Paralegal Programs in Tucson, AZ
Interested in a career in law, but not in spending seven to eight years in law school? Becoming a paralegal in Arizona offers a faster track to the world of work, at a lower cost, but still sets you up to join a diverse and well-paid field.
Assisting attorneys during trials, organizing case files, preparing trial notes, executing legal research, producing legal briefs, and occasionally conducting client and witness interviews are just some of the responsibilities a paralegal may have.
They work in every legal department imaginable, from high-powered corporate law firms to small boutique legal practices, and even at the state and local government levels.
Entry-Level Paralegal Programs in Tucson, AZ
There are three basic paths someone interested in attending paralegal school in Tucson, Arizona can choose to take, with each of them offering something different and also differing in both time to completion and cost:
As there are two different types, the term paralegal certificate can sometimes be confusing. Often a graduate degree course designed for those making a career switch into the law is referred to as a paralegal certificate course, but so are short (often online) courses that do not grant a degree but do offer a good foundation in paralegal studies for those looking to work with smaller law firms or non-profit organizations.
Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies
Like any other Associate Degree, most paralegal programs are two year degree programs. Many employers require a minimum of an Associates Degree for their paralegal positions, and it is a good choice for those who want to enter the world of work relatively quickly but still have the option of completing a higher level of education at a later date by transferring credits earned to complete an AS to a BS program.
Bachelor Degree in Paralegal Studies
A traditional four-year Bachelor’s Degree is often the preferred qualification for those seeking employment with larger corporate law firms or in government offices. A Bachelor Degree in Paralegal Studies can also be very useful should a working paralegal change their mind and decide to proceed to law school to become an attorney after all.
Best Paralegal Programs in Tucson, AZ
Pima Community College
Location: Downtown Campus
4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85709-1010
Pima Community College offers affordable education to local residents, including an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies degree.
The program is a two-year campus-based offering that includes both required general education modules and specialized legal study. By graduation, students should be armed with the knowledge and skills needed to obtain an entry level paralegal degree in a wide range of legal niches and environments.
Admission is based on past academic performance and requires a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Students will also need to prove their national and local residence status. Costs are charged per credit which are priced according to a student’s personal circumstances and residence, and traditional financial aid is available to those who qualify.
University of Arizona
1955 E. 6th Street Tucson, AZ 85721-0184
The University of Arizona’s Continuing and Professional Education School offers an online Paralegal Certificate program that can be completed in 90 clock hours, around eight months.
While this is not a degree granting offering, or one that can be covered by traditional financial aid, it does offer a good introduction to the paralegal career and may be a great way to obtain additional legal knowledge for those who already have a degree, or a good introduction for those who are interested in getting to work quickly.
There are no admission requirements to meet, other than paying the full balance due for the course at the time of enrollment, which for 2021 was set at $1,595, excluding the cost of books and materials.
American National University
1813 East Main Street, Salem, VA 24153
American National University is one of the few schools in Arizona that has been able to gain American Bar Association accreditation for its online paralegal degree programs.
This does mean that the education offered meets the high standards of the nation’s largest bar association, which is certainly a good sign.
There are two available options: a standard two-year Associate’s Degree Program for students attending college for the first time, or a one-year Certificate Program for those who already hold an Associates Degree in another subject. The legal portions of both courses are the same, it is just the general education requirements that differ.
The program not only covers basic standard law, legal research and e-discovery, but students can also opt for specialist courses in various niches including real estate law, family law, immigration law and more.
To be admitted, students must meet minimum educational standards, including holding a high school diploma, or, to complete the Certificate Program, an accredited Associates or Bachelors degree.
Both programs are eligible for Federal and State financial aid if you qualify, and are charged on a per-credit basis. The Paralegal Certificate Program, which calls for a minimum of 28 credits, is charged at $380 per credit hour while the Associate’s Degree program, a 64 credit offering, is charged at the lower rate of $234 per credit hour.