Paralegals have a crucial role in the legal system – they interview clients, investigate facts, and perform legal research. Although without a law degree they’re not able to advise clients, they’re the driving force of many law firms and government organizations. While there are many ways to become a paralegal, the best and most affordable way is to become certified or earn an associate’s degree.
When choosing a program, it’s important to know that there are schools that not only offer the necessary education but also offer additional resources for their students to gain employment after graduation.
Here is a list of schools that will help with post-graduation job placement.
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Average Tuition: $15,000
Programs of Interest: Paralegal Studies Certificate, Paralegal Studies Associate’s Degree, Paralegal Studies Bachelor’s Degree
About the school: Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSOC) and their Law School is accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA). This school has been offering distance learning since the 1980’s when they used to mail VHS Tapes with course content to students, who would then mail in assignments to be graded by proctors.
Since the internet boom of the late 1990s, this school has been able to offer its programs exclusively online to continue with its mission of offering ethical and excellent education to all who attend their school.
Location: Orlando, FL
Average Tuition: $4,500
Programs of Interest: Certified Paralegal
About the school: This school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSOC). In addition to offering their certified paralegal program, they have 8 other law-related programs students can choose to take online through their partnership with Ed2Go.
Location: Alexandria, MN
Programs of Interest: Paralegal AAS Degree, Legal Administrative Assistant Diploma
About the school: This school is rated among the highest of public two-year colleges in the state of Minnesota for retention, graduation, and career placement. The school is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Since August of 2012, this 2-year college offers on-campus student housing in the form of two- and four-bedroom units, where each student receives their own private bedroom. This is something many community colleges generally do not offer and is a great option if you are interested in moving out on your own.
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Programs of Interest: Paralegal Studies Certificate
About the school: Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and approved by the American Bar Association. The school has campuses located on 4 continents; North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. If you’re interested in studying abroad or working in another country, this school could be a great stepping stone.
Location: Winona, MN
Programs of Interest: Profession Option (LGLS, B.S. Degree)
About the school: The Legal Studies Professional Option is one of the few American Bar Association (ABA) approved 4-year programs in the nation and is re-evaluated by the ABA every 7 years.
In fact, their program was ranked in the top 25 Best Bachelor’s Degree Programs in 2020, and has been ranked in the top 100 of best college buys in America for quality and value over the last 24 years.
Location: Hampton, VA
Programs of Interest: Certificate in Paralegal Studies, B.A. in Paralegal Studies
About the school: Hampton University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSOC). The school is also recognized as a historically black institution committed to multiculturalism, and serving students from diverse national, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
Location: Normal, IL
Programs of Interest: B.A. and B.S. in Legal Studies
About the school: The curriculum of Illinois State University’s Legal Studies paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). They have a mock trial team that has advanced to the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship for seven years in a row. They also have a high percentage of students eligible for financial aid, in fact, 78% of their students receive aid of some sort.
Location: Clinton, MS
Programs of Interest: B.S. in Paralegal Studies, Paralegal Studies Certificate, or Minor in Paralegal Studies
About the school: Paralegal courses at this school are offered both in-person and online, so students have an option of how to complete their program. The school was ranked #5 in online paralegal programs by intelligent.com and onlinecollegeplan.com. They are also accredited by the SACSOC and ABA.
These schools have a lot to offer to their students and some have a very interesting history. While there are many other schools that might offer job placement, it’s important to look at all of the resources, facts, and accreditations of other institutions before making any commitments.