If you have a knack for hunting down facts or a passion for getting to the bottom of puzzles, then Paralegal Studies is a great fit for you. Paralegals tend to get overshadowed by lawyers, but the truth is, in most cases, paralegals do all the legwork! Through research, writing, and investigation, paralegals are the bedrock of our judicial system.
What kind of online Paralegal Studies Degree should you get?
Not all degrees in Paralegal Studies are the same. For instance, when you start off you have a number of options: Do you want to complete an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree? Do you want to attend online or in person? Do you want to specialize in a type of law?
The schools on our list are all online Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies; we want to give you the best shot at an affordable, flexible education. Online learning is a perfect format for Paralegal Studies. Most paralegals are self-driven, independent, and computer-savvy.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, but are hoping to make a career switch to being a paralegal, then check out College Choice’s list on the Best Online Paralegal Certificate Programs. Those interested in online learning should check out College Choice’s Best Online Schools and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Paralegal Studies Degree?
A career in paralegal studies is a great financial choice. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, paralegals make an average of $49,560 annually. However, your salary really depends on where you choose to work. Here’s a rundown of the top-earning sectors for paralegal work:
- Federal government: $64,650
- Finance and insurance: $59,570
- Local government, excluding education and hospitals: $48,920
- Legal services: $47,450
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what kind of law interests you the most—the money will be there regardless! Paralegal positions aren’t going to be scarce when you get out of school. Employment rates for paralegals are predicted to increase by 15% in the next 10 years.
What can you do with a Paralegal Studies Degree?
As a paralegal, your work duties will vary widely. One day, you could be obtaining an affidavit from a judge; the next, you could be researching old cases; the next, you could be filing evidence to be used in a court case.
Overall, your main task is to support the team around you, whether that’s government officials, lawyers, or a corporate office. As you’ll see on our list, you’ll be able to specialize in a wide range of law. Some examples include Environmental Law, Family Law, Debtor-Creditor Law. And that’s just to name a few. Find your passion and go for it!
What are the requirements for a Paralegal Studies Degree?
Most of the programs on our list have a relatively simple admissions process. Like any other bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to prepare a college application. This might include a statement of purpose or a list of extracurriculars. Make sure to emphasize your strengths, especially when it comes to analytical thinking and writing.
If your ultimate goal is becoming a lawyer, keep that in mind in your undergraduate work. You’ll want to start mentally preparing for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Everything you learn as a paralegal will be useful to carry into a career as a lawyer. All of our programs are accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). With a Bachelors in Paralegal Studies you’re well on your way to a bright future in law!
What are the best online Paralegal Studies Degree?
If you’re ready to take the plunge into a career of winning big cases and uncovering evidence, then you’re in the right spot. Here at College Choice, we’ve determined the best online Bachelors in Paralegal Studies. We started first with the reputation of each program in the nation and then looked into graduation rates, retention rates, affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.
Our final list offers the 10 Best Online Bachelors in Paralegal Studies in the nation. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $24,794
Liberty University gets our list off to a strong start. It has one of the largest and most extensive online campuses in the country, with over 100,000 students. Liberty University is also the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world.
Liberty University’s Online B.S. in Paralegal Studies gives you the flexibility of learning from home with all the same academic rigor as a regular program. The classes are taught by actively practicing lawyers. Some of the highlight classes include:
- Constitutional Government and Free Enterprise
- Wills, Trusts, and Estates
- Criminal Practice and Procedures
- Foundations of Law
Beyond its online education reputation, Liberty University is known for its political leanings. The Young America’s Foundation consistently ranks Liberty University as one of the top ten most conservative colleges in the country.
Eastern Kentucky University
College Choice Score: 97.90
Average Net Price: $12,255
A mid-sized university with branch locations throughout the state, Eastern Kentucky University is known for its online and adult degree completion programs. It offers over forty online degree programs. Last year it ranked 63rd in the country for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report.
At Eastern Kentucky University, you’ll take all but 10 credit hours online. This Online B.S. in Paralegal Studies gives you first-hand access to practicing lawyers and judges through its two-part on-campus residency. You’ll also be able to dive into the law library and courthouse vault on campus. A sampling of your classes might look like:
- Litigation: Trial to Appeal
- Real Estate/Bankruptcy Practice
- Legal Research and Writing
- Probate Practice and Procedure
One stand-out feature of Eastern Kentucky University is the eight-week terms. This allows you to move through your degree quickly. You also can be assured that Eastern Kentucky University is reputable; the B.S. in Paralegal Studies is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.
Florida Gulf Coast University
College Choice Score: 97.05
Average Net Price: $13,842
Based in sunny Fort Myers, Florida, and part of the larger state university system, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is a fast-growing institution. FGCU is dedicated to sustainability and requires all of its students to complete a colloquium in the importance of ecology and service.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, you’ll get both breadth and depth in Paralegal Studies. The core classes focus on law, ethics, procedure and writing. Then, you have the chance to specialize in your area of interest. Some of these specialities could include:
- Family Law
- International Law
- Real Estate
This program knows that many of you are ultimately preparing for law school. As such, your curriculum will cover the essential information for the Certified Legal Assistant Exam (CLA), the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE), and more.
