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The Best Paralegal Programs in Colorado - Certificate, AAS, BS

2023 – Best Paralegal Schools in Colorado

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Professionals trained in paralegal work support lawyers in a variety of legal roles. More complex than the clerical activities usually carried out by legal executive administrative assistants, paralegal responsibilities cover a wide spectrum of substantive legal work.

However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2021 there were 6,060 paralegals employed in the State of Colorado, and the rate of growth for the profession between 2020 and 2028 is projected at 27%, which is higher than the national average of 13.1%. Much of this growth is projected as a result of the previously mentioned cost savings initiatives.

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What is a paralegal

Legal document drafting, regular client interaction, case management, and fact and legal research are all tasks performed by paralegals. Many paralegals work on demanding and interesting tasks that would normally be handled by lawyers, but paralegals are not allowed to offer legal services to the public alone.

Even though they spend the majority of their days working independently, good paralegals are people-oriented professionals. As well as communicating with clients, witnesses, and court staff, paralegals may work in teams with one or more attorneys, other paralegals, and legal administrative assistants.

While the role of a paralegal was first utilized in law firm settings, they may now also be employed in the independent legal departments of both private and public companies, in government offices at both the state and national levels, by non-profit organizations, by solo law practitioners and more.

As the scope of the role of the paralegal is increasing, especially as firms look to cut costs and more tasks once performed by attorneys are now often handed to experienced paralegals instead in order to do so, it is hard to gauge the potential for career growth for paralegals in Colorado in terms of percentages.

Education, training, and certification

Becoming a paralegal

As is the case for the majority of US states, the State of Colorado sets no certification or licensing standard for paralegals (in the way it must for attorneys).

However, the vast majority of employers prefer to hire those with some form of paralegal education, as everything that a paralegal does is conducted under the responsibility of their supervising attorney, whose license to practice law may be compromised if their paralegals are found to break the law or act unprofessionally.

There are several different educational paths an aspiring paralegal can choose to take, and it is those paths, as well as the schools that offer programs that will advance them along them, that we are going to take a closer look at next.

Associates degree paralegal programs in Colorado

An Associate’s Degree in paralegals studies offers students the strong foundational knowledge that many employers look for, especially law firms.

When comparing programs, you should consider admissions requirements, the scope of the curriculum, the school's location and reputation and, of course, the costs.

Approval from the American Bar Association is also important, and all the schools on our lists have achieved that prestigious status.

As is the case for the vast majority of Associates Degree programs, associates degree paralegal programs in Colorado are usually designed to be completed in two school years.

Front Range Community College

The two-year AAS in Paralegal Studies offered by Front Range Community College is a 60 credit, two year program that gives students a solid and detailed education in the basic skills and tasks that the vast majority of paralegals are asked to undertake. The program can be completed completely on-campus or as a hybrid online/in-person offering.

Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission

Contact

3645 W. 112th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80031
(303)-404-5000
Program: AAS in Paralegal Studies
Website

Colorado Mountain College

The AAS in Paralegal Studies offered at Community College of Denver is a two-year program of study that awards 60 credits, which can then be directly transferred to CU Denver's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences towards the completion of a four year degree in a legal discipline. It can be completed entirely online and will help prepare graduates for entry-level positions in private law firms or government offices.

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Contact

Cherry Creek Building
1111 W. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 556- 2600
Program: AAS in Paralegal Studies
Website

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IBMC College

IBMC College is a private, for profit educational institution focused on providing a range of vocationally focused AAS degrees, including an AAS degree in Paralegal Studies of 90 credit hours designed to be completed in 19 months of hybrid in-person and online study. Graduates can apply for entry-level jobs as a paralegal.

Accreditation
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Contact

2863 35th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 356-4733
Program: Associate of Occupational Studies Degree
Website

Community College of Aurora

The 60 credit, 2 year AAS in Paralegal offered at Community College of Aurora is a hybrid online/campus based selective admission program available to HS graduates - or those who hold a GED - who achieved a 2.5 or better GPA and can meet college set standards in English Comprehension and Computer Studies. Graduates can enter the workforce as a paralegal.

Accreditation

American Bar Association (ABA)

Contact

16000 E. CentreTech Pkwy
Aurora, CO 80011
(303)-360-4700
Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree - Paralegal (A.A.S.)
Website

Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe College offers a limited admission, 60 credit AAS in Paralegal Studies program that can be completed in two years of on campus study, and offers both general and elective specialty paralegal education.

Accreditation
American Bar Association (ABA)

Contact
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 797- 4222
Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree - Paralegal (A.A.S.)
Website

Pikes Peak State College

Formerly a community college, now a full state college, Pikes Peak offers a comprehensive, 64 credit AAS in Paralegal Studies that gives students the chance to obtain a solid general knowledge of the skills required to work as a paralegal in a variety of settings. Paralegal classes include Introduction to law, family law and legal ethics.

Accreditation

American Bar Association (ABA)

Contact
5675 S. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
719-502-2000
Program: Associate of Applied Science Degree, AAS Paralegal
Website

Certificate paralegal programs in Colorado

Certificate programs offered in paralegal studies are usually shorter offerings - taking about a year to complete - that offer a faster, but less in depth, introduction to working as a paralegal and the skills required to do so.

They are usually designed for those who want to work in general law in an entry level role, or later continue their education in a more specialized legal field.

Front Range Community College

Front Range's Certificate in Paralegal studies is a shorter, less immersive version of its AAS in Paralegal studies. This 30 credit program is designed to be completed in a single school year and covers the basics of a paralegal's responsibilities without the specialized electives offered by the AAS program.

Community College of Denver

The Paralegal Certificate Program at Community College of Denver is a condensed, 30 credit version of their AAS degree program that offers a 'faster track' to employment as an entry level paralegal in a smaller law firm setting. The 30 credits earned upon completion can also be applied towards the completion of an AAS degree at a later date.

Colorado Mountain College

Many of the courses in this certificate's curriculum are also included in the school's Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal program, and credits earned here can be used toward that degree at a later date.

The course is a 36 credit offering designed to be completed in under a year (but in no less than 9 months) and covers a basic introduction to the standard duties and responsibilities of a paralegal.

Community College of Aurora

A condensed, less comprehensive form of its AAS in Paralegal Studies, this Certificate in Paralegal Studies is offered without the specialized electives that the AAS degree offers. This 30-credit curriculum covers the fundamentals of a paralegal's duties and is meant to be completed in a single academic year.

The credits acquired in this program can later be applied toward the completion of an AAS in Paralegal Studies, and it is meant to prepare students for an entry-level career in a smaller law firm.

Arapahoe Community College

The Community College of Denver's Paralegal Certificate Program is a streamlined, 30-credit version of their AAS degree program that gives students a "faster track" to work as entry-level paralegals in smaller law firms. To be admitted, students must hold a HS diploma or GED and meet minimum English standards.

The 30 credits that are obtained upon completion may also be used toward the eventual completion of an AAS degree.

References:

Job growth and stats: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Search Paralegal Programs

Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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