Paralegal Schools in Washington

The body of knowledge required to effectively perform legal support services can only come from a formal education in paralegal studies. As attorneys, corporations and government agencies work within an increasingly complex legal framework, the level of responsibility they expect paralegals to be able to take on has also increased. Law offices and other employers in Washington state have come to rely on paralegals with the kind of expertise that can only come from earning a certificate or degree in paralegal studies.

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 schools available online or at campus locations in Washington that have achieved regional or national accreditation. You can be sure that all the schools we recommend offer programs that have met the highest quality standards.

To get the details you need to better narrow down your options, request information to find out about annual tuition rates and unique features of each program.

 

Columbia Basin College: Pasco

AAS Paralegal Program – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Lynwood

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

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: Auburn

Paralegal certificate – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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

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: Renton

BAS- Paralegal Studies – online/hybrid

AAS -Paralegal Studies – online/hybrid

Certificate-Paralegal Studies –  online/hybrid

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Lacey

Legal Studies Minor – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Olympia

AAS -Paralegal – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Spokane

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

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: Tacoma

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Paralegal Pro-Certificate (post-associate)

  • ABA Approval: Yes
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Tacoma

Certificate in Paralegal Studies (post-baccalaureate) – campus

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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: Bellingham

AS – Paralegal Studies – hybrid

Certificate – Paralegal Studies – hybrid

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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.

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