 hours part-time, or 24 days for seven hours each. You’ll also have the option to prepare to take the New York State Notary Public Exam.

Rockland Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $9,630 (in-state), $18,490 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,815 (in-state), $9,245 (out-of-state)

From RCC’s Suffern campus, prospective paralegals from this school have gone on to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

The 63-credit AAS program can be completed in two years. This school evaluates applications from all types of applicants – even making rare exceptions for those who have not yet earned a high school diploma or GED.

The 30-credit certificate program can be completed in one year. Anyone who already has an AA/AS degree can apply to this program, making it a perfect fit for those who have already completed their education and want to become well-versed in the paralegal field.

Schenectady County Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $8,736 (in-state); $16,176 (out-of-state)

With a great affordability-to-quality ratio, this ABA-approved program’s curriculum is specifically designed to prepare graduates for non-secretarial paralegal work. You are trained to be an active participant in the legal process; not someone who answers the phone and schedules meetings.

This two-year 62-credit program includes 21 credits of core paralegal courses. Classes are offered from SCCC’s Schenectady campus. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to this school.

St. John Fisher College

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $132,240

Boasting a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, SJFC offers one of the Rochester area’s few four-year programs in this field. This major is comprised of 12 courses – eight required and four electives – that total 36 credits.

This includes an internship to give you real-world experience in a setting such as a law firm, political consulting firm, DA or public defender’s offices, or with federal or state judges.

Students pursuing any four-year degree at SJFC can tack on 18 credits for a legal studies minor.

Students majoring in legal studies have the option to enroll in the Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP) that results in a law degree after six years total.

Classes are offered from SJFC’s Rochester campus. To apply for admission you must have a high school diploma or GED, score well on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, and submit a counselor/teacher recommendation.

St. John’s University

AS in Legal Studies – Campus

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $77,260; BS: $154,520

SJU offers these ABA-approved programs in two convenient campus locations, and is the only university with a presence on Staten Island.

The two-year AS program is made up of 60 credits, including 21 credits of core paralegal courses and six credits from paralegal elective courses.

The BS program totals 126 credits and can be completed in four years, or through an accelerated three-year program. SJU also has several combination degree programs that can be completed in tandem with the BS Legal Studies program, including sociology, government and politics, and law.

Both AS and BS programs provide the opportunity for an internship experience. There are also opportunities to publish articles in the school’s Legal Apprentice journal as well as participate on a mock trial team.

The two and four-year programs are offered from SJU’s campuses in Queens and Staten Island. The accelerated three-year program is offered from the Staten Island campus.

In 2016 the average student admitted to SJU met the following qualifications: SAT score – 1156 out of 1600, ACT score – 25, GPA – 3.5.

Suffolk County Community College of the State University of New York

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $11,000 (in-state), $20,540 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,390 (in-state), $8,780 (out-of-state)

Suffolk County CC has it all: two great locations, a high affordability-to-quality ratio, and a convenient class schedule.

The 64-credit AAS program can be completed in two years and is open to anyone who meets SCCC’s basic entrance requirements: strong reading/writing skills and a combined 1000 score on the SAT or 21 score on the ACT.

The 33-credit certificate program can be completed in one year. To be admitted you must already have an AA or AS degree, and preferably a bachelor’s degree. This program is a good fit if you’re a career changer who completed your education in a different subject, and now want to enhance your qualifications in the paralegal field.

Both programs include the opportunity for a paralegal internship at various Suffolk County government departments, private law offices, and business legal departments. Classes for both programs are offered evenings and during the day from SCCC’s Ammerman campus in Selden and its Grant campus in Brentwood.

Sullivan County Community College (SUNY)

Legal Office Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,066 (in-state); $10,224 (out-of-state)

The one-year 33-credit program though Sullivan County CC is perfect for anyone who wants to demonstrate concrete skills in a competitive job market. Classes are offered from SCCC’s Loch Sheldrake campus. Admission is open to anyone who meets SCCC’s basic entrance requirements.

Technical Career Institutes

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents

Tompkins Cortland Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Online

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $11,664 (in-state), $21,844 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,832 (in-state), $10,922 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Tompkins Cortland CC because it’s affordable online programs is also very convenient and offers tremendous flexibility.

The 63-credit two-year AAS program is for students who want to develop a marketable academic credential in the paralegal field. To apply to this program you must arrange to have your high school or GED transcripts sent to TCCC.

To be admitted to the one-year 32-credit certificate program you must already have a bachelor’s degree in any field. This makes this program a perfect choice for those changing careers.

Both programs are offered online only, and include a two-credit internship that gives you real-world marketable skills. If you already have work experience in a law office you may be able to earn academic credit for this.

Touro College – NY School of Career and Applied Studies

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $33,760

The 63-credit two-year program through Touro College is an exceptional program in its own rite. It includes the option for an internship in an actual legal setting such as a law office, government clerk’s offices, public defenders units, prosecutors’ offices, and title companies.

To apply to this school you need to submit high school or GED transcripts. Scoring well on exams like the SAT or ACT can exempt you from certain prerequisites. Classes are offered from NYSCAS’s 23rd Street campus in Manhattan.

Wagner College

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – Online

Employment Law Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate: Certificate – $1,289; Advanced Certificate – $1,800; Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – $645; Employment Law Certificate – $729

Wagner College offers a wide range of convenient online programs, as well as delivery options through the Staten Island campus. The 13 options for specialized training are designed for paralegals who want to work on everything from personal injury to legal nurse consulting.

The following are just four examples of the 13 total options available, all offered through WC’s partner institution, the Center for Legal Studies:

  • Paralegal Certificate – 14 weeks, no prerequisites
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate – 14 weeks, requires a Paralegal Certificate
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – 7 weeks, no prerequisites
  • Employment Law Certificate – 6 weeks, no prerequisites

These non-credit programs are arranged through WC’s Department of Lifelong Learning and are open to anyone who meets program prerequisites. Completing these courses will give you marketable credentials and can also fulfill continuing legal education (CLE) credit requirements to maintain national certification.

Westchester Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $9,446 (in-state), $24,426 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,852 (in-state), $12,342 (out-of-state)

Westchester CC offers one of the best values in the Valhalla area. Both of its ABA-approved programs are top-notch.

The 60-credit AAS can be completed in two years and provides a strong academic qualification you can carry with you the rest of your life. To apply for admission you’ll need your high school transcripts or GED and must complete a placement test if you don’t happen to have a 2.0 GPA from college-level English and math courses.

The 30-credit certificate can be completed in as few as two semesters, and up to three years if you decide to study on a part-time basis. To enroll in this program you need to have completed at least 60 college credits.

Students enrolled in both programs have the option to participate in a three-credit paralegal internship. This involves eight hours of work per week in the legal industry under the supervision of a faculty member.

North Carolina

We know there’s no shortage of opportunities for legal support staff in large metro areas, but in North Carolina paralegals also have a strong presence in small town firms and court systems. In fact, in 2016 the US Department of Labor reported that rural Piedmont employs the highest number of paralegals of all non-metro areas in the nation.

Maybe you’re looking to advance in your position with the District Attorney in Mecklenburg County, or the Wake County Public Defender’s office in Raleigh, or one of the big firms in a downtown skyscraper… Then again, maybe you’re just wrapping up high school and have your sights set on landing your first job with one of these major players in North Carolina’s legal system… Maybe you’ve been grinding along in some other field for the past few years and now you’re looking to become a paralegal to finally get the respect and pay you know you deserve.

The profile of the average paralegal student can be very different, but they’re all faced with a common set of questions. The biggest one being: how can I find a quality program, and how do I know if it’s right for my particular situation?

We’ve got you covered. We put together a comprehensive list of the best paralegal programs in the state: Entry level career diplomas and associate’s degrees for those just getting started, and bachelor’s degrees and post-degree certificates for those looking to change careers or advance. All of our picks are housed in accredited schools, and some have even made the cut to earn approval from the American Bar Association. And whether they offer a program completely on-campus, completely online, or through a combination of online and on-campus courses, all of them have a campus location somewhere in North Carolina.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Family Law Certificate – Campus

Wills and Estates Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,016 (in-state), $17,304 (out-of-state); Certificate programs: $1,371 (in-state), $4,635 (out-of-state)

Caldwell CC got our attention for offering affordable options in paralegal studies.

Both certificate programs offer a series of courses taken straight from the AAS program and each can be completed in just eight months. The family law certificate is 14 credits while the wills and estates certificate is 17. Credits from both programs can be applied towards the AAS program if you decide to go back for your degree.

The AAS program is 70 credits and can be completed in two years – five semesters including a summer session after the first year.

Courses for all these programs are offered days and evenings from CCCTI’s Caldwell campus in Hudson, and some courses may also be available online. To apply for admission to this school you need a high school diploma/GED and sign up for an entrance examination or SAT/ACT testing.

Cape Fear Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Diploma in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Civil Litigation Certificate – Campus

Real Property Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,496 (in-state), $17,784 (out-of-state); Diploma: $2,964 (in-state), $10,452 (out-of-state), Certificates: $1,368 (in-state), $4,824 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Cape Fear CC because it provides competitive options for aspiring paralegals from all backgrounds in the Cape Fear area.

The diploma and certificate programs feature selected courses taken straight from the AAS program. Credits you earn pursuing these programs can be applied to the AAS, or even mutually among the diploma and certificate programs.

The 75-credit AAS program can be completed in two years, with five semesters in total including a summer semester after your first year. The 39-credit diploma program can be completed in one year, totaling three semesters including a summer session. The 18-credit certificate programs can be completed on a part-time basis over the course of one year – three semesters including a summer session – with two classes (six credits) per semester.

Admission is open to anyone who meets CFCC’s basic entrance requirements. The school has campus locations in Wilmington, Castle Hayne, Burgaw, and Hampstead.

Carteret Community College

Paralegal Technology Associate’s Degree – Campus and some online

Paralegal Diploma (post-bac) – Campus and some online

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate’s degree: $5,694 (in-state), $19,518 (out-of-state); Diploma: $2,847 (in-state), $9,759 (out-of-state)

Carteret CC offers two competitive programs that have earned the stamp of approval from the American Bar Association. Courses are offered from the school’s Morehead City campus, with many also being offered in an online format.

The AAS program is 67 credits and can be completed in two years over five semesters, including a summer session after your first academic year. This program is open to anyone who meets CCC’s entrance requirements. You may need to take a placement test before signing up for classes if you’re not found to be exempt.

The diploma program is 36 credits and can be completed in one year as a three-semester program, including summer. It is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, and therefore classes focus on core paralegal topics. This program is designed for career changers and other legal professionals looking to prepare for the paralegal profession.

Central Carolina Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some hybrid

Paralegal Technology Diploma (post-associate) – Campus and some hybrid

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,088 (in-state), $17,376 (out-of-state); Diploma: $3,241 (in-state), $11,113 (out-of-state)

Central Carolina CC offers options for paralegals from different educational backgrounds, and both programs have a high job placement rate for new graduates.

The AAS is a five-semester program taken over two years, including a summer semester after your first year. It is offered from the Lee main campus in Sanford during the day with some classes also offered in the evening.

The diploma program can be completed in 12 months over fall, spring, and summer semesters. To apply to this program you need at least an associate’s degree in any field, making this an ideal option for those returning to school to earn a paralegal credential. Classes are offered from the Lee main campus during the day, and nights on the Lee and Harnett main campus in Lillington. Some classes for both programs may be offered in hybrid format online.

Central Piedmont Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus, hybrid, and some online

Diploma in Paralegal Technology (post-bac) – Campus, hybrid, and some online

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,584 (in-state), $17,872; Diploma: $3,102 (in-state), $10,000 (out-of-state)

CPCC offers one of the best-quality and most affordable paralegal programs in the state from a convenient campus location in Charlotte.

The AAS program is 72 credits in total and can be completed in five semesters, including one summer semester. To apply to this program you must meet certain English and mathematics prerequisites and CPCC’s general admissions requirements.

The 41-credit diploma program is designed for those who’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree in any field who want to hone their paralegal credentials. The program runs fall, spring, and summer semesters and can be completed in 12 months.

Graduates of both programs are prepared to sit for the NC Certified Paralegal Exam. You have the option of completing all your courses on CPCC’s Charlotte campus. You can also complete non-core paralegal courses online and some core paralegal courses in a hybrid classroom-online format. However you must complete at least 10 credits of core courses in a traditional classroom setting.

Coastal Carolina Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Technology Diploma – Campus

Paralegal Certificates – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate:
  • AAS – $4,924 (in-state), $17,212 (out-of-state)
  • Diploma – $1,287 (in-state), $4,503 (out-of-state)
  • Corporate Law Certificate – $1,219 (in-state), $4,239 (out-of-state)
  • Litigation Certificate – $1,119 (in-state), $3,975 (out-of-state)
  • Legal Secretary Certificate – $1,334 (in-state), $4,762 (out-of-state)
  • Real Property Certificate – $1,359 (in-state), $4,767 (out-of-state)

Coastal offers great options for aspiring paralegals who are ready to invest anywhere between two semesters and two years in their education. Admission applications for any of these programs can be submitted by anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

Classes for all programs are offered from CCCC’s Jacksonville campus. Certificate programs range from two to three semesters in length. The diploma program is three semesters – fall, spring, and summer – and totals 43 credits. The AAS program is 75 credits spread over five semesters (2 years). The AAS program contains most of the courses found in the other programs. You can apply courses taken in other programs through Coastal toward fulfilling requirements for these certificates, the diploma, or the AAS.

CCCC offers these four paralegal certificates:

  • Corporate Law Legal Assistant Certificate – Fall, spring, and summer semester; 16 credits
  • Litigation Legal Assistant Certificate – Fall, spring, and summer semester; 12 credits
  • Legal Secretary Certificate – Fall and spring semester; 18 credits
  • Real Property Legal Assistant Certificate – Fall, spring, and summer semester; 18 credits

Davidson County Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Civil Litigation Certificate – Campus

Paralegal Real Estate Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,176 (in-state), $17,464 (out-of-state); Certificates: $1,368 (in-state), $4,824 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this Lexington-based school because it accommodates prospective paralegals with different career goals and a different amount of time and money to invest in preparing for a career. To apply to any program you need a high school diploma or GED.

The 64-credit AAS program is four semesters and can be completed in two years. Both certificate programs are 18 credits and can be completed in two semesters over eight months. The classes you complete as part of the certificate program can be applied to the AAS if you choose to continue your studies.

Duke University

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus and online

Paralegal Specialist Certificates (post-associate/certificate) – Online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Paralegal Certificate: $5,395 (campus), $6,995 (online); Specialist Certificates: $2,395 each

Duke’s paralegal certificate programs offer a convenient way to develop paralegal skills, all from a school that has a great reputation. These non-credit programs are offered through Duke’s Continuing Studies department. They can fulfill continuing education requirements for national paralegal certificates and also serve as stand-alone credentials.

The paralegal certificate is offered from the school’s Durham campus or can be taken completely online. You’ll have up to one year to complete the online program at your own pace. The six-month campus-based program is offered during the evenings and weekends, and there is also an option to take a seven-week intensive summer program.

