Paralegal Schools in Wisconsin

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

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 paralegals and other legal staff.

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 identified our favorite online paralegal programs to help you acquire just those skills, and to give you a chance 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

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

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

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

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

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).

 

Kaplan University – Milwaukee

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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.

 

Western Technical College

AAS in Paralegal Studies – Campus

  • ABA-approved – Yes
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

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.

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