Pick a TV show, any TV show, and chances are it probably involves some tense courtroom drama at some point!

Best Bachelors in Paralegal Studies Degrees

We are drawn to legal battles for some reason, and those involve a number of different actors—lawyers, judges, criminals, witnesses . . . and whether you realize it or not, the paralegal.

This is a profession that is becoming increasingly necessary in today’s legal environment and that requires training in the nation’s best bachelor’s programs in paralegal studies.

In previous decades, paralegals received on-the-job training. As the profession grew, the formalized education took the form of Associate of Science programs, which offered training primarily in areas of specific interest to paralegal practice. But the bar has officially been raised!

What kind of Paralegal Studies Degree should you get?

Today, the standard for training is a four-year bachelor’s degree from a community college or a traditional university. There, students are exposed not only to legal training in particular but also to courses in, say, communication, business, and economics—all helpful topics for a legal professional.

An additional marker that is becoming increasingly important is American Bar Association accreditation. Not all schools feature this, but the ones that do are proud of it . . . and rightly so! Be sure to keep this designation in mind as you research your options.

Some programs are also offering their programs online. For more information, see our ranking of the Best Online Paralegal Studies Degrees.

How much money do people make with a Paralegal Studies Degree?

Starting salaries for paralegals are deceptively low at between $27,000 and $32,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This will vary according to what skills you bring to the table and also who you’re working for.

However, the U.S. Department of Labor also predicts that the paralegal profession will be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the near future . . . so there is reason to expect that wages will grow as well!

What can you do with a Paralegal Studies Degree?

One of the reasons for the growth in the paralegal profession is that paralegals are increasingly being asked to perform legal duties traditionally performed by licensed attorneys. As the amount of legal work increases, attorneys are increasingly reliant on paralegals for much of what they do.

Examples of tasks a paralegal might perform include but are hardly limited to the following:

  • Fact evaluation and investigation
  • Contract preparation
  • Client interviews
  • Case management
  • Legal research
  • Exhibit preparation
  • Real estate transactions

What are the requirements for a Paralegal Studies Degree?

In addition to whatever requirements a particular bachelor’s program in paralegal studies might require, paralegals will need to seek certification through one of three nationally recognized paralegal professional organizations:

  • The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
  • The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
  • The Association for Legal Professionals (NALS)

Each organization has its own certifications as well as its own requirements. Be sure to do your homework on what organizations work best in your home state or the state you plan to work in!

What are the best Paralegal Studies Degrees?

We’ve compiled a list of the top 25 bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies with you and your needs in mind. Here’s how we did it. First, we located the best programs in the country by taking an objective look at the best schools in the country as measured by reputation and return on investment.

Then we looked at the bottom line—how much does it cost? We combined these factors to reach our College Choice Score, which determined where each school fits into the big scheme of things.

Our data for this ranking was drawn from a variety of public sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale.com, and the U.S. Census. The end result is a list of schools that not only represent the best education you can get and a good return on investment but also one that will fit your budget.

Case dismissed!

1

Keiser University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $26,328

School Website

Overview

Keiser University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies designed for students seeking immediate entry into law and related fields directly following graduation and also for those who are interested in pursuing a law degree in particular. Students will be prepared for careers in the legal environment as well as the legal dimensions of other professional fields, such as business, government, and criminal justice.

Features

Students in Keiser’s program will benefit from a comprehensive array of courses in the field, including but not limited to the classes such as the following:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Evidence
  • Advanced Civil Litigation
  • Advanced Torts
  • Law Office Technology
  • Immigration Law
  • Constitutional Law

Notables

Keiser has a number of stated objectives for graduates of its program including developing students’ written and verbal competencies; promoting critical thinking through analytical and technical skills; and providing students with a sound understanding of the law in the United States. The program is available at a number of different campuses in Florida, such as Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, New Port Richey, Orlando, San Marcos, Carazo, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and more.

2

Liberty University

College Choice Score: 99.07

Average Net Price: $24,794

School Website

Overview

Liberty University, which operates a sizable online education program up to the doctoral level, offers a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies both on campus in Virginia and also entirely online. It was developed to meet the rapidly growing need for paralegal professionals by providing training in strong professional skills, a firm foundation in ethics, and advanced skills in government, politics, and law.