There are 22 specialist certificates that are each comprised of four courses that can be completed in up to six months at your own pace online. Specialty subject areas include everything from administrative and bankruptcy law to sports law, wills, and workers’ compensation. To qualify for entry into this program you need one of the following:

  • Certificate in paralegal studies
  • Associate’s degree or higher in paralegal studies
  • Three years of paralegal work experience plus at least an associate’s degree in any field

Durham Tech

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and partially online

Paralegal Technology Diploma – Campus and partially online

Bankruptcy Law Paralegal Certificate – Campus and partially online

Business Law Paralegal Certificate – Campus and partially online

Civil Litigation Paralegal Certificate – Campus and partially online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $3,680 (in-state), $12,776 (out-of-state); Diploma: $3,317 (in-state), $11,189 (out-of-state); Certificates: $1,198 (in-state), $3,886 (out-of-state)

Durham Technical offers some serious variety when it comes to paralegal education.

The AAS program can be completed in two years over five semesters and include a summer term after your first year. Graduating from the AAS program makes you eligible to sit for the NC State Bar Paralegal Certification Exam.

The diploma program can be completed in 12 months over four semesters including one summer term. The certificate programs – bankruptcy law, business law, and civil litigation – can be completed in eight months each and average 15 credits. The credits you earn for the diploma or any of the certificates can be applied towards other DTCC paralegal certificates, the diploma, and the AAS.

Classes are offered from DTCC’s Durham campus during the days and evenings. Some individual classes are also offered fully online, however most core courses are campus-based.

All programs are open to anyone who meets the school’s basic admissions requirements. Depending on your high school or GED transcripts you may need to take math and/or English placement tests to demonstrate basic proficiencies in these subjects.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Diploma (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,056 (in-state), $17,344 (out-of-state); Diploma – $2,528 (in-state), $8,672 (out-of-state)

Fayetteville Technical offers top-quality and affordable ABA-approved programs from FTCC’s conveniently located Fayetteville campus.

To enroll in the 67-credit AAS program you need a high school diploma or GED. You can complete this program over two years (five semesters) including a summer session after your first year.

The 47-credit diploma program can be completed in three semesters including a summer session. This program is designed for career changers and existing paralegals who have already completed their education and are looking to focus on the subject of paralegal technology. To be eligible for admission you must already have a bachelor’s degree in any field.

Both programs include the opportunity for a two-credit work-based learning project where you can gain on-the-job experience as a paralegal.

Forsyth Technical Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Technology Diploma (post-associate) – Campus

Paralegal Technology Legal Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $4,112 (in-state), $13,676 (out-of-state); Diploma: $2,056 (in-state), $6,838 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,028 (in-state), $3,419 (out-of-state)

Forsyth Technical combines a great location with supportive faculty members and a successful graduate class. Classes are offered from FTCC’s campus in Winston-Salem.

The 64-credit AAS program can be completed in a five-semester, two-year program that includes a summer semester sandwiched in the middle. This includes up to three credits of work-based learning where you can apply what you’ve learned in a real-life field setting. This program is open to anyone who meets FTCC’s general admission requirements.

The 39-credit diploma program can be completed over three semesters – fall, spring, and summer – and is open to anyone who has already completed a two-year degree program in any field.

Students who graduate from the AAS or diploma programs are eligible to sit for the NC Paralegal Certification Exam. The AAS is offered during days and evenings.

The 15-credit legal certificate program can be completed in one semester and is open to anyone who meets FTCC’s basic admissions requirements. The credits you earn as part of this program can be applied to the diploma or AAS programs.

Gaston College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus and some online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,124 (in-state), $17,416 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,568 (in-state), $5,024 (out-of-state)

Gaston College offers two great options for prospective paralegals. The AAS is fully transferable to several four-year universities in the area, while classes for the certificate program can be applied to the AAS if you decide to commit to earning the full degree.

Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED can apply to either of these programs. The 18-credit certificate program can be completed on a part-time basis in 16 months. It is an abridged version of the two-year 71-credit AAS program, which also includes the opportunity for on-the-job work-based learning in a paralegal setting.

GC has campus locations in Dallas, Lincolnton, and Belmont. Many classes are offered traditionally on campus as well as online, however for the AAS program you must complete at least 10 credits of your core courses in the classroom.

Guilford College

  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Guilford Technical Community College

AAS in Paralegal Techology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $4,656 (in-state), $14,336 (out-of-state)

Offering one of the best paralegal programs in Jamestown, GTCC has a great campus location where you can learn the essentials of the trade. To help you transition to the professional world, this program offers the option to complete a work-based learning experience.

This two-year 64-credit program can be completed in five semesters, including a summer session after the first year. Classes are offered on campus and GTCC has an open admissions process. If you would benefit from further education you can apply to this school, regardless of your academic background.

Gwinnett College & Institute

Diploma in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $16,455

GCI offers this diploma from its ideally located Raleigh campus as a non-credit option. This means anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to this program and earn a stand-alone diploma. This program also fulfills continuing education requirements for optional national paralegal certifications.

You can graduate in just 15 months if you take day classes, or in 18 months if you take night classes. Graduates are qualified to take the paralegal certification examination offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

GCI also offers other paralegal programs in Georgia.

Halifax Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

Certificate in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,128 (in-state), $17,416 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,496 (in-state), $4,952 (out-of-state)

Thanks to its open-door admissions policy, all you need to apply to HCC is motivation and a high school diploma/GED. You already have motivation if you’re considering becoming a paralegal, and this school offers two attractive options from its Weldon campus, with many classes also offered online.

The 18-credit certificate program can be completed in two semesters. If you continue with your studies you can apply the classes you complete in the certificate program towards the AAS.

The AAS can be completed in three years and totals 71 credits. Graduating from the AAS program makes you eligible to sit for the NC Certified Paralegal Exam.

Johnston Community College

Associate Degree in Paralegal Technology – Classroom and online

General Law Office Certificate (post-associate) – Classroom and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate: $5,058 (in-state), $17,346 ; Certificate: $1,523 (in-state), $4,979 (out-of-state)

JCC provides convenient, flexible, and attractive options for those coming out of high school as well as those pursuing a new career.

Anyone with a high school diploma can apply to the associate’s degree program. It can be completed in two years and totals 66 credits.

The 18-credit certificate program is designed for students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field, and can be completed in two semesters. This makes it ideal for career changers in the legal field or other fields who already completed their education and want to shift focus to become a paralegal.

Both these paralegal programs are approved by the NC State Bar and meet the qualifications to sit for the NC Certified Paralegal Exam. Classes for both programs are offered from JCC’s Smithfield campus days and evenings. Though they are also offered entirely online, to be eligible for the NC Certified Paralegal Exam you must be present in the classroom for at least 10 credits of core courses.

King’s College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $28,720

With the option to graduate in 16 months for full-time students, King’s College offers one of the fastest AAS degree programs in paralegal studies around from a great campus location near Charlotte’s Uptown. All you need to apply is a high school diploma or GED.

This 63-credit four-semester program also includes an externship in the greater Charlotte metro area, a great way to develop contacts in the legal world and gain valuable hands-on experience.

Meredith College

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $35,816

We’re featuring this school because it has the only ABA-approved paralegal program in the Triangle. This post-bac program is perfect for those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in any subject and want to gain a specific paralegal credential. MC boasts that 90 percent of its graduates hold jobs in the legal field within half a year.

In just one year you can gain this competitive credential. As a student in this program you can focus on three areas of paralegal studies: civil litigation, business organization, and real estate.

As part of this program you can participate in a pro-bono clinic where you assist pre-screened clients with legal issues relating to Social Security, Medicaid, employee rights, subsidized housing, and more. If you want more field experience than you can get from, the clinic you also have the option to participate in a 161-hour internship.

Classes are offered from MC’s convenient campus location in Raleigh.

Methodist University

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

MU offers one of the few ABA-approved minors in legal studies in the entire nation. This 21-credit campus-based minor can be added on to any four-year degree program offered by the university, and is open to anyone who meets MU’s basic admission requirements.

This program will prepare you to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) exam for national paralegal certification. It also includes a 115-hour paralegal internship that takes place in the Fayetteville area, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in the legal field.

Miller-Motte College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Hybrid

  • Licensed by the North Carolina Community College System
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $30,860

MMC offers one of the most convenient paralegal AAS programs around. You can complete this hybrid program in just seven quarters by taking a portion of your classes online, and another portion of your classes from MMC’s Raleigh or Fayetteville campuses.

This AAS program is 92 credits in total, including a four-credit 100-hour externship in your local community. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to this program.

Pitt Community College

Associate Degree in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Diploma (post-bac) – Campus and some online

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate Degree: $3,858 (in-state), $13,074 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,929 (in-state), $6,537 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this program because of its high quality and affordability scores, open to aspiring paralegals from different backgrounds.

The associate’s degree program is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. This 75-credit program can be completed in five semesters, including a summer term after your first year. The 40-credit diploma program is open to anyone who already has a bachelor’s degree in any field, making this perfect for career changers or legal professionals wanting to focus on paralegal studies.

Both programs are approved by the ABA and the NC State Bar. Classes are offered from PCC’s Winterville campus near Greenville. Students can participate in day and evening classes, while some general education courses are also offered online. Both programs include the option to earn credits through work experience as a paralegal.

South College – Asheville

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all three programs
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $50,000; Certificate: $21,200; BS: $87,350

There’s no other place in North Carolina where you can find so many ABA-approved options for paralegal education, all offered from SC’s convenient Asheville campus.

To be admitted to any of the degree programs you need a high school diploma or GED. You may also need to pass an entrance exam, the SAT or the ACT.

The AAS program can be completed in two years. It is designed for prospective paralegals who plan to go directly into the workforce upon graduation. The 120-credit BS program can be completed in four years and results in one of the most respected education credentials in the field.

The certificate program can be completed in one year and is open to students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field.

South Piedmont Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Diploma – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus and some online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $3,746 (in-state), $12,926 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,864 (in-state), $5,320 (out-of-state); Diploma: $3,831 (in-state), $10,935 (out-of-state),

South Piedmont CC makes our list because it offers three options that anyone with a high school diploma or GED can choose from.

The 18-credit certificate program can be completed in 32 weeks, the 37-credit diploma program can be completed in 48 weeks, and the 64-credit AAS program can be completed in two years. All credits you earn in these programs are inter-transferable within SPCC, so if you want to eventually enroll in the AAS program you’ll already be well on your way if you earn a diploma or certificate first.

SPCC has campus locations in Polkton, Wadesboro, and at two locations in Monroe. Classes are offered on campus, with select classes also available online.

South University

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and partially online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $45,245 (campus), $35,485 (online)

We’re featuring this 92-credit program because you can’t beat the convenience of a high-quality paralegal curriculum offered from a campus location in High Point during evenings and weekends, not to mention that some classes are delivered online.

As you near completion you have the opportunity to complete a four-credit capstone externship experience. This will help you hit the ground running as soon as you graduate.

You can earn your degree in as little as 19 months. To apply for admission you need a high school diploma and to either score well on a test like the SAT or ACT, or pass SU’s admissions examination.

Southwestern Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $4,426 (in-state); $15,164 (out-of-state)

The 71-credit AAS program through Southwestern CC stands out for three reasons: its quality, its affordability, and the fact that graduates are eligible to take the Paralegal Certification Exam administered by the NC State Bar.

You can graduate in as little as two years, completing five semesters including a summer term, after your first year. During your last semester you’ll participate in a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in the legal industry.

You can apply to this program if you have a high school diploma or GED. Classes are offered from SCC’s Sylva campus.

Surry Community College

Associate Degree in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate: $5,080 (in-state), $17,368 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,382 (in-state), $4,646 (out-of-state)

The two-year associate’s degree program through Surry CC can be completed in four semesters and totals 68 credits. It includes the option for a work-based learning segment where you can gain supervised experience in the legal field. The 17-credit certificate can be completed in two semesters.

Graduates of either program are qualified to sit for the NC Paralegal Certification Exam. To apply, you need a high school diploma or GED.

Vance-Granville Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Certificate – Campus and some online

Paralegal Technology Diploma – Campus and some online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $3,888 (in-state), $13,104 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,157 (in-state), $3,855 (out-of-state); Diploma: $2,901 (in-state), $9,813 (out-of-state)

Vance-Granville CC offers three great options for aspiring paralegals. All programs are open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. Classes are offered from VGCC’s Henderson campus and some classes are also offered online.

The AAS program totals 65 credits and can be completed in two years over five semesters, including a summer term after your first year. It includes the option to earn up to six credits from work-based learning. This involves supervised experience in the legal field with a college-approved employer. Graduates of the AAS program are qualified to sit for the NC Paralegal Certification Exam sponsored by the state bar.

The diploma and certificate programs are both abridged versions of the AAS, and you can apply the credits you earn in these programs towards the AAS if you continue your studies later. The certificate program totals 14 credits and can be completed in two semesters. The 36-credit diploma program can be completed in three semesters including a summer term where you can earn credit for work-based learning as a paralegal.

Western Piedmont Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Online with some campus-based courses

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $5,154 (in-state); $17,442 (out-of-state)

WPCC’s AAS in Paralegal Technology is available almost completely online, and even qualifies you to sit for the NC Paralegal Certification Exam through the state bar.

As a condition to sit for the exam, the state bar requires you to attend at least 10 credits of courses in a classroom on campus. You can do this from WPCC’s campus in Morgantown, however you can also do this online thanks to a simulcast that is transmitted over the web from the Morgantown campus. Most of the classes in this program are offered exclusively online.

The program itself totals 67 credits and can be completed in two years of full-time study. With its open-door admission policy, this school considers your application no matter your background as long as you are a high school graduate.

Wilson Community College

AAS in Paralegal Technology – Campus

Paralegal Diploma – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $5,104 (in-state), $17,432 (out-of-state); Diploma: $2,552 (in-state), $8,716 (out-of-state); Certificate: $1,516 (in-state), $4,972 (out-of-state)

WCC offers three competitive paralegal programs designed for those just getting started after high school, as well as career changers who have been working in the legal field, or some other field.

You can apply to the AAS and diploma programs if you have a high school diploma or GED. Classes are offered at the WCC campus in Wilson.

The 37-credit diploma program is an abridged version of the AAS, and you can apply the credits you earn in this program towards the AAS if you continue your studies later.

The 70-credit AAS can be completed in two years and includes a summer semester after your first year. As part of this program you also complete a work-based learning internship at a local law office in the area.

The 18-credit certificate program is designed for students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field. It can be completed in two semesters and enrollment starts every fall. In this program you can take your classes on-campus and online.

North Dakota

In 2016, the US Department of Labor reported that there were 410 paralegals employed in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and elsewhere in the state. If you’re just getting into the field, whether right out of high school or making a career change, that means 410 people who have more marketable work experience than you… Even if you’ve been working as a paralegal for years, earning a degree or certificate in paralegal studies is one of the best ways you can set yourself apart from the crowd and open up doors that could lead to a promotion.

Need some inspiration? You don’t need to look any further than North Dakota’s own Leslie Oliver, a name you might recognize from her 2013 run for bench seat on the North Dakota Supreme Court. Today she works as general counsel at the Office of the Governor, but she got her start in this field as a paralegal providing legal assistance to the elderly. It wasn’t until she was in her 30s that Oliver decided to go back to school and further her education, ultimately graduating with a JD. From here she worked her way up as a law clerk for a state supreme court justice, then in private practice with a growing law firm, before finally finding her niche in the public sector.

Your career is in your hands, but we’re here to help with some key information on the one accredited paralegal program with a campus location in North Dakota.

