What is paralegal studies?

Paralegal studies is the professional discipline concerning processes of law and justice and how these procedures are managed in support of attorneys' practice.

What should I look for in an online paralegal school?

The best online paralegal schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online paralegal schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online paralegal school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online paralegal programs are available?

The following levels of paralegal degree online programs are available:

  • Online Paralegal Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Paralegal
  • Online Bachelor in Paralegal

How long does it take to get an online paralegal degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online paralegal degree depends on the level of paralegal degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Paralegal Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Paralegal Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Paralegal Bachelor Degree - 4 years

What are some examples of online paralegal studies courses?

Some of the career-oriented curriculum available in an accredited online paralegal degree program includes courses like:

  • Essential Paralegal Studies
    This introductory course offers an overview of the duties and responsibilities of a paralegal.
  • Legal Office Procedures
    This course covers both administrative and clerical tasks performed in a legal office, including types of record-keeping, entering payment, and human resource management.
  • Drafting Legal Documents
    This course provides instruction on legal document drafting formats that meet professional standards.
  • Legal Ethics
    An essential requirement in good online paralegal programs, this course covers the guidelines and regulations of a professional legal setting.
  • Legal Terminology
    In this course, students will acquire the terminology necessary to function in a modern law firm and easily understand the issues addressed in the legal profession.

What areas of paralegal specialization are available?

Because paralegal studies is a specialization within law, concentrated courses of study will focus on particular types of legal practice. These might include:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Property Law
  • Civil Law
  • International Law

What can I do with a paralegal degree?

The best online degrees in paralegal studies provide qualification to work in a law firm supporting the work of licensed attorneys. Students enrolled in paralegal training programs through accredited online programs can consider any of the following positions:

  • Paralegal
  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Document Assistant
  • Notary Public
  • Law Clerk
  • Court Reporter

What is a paralegal?

A paralegal works directly beneath a practicing lawyer and handles clerical duties and other business relating to the lawyer's cases.

What does a paralegal do?

Paralegals interact with lawyers' clients, cases, evidence, depositions, records, and billing. In large part, paralegals function much like lawyers, but cannot set fees, give legal advice, appear in front of a court, or sign court documents as a representative. Paralegals can witness oaths and contracts, and are often responsible for drafting legal documents at the behest of the licensed lawyer.

How much does a paralegal earn?

Paralegals earn a mean annual wage of $50,080. Job growth is expected at 28% through 2018. This growth is related to efforts on the part of employers to minimize expenditure by using paralegals instead of full-fledged lawyers for certain legal services.

How do I become a paralegal?

Though paralegals are not required to hold degrees and can sometimes obtain on-the-job training, most do have a bachelor's or at least an associate's degree. Additionally, students interested in how to become a paralegal should bear in mind that despite projected job growth, competition for paralegal positions is expected to remain considerable. Having completed professional education beforehand can increase candidates' chances of obtaining entry-level positions.