Features

Liberty’s program focuses on breadth as well as depth. Students will benefit from courses such as the following:

  • Constitutional Government and Free Enterprise
  • Foundations of Law
  • Criminal Practice and Procedures
  • Family Law

Notables

Liberty’s B.S. in Paralegal Studies requires 120 total hours to complete. Up to ninety hours can be transferred in, and thirty hours must be taken through Liberty. Graduates of Liberty’s program pursue careers as paralegals, legal assistants, claims adjusters, and law clerks. Liberty’s courses are taught by practicing lawyers, which ensures that each course prepares students in practical skills they will use on the job.

3

New York City College of Technology

College Choice Score: 97.92

Average Net Price: $7,498

School Website

Overview

New York City College of Technology’s Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies was the first of its kind to be offered by any public college in the state of New York. It was developed to meet a growing need for legal professionals to be well versed in increasingly complex legal matters. A bachelor’s degree became a standard expectation, and NYCCT’s program was developed in response. It is also an excellent degree for those intending to apply to law school upon graduation.

Features

Upper-level courses in the program introduce students to more specialized areas of law and communication and computer skills. Examples of courses students can expect include:

  • Law Office Management
  • Bankruptcy
  • Immigration
  • Administrative Law
  • Trademark, Copyright, Patent
  • Forensic Science and the Legal Process

Notables

Graduates with a baccalaureate degree are working in higher-level jobs in government and prestigious law firms or go on to enroll in postgraduate studies such as law school, graduate school or social work. Some of the stated goals of the program include applying time management skills, prioritizing tasks/assignments, and managing information utilizing computer databases/software programs; accessing and evaluating legal and non-legal data available on the Internet for reliability and validity of information; and recognizing and appreciating special and complex issues involved in advocacy and litigation.

4

East Central University

College Choice Score: 94.44

Average Net Price: $6,853

School Website

Overview

East Central University’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, which is designated as “approved” by the American Bar Association, provides students with the necessary academic skills for entry level employment as paralegals with law firms, private enterprises, and governmental agencies.

They will be prepared for the highly specialized tasks required of practicing attorneys and permitted by law. Graduates consistently demonstrate superior intellectual abilities and professional competence.

Features

Coursework in East Central’s program is highly practical in nature and emphasizes training in the hard skills graduates will need in real-world situations. Some courses include:

  • The Legal Environment of Business
  • Legal Research and Writing I
  • Legal Research and Writing II
  • Legal Systems
  • Civil Procedure and Litigation
  • Legal Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Advanced Litigation

Notables

ECU’s program will be beneficial for those who want to work specifically as paralegals or in a law-related field, and it is also an excellent foundation for law school. The program provides students with a liberal arts degree emphasizing analytical and communication skills applicable in any law-related field and also exposes students to a broad spectrum of the law, including its theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects. Legal Studies graduates work in legal related areas of corporations, banks, governmental agencies and institutions.

5

Auburn University at Montgomery

College Choice Score: 94.44

Average Net Price: $14,518

School Website

Overview

Auburn University at Montgomery offers a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies through its Department of Criminal Justice designed for students seeking to develop knowledge and skills pertaining to careers in law and legal fields. The Auburn Montgomery Criminal Justice Department has offered an American Bar Association-approved paralegal education program for nearly twenty years.

Features

Auburn University at Montgomery’s program features several clear objectives:

  • To prepare students for a variety of careers and enhance their prospects for employment and promotion by providing them with functional law-related knowledge
  • To provide students with theoretical and practical education to fulfill the duties of a paralegal in both the private and public sectors
  • To prepare students for the Certified Legal Assistant or Registered Paralegal examination.
  • To ensure that students understand the standards of legal ethics and restrictions on the practice of law by paralegals and other lay persons

Notables

The program is particularly well suited for those preparing for careers as paralegals or legal assistants and related careers, such as court administrators. It also is excellent preparation for admission to law school, and it will be of particular interest to students who are considering careers in criminal justice. The program boasts approval by the American Bar Association.

6

Utah Valley University

College Choice Score: 91.67

Average Net Price: $6,738

School Website

Overview

Utah Valley University offers several options for students interested in legal studies, including the Certificate of Proficiency, AAS, AS, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Legal Studies. UVU’s program focuses heavily on the applied and technical aspects of the legal profession and provides dynamic and timely offerings in many topics in law and clinical law practice, focusing on career-ready skills. All of UVU’s programs are approved by the American Bar Association.