Rasmussen College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and/or online

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus and/or online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate: AAS – $28,640; Certificate – $18,485

Rasmussen offers two quality programs designed for aspiring paralegals at different stages. Both programs are conveniently offered from Rasmussen’s Fargo campus, and are also available completely online.

The 94-credit AAS program is open to anyone who meets Rasmussen’s basic admission requirements and can be completed in as little as 18 months. The post-associate’s certificate program is open to anyone who already has an associate’s or higher degree in any field. This makes it a logical choice if you’ve already earned a degree and are going back to school to get the qualifications you need to become a paralegal. This 61-credit program can be completed in just one year.

As you near the end of either of these two programs you’ll have the option to complete a five-credit capstone project or internship. The capstone project is delivered as a computer simulation of everyday experiences paralegals encounter on the job. If the simulated experience doesn’t do it for you, the 130-hour internship will give you some real world experience… in the real world, whether at a law firm or in a corporate legal department.

Graduates of either program would be eligible to take the national paralegal certification exam offered through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Turtle Mountain Community College

  • AAS-Tribal Advocate/Paralegal
  • Certificate-Tribal Advocate/Paralegal
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Ohio

Some people are always behind. They hit the snooze button, eventually throw on some disheveled clothes, speed to work through the school zone, end up late for work anyway, and will always find something to complain about. They will never experience the sound of polished shoes echoing off marble walls and high ceilings.

But you can, because right now you’re taking steps to advance your career.

So what does it take to work in the offices of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease in Cincinnati’s Great American Tower or BakerHostetler in Cleveland’s Key Tower?

If you want to go beyond the minimum requirements and stack the odds in your favor, you’re going to need to find a high quality program that offers a certificate of two-year degree in paralegal studies.

We’ve assembled the following list to help you do just that. The schools we feature offer paralegal programs designed for aspiring professionals from all walks of life. Some are designed for career changers who already have a four-year degree and are looking to gain an upper-level certificate. Others are designed for prospective paralegals who have never attended college before.

Whatever your situation is, you’ll find a range of quality options in Ohio.

American National University

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $39,672; Certificate: $13,229

American National University features two paralegal programs, both of which have the ABA-stamp of quality and both are offered at ANU’s conveniently located Dayton-area campus in Kettering.

The AAS can be completed in as little as 80 weeks and is open to anyone who wants to gain a competitive academic foundation.

The certificate program can be completed in just 30 weeks. Students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field can apply to this program, a perfect fit for anyone who wants to bolster their degree with a specific paralegal credential.

Both programs prepare you to take the optional national paralegal certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Beckfield College

  • AAS – Paralegal Studies
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate- Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Bryant and Stratton College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

Legal Office Assistant Diploma – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $35,800; Diploma: $17,900

We’re featuring BSC because it provides convenient one and two-year options for aspiring paralegals.

You can graduate from the 60-credit AAS program in just two years. It includes 39 credits of core paralegal courses.

The diploma program is an abridged version of the AAS that can be completed in one year. You can count the credits you earn in this program – including 23 credits of core courses – towards the AAS if you decide to continue on to earn the degree.

You can apply to either program by making an appointment for an interview with an admissions representative; all you need is a high school diploma or GED. BSC offers these programs from its campus locations in Cleveland, Eastlake, Parma, and Akron, as well as fully online.

Capital University Law School

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

Legal Nurse Consulting – Online with a monthly campus class

Life Care Planner – 5 online modules and 1 campus-based module

  • ABA-approved – The Paralegal Certificate and Legal Nurse Consulting programs are both approved by the ABA; the Life Care Planner program is not
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Paralegal Certificate: $10,777; Legal Nurse Consulting: $8,060; Life Care Planner: $4,496

This school stands out nationally for featuring a life care planner program affiliated with an ABA-approved law school and major university. The paralegal certificate and legal nurse consulting programs both have the ABA quality stamp of approval.

The 27-credit paralegal certificate program is open to graduates who already have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field. It is offered over three semesters part-time during the evenings, or full-time over 14 weeks as a summer immersion program. All classes are offered from CULS’s Columbus campus.

The 11-credit 136-hour Life Care Planner program is designed for anyone in the medical field who regularly interacts with lawyers and those in the legal field, and those who want to gain a legal credential. It is offered in five online modules and one campus-based module at CULS’s Columbus campus. Upon completion you’re eligible to sit for the ICHCC’s Certified Life Care Planner examination.

The 20-credit Legal Nurse Consulting program consists of 10 one-month modules. You complete the modules online along with one weekend-long CULS campus-based class each month in Columbus. This program is designed for students who already have their RN license who want to gain further legal specialization.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Legal Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Business (AAB) – Online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $7,650 (in-state), 14,786 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,000

This school’s admissions process is encouraging for prospective paralegals from any background. The only qualifications you need to apply to either paralegal program are a high school diploma or GED, and a placement test that’s offered by the school, the ACT, or SAT.

The six-semester paralegal AAB program is 63 credits. Two of these semesters focus on a full-time cooperative education segment where you hone your paralegal skills under supervision in the field. You also complete a paralegal capstone project designed to develop targeted paralegal skills.

The six-semester 65-credit legal administrative assistant AAB program focuses on the clerical duties that are performed in a legal setting. It includes a capstone project and the option to complete up to two semesters of full-time legal assistant cooperative education in a field setting.

The two-semester 30-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAB. You can apply the credits you earn here towards the AAB if you continue studying. This program also includes a paralegal capstone project designed to develop targeted paralegal skills.

The certificate and paralegal AAB programs are offered from CSTCC’s campus. The school has two campus locations in Cincinnati and one each in Harrison and Middletown. The legal administrative assistant AAB is offered entirely online as well as from campus locations.

Clark State Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and some classes online

  • ABA-approved – The paralegal core courses at Sinclair Community College are ABA-approved; the non-core courses at Clark State CC are not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $9,963 (in-state), $18,811 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this program because it provides one of the most flexible options for earning an ABA-approved AAS degree in paralegal studies. It is open to anyone who meets the school’s general admissions requirements.

This program is offered as part of CSCC’s “start here, finish there” program and totals 65 credits. Within this AAS program there are 33 non-core credits in subjects like English and psychology. You can take all these non-paralegal courses from CSCC, and then finish the rest of your 32 core paralegal classes at Sinclair Community College.

CSCC has campus locations in Springfield, Beavercreek, and Bellefontaine. You can take courses at these locations as well as online. The core-paralegal classes at Sinclair Community College are only campus-based. SCC has locations in Dayton, Eaton, Englewood, Huber Heights, Mason, and Wright-Patterson AFB.

You can even enroll in both schools simultaneously and complete the AAS program in two years.

Columbus State Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies/Legal Assisting – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,616 (in-state), $16,860 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,301 (in-state), $11,740 (out-of-state)

This school’s ABA-approved paralegal programs combine quality with affordability, and that’s why they’ve made our list. CSCC has a special arrangement with Kent State University where you can transfer the paralegal AAS to KSU’s paralegal bachelor’s program and enter with junior status.

The AAS program is open to students who meet CSCC’s basic admissions requirements and takes two years to complete. The certificate program is open to anyone who has a bachelor’s degree in any subject and takes 16 months to complete. This makes the AAS program a good option for students coming from high school or those who don’t have prior college education, and the certificate program works well for career changers who have already completed a bachelor’s.

Both programs cover essential subjects in the legal field and include a two-credit practicum or internship at an office, agency, or business that provides legal services. CSCC has campus locations in Columbus and Delaware.

Cuyahoga Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $6,272 (in-district), $7,906 (in-state), $15,296 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,767 (in-state), $7,559 (out-of-state)

We like this school because its paralegal programs are affordable and also have the ABA-approved stamp of quality.

The AAS program is 61 credits and can be completed in four semesters over two years. The certificate is 29 credits and can be completed in three semesters over 32 weeks. Both programs include a one credit internship that involves 10 hours of work each week under the supervision of an attorney and/or paralegal.

CCCD has campus locations in Brunswick, Warrensvile Heights, Westlake, Parma, Parma Heights, Highland Hills, and multiple campuses in Cleveland. The AAB program is open to students who meet CCCD’s general admission requirements, while the certificate program is open to students who already have at least an associate’s degree in any field.

Eastern Gateway Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus-based with some online classes

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and some online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $6,790 (in-district), $7,210 (in-state), $8,890 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,774 (in-state), $7,650 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this program because it has competitive and affordable paralegal programs that are open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

The two-semester 34-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAB and takes one year to complete. If you choose the certificate program you can apply the credits you earn here towards the AAB program. The AAB program is more in-depth and comprised of 63 credits that can be completed in four semesters over two years.

The AAB program includes a two-credit practicum where you gain real-world experience in a legal setting under supervision. Classes are offered on campus, and many are also offered online. EGCC has campus locations in Steubenville and Youngstown.

Edison Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The AAB program is ABA-approved; the certificate program is not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate: AAB: $8,438 (in-state), $15,656 (out-of-state); Certificate: $5,223 (in-state), $10,144 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school because it offers high-quality affordable programs for everyone. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to the ABA-approved AAB program. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any field you are eligible to apply to the post-bac certificate program.

Both programs include the option for a one-credit internship program where you’ll gain on-the-job experience as a paralegal in the local community. The certificate program is 35 credits and can be completed in 32 weeks. The AAB program is 65 credits and can be completed in two years.

ESCC has campus locations in Piqua and Greenville. Many of the AAB’s non-core paralegal classes in subjects like English and mathematics are offered online as well as on campus. Your core paralegal courses are taken on campus.

Herzing University

AS/AAS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

BS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS/AAS: $25,580; BS: $51,160

We’re featuring this school because it is highly convenient and offers one of the state’s few four-year degrees in legal studies. All you need to apply to any program is a high school diploma or GED.

The AAS is designed for those who want to go directly into the professional world upon graduation. This holds true for the AS too, but with an AS your credits are more likely to transfer to a four-year school if you decide to continue your education later. Both programs can be completed in 20 months and involve 63 total credits.

The BS program is 126 credits and can be completed in 36 months.

The AS/AAS program includes the option for a four-credit paralegal internship, while the BS program requires students to complete a three-credit paralegal internship. The internships give you hands-on learning in the real world as a paralegal, a valuable experience in and of itself.

Classes are offered from HU’s campuses in Akron and Toledo. These programs are also offered fully online.

Graduates of the AS or BS programs are eligible to sit for the optional paralegal certification exam sponsored by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Kent State University

AAS in Legal Assisting – Campus

BA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Minor in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The BA, Minor, and Certificate programs are all ABA-approved; the AAS program is not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $20,024 (in-state), $36,752 (out-of-state); BA: $40,048 (in-state), $73,504 (out-of-state); Certificate: $10,012 (in-state), $18,376 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring KSU because it has something for everyone: an AAS or BA in paralegal studies open to anyone who meets the school’s basic admission requirements, a minor for anyone who is already admitted and pursuing a four-year degree in any field, and a certificate program for anyone who already has at least a bachelor’s degree in any field. The BA program is one of the few ABA-approved four-year programs of its kind in Ohio, while the certificate and minor programs are also ABA-approved.

The 65-credit AAS program can be completed in four semesters and includes a three-credit paralegal internship. The 120-credit BA program can be completed in eight semesters and includes two three-credit paralegal internships.

The paralegal minor is 30 credits and can be combined with any bachelor’s degree major. The certificate is 30 credits and can be completed in 30 weeks. Both programs include a three-credit paralegal internship.

The AAS program is offered from KSU’s East Liverpool and Trumbull (Warren) campuses. All other programs are offered from the KSU’s main campus in Kent.

Lake Erie College

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BS: $117,704

LEC has some of the highest academic standards in Ohio as demonstrated by its competitive admissions process. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA as demonstrated on their high school transcripts, four years of high school English, and three years of all other core subjects. You must also submit scores from the SAT, ACT, or other acceptable test, plus a 500-word essay.

The BS program can be completed in four years and totals 120 credits. This includes 51 credits of core legal studies classes, including a four-credit internship. To add a legal studies minor onto an existing four-year degree you must complete 22 credits of core coursework. All classes are offered from LEC’s Painesville campus.

Lakeland Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $6,632 (in-district), $8,330 (in-state), $18,410 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,315 (in-state), $9,204 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school because its paralegal programs go above and beyond to give you the realistic experience you need. All paralegal courses have a practical component, giving you an opportunity to take the theory you learn and apply it to practice. What’s more, both programs culminate with a three-credit paralegal internship in an actual legal field setting.

The 61-credit AAB program can be completed in four semesters and is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. The 28-credit certificate program can be completed in 32 weeks and is open to anyone who has at least 54 college credits. Classes for both programs are offered from LCC’s Kirtland campus.

Lakewood College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Online

Paralegal Studies Diploma – Online

Mediation and Paralegal Certificate – Online

Criminal Justice and Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $10,600; Diploma: $6,775; Mediation and Paralegal Certificate: $11,775; Criminal Justice and Paralegal Certificate: $11,775

We’re featuring LC because it offers four attractive options for aspiring paralegals, all of which are open to anyone who meets the school’s basic admissions requirements. You can’t beat this school’s convenience either – all programs are offered exclusively online.

The AAB program is 63 credits and can be completed in two years full-time, or longer part-time. The diploma program can be completed in nine months and is comprised of 18 course lessons.

The criminal justice and paralegal program can be completed in as few as 15 months and as much as 22.5 months. Totaling 32 lessons, it is a perfect program if you plan to work in the criminal justice field as a paralegal.

The mediation and paralegal certificate program can be completed in as few as 15 months and as much as 22.5 months. Totaling 34 lessons, it is perfect for paralegals who want to focus on dispute resolution and mediation.

Graduates of the AAB program are qualified to take the optional national paralegal certification examination offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). All other programs prepare you to pass the NALA exam.

Mount St. Joseph University

AA in Legal Studies – Campus

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Minor in Legal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – All programs except the minor are ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AA: $56,600; BA: $113,200; Certificate: $12,025

MSJU offers a full range of top-quality programs open to prospective paralegals from all backgrounds. The school considers your high school transcripts, demonstration of leadership, and standardized test scores when you apply to the AA and BA programs.

The two-year AA program includes 24 credits of core legal studies courses. The four-year BA program includes 42 credits of core legal studies courses. The 18-credit minor is available to any student of MSJU pursuing a four-year degree.

The 18-credit certificate program can be completed part-time in two years. To be eligible to apply to the certificate program you must have at least an associate’s degree in any field.

The AA, BA, and certificate programs each include a valuable three-credit internship experience where you gain first-hand knowledge from supervised work in the legal field. Classes are offered from MSJU’s campus in Cincinnati.

National College-Dayton

  • AAS- Paralegal Studies
  • Certificate- Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Northwest State Community College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,716 (in-state); $14,980 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school because it is one of the best and most affordable options for earning a paralegal associate’s degree in all of Northwest Ohio. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply.

This 60-credit program can be completed in four semesters. Classes are offered from the school’s campus in Archbold.

Ohio Business College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $24,060

This school provides two convenient campus locations where you can earn this degree: in Sheffield Village and Sandusky. All you need for an application is your high school diploma or GED.

You can graduate from this program in 27 months, during which time you’ll complete 96 quarter credits. The program culminates with an externship in the local legal field that will give you the chance to develop real-world competitive skills.

