Paralegal Schools in West Virginia

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

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, online options available in West Virginia.

 

Alderson Broaddus University

BS/BA in Legal Studies – Campus

Legal Studies Minor – Campus

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

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/American Public University System

AS in Paralegal Studies – Online

BS in Legal Studies – Online

Paralegal Studies Certificate – Online

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

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

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.

 

Mountwest Community and Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

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

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

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 Business College

Associate Degree in Office Administration Paralegal – Campus

  • Accredited by the US Department of Education; next renewal due in June 2018

We like the associate’s program through West Virginia Business College because it offers two options as a way to accommodate students with different scheduling needs: an evening track that can be completed in 24 months, and a daytime track that can be completed in 18 months. The 24 courses that lead to the Associate Degree in Office Administration Paralegal are all delivered at WVBC’s Wheeling campus.

 

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

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

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.

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