Paralegal Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL, 33132
http://www.mdc.edu/main/
X
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX, 77266
http://www.hccs.edu
X X
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL, 32816
http://www.ucf.edu/
X
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77381
http://www.lonestar.edu
X X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X
Tarrant County College District
1500 Houston St
Fort Worth, TX, 76102
http://www.tccd.edu
X X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.illinois.edu/
X
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY, 10012
http://www.nyu.edu
X X X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
University of Wisconsin-Madison
500 Lincoln Dr
Madison, WI, 53706
http://www.wisc.edu
X X
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX, 78752
http://www.austincc.edu
X X
Valencia Community College
190 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://valenciacc.edu
X
Broward College
225 E las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301
http://www.broward.edu
X
University of Maryland-University College
3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD, 20783
http://www.umuc.edu
X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X X
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
http://WWW.TEMPLE.EDU
X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X X
University of California-Berkeley
Gayley Rd & Stadium Rim Way
Berkeley, CA, 94720
http://www.berkeley.edu
X X X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
X X
Salt Lake Community College
4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
http://www.slcc.edu
X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA, 22030
http://www.gmu.edu
X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X
American Public University System
111 W Congress St
Charles Town, WV, 25414
http://www.apus.edu
X X
University of California-Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA, 95616
http://www.ucdavis.edu
X
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH, 45221
http://www.uc.edu
X X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X X
Colorado Technical University Online
4435 N Chestnut Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO, 80907
http://www.ctuonline.edu
X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X X
Tidewater Community College
121 College Place
Norfolk, VA, 23510
http://www.tcc.edu
X X
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
X X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X
Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
X X
St Petersburg College
14025 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL, 33760
http://www.spcollege.edu
X X
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33314
http://www.nova.edu
X X
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA, 52242
http://www.uiowa.edu
X
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X
Florida State College at Jacksonville
501 W State St
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
http://www.fscj.edu
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X X
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
http://www.pitt.edu
X X X
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Drive
El Paso, TX, 79915
http://www.epcc.edu
X X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X X
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Ave
Lake Worth, FL, 33461
http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/
X
Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
http://www.cnm.edu
X X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St # 121
Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859
http://www.cmich.edu
X
El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90506
http://www.elcamino.edu
X X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
X X
University of Massachusetts Amherst
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst Center, MA, 1003
http://www.umass.edu
X
San Jacinto Community College
8060 Spencer Hwy
Pasadena, TX, 77501
http://www.sjcd.edu
X
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
X X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X X
South Texas College
3201 W Pecan
McAllen, TX, 78502
http://www.southtexascollege.edu
X
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X X
Kent State University Kent Campus
Campus Center Dr
Kent, OH, 44242
http://www.kent.edu
X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X X
University of Connecticut
115 N Eagleville RD
Storrs, CT, 6269
http://www.uconn.edu
X
Collin County Community College District
4800 Preston Park Blvd.
Plano, TX, 75093
http://www.collin.edu
X X
Suffolk County Community College
533 College Rd
Selden, NY, 11784
http://www3.sunysuffolk.edu
X X
Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI, 49401
http://www.gvsu.edu
X
Macomb Community College
14500 E Twelve Mile Rd
Warren, MI, 48088
http://www.macomb.edu
X
Columbia University in the City of New York
116 St and Broadway
New York, NY, 10027
http://www.columbia.edu
X X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X
Central Texas College
6200 West Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX, 76540
http://www.ctcd.edu
X
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
14th and R St
Lincoln, NE, 68588
http://www.unl.edu/
X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X X
University of Toledo
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH, 43606
http://www.utoledo.edu/
X X
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
107 Whitehurst
Stillwater, OK, 74078
http://www.okstate.edu/
X
Eastern Michigan University
1000 College Pl
Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
http://www.emich.edu
X
University of California-Santa Barbara
552 University Rd
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106
http://www.ucsb.edu
X
Nassau Community College
One Education Dr
Garden City, NY, 11530
http://www.ncc.edu/
X X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X X
Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA, 92832
http://www.fullcoll.edu
X X
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA, 50023
http://www.dmacc.edu
X X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X X
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
X
Sinclair Community College
444 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH, 45402
http://www.sinclair.edu
X
Ball State University
2000 University Ave
Muncie, IN, 47306
http://www.bsu.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X X
University of Louisville
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY, 40292
http://www.louisville.edu
X
Wayne County Community College District
801 W Fort St
Detroit, MI, 48226
http://www.wcccd.edu
X
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY, 42101
http://www.wku.edu
X
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15233
http://www.ccac.edu
X X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X X
St. John's University-New York
8000 Utopia Pky
New York, NY, 11439
http://www.stjohns.edu
X X X
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
900 S Illinois Ave
Carbondale, IL, 62901
http://www.siuc.edu
X
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
X
Los Angeles City College
855 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.lacitycollege.edu/
X X
Northwestern University
633 Clark St
Evanston, IL, 60208
http://www.northwestern.edu
X X
University of Arkansas
Administration Bldg 425
Fayetteville, AR, 72701
http://www.uark.edu
X
Syracuse University
100 University Pl
Syracuse, NY, 13244
http://syr.edu/
X
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN, 46208
http://www.ivytech.edu/indianapolis/
X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Paralegal Schools