Rhodes State College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The AAB program is ABA-approved
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $10,252 (in-state), $19,223 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,966 (in-state), $9,932 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring the James A. Rhodes State College in Lima because it offers quality options for aspiring paralegals at different stages of their education.

The 65-credit ABA-approved AAB program can be completed in two years over four semesters and includes a three-credit practicum that will give you real-world experience as a paralegal. To apply to this program you’ll need a high school diploma or GED.

The 30-credit certificate program can be completed in 12 months over two semesters and includes a three-credit internship as part of the curriculum. To be eligible to apply to this program you need to have at least an associate’s degree in any field.

Shawnee State University

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Legal Assisting Technology – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $14,730 (in-state); $28,290 (out-of-state)

SSU’s paralegal program is special. It is not focused on legal assisting theory, but rather on practical how-to courses taught by judges and attorneys.

The 61-credit AAB program can be completed in two years. The program culminates with a two-credit 160-hour practicum where you work in the real world under the supervision and direction of a licensed attorney.

If you earn the AAB you also have the option to complete a select bachelor’s degree in two additional years: a social science BA program or a BS in business administration. These are part of special 2+2 programs at SSU where your legal assisting AAB will be counted as a concentration on your bachelor’s degree.

Classes are offered from SSU’s Portsmouth campus with flexible daytime and evening schedules.

Sinclair College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – The paralegal core courses at Sinclair Community College are ABA-approved; the non-core courses at Clark State Community College are not ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $6,892 (Montgomery County residents), $9,963 (in-state), $18,811 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,720 (in-state), $10,125 (out-of-state)

SCC provides one of the most flexible options for earning an ABA-approved AAS degree in paralegal studies, in addition to offering a competitive ABA-approved certificate program.

The 65-credit AAS can be completed entirely at SCC in as little as two years. It is comprised of 33 non-core credits in subjects like business math and psychology, and 32 credits of core paralegal classes. It is open to anyone who meets the school’s general admission requirements.

You also have the option of completing the non-core credits at Clark State Community College as part of its “start here, finish there” program. CSCC has campus locations in Springfield, Beavercreek, and Bellefontaine. You can take courses at these locations as well as online.

You would then complete your core paralegal courses at Sinclair Community College, all of which are campus-based. The AAS program culminates with a three-credit paralegal internship in the spring semester of your second year. You can enroll in both schools simultaneously and complete the AAS program in two years.

The 35-credit certificate program can be completed in as just 48 weeks. This is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field, making it perfect for career changers seeking to add a paralegal credential to their skills set. This program includes a three-credit paralegal internship that provides students with hands-on supervised experience in the legal field.

SCC offers classes from its campus locations in Dayton, Eaton, Englewood, Huber Heights, Mason, and Wright-Patterson AFB.

South University

AS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and fees – $45,245

You can’t beat the convenience of this program. It is offered from Cleveland’s Warrensville Heights suburb as well as fully online. All you need to apply is a high school diploma or GED.

This program is 92 quarter credits and can be completed in two years. It culminates with a four-credit paralegal externship that provides you with hands-on experience performing real paralegal job duties.

Stark State College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Legal Assisting – Campus

Certificate in Legal Assisting – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate: $7,372 (in-state), $13,588 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,686 (in-state), $6,782 (out-of-state)

SSC provides two high quality and affordable options designed for aspiring paralegals who have between one and two years to invest in their education. Both programs are open to anyone who has a high school diploma or GED.

The 62-credit AAB program can be completed in two years and includes a practicum that gives you real-life experience in the legal field. The 35-credit certificate program can be completed in one year. After earning the certificate, if you choose to continue studying you can apply your credits towards the AAB.

Classes are offered from SSC’s North Canton campus. Upon completion of either program you’ll be eligible to take the examination for optional national paralegal certification from NALS.

Stautzenberger College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Online

Paralegal Studies Diploma – Online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $10,500; Diploma: $15,500

The convenience of these two paralegal programs could not be more accommodating. Both are offered through SC’s two campuses in Brecksville and Maumee, however all classes are taken online.

Anyone who meets SC’s general admission requirements can apply for the 10-month diploma program, which totals 62 quarter credits. This includes a six-credit 180-hour paralegal externship.

To be admitted to the AAS program you must have completed the diploma program or the equivalent 54 quarter credits in a paralegal concentration. Once admitted you will complete 53.5 quarter credits of classes over the course of seven months.

University of Akron

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The UA has partnered with The Center for Legal Studies to offer a range of online certificates in the field of legal studies. These certificates are considered UA-issued credentials.

Some courses may count for continuing professional education credits. These credits can be used for renewal of optional national paralegal certifications. Anyone can apply for these certificates. The two advanced certificates require you to first complete the Paralegal Certificate:

  • Paralegal Certificate – $1,289, non-credit, 14 weeks
  • Personal Injury for Paralegals – $729, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Software Essentials for the Law Office – $729, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Victim Advocacy Certificate – $645, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – $645, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Employment Law Certificate – $729, 45 credits, seven weeks
  • Intellectual Property Law for Engineers – $645, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Legal Investigation Certificate – $645, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Legal Nurse Consulting Training – $895, 42 credits, seven weeks
  • Legal Secretary Certificate – $645, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Advanced Legal Research and Writing – $729, non-credit, seven weeks
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate – $1,800, up to 27 credits, 14 weeks

University of Cincinnati

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Minor in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – All programs except the minor are ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAB: $10,632 (in-state), $25,096 (out-of-state); BS: $21,264 (in-state) $50,192 (out-of-state); Certificate (post-associate): $7,326 (in-state), $17,259 (out-of-state); Certificate (post-bac): $7,326 (in-state), $17,259 (out-of-state)

Of all the schools in Ohio, this one provides some of the most ABA-approved options for paralegals from different backgrounds.

The two-year 63-credit AAB program and four-year 120-credit BS are open to anyone who meets the school’s general admission requirements. If you’re already admitted and enrolled in a bachelor’s program you can choose to add the 18-credit paralegal minor.

The 33-credit post-associate certificate can be completed in one year, as can the 33-credit post-bac certificate. Like their names imply, to be eligible for admission to these programs you already need to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any field. These programs are perfect for students who have already completed their education in a different field and want to return to school for a competitive paralegal credential.

All programs except the minor include a three-credit paralegal practicum that will give you hands-on experience in the legal field. All programs are campus-based.

The AAB and post-associate certificate are offered at UC’s Clermont and East campuses. The BS and minor are offered at UC’s Uptown Campus West. The post-bac certificate is offered at all three campuses.

University of Cincinnati-Clermont College

  • AAB- Paralegal Studies
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate- Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

University of Northwestern Ohio

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Legal Assisting – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $20,880

UNO makes our list because it offers an AAB program with convenient campus-based and online options that is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

The 108-credit program can be completed in six quarters. It culminates with a three-credit legal capstone project where you’ll have a chance to summarize and apply your newly acquired skills to real-world situations.

Classes are offered from UNO’s Lima campus as well as fully online.

University of Rio Grande

Applied Associate of Business (AAB) in Legal Office Assisting – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,999 (in-state); $13,009 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this school because it has one of the best options for aspiring paralegals in the region, and is open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. Classes are offered from the school’s main campus in its namesake city in Southern Ohio.

This program is 65 credits and can be completed in four semesters. During your last semester in spring you’ll complete an office practicum that gives you supervised real-world experience in the legal field.

University of Toledo

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

BS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-bac) – Campus

Nurse Paralegal Certificate (post-ADN, post-RN) – Campus

Minor in Legal Specialties – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, all programs except the minor
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $19,094 (in-state), $37,770 (out-of-state); BS: $38,188 (in-state), $75,540 (out-of-state); Paralegal Certificate: $8,950 (in-state), $14,742 (out-of-state); Nurse Paralegal Certificate: $8,086

UT easily makes our list, offering no less than four ABA-approved programs and providing some of the best options for aspiring paralegals in the state.

The two-year AAS program is 60 credits, and you can transfer this directly to the BS program if you decide to continue your studies. The four-year BS program is 124 credits. Both programs include a 180-hour internship at a local law firm, government agency, or private business. To be admitted to either program means having completed four years of English in high school, four years of math, and three years of other core subjects. You also need a high school GPA of at least 2.7, a 21 on the ACT, or a 990 on the SAT.

The 21-credit legal specialties minor is the only program not approved by the ABA. It can be added to any four-year bachelor’s program as a minor.

The paralegal studies certificate is 30 credits and can be completed in two semesters. To apply to this program you must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject.

The nurse paralegal certificate can be completed in a fall-spring-summer semester lineup, with nine credits each in fall and spring, and a three-credit internship in the summer for a total of 21 credits. To apply to this program you need all of the following: an associate’s degree in nursing or higher, a valid RN license, and at least 2,000 hours of nursing experience.

All classes are offered from UT’s main campus in Toledo.

Ursuline College

BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

Legal Studies Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, the BA and Certificate programs are ABA-approved; the minor is not
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BA: $119,760; Certificate: $21,996

We’re featuring this school because it has highly competitive ABA-approved options for paralegals in the greater Cleveland area – for women and men. Classes are offered from UC’s campus in Pepper Pike.

The 128-credit BA program can be completed in four years and includes 48 credits of core legal studies courses. As part of the BA program you can enroll in a special 3+3 program that results in a JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in a total of six years from your freshman year. Anyone who meets UC’s basic admissions requirements can apply to this program.

The certificate program is 36 credits and can be completed on a part-time basis in two years. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in any program can apply to this program.

Both the BA and certificate programs include the option for a three-credit 120-hour legal internship.

The minor program is 18 credits and can be added to any four-year bachelor’s degree.

Zane State College

Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $9,292 (in-state); $18,412 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this program because it provides one of the best options for would-be paralegals in the southeast Ohio region.

This 63-credit program can be completed in two years. It culminates with a two-credit field experience segment where you’ll be supervised while putting into practice what you’ve learned in the classroom.

To apply to this program you need a high school diploma or equivalent. Classes are offered from the school’s main campus in Zanesville.

Graduates of this program are qualified to seek optional certification through a national paralegal organization.

Oklahoma

Without paralegals the criminal justice system would struggle under higher costs and total inefficiency, not to mention that major corporate players in big industries like aerospace, biotechnology, and energy wouldn’t play fairly by a common set of legal regulations.

Whether you want to work for your hometown mom-and-pop law firm, the Oklahoma County Public Defender, the Tulsa County District Attorney, or in the legal department of one of the state’s Fortune 500 energy companies– Oneok, Devon, NGL, Chesapeake, or Williams – you’re going to need to make sure you stand out from the pack.

That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of the top-ranked paralegal programs throughout the state. These programs offer a range of options for paralegals at different stages in their professional development – from high school graduates to experienced paralegals with college degrees who want to max out their academic credentials.

Community Care College

Paralegal Studies Diploma – Online

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $16,286

We chose CCC’s paralegal studies program because it allows for maximum flexibility for students. A Tulsa-based school, CCC offers this diploma as a fully online program.

You can earn the diploma in just 48 weeks and graduate with the credentials you need to hit the ground running. Program curriculum was developed by the same Oklahoma attorney and Harvard Law School graduate that teaches the program.

East Central University

BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $25,116 (in-state); $61,596 (out-of-state)

ECU’s BS in Legal Studies is a great investment in your future. At 124 credits over four years, the ABA-approved legal studies major consists of 54 credits of core courses. As part of this program you will complete a three-credit internship in a law office in Ada or the greater OKC metro area under the supervision of an attorney.

This program also offers four different scholarship opportunities specifically for legal studies majors.

Indian Capital Technology Center

Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Accrediting Agency
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $1,995

Based in Muskogee, the program offers students maximum flexibility with its fully online delivery platform. It can be completed in 12 months, is comprised of 300 hours of course study, and accepts admission applications from anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

ICTC’s online partner Education To Go has a deal with the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) to provide free access to NALA’s national examination preparation courses, as well as Westlaw. Upon graduation from this course you’ll have completed the paralegal courses required to sit for NALA’s national exam (a bachelor’s degree in any major or seven years of paralegal experience is also required).

Northwest Technology Center

Legal Office Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $2,700 (in-district); $5,400 (out-of-district)

This program has a general admissions policy that is open to high school students, high school graduates, and adult career changers who want to bolster their professional credentials. You can earn this certificate in 47 weeks by attending approximately 1,350 hours of class at the NTC’s Alva campus.

As you near graduation you’ll have the opportunity to complete 165 hours in a legal office capstone experience. Graduates of this program have the skills required to take the national paralegal certification exam through NALS.

Oklahoma State University

  • Online Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Rose State College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,616 (in-state); $20,368 (out-of-state)

We selected Rose State’s ABA-approved program because it meets high standards while providing maximum flexibility, offering both day and evening classes.

Totaling 63 credits that can be completed over two years, this program also includes a paralegal internship in Midwest City or the greater Oklahoma City metro area. Admission to this competitive program requires a high school diploma/GED and either an ACT reading score of 19 or a Compass reading score of 83.

Tulsa Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,142 (in-state); $15,742 (out-of-state)

We like the fact that Tulsa CC offers ABA-approved programs because they provide options for paralegals with different career goals. The 64-credit AA program is for paralegals who are thinking about transferring to a four-year program upon graduation, as well as those looking to go directly into the workforce. The 63-credit AAS is for paralegals who want to go directly into the workforce after graduating with no intentions to pursue a more advanced degree. Both programs can be completed in two years, and include the options for a paralegal internship or capstone project.

Upon graduation you’ll be qualified to take national paralegal examinations offered through both NALA and NALS.

University of Oklahoma

Legal Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $22,624

To accommodate busy schedules, University of Oklahoma’s paralegal program offers courses six days a week – on days other than Sunday. To apply to this competitive program you’ll need a high school transcript or GED, and a score of at least 17 on the ACT.

This program is 60 credits in total that can be completed over two years. At least 37 credits are made up of general education courses, while at least 23 credits must be related to the legal field.

You’ll also have the option to complete a paralegal internship in the greater Oklahoma City area.

University of Tulsa

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA approved – Yes
  • Accredited by
  • Tuition and fees estimate: $5,950

University of Tulsa’s post-associate program will provide you with a competitive educational credential when you graduate. To apply you’ll need to have at least an associate’s degree in any field, two professional references, and submit a 200-word writing sample.

The 14 courses you must take to complete this program are offered during the days and evenings. The program totals 15 credits that can be completed in as little as eight months. Courses are offered in three-hour blocks twice a week for eight weeks.

Oregon

There’s nothing weird about living the dream. Imagine working for a Portland-based law firm in a downtown high rise. Glass doors give way to a marble lobby and your trip up the elevator takes you to the law offices where you’ll spend your days contributing your part to winning court cases, rewriting contracts or settling estates… Maybe you’ve already been living the dream and you’re looking to position yourself for a promotion… Maybe you’ve been working in an entirely different field and are finally making your move to get your real career started – the one where you work side by side with attorneys and get the respect and pay you deserve.

Whatever your situation happens to be and no matter what your goals are, it’s going to take some schooling to make it happen. We’re here to help.

We hand-picked the best paralegal programs from the best schools with a presence in Oregon, from Medford to Portland. We made our selections based solely on quality, looking at programs regionally accredited through the Northwest Accreditation Commission or nationally accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Some of the programs we selected even hold the esteemed status of having been approved by the American Bar Association.