Features

UVU offers a comprehensive battery of coursework, including but not limited to the following:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Technology in Law Practice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Family Law
  • Business Law

Notables

The program is offered through UVU’s Department of Organizational Leadership, which is part of the Woodbury School of Business. Graduates of the program have pursued careers as law clerks, paralegals, legal assistants, litigation specialists, court clerks, and more. In addition to traditional law firms, business and government entities hire UVU grads as well, such as banks, insurance companies, title companies, mortgage companies, law libraries, courts, legal service/legal aid offices, legal clinics, and law departments of special interest groups or associations.

7

Florida National University

College Choice Score: 88.89

Average Net Price: $20,361

School Website

Overview

Florida National University’s Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies seeks to expand students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, advance their ability to communicate complex data, both verbally and written, and prepare them for higher-lever positions within the legal profession or gain admission to law school. The program also offers an associate’s degree for those whose career path does not require a full bachelor’s degree in the field or who already possess one in another field.

Features

Students at Florida National will benefit from exposure to coursework in both criminal and civil training through classes such as the following:

  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research & Writing
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Tort Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Business Communication
  • The Law of Contracts
  • Property Law

Notables

In addition to courses that survey the American legal system, students will also receive training in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers. Graduates of the program have pursued careers in a wide variety of professions in the field. FNU’s program is also excellent preparation for entry into a law program.

8

Hodges University

College Choice Score: 87.04

Average Net Price: $19,017

School Website

Overview

Hodges University’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies offers excellent preparation for students who are interested in either pursuing law school upon graduation or entering the workforce in business, legal, or management settings. Students will be well prepared to assist attorneys and other legal professionals with legal research, evidence collection, communications, document and litigation preparation, and the general duties of the daily practice of law.

Features

Hodges’s coursework offers training in a wide variety of both civil and criminal jurisprudence as well as relevant areas of technology. Classes include

  • Civil Procedure
  • Torts
  • Contracts
  • Property
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Data Privacy & Social Media

Notables

Technological considerations are of increasing concern for legal professionals, and Hodges’s program is proactively incorporating training in this area into its curriculum. It offers training, for instance, in the rapidly evolving subjects of eDiscovery and eLitigation. The management of email, privacy issues, and electronically stored information are at the cutting edge of current legal practice. The program will prepare you to fill the urgent need for legal professionals with expertise in this area by learning practical techniques for managing information security on behalf of clients and law offices.

9

Macomb Community College

College Choice Score: 86.11

Average Net Price: $7,894

School Website

Overview

Macomb Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Legal Studies. While it is not technically a Bachelor’s degree in the field, it still offers exceptional preparation for those interested a legal profession, and credits from Macomb are transferable. It is particularly well suited for students who are interested in a career as a legal assistant. Students will receive training in the ethical and professional responsibilities involved in being a member of the legal services delivery team, as well as the purpose and function of discovery and legal pleadings.

Features

Macomb’s program offers a wide range of training in both general and specialized topics, including but not limited to the following:

  • Legal Research & Writing
  • Mechanics of Real Estate Law
  • Principles of Family Law
  • Administration of Estates
  • Proceedings Under the Federal Bankruptcy Code & Debt Collection
  • Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Business Associations
  • Computerized Litigation Support Concepts

Notables

Students in Macomb’s program will learn how to conduct legal research, prepare legal forms and documents, and conduct and summarize factual investigations. They will be exposed to family law, criminal law, real estate, bankruptcy, court procedures, and corporations, and the program is approved by the American Bar Association. Classes are available either on campus or online, and the program also offers free tutoring. Students in Macomb’s program have transferred to bachelor’s programs at colleges and universities across the state of Michigan.

10

St. Petersburg College

College Choice Score: 86.11

Average Net Price: $7,089

School Website

Overview

St. Petersburg College offers a flexible Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies that will appeal to the working legal professional. Not only is St. Petersburg’s program approved by the American Bar Association, but it also offers rotating and evening classes and admits students three times per year (January, May, and August). SPC’s classes are all taught by local practicing attorneys and judges, and it boasts the only public bachelor’s program in the state of Florida that is approved by the American Bar Association.

Features

St. Petersburg places a premium on practical education that will prepare students for real-life situations. Examples of classes in the program include

  • United States Constitutional Law
  • Legal Writing Seminar
  • Logic and the Law
  • Comparative Legal Systems
  • Seminar in Professional Responsibility
  • Computers and the Law Office

Notables

Assignments in the program will replicate real life situations to strengthen critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, and practical, ethical understanding. Students will be prepared to take the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination offered through the National Association of Legal Assistants upon graduation. They will also be well equipped to thrive in the daily operations of law offices, corporations, and governmental offices.

