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How to Get a Paralegal Degree

The paralegal is a very important part of a law firm. These individuals perform research, draft legal documents and create affidavits. Lawyers are responsible for the work that paralegals do, so before you will be hired to work in a law office, you will need to be able to show that you have extensive education and training in the paralegal field.

The Certificate in Paralegal Studies

High school students can begin studying for a paralegal degree right after graduation. One option is to enter into a certification program. Some programs only last three months, but others require a two-year commitment. After completing your chosen course of study, you will be a registered paralegal, certified paralegal or certified legal assistant.

Earning a Certificate in Paralegal Studies

First, research schools you might like to attend for your paralegal certificate. If you wish to enter the job market very quickly, this option is the best one for you. It’s also appropriate for those who have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than paralegal studies.

Once you find a school, request an application. Make sure that you submit it before the deadline. After you have been accepted, you will need to complete 24 credits in order to graduate. For this purpose, you will take several required courses, such as Torts & Personal Injury, Contracts, Wills, Trusts & Estates and Business Law & Bankruptcy. Upon completion of your studies, you will receive your Certificate in Paralegal Studies. You can now apply for several entry-level positions.

The Higher Degrees

Those who have more time can increase their value by obtaining a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. You can also work toward an associate’s degree, but this option is like the certificate described above because it will only qualify you for an entry-level position. In contrast, you can enter directly into the top positions with a higher degree.

Research colleges and universities that offer paralegal studies to find the one that is most appropriate for you. The industry even has schools that are devoted entirely to paralegal studies, so make sure that you do not neglect these options. Apply to the school that you wish to attend. Complete 180 credits in courses that teach you how to perform investigative functions and prepare affidavits, wills and contracts. Lastly, receive your bachelor’s degree.

After graduation, you can apply for paralegal jobs with the government, major corporations and law firms.

Top Online Paralegal Programs

Rank School FT to PT
Faculty Ratio
Fin. Aid Rate
Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Accred.
Job Place. Rate
1 Mississippi College

200 South Capitol Street,
Clinton, Mississippi 39058

(601) 925-3000

0.80 to 1 98% 58% 73% 62% 92 3% 68%
  At Mississippi College, students have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree in paralegal studies. The Department of History and Political Science aims to teach students how to perform the tasks required of a successful legal assistant. In addition to classroom learning, paralegal studies students are able to intern at law offices and corporate legal departments to further develop their skills.
2 Virginia College-Online

488 Palisades Blvd.,
Birmingham, Alabama 35209

() -

N/A 4% 0% 0% 67% 24 0% 94%
  With the online paralegal degree from Virginia College, students can expect to graduate with the skills required to gain employment in attorney's offices, courtrooms, or corporate legal departments. Through email and phone calls, faculty and staff are made readily available to enhance the student experience at Virginia College.
3 Globe University-Woodbury

8089 Globe Drive,
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-3388

(651) 332-8000

0.17 to 1 58% 0% 38% 30% 61 0% 80%
  Globe University offers both online and on-campus paralegal program options to accommodate various students learning styles and lives. The program offers advanced studies in alternative dispute resolution, litigation, and legal research. In addition, Globe University's paralegal program includes a paralegal internship so that students can get firsthand experience in the industry.
4 Everest University - Online

3319 W Hillsborough Ave,
Tampa, Florida 33614

(888) 391-8881

0.27 to 1 2% 0% 0% 34% 48 0% 80%
  An online degree in paralegal studies earned through Everest University will prepare students for a new career in a fast-growing industry. This program is designed to provide students with practical litigation skills, as well as prepare them to work under the guidance of an attorney. Everest University's instructors are qualified professionals with industry experience so students can gain the kind of practical insight that can't be learned from a textbook.
5 Tiffin University

155 Miami Street,
Tiffin, Ohio 44883

(800) 968-6446

0.20 to 1 57% 51% 66% 38% 29 6% 82%
  Since 1888, Tiffin University has offered a friendly educational environment where the needs of the students come first. The paralegal studies program offers specialty courses in legal research writing, legal ethics, contract sales, property law and transactions, litigation, estate planning, and law office management. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Ohio Board of Regents have accredited the Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies program at Tiffin University.
6 Broadview University-Online

240 E Morris Ave,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

(801) 300-4300

1.67 to 1 67% 0% 0% 0% 4 0% N/A
  At Broadview University, students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal studies in three years of year-round study. The program can be completed on campus or online, and all instructors are experienced legal professionals. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to preform legal work vital to business operations and the court system.