Abdill Career College Inc – Medford

Legal Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,065

This Medford-based program gives you the best of both worlds – 35 weeks of classroom education amounting to 36 quarter credits, and 30 weeks of a full-time externship.

Ideal candidates for this program are high school graduates, career changers in the workforce without prior college, and anyone who wants to bolster their professional paralegal credentials.

Clark College

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
  • Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Linn-Benton Community College

  • Certificate – Legal Administrative Assistant
    • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Oregon State University

Paralegal Certificate – Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Basic Certificate: $1,289; Advanced Certificate: $1,800

We’re featuring this program because it provides two convenient options for paralegals. Both programs can be completed in 14 weeks and are made up of two seven-week segments.

The basic program welcomes admission applications from anyone with a high school diploma or GED. It is made up of two courses, each completed in seven weeks. Students can expect to spend 12 hours on coursework per week.

To enroll in the advanced certificate program you must already have a basic certificate. You have the choice of six class topics of study among 15 topics total, such as business law, family law, victim advocacy, and more. You can study up to three of these topics per seven-week period. Each of the six courses requires an investment of between 45 and 50 hours.

Pioneer Pacific College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accreditation under review
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $28,850

This program stands out as being one of only two ABA-approved programs in the state. You can graduate in as little as 70 weeks, and 81 percent of students found jobs following graduation.

This program is offered from PCC’s Springfield and Wilsonville campuses. Anyone who has a high school diploma or GED can apply for admission to this program.

Portland Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-associate) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,604 (in-state), $16,892 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,759 (in-state), $10,564 (out-of-state)

This school is home to the first ABA-approved paralegal programs in the state, and still holds that status today.

The two-year 90-credit AAS breaks down into 24 credits of paralegal courses, 21 credits of elective paralegal courses, 27 credits of general education courses, and 18 credits of other electives. A college-level writing course is the main prerequisite for this program, which you can take as part of your general education or test out of.

The 45-credit one-year paralegal certificate is intended for students who already have at least an associate’s degree. It is made up of 24 credits of core paralegal courses and 21 credits of elective paralegal courses.

Rogue Community College

  • Certificate-Legal Assistant
    • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Treasure Valley Community College – Ontario

AAS in Office Administration, Legal Assistants – Campus

  • Accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $10,800 (in-state), $11,700 (out-of-state)

This 91-credit two-year program is open to students who meet TVCC’s basic admission requirements.

It also includes a co-op internship where you’ll gain work experience in a law firm or other legal setting in Ontario or the wider region. Admission is open to anyone who has a high school diploma or GED.

Umpqua Community College

Paralegal Studies AAS – Online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $8,834 (in-state), $17,960 (out-of-state), Certificate: $5,000

These programs offer maximum flexibility – classes are completely online and you can start during any quarter of the year.

The one-year 45-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the two-year 90-credit AAS program. Both programs are open to anyone who meets UCC’s basic admission requirements. You can choose which program is right for you based on how much time you want to invest in your education.

Pennsylvania

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 a slick guide to all the accredited, ABA-approved, 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
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools

ASB-Paralegal Studies — Campus

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $10,240/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $15,380/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $4,298/yr. (in-state); $7,898/yr. (out-of-state)

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 Penn College

AS-Paralegal — Campus

BS in Legal Studies — Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Estimated Cost: $17,646/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $10,287/yr. (in-state); $14,764 (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $4,920/yr. (in-state); $9,360/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $28,500/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $4,960/yr. (in-state); $8,530/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $35,062/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $30,042/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $6,252/yr. (in-state); $7,785/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $10,500/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $3,900/yr. (in-state); $7,170/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $16,550/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $10,135/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $4,110/yr. (in-state); $8,970/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $14,472/yr.

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
  • Estimated Cost: $79/credit

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
  • Estimated Cost: $16,080/yr. (in-state); $22,890/yr. (out-of-state)

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
  • Estimated Cost: $49,280/yr.

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.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s college system knows a thing or two about how to pack a punch when it comes to paralegal education. And we should know. We exhaustively researched the options here to compile a short list of schools. In today’s fast-evolving paralegal field, you better be whip-smart and well-educated if you want a guarantee on achieving success. The programs that made our list can help make that happen.

Yes, there are two schools on our list. But we believe in quality over quantity, especially when we’re talking about education. Both of these schools withstood rigorous scrutiny to earn accreditation status from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE. And one of them is even approved by the American Bar Association.

Between these two picks, students can find surely find an associate, bachelor or post-degree certificate that will shape them into a paralegal sensation.

Community College of Rhode Island

AS in Legal Studies-Paralegal Studies Concentration—Campus

  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE
  • Estimated Cost: $4,266/yr. (in-state); $11,496/yr. (out-of-state)

Community College of Rhode Island is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Warwick. Not only is it the sole community college is Rhode Island, it’s also the biggest one in New England.

The school sports a robust AS in Legal Studies-Paralegal Studies concentration track that consists of 62 credits. The track is aimed at students actively interested in entering the workforce upon graduation or planning on transferring to 4-year paralegal studies degree program.

We gravitated toward this program because it provides curriculum that includes dynamic courses in crucial topics like legal research, constitutional law, and criminal procedure. As a final project, students compile and submit a comprehensive portfolio exemplifying their stellar work performance.

Roger Williams University

BS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

AS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate in Healthcare Paralegal—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

Certificate in Nurse Paralegal—Campus (post-associate, post-baccalaureate)

Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges CIHE
  • Estimated Cost: $32,100/yr.

Roger Williams University is a 4-year private, not-for-profit university located in Bristol that offers the only accredited, ABA-approved paralegal program in the state. These paralegal degrees and certificates offer courses in substantive law, computers, legal databases, and alternative dispute resolution. Most curriculum is classroom-based but many courses are offered through distance learning.

The school’s outstanding BS program consists of 121 credits that wisely provides practice-oriented courses that culminate with an internship experience.

The AS degree consists of 61 credits that introduce legal topics along with technical competencies to transform students into tech-savvy professionals.

The certificate in healthcare paralegal option includes 30 credits and is designed specifically for students that already hold bachelor degrees in the health studies field.

The certificate in nurse paralegal option also requires 30 credits and is only available to registered nurses (RNs) that: 1) hold an associate degree 2) hold a bachelor degree 3) have completed 60 credits or 4) have at least 4,000 hours of nursing experience.

The certificate in paralegal studies certificate is 30 credits and requires a bachelor degree to qualify for admission. Student may enroll at the beginning of any semester.

South Carolina

Here’s the deal. Like it not, most employers view your educational history as a direct reflection of your professional prowess. The better educated you are, the further up the list of potential job candidates you’ll find yourself. Some schools have reputable, household names. Others have more clout because of they provide students with a path toward earning national certification. Regardless of the reason, some schools have proven they offer something well beyond the status quo.

We want you to stop wasting your valuable time by madly searching the internet for the best paralegal programs in South Carolina and start applying to them instead. So to help expedite your painstaking search for schools, we’ve done the grunt work for you. Every school on our list is accredited. Many of the programs they offer are approved by the American Bar Association. And all of them are chock-full of the curriculum you need to be an asset to your future employer. What are you waiting for? Let’s go

Central Carolina Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,639/yr. (in-district); $5,449/yr. (in-state); $7,958/yr. (out-of-state)

Central Carolina Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Sumter. Its AAS in paralegal studies program includes 66 credits over 5 semesters. Students eager to master practical skills are invited to participate in a 9-credit paralegal/legal assistant internship course option during their final semester.

Florence-Darlington Technical College

AAS-Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,174/yr. (in-district); $4,438/yr. (in-state); $6,262 (out-of-state)

Florence-Darlington Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Florence. Its AAS in paralegal degree program is 69 credits and spans 5 semesters. We really took notice of this program because it also offers an evening class schedule that runs 7 semesters to better accommodate students with daytime responsibilities.

Students that delight in practicum courses will enjoy this program’s use of internship/law practice workshop courses which are built into its curriculum. Other great program services include resume coaching, professional development seminars, and on-campus recruiting events.

Greenville Technical College

AAS Paralegal—Campus

Paralegal Preparatory Certification Class—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,326/yr. (in-district); $4,686/yr. (in-state); $8,550/yr. (out-of-state)

Greenville Technical college is a 2-year public, post-secondary school with five campuses located throughout Greenville County. Its paralegal program boasts memberships with the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and the South Carolina Upstate Paralegal Association (SCUPA).

Its AAS degree program consists of 64 credit hours delivered over a 5 semester period. This program may be especially appealing for students that already hold a bachelor’s degree since they’ll be able to participate in an accelerated track option. This fast-track option only requires the completion of 43 credits completed over 12 months. The program’s curriculum is largely project-based, includes an internship opportunity, and is mostly taught by licensed attorneys.

The program prepares students to earn a professional credential by requiring them to complete a review course for the Paralegal Certification examination through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

AAS- Paralegal—Campus

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

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,978/yr. (in-district); $6,148/yr. (in-state); $9,868/yr. (out-of-state)

Horry-Georgetown Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Conway that offers an AAS degree and a certificate program at its Grand Strand campus. This program is endorsed by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AAS degree program runs 66 credit hours in length and typically takes 6 semesters to complete. The certificate in paralegal specialist program entails 39 credits taken over 3 semesters. Only students that already hold an associate or bachelor degree are lucky enough to qualify for this comprehensive certificate option. Both programs include an insightful law practice workshop/internship component.

Midlands Technical College

Associate in Public Service-Paralegal Concentration—Campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,064/yr. (in-district); $5,024/yr. (in-state); $11,744/yr. (out-of-state)

Midlands Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in West Columbia that offers an associate degree and certificate program at its Airport and Beltline campus locations.

The APS degree is comprised of 60 credits and a 4 semester curriculum plan. Students excited to experience the real-word practical application of classroom education will love this program’s law practice workshop section.

The certificate program consists of 24 credits that are generally completed in 2 semesters. Only students that hold a bachelor’s degree are eligible for enrollment in this program.

Miller-Motte College

AAS-Paralegal Studies—Campus/Online

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $10,496/yr. (Charleston); $10,080/yr. (Conway)

Miller-Motte Technical College is a 2-year private for-profit, post-secondary school with an associate degree in paralegal studies programs available through its Charleston and Conway campuses.

The AAS program consists of 92 quarter credit hours and is usually completed in just 18 months. Its curriculum is structured around a hybrid track which means students complete most of their courses online via interactive discussions or text, audio and video-based lessons.

To ensure that students get the practical training needed to succeed on the job, the program requires in-person appearances during weekly campus-based courses. It also features an externship in which students perform paralegal duties for local businesses.

The only degree requirement that isn’t available online is the mandatory externship experience.

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

AAS-Paralegal/Legal Assistant—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,130/yr. (in-district); $5,114/yr. (in-state); $6,890/yr. (out-of-state)

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that proudly houses an AAS in paralegal/legal assistant program. The program provides students with 69 credits hours with expert instruction from licensed attorneys and is delivered over approximately 4 semesters.

South University-Columbia

AS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $17,306/yr.

South University-Columbia is a 4-year private-for-profit, university that grants an AS in paralegal studies. The highlight of the 92 credit hour program is specialized coursework that culminates in an externship position that could place you in a local law firm, federal government agency, real estate company, or bank.

Technical College of the Lowcountry

AAS-Paralegal—Campus

Certificate-Paralegal Specialist—Campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,276 (in-district); $4,876/yr. (in-state); $9,268/yr. (out-of-state)

The Technical College of the Lowcountry is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Beaufort that offers students an associate degree and a certificate option in paralegal studies.

The high-quality AAS program includes 69 credits over roughly 5 semesters. To help students acquire the cutting-edge professional skills needed to thrive after graduation, the program requires participation in an engaging 3-credit internship course.

The top-notch certificate program is an ideal way for students that have already obtained an associate degree (or higher) to qualify for paralegal jobs. It encompasses only 30 credits and typically takes 2 semesters to complete.

Trident Technical College

AAS-Paralegal—Campus

Certificate in Applied Science-Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: 44,155/yr. (in-district); $4,607/yr. (in-state); $7,837/yr. (out-of-state)

Trident Technical College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Charleston that hosts a paralegal program that is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AAS program carries 69 credit hours and strives to bring practical skills training to life by requiring students to partake in its required law practice workshop course.

The certificate program holds 36 credit hours. Since some courses are only available on a yearly basis, most students take 4 semesters to graduate. Although this isn’t a post-degree certificate, only students that already have 33 completed credits can qualify for enrollment.

We are especially pleased to announce that all faculty members in the paralegal program are licensed attorneys in South Carolina with several years of teaching experience. To express greater advocacy for students, the school provides full-time and part-time scheduling to all students.

York Technical College

AS in Administrative Office Technology-Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,464/yr. (in-district); $4,824/yr. (in-state); $9,648/yr. (out-of-state)

York Technical College is 2-year public, post-secondary school in Rock Hill that offers an associate degree in administrative office technology with a paralegal studies specialization pathway. This unique degree option for prospective paralegals provides curriculum that features enjoyable law-related courses such as civil litigation, legal writing, and criminal law.

South Dakota

You’ve spent countless hours envisioning yourself working alongside the brightest legal minds, interviewing crucial witnesses, gathering explosive evidence, and sorting through sensitive data in preparation for major trials. But wait, aren’t you forgetting something? Ah yes, first you’ll need to get yourself into the best paralegal program in South Dakota. Finding the right school will ensure that when you’re being considered for a job, no one will have room to doubt that you’re an indispensable asset.

In South Dakota, there’s really only one school that checks every critical box when it comes to paralegal education: National American University. The school is accredited by the esteemed North Central Association of Colleges and Schools of Higher Learning. Its paralegal and professional legal studies programs are respected and approved by the American Bar Association. It is the only school in the state with these bragging rights.

Here students also have the huge advantage of choosing between four different undergraduate degree options. And aside from the usual hum-drum instruction techniques, these degrees get students amped to learn by offering choices when it comes to the curriculum format. But even more remarkably, every single degree option comes with a custom-made internship experience.

National American University – Rapid City/Sioux

BS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

BS-Professional Legal Studies—Campus

AAS-Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS-Professional Legal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated Cost: $13,647/yr. (Rapid City); $13,323/yr. (Sioux Falls)

National American University is a 4-year private, for-profit university that offers undergraduate degree programs in paralegal studies and professional legal studies at its Rapid City and Sioux Falls campus locations.

The school’s BS in paralegal studies option includes 180.5 credits, while its AAS in paralegal studies option is made up of 90.5 credits. We are impressed by the school’s determination to keep the paralegal curriculum both flexible and accessible. The majority of the legal specialty courses are accessible on-campus, online, and through live feed formats. Paralegal internships are also embedded into both the BS and AAS programs.

Students in the AAS in paralegal studies will be delighted that all earned credits are applicable to the BS program, and when transferring in these credits, the BS can be completed in just six quarters.

The school’s BS in professional legal studies option is made up of 180 credits, while its AAS in professional legal studies option consists of 90.5 credits. To align with students’ career ambitions, both programs offer the option to focus coursework on: human resources management, entrepreneurial, management, and supply chain management. Internships within each desired area of focus are an additional bonus found in both programs.

Tennessee

Right now, at this very second, you’re taking the first step toward changing the trajectory of your life. Done with high school and anxious to get started? … Stuck in a dead-end job and ready for a change?