11

Texas Woman's University

College Choice Score: 83.33

Average Net Price: $8,881

School Website

Overview

Texas Woman’s University, located in Denton, Texas, offers a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Government with an emphasis in Legal Studies (in addition to an available emphasis in Politics). The goal of the major in Government is to equip students with a solid foundation in critical thinking, research, and writing skills to help them achieve their goals. The major is excellent preparation for students seeking admission to law school.

Features

Coursework in TWU’s program prepares students for as many aspects of the legal profession as possible through courses such as the following:

  • Legal Environment
  • The American Legislative Process
  • Law for Women
  • Senior Seminar
  • Constitutional Rights and Criminal Justice
  • Seminar in Public Policy

Notables

Students will have ample opportunity to develop their critical thinking, writing, speaking, and problem-solving skills for the legal environment through a broad range of electives dealing with the law-making process, public policy, and the history of the US legal system. The program offers preparation for internship opportunities with law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and non-profit public interest groups. The emphasis requires thirty credit hours.

12

Hampton University

College Choice Score: 83.33

Average Net Price: $24,377

School Website

Overview

Hampton University features a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies intended both to prepare students for the paralegal field and also to provide opportunities for practicing paralegal professionals to enhance their career credentials. Students who specialize in paralegal studies will be prepared to participate as efficient and effective members of legal teams. The program combined specialized legal training with a strong foundation in the liberal arts.

Features

Graduates of Hampton’s program have taken positions in a wide variety contexts, including but not limited to

  • law firms
  • government agencies
  • legal services offices
  • corporations,
  • professional and trade associations
  • banks
  • real estate organizations

Notables

Hampton’s program prepares paralegal and prospective law school students for the roles they will play in the legal field by reinforcing the basic principles of verbal and written communication, the techniques of scholarly research, and teaching a system of critical and analytical thinking. The program emphasizes hands-on learning and preparation for real-world scenarios so that graduates will be well-prepared for their next steps.

13

Texas A&M University-Commerce

College Choice Score: 80.56

Average Net Price: $9,032

School Website

Overview

Texas A&M University Commerce, part of the Texas A&M system, offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science with a paralegal emphasis. A&M Commerce’s program is oriented specifically toward the paralegal career and the unique needs involved in supporting practicing attorneys. The program stresses the fundamentals of legal research, family law, probate, civil procedure, business organizations, law office management, real estate law, and constitutional law.

Features

Examples of Commerce’s highly specific coursework for future paralegals includes classes such as the following:

  • Bankruptcy for Paralegals
  • Probate
  • Business Law for Paralegals
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Family Law
  • Real Estate Law for Paralegals
  • Trial and Appellate Litigation and Procedure

Notables

In addition to the specialized training offered in the program, students at Commerce will also receive a thorough foundation in the liberal arts. Graduates of the program enjoy an excellent track record of placement with practicing attorneys in private practices, traditional firms, in-house counsel, and more.

14

Clayton State University

College Choice Score: 78.47

Average Net Price: $10,330

School Website

Overview

Clayton State University offers both a Legal Studies program and a Paralegal program within their Bachelor of Science degree. It joins a select group of institutions in the state of Georgia that is approved by the American Bar Association, which ensures that students receive the highest possible standard of education as well as the resources necessary to succeed in their program. Instructors in the program are all attorneys who are currently practicing or have practiced full time.

Features

Students in the program will develop facility in a number of necessary skills for the legal profession, including the abilities to

  • perform manual and computerized legal research
  • examine rules of legal ethics and substantive and procedural law
  • identify and analyze practical and theoretical legal issues and prepare legal documents
  • utilize technology to prepare legal documents

Notables

In addition to the Bachelor of Science, students also have the option of pursuing a Paralegal Certificate, A.A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies, or a minor in Pre-Law. Regardless of the specific program, students will be well equipped with the skills necessary to perform the highly specific and demanding legal work required by today’s attorneys.

15

State University of New York - Canton

College Choice Score: 77.78

Average Net Price: $12,347

School Website

Overview

SUNY Canton, part of the State University of New York system, makes frequent appearances on higher education rankings of many sorts and offers a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies for students who are interested in either pursuing a legal services career or preparing for law school. The program is designed for all types of students, including recent high school graduates, paralegal studies transfer students, criminal justice transfer students, and working professionals seeking to further their legal careers.

