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Paralegal Schools – Online & On Campus


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) the demand for qualified paralegals will continue to grow at an above-average rate in upcoming years. Despite this growth, it’s anticipated that there will be significant competition for open positions, as an increasing number of individuals choose to pursue a paralegal career. Although some paralegals may be able to become so by working their way up from an entry-level position, it’s expected that paralegal employers will prefer to hire formally-educated paralegal candidates.

Paralegal Training Schools

Annual Salary by Type of Paralegal Education

Legal Assistant Education

Average Salary

Undergraduate Certificate

$53,781

Post Baccalaureate Certificate

$54,100

Associate Degree

$50,716

Bachelor Degree

$49,599

Master Degree

$56,000

Other

$53,522

None

$53,078

Source: NALA.org - Paralegal Salary Survey Report for 2010
Online Paralegal Schools - A Popular Option

One increasingly popular option is that of online paralegal schools. Paralegal online schools provide a flexible choice for those whose work or family commitments make it difficult for them to attend a traditional program. Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and paralegal certificate programs are all offered online, by various entities including “brick and mortar” universities to entirely online colleges. The paralegal profession is particularly well-suited to online studies due to its emphasis on research, writing, and computer skills. Completion of an online paralegal degree will likely entail many of the same assignments as a classroom-based option.

What are classroom-based paralegal programs?

Classroom-based paralegal programs provide the distinct advantage of allowing regular face-to-face interaction with other paralegal students as well as course instructors, who are often practicing attorneys. Those who attend traditional paralegal programs also get to take advantage of additional amenities such as their school’s technology center and library.

When evaluating a paralegal program – whether online or classroom-based, several factors should be considered, including cost, job placement assistance, internship requirements, and instructor qualifications. Many who are considering a paralegal education are also seeking an accredited paralegal school. The American Bar Association (ABA) is the nationally-recognized accrediting organization for paralegal programs.

To obtain ABA-approval, a paralegal program must meet specific standards in terms of curriculum, instructors, graduation rates, technology, job placement assistance, and in other areas. Although non-ABA approved paralegal programs can also be a good choice for certain students, choosing an ABA-approved paralegal ensures that a quality paralegal education will be received. Additionally, ABA-approved paralegal programs are generally considered more reputable among some paralegal employers.

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