By deciding to become a paralegal, you’ll get a front row seat to the inner working of the legal system, whether from the offices of a law firm, corporate legal department, or government agency.

Looking for the right program? We’ve got you covered. After all, how can you expect to land a job in one of those law firms in the glass tower in downtown Nashville or Memphis without first getting the best education out there?

Here you’ll find all the ABA-approved paralegal programs in Tennessee, as well as other quality programs offered through schools accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They’re all here – basic certificates and career diplomas, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and even post-degree certificates for career changers that already hold a degree in an area other than paralegal studies.

Chattanooga State Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,063/yr. (in-state); $15,727/yr. (out-of-state)

Chattanooga State Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that offers an associate degree program in paralegal studies. The program runs 20-62 credit hours in length and typically takes 4 semesters to complete.

The program’s dynamic curriculum is punctuated by an optional 3-credit internship during students’ final semester which includes an interviewing/presentation component. There is also a paralegal studies technical certificate embedded within the degree.

As an added highlight, the completed AAS coursework serves as the first two years of the bachelor in legal assisting degree program through the school’s articulation agreement with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Here’s your chance to transfer seamlessly into a bachelor’s program through one of the most respected universities in the state.

Pellissippi State Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,084/yr. (in-state); $15,748/yr. (out-of-state)

Pellissippi State Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that proudly houses the very first ABA-approved paralegal program in the Knoxville area. The school’s AAS program consists of 60 credits hours throughout a 4 semester period.

Students will gain confidence by attending over 500 hours of legal curriculum. Aside from classroom instruction, students are aptly prepped for the workforce through an internship and legal clinic courses that stress practical skills development.

Roane State

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,047/yr. (in-state); $15,711 (out-of-state)

Roane State Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Harriman that offers an associate degree in paralegal studies. This AAS options consists of 60 credit hours and features a mandatory internship experience.

This program is a tremendous asset for students that intend to stay local after graduation. Curriculum includes an emphasis on the Tennessee court system including its substantive and procedural laws. In addition, many of the program’s professors also serve as attorneys and judges in the community.

For added flexibility, paralegal studies courses are available through the school’s interactive distance education network. Upon graduation, students become eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certified legal assistant examination.

South College

BS in Legal Studies—Campus

AS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-associate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $18,375/yr.

South College is a 4-year private, for-profit college that offers bachelor, associate, and post-degree certificate options for aspiring paralegals through its main campus in Knoxville.

The BS degree option is 180 credits, while the AS degree plan requires completing 112. Students enrolled in either program will greatly benefit from small class sizes, an individualized approach to teaching and even field trip opportunities, guest speaker events, program tutors, and a 120-hour internship.

Those that successfully graduate from the AS program can qualify to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certification examination.

The certificate program is exclusively available to post-degree students transferring in with an associate’s degree or higher. Students are privileged to participate in 56 credits of coursework in small classes, all under the guidance of licensed attorneys.

Southwest Tennessee Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,059/yr. (in-state); $15,723/yr. (out-of-state)

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school in Memphis that provides an associate degree in paralegal studies. The program is structured around 60 credits spread across roughly 4 semesters.

The program’s traditional classroom instruction style culminates in a 120-hour internship designed to sharpen your practical skills. Exciting perks include career counseling, free tutoring, financial aid assistance, on-site child care services, day/night course availability and small class sizes.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

BS in Criminal Justice—Legal Assistant Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $8,544/yr. (in-state); $24,662/yr. (out-of-state)

The University of Tennessee—Chattanooga is a 4-year public university that offers a bachelor’s degree program for legal assistants through its criminal justice department.

The BS program includes 120 credit hours and allows students to take advantage of either full-time or part-time scheduling options. To further accommodate working students, many courses are available during days and evenings. The curriculum comes complete with 275 hours of internship experience.

Volunteer State Community College

AS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Technical Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,037 (in-state), $15,701 (out-of-state)

Volunteer State Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school located in Gallatin that hosts a paralegal program with close ties to the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

The AS program requires 60 credits and is designed for motivated students planning on transferring to a 4-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s in legal studies or a related field.

The AAS program spans 60-61 credits and is better suited for students looking to enter the workforce immediately. This degree options comes complete with a 3-credit supervised internship elective course.

The post-degree certificate program consists of 21 credits and is designed for more advanced students that already hold a bachelor’s degree in any major.

All three educational pathways promote student accessibility by presenting full-time and part-time scheduling, both daytime and evening courses, and making some classes accessible through online or hybrid learning formats.

Walters State Community College

AAS in Business—Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $4,032/yr. (in-state); $15,696/yr. (out-of-state)

Walters State Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school based in Morristown that offers an associate degree for students interested in the business aspect of paralegal studies.

The AAS program centers around 60 credits of business and law-related coursework. Giving special attention to paralegal education, the program offers an insightful legal internship opportunity worth 3 credits.

Texas

Paralegals are an absolute godsend to attorneys and legal teams throughout Texas. In fact, as more government agencies, law firms, and corporate legal departments discover the cost-savings a skilled paralegal can bring to the organization, the demand for legal support staff has been skyrocketing.

But you already knew that, right? It’s likely this market demand that brought you here. As the legal world leans more heavily on paralegals, another occupational shift is evolving: the call for paralegals to take on an expanded role that involves even more substantive legal work.

So if you want a successful career as a paralegal, you better roll up your sleeves and make it your business to learn how you can prepare to take on more specialized tasks and a greater level of responsibility. Whether you’re taking your first steps in the field, advancing after years in, or even shifting gears with a career change, the right paralegal program through a quality school is the only sure-fire way to make it happen.

Fortunately, schools throughout Texas offering paralegal programs are already extremely aware of the changing dynamics within the profession. As a result, they are constantly adjusting their programs to bring you the most progressive certificate and degree programs possible. But let’s get real. Some paralegal schools are simply better than others. Here’s our pick of the best in Texas…

Alvin Community College

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-degree)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,562/yr. (in-district); $2,642/yr. (in-state); $3,842/yr. (out-of-state)

Alvin Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school offering an associate and post-degree certificate in paralegal studies. This school is a strong pick for students looking for both online and classroom-based coursework, small class sizes, and incredible internships opportunities.

The AAS degree is comprised of 60 credits. We really like the fact that most courses are transferrable to the bachelor-degree programs available at the University of Houston—Victoria at Sugarland, the University of Houston—Central Campus, and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

The certificate program involves 45 credits and requires all incoming students to hold either an associate or bachelor degree prior to enrollment.

Amarillo Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Professional Certificate in Legal Studies/Paralegal—Campus (post-degree)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,010/yr. (in-district); $3,042/yr. (in-state); $4,578/yr. (out-state)

Amarillo Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that allows students to earn an associate degree or certificate in paralegal studies in just two years.

The AAS degree holds 71-72 semester hours. Along with traditional classroom instruction, students can enter into a paid/unpaid internship to earn degree credits. Even better, this program qualifies graduating students to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant examination.

The professional certificate option requires only 24 semester hours to complete and is tailor-made for students that already hold an AA, AS or bachelor degree.

Austin Community College

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

Advanced Paralegal Technical Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,550/yr. (in-district); $10,890/yr. (in-state); $13,080/yr. (out-of-state)

Austin Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school for students looking for an associate degree or advanced technical certificate in paralegal study.

The AAS degree provides 60 credits hours, while the advanced technical certificate option requires only 30 credits hours to complete. Both programs offer internship positions to help students sharpen practical skills prior to graduation. All paralegal courses are taught by licensed attorneys.

For greater convenience, the school welcomes all paralegal students to take advantage of full-time or part-time scheduling routes. Weekend and night classes are also available.

Blinn College

AAS in Legal Assistant—Campus/Online

Legal Office Certificate—Campus/Online (undergraduate)

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,424/yr. (in-district); $3,792/yr. (in-state); $7,464/yr. (out-of-state)

Blind College is a 2-year, academic institute located in Brenham that helps locals, commuters, and distance leaners alike earn an associate or certificate in paralegal/legal assistant.

The AAS degree is 60 credit hours, while the certificate pathway consists of 30 credit hours. We greatly appreciated the school’s willingness to provide students with courses available through classroom-based instruction, hybrid platforms, or completely online.

As an added highlight, all courses are taught by attorneys and judges with doctoral degrees.

Brightwood College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $16,029/yr.

Brightwood College (formerly known as Kaplan College) is a large system of for-profit colleges with an associate degree program in paralegal studies at its San Antonio—Ingram campus location.

The AAS degree consists of 91 quarter credit hours. Despite its classroom-based curriculum, students engage in a compelling and mandatory 90-hour externship. To help facilitate immediate employment, the school also provides job placement services.

Center for Advanced Legal Studies

AAS in Paralegal—Campus/Online

Paralegal Certificate—Campus/Online (undergraduate)

  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education
  • Estimated Cost: $8,450/yr.

The Center for Advanced Legal Studies is a private, for-profit college in Houston that specializes in providing paralegal education programs. In fact, it’s the only specialized paralegal school on our list.

The AAS degree spans 62 credit hours over 21 months. Students can enjoy either on-campus morning classes or online evening courses. To ensure an easier transition into the workforce, the degree also furnishes an

optional externship elective course.

The certificate program runs 24 credit hours over 8 months. All courses are available either on-campus or via online delivery and are directly transferrable to the AAS program. This certificate is also the perfect complement to an existing degree.

El Centro College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,770/yr. (in-district); $3,330/yr. (in-state); $5,220/yr. (out-of-state)

El Centro College is a 2-year, public college in Dallas. It is one of the seven colleges within the Dallas County Community College District.

The AAS degree runs 60 credits in length. Most full-time students graduate in two years, although part-time students are equally welcome. Students are lucky to find daytime, evening, and online course availability. Job placement services are generously offered.

All paralegal coursework is taught by active attorneys and paralegals. Curriculum is greatly enhanced through an optional cooperative education/work experience course. All students are granted access to the extensive on-campus law library.

Houston Community College

Paralegal Technology AAS – Campus

Paralegal Technology – Law Office Clerk Certificate Level 1 – Campus

Paralegal Technology – Legal Assistant Certificate Level 1 – Campus

Paralegal Technology – Legal Assistant – Medical Specialization Certificate Level 1 – Campus

  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,632/yr. (in-district); $3,360/yr. (in-state); $3,756/yr. (out-of-state)

Houston Community College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that offers diverse options catering to new, aspiring paralegals, including the option to focus studies on the high-demand field of medical law.

All four programs provide the same paralegal technology courses designed to prepare grads for substantive legal work in the core areas of legal research and investigation, drafting, recordkeeping and other administrative functions, while the three certificate options provide a subtly different focus.

Lamar State College-Port Arthur

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $5,698/yr. (in-state); $17,938 (out-of-state)

Lamar State College—Port Arthur is a 2-year, public college that offers an AAS degree in paralegal. The program consists of 60 credit hours taken over 4 semesters. Students here graduate with full mastery of practical skills by completing the 3-credit paralegal/legal assistant internship required during their final semester.

Lee College

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

Paralegal Certificate—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,672/yr. (in-district); $2,488/yr. (in-state); $3,520 (out-of-state)

Lee College is a 2-year, public college located in Baytown that offers an associate degree and a certificate of completion in paralegal studies.

The AAS degree provides 60-61 credit hours. Its curriculum combines general education and legal specialty courses. The courses you take are complemented by the 3-credit paralegal/legal assistant internship component.

The certificate option requires 32 credit hours and is usually completed in 3 semesters. This exclusive program is solely reserved for advanced students that already hold a bachelor degree or have junior standing in a bachelor degree program and at least 18 semester hours of GE courses completed.

Lone Star College

AAS in Paralegal—Campus

Advanced Technical Certificate in Paralegal—Campus (post-degree)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,552/yr. (in-district); $3,232/yr. (in-start); $3,592/yr. (out-of-state)

Lone Star College is a 2-year, public college that offers an associate degree and an advanced technical certificate in paralegal through its North Harris campus location.

The AAS program consists of 60 credit hours over 4 semesters, while the certificate option only requires 35 credit hours over 2 semesters. Students enrolled are privileged to receive instruction from experienced paralegals and attorneys.

Both programs also boast optional paralegal/legal assistant internship opportunities. Students will be thrilled to find many courses are available online.

Peloton College

AAS in Paralegal

  • Accredited by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
  • Estimated Cost: $13,225/yr.

Peloton College is a 2-year private, for-profit college that offers an associate degree in paralegal through its Dallas campus location. For greater flexibility, the program’s curriculum is delivered in an easily accessible hybrid format.

San Jacinto College-North

AAS in Paralegal

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,500/yr. (in-district); $2,580/yr. (in-state); $4,140/yr. (out-of-state)

San Jacinto College is a 2-year, public college that offers an associate degree in paralegal studies at its North Campus located in Houston.

The AAS program delivers 60 credit hours throughout 4 semesters. Students here enjoy high quality coursework and experienced attorneys and paralegals as instructors. Those itching for real-world experience will love the program’s internship experience option.

Tarrant County College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

Advanced Technical Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $1,416/yr. (in-district); $2,544/yr. (in-state); $6,120/yr. (out-of-state)

Tarrant County College is a 2-year, public college based in Fort Worth. The school offers an associate degree and certificate program in paralegal studies through its Northeast campus located in Hurst.

The AAS program consists of 60 credit hours taken over 4 semesters, while the certificate program only requires 33 credits hours over 3 semesters. Both pathways offer substantive curriculum complete with cooperative education and internship electives.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

BA/BS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $7,750/yr. (in-state); $19,990/yr. (out-of-state)

Texas A&M University is a 4-year, public college with a bachelor degree in paralegal studies program available through its Commerce campus location. The school proudly houses the only paralegal program in the state that awards an ABA-approved bachelor degree.

This highly sought-after BA/BS degree features practical training through real-world and simulated settings. Students may spend their 160-hour internship working at either the County District Attorney’s offices or private attorneys’ offices around the Metroplex.

Students with financial needs will definitely appreciate the school’s annual scholarship competition for incoming students.

Texas State University

MA in Legal Studies—Campus

Certificate in Paralegal Studies—Campus (post-baccalaureate)

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $9,605/yr. (in-state); $21,029/yr. (out-of-state)

Texas State University is a 4-year, public university in San Marcos hosting a master degree and certificate program in legal studies/paralegal studies.

The MA program is a non-thesis degree consisting of 36 credit hours and is the only graduate-level degree option to grace our exclusive list. Its curriculum culminates with an oral examination, research project, and an internship experience.

The certificate program runs 24 graduate credit hours in length. Students receive top-tier instruction from experienced attorneys.

Wharton County Junior College

AAS in Paralegal Studies—Campus

  • ABA-Approval: Yes
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost: $2,222/yr. (in-district); $3,446/yr. (in-state); $4,214/yr. (out-of-state)

Wharton County Junior College is a 2-year public, post-secondary school that caters to students seeking an associate degree in paralegal studies.

The AAS program consists of 60 credits taken over 4 semesters. This program is especially unique because its curriculum qualifies students to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant examination through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). A paralegal internship is also embedded into its coursework.

Utah

You may be interested in beginning or advancing a career as a paralegal, completing an online program or a campus-based one, or pursuing part-time or full-time study. Thanks to the meteoric growth of the paralegal field in the U.S., everything from pre-degree undergraduate certificate programs to post-bac certificates to bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies and beyond are readily available.