College Choice Score: 94.94
Average Net Price: $24,377
Hampton University is a historically black university in Virginia. Because of its small student body (around 4,600 students), it boasts an impressive student to teacher ratio of 10:1, even in its online classes. Hampton University ranks among the top historically black universities in the United States.
Hampton Online offers a B.A. in Paralegal Studies, which takes four years to complete. You’ll get the best of both worlds here: a solid liberal arts base along with the skills to jump into a career in law, government, legal services and more. This 122-credit-hour program has highlight classes such as:
- Litigation and Trial Practice
- Torts and Personal Injury
- Legal Writing
- Law Office Management
Hampton University’s program is all about integration. You’ll gain skills in written communication, research, analytical thinking, and more. Even more, an internship requirement comes at the end of your program, so you’ll get a taste of what to expect in your future career.
National Paralegal College
College Choice Score: 93.15
Average Net Price: $15,043
National Paralegal College was founded in 2003 with the intention to educate future paralegal professionals. It has since broadened to offer over 100 courses online. Beyond Paralegal Studies, National Paralegal College grants degrees in Legal Studies, Business Administration, and Compliance Law.
You’ll earn a B.S. in Legal Studies at National Paralegal College. The curriculum is flexible both in format and content. Beyond the core classes, you’ll choose from an extensive list of electives in paralegal studies. The four core paralegal courses include:
- Torts & Personal Injury
- Legal Research, Writing, and Civil Litigation
- Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics
Upon enrollment to National Paralegal College, you’ll also gain access to LexisNexis, which is one of the leading online legal research databases. You’ll also be able to participate in the Student Mentor Program. Your mentor, a graduate of the school, will lead you through the program and help answer any questions you have along the way.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
College Choice Score: 92.11
Average Net Price: $19,401
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a small, Roman Catholic school in Terre Haute, Indiana. It offers a religious, liberal arts approach to education. The College also has ranked as one of the “Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest” for the last seven years in a row!
In total, you’ll complete 51 online credits toward your major in Paralegal Studies at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. This curriculum does a fantastic job at laying out the fundamentals of law research and writing. You’ll also have access to fun electives like:
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Women and the Law
- Death and Taxes
- Environmental Law
Students who go through the Paralegal Studies program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College tend to perform well in the professional world. In fact, over 90 percent of graduates find a job right after graduation.
College Choice Score: 88.91
Average Net Price: $21,276
Herzing University is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but it maintains eleven campuses throughout the country. It also has a widespread online program. The degree programs at Herzing University strive to give working adults the chance to find a flexible, career-focused education.
The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at Herzing University is a 126-credit-hour program that most students complete in 36 months. This program guarantees that you’ll graduate with the skills to work as a paralegal in a number of different capacities. Some of the future positions they suggest include:
- Private sector paralegals (e.g., law firms)
- Public sector paralegals (e.g., government)
- Freelance paralegals (e.g., short-term projects)
While Herzing University caters to students across the country—both online and in person—it’s important to note that only the B.S. in Legal Studies program in New Orleans and Atlanta are approved by the American Bar Association.
University of Providence
College Choice Score: 84.99
Average Net Price: $20,247
A Roman Catholic university in Great Falls, Montana, the University of Providence is a small but mighty school. The University of Providence only enrolls around 1,100 students, though it offers over twenty different degree programs, both online and in person.
The University of Providence offers a B.S. in Legal and Paralegal Studies. Though it is an online program, for the first three semesters, students spend three weekends on campus to orient themselves to faculty, their classmates, and the flow of the program. Students will take classes like:
- Domestic and Family Law
- Debtor-Creditor Law
- Litigation and Trial Practice
- Criminal Evidence and Procedure
The Legal and Paralegal Studies program at the University of Providence is unique in its internship requirement. Students are able to gain work experience before jumping into the professional world in law firms, judge’s chambers, and other organizations.
College Choice Score: 84.46
Average Net Price: $8,325
Based in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peirce College is a 4-year private institution. Peirce College specializes in catering to the adult learner. Students at Peirce College have the option of accelerated courses, hybrid programs, and more. Peirce College is also the most affordable program on our list.
Peirce College offers both an A.S. in Paralegal Studies and a B.S. in Paralegal Studies. The latter requires 121 credit hours. This program incorporates three Paralegal Capstone projects as well as Cooperative Work Experiences into its curriculum. Other classes in this program include:
- Legal Writing
- Legal Technology
- Professional Legal Responsibility
- Civil Litigation
Peirce College optimizes flexibility. Through their unique program, Peirce Fit, you can choose to switch back and forth from online learning to on-campus learning—even within the same semester! This gives you total freedom to choose how you learn best.
William Woods University
College Choice Score: 83.82
Average Net Price: $22,611
Originally founded as a “Female Orphan School” for girls who lost their parents in the Civil War, William Woods University has now grown into a co-educational private university. It is based in Fulton Missouri, though it offers online programs in law, business, education, and more.
The Online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies at William Woods University is organized into eight-week courses. In total, you’ll take fourteen courses that cover everything from legal writing skills to litigation techniques. Some highlight courses in this curriculum include:
- Electronic Legal Research
- Evidence and Fact Gathering
- Probate and Estate Planning
- Constitutional Issues
Similar to a number of other programs, this program requires a practicum. However, William Woods University is unique in that you can complete this virtually! You’ll demonstrate your skills as a paralegal through the Virtual Law Office requirement at the end of your degree.