Paralegal Schools in Raleigh, NC
Paralegals are legal professionals employed in every legal niche in the US, from corporate law to family law, immigration law to personal injury litigation, civil rights law and more. These professionals assist their supervising attorneys in almost every aspect of case preparation and the day-to-day practice of law. It's a challenging, but satisfying profession that is growing every day.
Paralegal schools in Raleigh, NC help prepare those interested in working in law, but not in the seven to nine years of schooling it takes to become an attorney to achieve their goals. While there are no formal legal requirements for paralegal education in North Carolina, those who do have formal education are the most sought after candidates for all kinds of jobs in the paralegal field.
Before making the investment of time and money in any educational program, especially one with a vocational element like a paralegal program, it's almost a must to ensure that the ROI on offer is good. Overall, becoming a paralegal offers a well paying career option. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the average wage paid to a paralegal was $56,610 per year, or $27.22 per hour.
Salaries in Raleigh, NC stack up against the national average well. For the same time period the BLS reports the average salary paid to a paralegal in Raleigh, NC was $56,830 per annum or $27.32 per hour. Experience, education and employer type do affect salary of course. In 2020 the bottom 10% of earners in the paralegal field in Raleigh averaged a wage of $35,930 per annum, while the top 10% commanded a salary of $78,930 per annum or more.
Job Growth Prospects
Job growth prospects are good too. Paralegals are responsible for a variety of tasks, but don't expect that a paralegal in Raleigh, NC is tasked with making coffee runs or copying reams of documents. Law firms are increasingly looking for talented and qualified paralegals to take on more of their caseload tasks than ever before as they try to keep the costs of providing quality legal representation to their clients down. It is estimated that employment in the field in North Carolina could grow by as much as 12% between 2020 and 2025.
Paralegal Schools in Raleigh, NC
The Paralegal Certificate Program offered at Meredith College is designed for students who already hold a Bachelor's Degree in a different field and are interested in making a career shift into law by becoming a paralegal. It is also the only paralegal program in North Carolina's Triangle area that is approved by both the American Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association. The program is a full time, campus based offering that offers a comprehensive overview of the paralegal profession and the legal, research and ethical knowledge needed on a day-to-day basis. Candidates for admission must hold a BA and meet other educational requirements. For those who are accepted tuition is charged on a per-credit basis, and those rates vary according to a student's personal circumstances and residence. Traditional financial aid is available to those who qualify and is how 98% of students pay for their education.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC at Chapel Hill offers an introductory, campus based Paralegal Certificate Program that can be completed in the evening and on weekends in 19 weeks. Between lectures, classroom study and 'field trips' to local law firms and online study, students complete just under 300 hours of study and are given a broad, but comprehensive introduction to the basics needed to work as an entry level paralegal. There is no formal educational requirement to enroll beyond holding a high school diploma or GED and meeting English comprehension requirements as set by the school. The program is a cash only offering, which means that traditional financial aid is not available. The cost is set at $5,695 and that fee includes all fees and books. Students can take advantage of a school payment plan after a $500 deposit, or look into obtaining a private student loan from a lender like Sallie Mae.
Wake Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College offers adult students the chance to complete an online only Certificate in Paralegal Studies, which can be completed in as little as six months of self-guided study. The program is approved by the National Association of Legal Assistants and is open to candidates who hold a high school diploma or GED. The program gives students a broad overview of basic law practices and the responsibilities of a paralegal. As this is not a degree granting program the cost cannot be covered by traditional financial aid. Many students however qualify for workforce grants and other aid to help pay for the program and are advised to contact the admissions' office to discuss what their personal costs might be.
Durham Technical Community College
Durham Tech offers two programs: Assoc Degree or Diploma in Paralegal Technology.
The AAS degree is 70 credit hours, held at the their main campus in Durham but many of their courses can be completed online. Students will acquire legal knowledge areas of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, and commercial law. It's over 12 months long and estimated tuition fees are $5,320.
The Diploma program is 46 credit hours and is also held in excess of 12 months and similarly graduates will be trained to assist attorneys in probate work, investigations, public records search, drafting and filing legal documents, research, and office management. Typical courses include:
- Writing and Inquiry
- Intro to Paralegal Study
- Legal Research/Writing
- Civil Litigation
Estimated tuition fees are $3,496 and both programs are financial air eligible.