So, whether you’re an Orem legal secretary looking to make the transition to a paralegal position, a career changer with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in another field, or a recent high school graduate with aspirations of working in one of Salt Lake City’s massive law firms, there is a host of paralegal programs that are sure to meet your needs. However, this abundance of programs may also make finding a quality program a tedious process.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing a school by assembling a list of the best programs in Utah, both on-campus, and online. We included only those programs that have achieved ABA approval and/or institutions that have earned regional or national accreditation, so you can be sure that the paralegal program you complete is comprehensive and relevant. But we’ve also included other important information that may make narrowing down your options a little easier. Tuition costs are included with each program, as is a short explanation of why the program stands out from the competition.

We know that choosing a course of study to begin—or advance—a paralegal career is an important first step to enjoying success in the profession, so we hope our list makes it easy to find a program that meets your personal and professional goals.

Broadview University

BS- Paralegal online

AAS- Paralegal – online

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,400

We love the opportunities for interaction Broadview University offers its online learners. Before you begin a program at Broadview University, you’ll take an online learning orientation—a step-by-step guide that gives you all the information you need to be a successful online learner. Plus, once you’re up and running, the school’s service desk is there to help you through any technological issues you may have.

Dixie State University

Paralegal Certificate – online

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,840 (in-state), $13,856 (out-of-state)

Dixie State University teamed up with the Center for Legal Studies to provide students with an inexpensive yet fully comprehensive paralegal certificate program. The courses in this program take place over two, seven-week sessions, allowing students to complete their studies and get into the workplace.

LDS Business College

AAS in Paralegal Studies

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,240

There are many reasons to love LDS Business College’s AAS program, but perhaps their 100 percent placement rate is the top reason. This program prepares students with writing samples, a portfolio, and other career-ready documents to hit the ground running in a paralegal position immediately after graduation.

Salt Lake Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approved: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,690 (in-state), $11,728 (out-of-state)

In addition to ABA approval, we are impressed with the way Salt Lake Community College’s paralegal program is taught using group and team activities to enhance the learning process. Plus, the school partners with several of Utah’s four-year colleges to allow students to easily transfer credits to a higher degree.

Southern Utah University

AAS Paralegal Studies – online

Legal Studies Minor – online

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $6,530 (in-state), $19,810 (out-of-state)

Do you need a program you can complete entirely online? Then Southern Utah University is for you. Add to that small class sizes and personal attention from professors and it’s clear to see why Southern Utah University made our list of the top paralegal programs.

Utah Valley University

Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Studies – campus

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies – campus

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies – campus

Certificate of Proficiency in Legal Studies (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approved: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $5,530 (in-state), $15,690 (out-of-state)

Whatever your educational background or career goals, Utah Valley University has a program for you. Whether you’re a high school graduate looking to enter the paralegal profession for the first time or a practicing paralegal with aspirations of specializing your career, all paralegal programs through Utah Valley University are ABA approved.

Vermont

Do you want to become a paralegal while studying pre-law? Are you a business professional with aspirations of advancing or specializing by reorienting your career around employment law? Fortunately, thanks to the strong and steady growth of the paralegal profession, there is now a program in Vermont designed especially for you.

And what could be better than an online program that allows you to get the education you need without major work and family life disruptions, all from the comfort of home.

Case in point: Champlain College in Burlington has exactly what you’re after. So, whether you’re in Middlebury, Montpelier, or Rutland City, you can complete an undergraduate law program or graduate certificate in employment law that will either get you started in the profession or help you advance.

Champlain College

Undergraduate Law Program – online

Graduate Certificate in Employment Law – online

  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, CIHE
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $38,660

Champlain College offers legal programs, both for the new paralegal interested in studying pre-law and the experienced business professional looking to earn a graduate certificate in employment law. While all programs are delivered online, courses are heavy on interaction between students and professors. Discussion forums and threaded discussions enhance online course delivery, thereby keeping students engaged throughout the process.

Virginia

Not sure where to turn for a quality paralegal education? We got you covered. We’ve assembled a list of the best of the best in paralegal education, whether you’re looking to break into the profession for the first time, or if you’re prepping for that big promotion.

There’s likely never been a better time to become a paralegal, thanks to the fact that programs at every level are widely available online.

We understand that choosing a program is an important first step for the future of your career in the legal field, so we’ve narrowed down the available programs in Virginia to only those that have earned ABA approval and/or those through colleges that have achieved regional or national accreditation. We’ve also provided you with key points, along with tuition costs, so you can get a quick glimpse of each program and find the one that catches your attention and meets your needs.

So, whether you want to climb the steps of one of Alexandria’s county courthouses or work alongside high-powered attorneys in one of Richmond’s many law firms, we’ve got the paralegal programs that will get you there.

American National University

Paralegal Associate Degree – campus

Paralegal Studies Certificate (post-associate) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $14,886

We love the flexibility and personal attention offered through American National University. Students here can take day and evening classes– and small class sizes (averaging a 15:1 student-teacher ratio) ensure plenty of interaction with faculty. And did we mention that all instructors here also bring their real-world field experiences to the classroom?

Germanna Community College

Certificate- Legal Assistant – campus

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,681 (in-state), $10,579 (out-of-state)

The legal assistant certificate at Germanna Community College is ideal for making your first foray into the paralegal profession. Complete your certificate here and then seamlessly transfer your credits to Northern Virginia Community College or J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College to earn an AAS degree.

Hampton University

Certificate in Paralegal Studies – online

BA- Paralegal Studies – online

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $24,242

Online study has never been easier than it is through Hampton University. Their web-based virtual campus offers students the ability to study at home, while their student support services ensure students never feel out of touch. Students here can complete the certificate in paralegal studies in just one academic year, taking them from classroom to boardroom in no time.

Lord Fairfax Community College

AAS- Paralegal Studies

Certificate -Office Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,507 (in-state), $10,405 (out-of-state)

As one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, Lord Fairfax CC offers an affordable tuition and two paralegal programs to choose from. Whether you want to pursue an entry-level pre-degree certificate or associate’s degree, Lord Fairfax can accommodate your needs.

Northern Virginia Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $5,313 (in-state), $11,283 (out-of-state)

If you’re looking for a flexible paralegal program with affordable tuition costs, look no further than Northern Virginia Community College. Every semester, some of the courses of their AAS program are offered online, others are offered in a traditional classroom setting, and some are even offered in a hybrid format, which includes classroom meetings with a strong, online component.

Reynolds Community College

Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies, with specializations offered in general practice and litigation – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,766 (in-state), $10,664 (out-of-state)

Reynolds Community College caught our attention, not for just for their ABA approved program, but also for their strong system of support that ensures students have the guidance they need to be successful. As one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, Reynolds also offers highly affordable programs that are accessible to most.

Thomas Nelson Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies

Legal Assistant Certificate

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,544 (in-state), $10,442 (out-of-state)

We love Thomas Nelson Community College because you can be sure you’ll get the practical experience and classroom instruction you need, thanks to an integrated internship. Plus, their AAS program is offered at Virginia Community College tuition prices, making it affordable and accessible to most.

Tidewater Community College

Paralegal General Practice Specialist certificate

Legal Assistant certificate

Litigation Specialist certificate

AAS Paralegal Studies

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $5,299 (in-state), $11,197 (out-of-state)

Why do we love Tidewater Community College? Because students here learn from the best—all program faculty have law degrees. This Virginia community college encourages students to seek internships and cooperative education programs, both of which earn credits that can be applied toward program completion. Plus, the program is guided and led by an advisory committee of lawyers, local judges, and experienced paralegals.

Washington

Whether you see yourself working alongside attorneys in a big firm in one of Seattle’s downtown high-rises or supporting in-house counsel in the corporate legal department of a local tech giant, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities here in Washington.

Washington is not only home to a vast array of professional opportunities in the legal field, but it is also the location of several well respected paralegal programs. Are you a high school graduate, a career changer, or a practicing paralegal looking to advance or specialize? Whatever the case, there’s a program for that. The trickiest part can be finding one you can afford and that aligns perfectly with your professional goals and personal needs.

We’ve done the grunt work so you don’t have to. Here you’ll find only the programs in Washington that have achieved ABA approval and/or institutions that have achieved regional or national accreditation. You can be sure that all the schools that made our list offer a program that has met the highest standards for quality and includes courses that are relevant to the legal field today.

So you can better narrow down your options, we’ve also provided you with annual tuition rates and include a few words on the unique features of each program.

Bellingham Technical College

  • AAS Legal Administrative Assistant
  • Certificate Legal Administrative Assistant
    • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Columbia Basin College

AAS Paralegal Program – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost: $4,163 (in-state), $6,436 (out-of-state)

Columbia Basin College offers the AAS program, one of their Applied Management Degree pathways. We think this program is great because it emphasizes practical experience along with classroom theory, thereby preparing paralegals who can easily make the transition into their first paralegal job.

Edmonds Community College

Paralegal Associate of Technical Arts Degree – campus

Advanced Paralegal Certificate (post-bac or concurrent with a bachelor’s degree) – campus

Medical Paralegal Certificate (earning this requires at least an associate’s degree plus a nursing degree or nursing diploma) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,756 (in-state), $9,466 (out-of-state)

We are impressed that Edmonds Community College offers a variety of programs that accommodate high school graduates, career changers, and established paralegals. The Associate of Technical Arts aimed at the high school graduate consists of 90 credits. The Advanced Paralegal Certificate consists of 40 credits and is designed for students who already have (or are working toward) a bachelor’s degree. The Medical Paralegal certificate consists of 34 credits and is designed specifically for students with a medical background who want to make the move to become a paralegal.

Green River College

Paralegal certificate – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,597 (in-state), $5,007 (out-of-state)

We love Green River College’s comprehensive paralegal certificate program for offering up plenty of flexibility. The certificate can be completed in as little as two quarters, and all courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends, so they never interfere with work.

Highline College: Des Moines

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Plus Certificate (post-bac or concurrent with a bachelor’s degree) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,851 (in-state), $4,265 (out-of-state)

Highline College’s AAS degree is ideal for students who may want to continue their education at some point. This school has a number of transfer agreements with Washington’s four-year institutions, including Evergreen State College, University of Phoenix Washington, and Seattle Pacific University, so transferring the credits from your associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree is effortless and streamlined.

Renton Technical College

BAS- Paralegal Studies – online/hybrid

AAS -Paralegal Studies – online/hybrid

Certificate-Paralegal Studies – online/hybrid

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,836

If you’re looking for the best in flexible paralegal programs, look no further than Renton Technical College. All their programs are offered in online/hybrid formats, thanks to their dynamic, web-enhanced campus called Canvas. Using this web platform, students can check assignment due dates, course information, course syllabi, and grades.

Saint Martin’s University

Legal Studies Minor – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $34,356

Saint Martin’s made our list because they provide a unique legal studies minor as part of undergraduate degrees in criminal justice, political science and psychology. All students who choose a legal studies minor can take part in internships or independent study in the legal field.

South Puget Sound Community College

AAS -Paralegal – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,104 (in-state), $9,513 (out-of-state)

South Puget Sound Community College understands that many of their students are working adults, so their associate degree courses are offered in the evening. We are also impressed with this school because they offer excellent career services for students, including career planning services, job search and interviewing techniques, and resume writing assistance, among others.

Spokane Community College

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies – campus

Paralegal Certificate (admission requires any BA/BS degree, a Legal Secretary AA/AAS degree, or a Legal Administration Assistant AAS) – campus

Legal Nurse Certificate (post-associate with an RN license) – campus

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,393 (in-state), $8,738 (out-of-state)

We love Spokane Community College because of their many offerings for paralegal students. Whether you are a high school graduate or a career changer, Spokane has the program for you. Plus, it’s ABA approved, so you can be sure all course material is comprehensive and relevant.

Tacoma Community College

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Paralegal Pro-Certificate (post-associate)

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $3,686 (in-state), $9,030 (out-of-state)

Tacoma Community College offers the AAS for the high school graduate and the Paralegal Pro Certificate for the practicing paralegal looking to advance and specialize or the career changer who already holds an associate’s degree in another field. In addition to ABA approval for its paralegal programs, Tacoma also impresses us with its faculty of highly experienced professionals.

University of Washington

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-baccalaureate) – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $10,831 (in-state), $34,869 (out-of-state)

The certificate in paralegal studies, which is approved by the University of Washington School of Law, can be completed in just three academic terms. Students enrolling in this program must already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Whatcom Community College

AS – Paralegal Studies – hybrid

Certificate – Paralegal Studies – hybrid

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Estimated Cost per Academic Year: $4,316 (in-state), $9,618 (out-of-state)

We love the flexibility of Whatcom’s paralegal programs. Most course are offered in the evening, although students can also complete some of them online. General education courses are also offered in the morning, midday, evening, and online for the best in flexibility.

West Virginia

West Virginia has the highest concentration of paralegals of all states in the nation, a pretty cool claim to fame for anybody in the legal industry. In fact, paralegals account for about one out of every 325 jobs statewide according to 2016 figures from the US Department of Labor.

Despite the high saturation, demand for skilled paralegals is still strong here, but with so many currently working in the field, you better believe the job market is competitive. If you want to make it to the top you’ve got to develop your skills and gain the kind of credentials that help ensure you stand out from the crowd. This holds true whether you’re looking to land a job with one of the top firms in Charleston, or have your sights set on a job with a corporate legal department or government agency. Expectations are high for paralegals here, but so are the chances at success if you’ve got the right education.

From certificate programs that can be completed in a matter of weeks to degree programs that require a more significant investment of time and money, you’ll find convenient options in West Virginia that include online, on-campus, evening, and conventional programs offered during normal hours.

Alderson Broaddus University

BS/BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BS/BA: $106,440

We like Alderson Broaddus University because it is committed to preparing its graduates for success in their field. ABU’s BA/BS degree in legal studies includes 45 credits of core courses and a paralegal internship, along with 75 credits of general education and elective courses. When it comes to a thorough and well-rounded education, you just can’t beat this option. During your senior year you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an internship with a law firm in the greater Philippi area.

You can also add a legal studies minor to a bachelor’s program you might be taking in another major through ABU by completing core paralegal courses.

American Military University

AS in Paralegal Studies – Online

BS in Legal Studies – Online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $17,840; BS: $35,040; Certificate: $6,905

The American Military University offers a good range of flexible choices that are open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED.

The 24-credit certificate program can be completed in one year as an abridged version of the AS program. If you decide to continue your studies for another year, you can transfer your certificate courses to the 62-credit AS program.

If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can also transfer credits from the AS program towards the 122-credit BS in legal studies.

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Legal Office Assistant Certificate – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,728 (in-state), $13,968 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,864 (in-state), $6,984 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Blue Ridge Community and Technical College for providing great options for students, offering both an AAS and shorter certificate option.

The certificate mirrors the first year of the AAS and is comprised of 30 credits that can be transferred to the AAS if you decide to continue your studies.

The AAS is 60 credits and can be completed in two years. This program has 42 credits of core paralegal courses, including 12 not included in the certificate program. As you near graduation, you’ll participate in a field experience with a law firm of government legal department in the Martinsburg area worth up to six credits.

Fairmont State University

  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Mountwest Community & Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $7,776 (in-state); $19,344 (out-of-state)

As the only ABA-approved paralegal programs in the state, Mountwest Community and Technical’s AAS was an easy choice. This 61-credit program can be completed in two years. Students also have the option of completing a three-credit internship in the Huntington area.

New River Community and Technical College

Certificate of Applied Science, Legal Office Assistant – Campus

AAS in Legal Assisting – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,932 (in-state), $9,668 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,966 (in-state), $4,834 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring New River Community and Technical’s AAS because it offers a great value to both residents and students from out-of-state.

The 30-credit certificate program is an abridged version of the AAS that can be completed in just two semesters. If you decide to continue your studies you can transfer your certificate credits into the 60-credit AAS program.

NRCTC makes getting your education in paralegal studies more convenient than you might think, with campus locations in Beaver/Beckley, Lewisburg, Princeton, and Summersville.

Pierpont Community and Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $4,684 (in-state); $22,256 (out-of-state)

Pierpont Community and Technical’s 60-credit Associate of Applied Science program offers a specialized track for paralegal students interested in studying landwork and breaking into the oil and gas industry.

The standard AAS involves 39 credits, but add the landwork option and you’re looking at 45 credits of core courses and focused coursework specifically designed to prepare you for work in the legal departments of oil and gas companies, utilities, government agencies, and law firms that specialize in serving corporate clients in the energy sector.

Both programs include a three-credit practicum in Fairmont or the surrounding area, and are open to any student who meets PCTC’s basic admission requirements.

 

West Virginia Junior College

Associate Degree in Legal Office Assisting – Campus and online

Certificate in Legal Office Assisting – Campus

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Associate: $25,250; Certificate: $16,850

We’re featuring West Virginia Junior College’s paralegal programs for the simple fact that they prepare you for NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations) certification, a highly respected and sought after entry-level professional credential employers love to see when reviewing resumes.

The 48-week certificate program is an abridged version of the associate’s degree and allows you to transfer credits toward an associate’s if you decide to stick it out and do another year of college so you can earn that coveted associate’s

Before you graduate from either program you’ll also have the opportunity to complete a paralegal externship with a local law firm. Both programs are available on WVJC’s Morgantown campus.

West Virginia Northern Community College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Certificate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $7,368 (in-state), $21,240 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,939 (in-state), $10,875 (out-of-state)

West Virginia Northern CC provides two great affordable options depending on the time investment students want to make.

The 30-credit certificate program can be completed in one year. And get this, you can always transfer those credits into the AAS should you choose to continue your studies. By itself, the AAS program can be completed in two years.

Both programs are offered full time on WVNCC’s Wheeling campus. Students at the Weirton campus can pursue either of these programs but will have to travel to Wheeling for some of their courses. Students at WVNCC’s New Martinsville campus must travel to the Wheeling or Weirton campuses for core paralegal courses.

Wisconsin

By now you know that a successful career as a paralegal doesn’t come down to luck. You’ve got to work for it.

William Kaumheimer discovered that lesson too when he started practicing law in Milwaukee in 1894. He worked hard over the years and his list of clients got longer and new partners were added. In 1949 John Reinhart became associated with the firm, followed by Roger Boerner in 1954 and Richard Van Deuren. Together they founded what is today Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., one of Wisconsin’s best known law firms and among the 200 largest in the nation, employing over 200 attorneys and 250 support staff and paralegals.

What does it take to work as a paralegal in a firm like this? In a 2017 job advert the firm specified paralegal applicants need at least a bachelor’s degree, and must show commitment and an active interest in acquiring new skills.

We’ve compiled the following list of the best paralegal programs in the state to help you acquire just those skills, and to show you have the commitment that employers in the legal industry are looking for.

Bryant and Stratton College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Online and campus

Legal Office Assistant Diploma – Online and campus

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Diploma: $17,900; AAS: $35,800

We’re featuring Bryant and Stratton College because they provide convenient options for paralegals with different educational goals.

An abridged version of the AAS, the diploma program is 23 credits of core courses that can be completed in one year. Credits you earn as part of the diploma program can be applied to the AAS, which is 60 credits in total with 39 credits of core courses, taking two years to complete.

For online students, classes are scheduled in two, 7.5-week sessions that together make a 15 week semester. There are three semesters per year, including a summer semester.

Students can enroll in the AAS and diploma programs at BSC’s Wauwatosa campus, and the diploma program at BSC’s Bayshore campus. Anyone who meets BSC’s basic admission standards can apply to the program of their choosing.

The Center for Legal Studies

Paralegal Certificate – Online

Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Online

Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – Online

Employment Law Certificate – Online

Legal Secretary Certificate – Online

Legal Investigation Certificate – Online

Personal Injury for Paralegals – Online

Medical Professional Legal Consultant – Online

Victim Advocacy Certificate – Online

  • Schools accredited individually
  • Tuition and fees estimate:
  • Paralegal certificate – $1,289
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate – $1,800
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – $645
  • Employment Law Certificate – $729
  • Legal Secretary Certificate – $645
  • Legal Investigation Certificate – $645
  • Personal Injury for Paralegals – 729
  • Medical Professional Legal Consultant – $975
  • Victim Advocacy Certificate – $645

We’re featuring CLS because it provides flexible options for students enrolled in a variety of schools throughout the state.

The online Center for Legal Studies offers the following non-credit certificate programs that can be earned as independent credentials as well as applied to fulfill continuing education units (CEUs). These certificate programs are available online to students of the designated participating universities:

  • Paralegal Certificate – Open to anyone; students have up to 14 weeks to complete their courses for this certificate; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Barron County, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marathon County, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-North Region, UW-Richland, UW-Rock County, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate – Enrollment requires completion of the paralegal certificate; includes six courses that can be completed in 14 weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Barron County, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marathon County, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-North Region, UW-Richland, UW-Rock County, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Employment Law Certificate – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marathon County, UW-Marinette, UW-North Region, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Legal Secretary Certificate – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marathon County, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-North Region, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Legal Investigation Certificate – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marinette, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Personal Injury for Paralegals – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marinette, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Medical Professional Legal Consultant – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
  • Victim Advocacy Certificate – Open to anyone; this program can be completed in six weeks; available to students enrolled at UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Fond-du-lac, UW-Marinette, UW-Marshfield/Wood County, UW-Richland, UW-Colleges-Southeast Region, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Degree: $8,476 (in-state), $12,436; Certificate: $3,478 (in-state), $5,129

The programs through Chippewa Valley Technical College make our list because they’re both ABA-approved and offer great opportunities for paralegals at different stages in their education. Both programs are offered on CVTC’s Eau Claire campus.

The degree program is 66 credits and takes two years to complete. It is open to anyone who meets CVTC’s basic admission requirements, and culminates with a 144-hour internship. The certificate program is designed with career changers in mind who already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and want to focus on developing key paralegal skills. It is comprised of 24 credits and takes one year to complete.

Fox Valley Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Estimated tuition and fees – $9,854

We’re featuring Fox Valley Technical’s AAS program because it has a great value-to-cost ratio. Classes are offered through the school’s Appleton campus.

If you have a high school diploma or GED you can apply to this 62-credit two-year program by taking FVTC’s general skills assessment test. The curriculum covers essential areas of the legal system and includes a three-credit internship.

Herzing University

AS in Legal Assisting/Paralegal Studies – Online

BS in Legal Studies – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AS: $23,500; BS: $58,500

HU offers both these programs fully online. On average students complete the 66-credit AS program in 20 months and the 126-credit BS program in 36 months. The AS program includes the option for a three-credit career internship, while the BS program culminates with a three-credit internship or capstone project.

Graduating from either program also makes you eligible to sit for the national certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

purdue University Global

AAS in Legal Support and Services – Campus and online

BS in Legal Support and Services – Campus and online

MS in Legal Studies – Campus and online

Legal Secretary Certificate – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $35,820; BS: $71,250; MS: $23,015; Legal Secretary Certificate: $12,431; Post-bac Certificate: $14,286

You can apply the credits you earn for the AAS towards a BS at KU if you decide to continue your studies. The 90-credit AAS program can be completed in 100 weeks. The 180-credit BS program offers a specific concentration in paralegal studies, and can be completed in 200 weeks.

The 31-credit legal secretary certificate can be completed in 44 weeks.

All programs except the post-bac certificate and MS are open to students who meet KU’s basic admission requirements. The 36-credit paralegal post-bac certificate is open to professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree, and can be completed in 55 weeks. The 55-credit MS program is also open to those who already have a bachelor’s degree and can be completed in 122 weeks.

You can take all of these programs at KU’s Milwaukee campus, or completely online.

Lakeshore Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and synchronous video

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition estimate – $8,960 (in-state); $13,120 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring this 64-credit two-year ABA-approved program because of its high quality. It’s also got a great location near the shores of Lake Michigan in Cleveland, Manitowoc County.

As you near graduation you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a two-credit internship that you can complete in Cleveland or the greater Wisconsin area. Some classes are offered through live synchronous video for students who cannot attend in person.

Madison Area Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $8,562 (in-state), $12,472 (out-of-state); Certificate: $4,320 (in-state), $6,275 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring these ABA-approved programs because they offer a great value for the price.

The two-year AAS includes a three-credit internship in the fourth semester. You can apply to this program if you have a high school diploma, GED, or associate’s degree. The 32-week paralegal certificate program includes a three-credit internship in the second semester, and is open to anyone who already has a bachelor’s degree in any field.

Both programs are offered at the Madison Truax campus.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Diploma (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $8,852 (in-state), $12,762 (out-of-state); Certificate: $3,113 (in-state), $4,482 (out-of-state)

MATC provides one of the best options for paralegal education in the Milwaukee metro area.

The 64-credit AAS can be completed in two years, while the 21 credit diploma can be completed in one year. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to the AAS program. The diploma is designed for professionals who already have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field.

Both programs are offered from MATC’s downtown campus. Some classes may be offered via synchronous video.

Moraine Park Technical College

  • AAS Paralegal Studies
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition estimate – Degree: $9,900; Certificate: $4,200

We’re featuring NWTC because it has something for everyone. Those with a high school diploma or GED can apply to the two-year associate’s program. Professionals who are changing careers and those who already have a bachelor’s degree in any field can apply to the certificate program.

Both programs are offered from NWTC’s Green Bay campus.

Rasmussen College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus and online

Paralegal Certificate – Campus and online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – Certificate: $18,485; AAS: $28,640

We’re featuring these programs because they are strong on career preparation while flexible when it comes to admissions: the only entrance requirement for this program is a high school diploma or GED.

The AAS program is 94 credits and takes two years to complete, while the certificate program is 61 credits and can be completed in 18 months as an abridged version of the AAS. Both programs culminate with a 130-hour internship in a corporate legal department or law firm in your local area.

Graduates of these program can take the national certification examination sponsored by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) at no additional cost.

You can take this program fully online, blended online and on-campus, and fully on campus at RC’s Green Bay and Wausau campuses.

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

BA/BS in Political Science with a Legal Studies Emphasis – Campus

Certificate in Legal Studies (post-bac) – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – BA/BS: $35,264; Certificate: $44,08

We love UW because its great location can serve as a jumping-off point for networking, and eventually a career, in the local legal community.

Either of the bachelor’s programs total 120 credits and can be completed in four years. The BA program includes study of a foreign language, while the BS program includes study of mathematics. Both programs require at least 60 credits from the political studies and legal studies core courses.

The 18-credit certificate program is intended for professionals who already have a college education under their belts but want to add a paralegal credential to their résumé. This certificate is not available to those enrolled in the BS/BA legal studies emphasis program, but can be completed concurrently with any other bachelor’s degree program.

These programs are offered from UW’s Eau Claire campus.

University of Wisconsin – Madison

BA/BS in Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $42,134 (in-state); $139,133 (out-of-state); $56,241 (Minnesota resident)

This four-year 120-credit program is open to anyone who meets UWM’s general admission requirements and who has met the major’s prereqs. You can qualify to be designated an honors student if you have an overall GPA of 3.3, a 3.5 GPA in major core courses, and complete a specified number of honors-level courses.

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

  • Online Paralegal Certificate
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

University of Wisconsin-Stout

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

Western Technical College

  • AAS- Paralegal
    • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $9,200

We’re featuring Western Technical’s ABA-approved 63-credit two-year program because it has some of the best student-to-faculty ratios in the state.

To be admitted to this program you must pass WTC’s assessment test of your basic writing reading, and arithmetic scores. During your final semester you’ll have an opportunity to complete a three-credit paralegal internship in the greater La Crosse area.

Wyoming

A celebrity in the legal community, Wyoming-born and educated lawyer Gerry Spence has never lost a criminal defense or civil case since starting his career back in 1969.

Even with Spence now in semi-retirement, his Jackson-based firm is going just as strong as ever, and still enjoys national notoriety. In addition to eight partners, three counsel attorneys, and seven associates, the firm also counts nine paralegals among its ranks. The individuals that make up this team of paralegals have credentials that are almost as impressive as Spence’s win record – we’re talking bachelor’s and master’s degrees and decades of experience.

If you want to make a name for yourself in the competitive field of law, you’ll need an impressive resume. The only way to make sure doors are going to open for you is to get the kind of educational credentials that show you’re capable of excellence.

From Casper to Jackson to Cheyenne, Wyoming is home to schools that offer a range of paralegal programs, including everything from nine-month post-bac certificates for those with a degree in fields other than law, to two-year associate’s degrees. These options will not only make sure you’re prepared for the job, they’ll also make sure you get noticed during the hiring process. The tuition rates for in-state students in Wyoming are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the nation.

Casper College

AA in Paralegal Studies – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AA: $5,664 (in-state), $14,208 (out-of-state); Certificate: $2,832 (in-state), $7,104 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Casper College because of its high-quality and very affordable programs for aspiring paralegals at different stages in professional development.

If you don’t have any prior higher education you can apply to enroll in the AA program. It takes approximately two years to complete the 60 credits that make up this program.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and want to return to school to develop a paralegal educational credential, the nine-month, 36-credit post-bac certificate program if for you.

Both these programs are offered at the school’s Casper campus. Some classes outside of the core paralegal courses may be available online. Both programs include a job search seminar and internships.

Casper College also gives you the option of attending a review course for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certification exam. All students are encouraged to earn the certification, and Casper makes it easy by offering the exam three times a year right on campus.

Central Wyoming College

AA in Pre-Legal Studies – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – $6,048 (in-state), $8,304 (Western Undergraduate Exchange-WUE), $15,072 (out-of-state, non-WUE)

We love the AA program through Central Wyoming for offering 23 credits of general education courses and at least 12 credits of elective courses in addition to the 27 credits of core courses. This 62-credit program offers the kind of compressive and well-rounded education paralegals are expected to have these days.

CWC also makes an education in paralegal studies convenient and accessible with campus locations in Riverton, Lander, Jackson, and Dubois.

Laramie County Community College

Paralegal AAS – Campus

Paralegal Certificate (post-bac) – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes, both programs
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and fees estimate – AAS: $6,612 (in-state), $15,156; Certificate: $4,905 (in-state), $11,367 (out-of-state)

We’re featuring Laramie County Community College because both of its ABA-approved paralegal programs offer great quality and affordability for everyone.

Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can apply to the two-year 64-credit AAS program. If you hold a bachelor’s in any field and you’re thinking about returning to school for a paralegal studies program, the 19-credit certificate post-bac program can be completed in just 48 weeks.

Both programs include the chance to complete an internship worth three to five credits at a law firm in Cheyenne or the surrounding area.