Features

Students will be exposed to a variety of topics necessary to thrive in the legal services field, including

  • Business Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Practice
  • Negligence and Intentional Torts
  • Real Property Law
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Notables

Students in SUNY Canton’s program will also benefit from an internship option, which allows students to experience the workplace during their program. This helps students not only begin their careers but also make job connections while still in college. The Legal Studies program also incorporates courses that expose students to the business aspects of the practice of law. Instructors in Canton’s program have a wide variety of real world experience including attorneys who are practicing or have practiced law.

16

American Public University System

College Choice Score: 77.78

Average Net Price: $11,470

School Website

Overview

American Public University System offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies that equips students with in-depth knowledge of the U.S. court system, legal writing and research, legal practice, and various types of law while also emphasizing governance, civil and criminal processes, and the theory and philosophy of justice. Graduates of APU’s program have pursued careers as court administrators, investigators, paralegals, law clerks, court clerks, and more.

Features

One of the first things students will notice in the APU program is the breadth of topics covered in coursework, such as

  • Sports Law, Risk, and Regulation
  • Introduction to Hotel and Restaurant Law
  • Law and Ethics in the Business Environment
  • Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law
  • Cyberlaw and Privacy in a Digital Age
  • Military Law
  • International Law
  • Maritime Law
  • Immigration Law and Policy

Notables

Graduates of APU’s program will be able to conduct legal research and demonstrate the fundamentals of legal writing and citation; identify and apply the procedural vehicles used by agencies for making agency policy, including agency investigations and subpoenas, agency rulemaking and agency adjudication; analyze the processes, ethics, and procedures of the modern legal practice; and explain the various rights provided to United States Citizens by the U.S. Constitution, Amendments, Bill of Rights, and various U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

17

Regent University

College Choice Score: 72.22

Average Net Price: $17,837

School Website

Overview

Regent University offers a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal studies boasts affiliation with an existing law school, the American Bar Association–approved Regent University School of Law. This affords students with more extensive resources than they might otherwise have access to at a standalone program at a school of a similar caliber. Students will learn how to function as part of a legal team in a law office, government unit or other law practice setting.

Features

Legal work in the United States is increasingly being shared by paraprofessionals, so it is crucial for today’s paralegals to be trained in all aspects of the legal profession. Regent’s program covers topics such as

  • Contract Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Wills, Trusts, and Probates Law

Notables

Regent University is a Christian institution, so students interested in integrating their faith and learning will find a home here. Students will develop research, communication, organization, and technology skills. They will also learn legal terminology and research and writing skills; cultivate best practices for interviewing clients and witnesses and managing case files; gain an overview of the most common practice areas of law, including marriage and family, real estate, personal injury and contracts; and develop clerical and management skills critical to law firms, such as fee arrangements, time tracking, basic accounting and records management.

18

Bay Path University

College Choice Score: 72.22

Average Net Price: $22,012

School Website

Overview

Like many schools on our ranking, Bay Path features programs that are approved by the American Bar Association, which ensures that students have access to the most relevant and applicable knowledge necessary for success in a legal career. Bay Path University students may earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Both degree programs are approved by the ABA. Upon successful degree completion, students also receive a Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies, which provides students an increased opportunity to work in a variety of legal settings.

Features

Bay Path’s program provides students with a greater understanding of the legal processes, institutions, and ideas behind the U.S. legal system through courses such as the following:

  • Legal Ethics
  • Constitutional Law
  • Advanced Litigation
  • Tort Law
  • Legal Research/Writing
  • Princ of Criminal Procedure

Notables

The Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies is appropriate for those who intend to go on to law school or graduate school, or those who have a strong interest in legal professions or the humanities. The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is appropriate for those who intend to enter law, business, or other professional fields after graduation. Bay Path’s faculty consists of experienced legal practitioners. Graduates of the program put their training to use in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and other entities.

19

Purdue University Global

College Choice Score: 72.22

Average Net Price: $18,462

School Website

Overview

Purdue University Global’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services degree program provides students with a foundation in legal theory and practice. It features broad-based knowledge of the law as well as practical areas of study required by many professions both inside and outside the legal field. It is also excellent preparation for students interested in becoming a paralegal professional. Students learn from experienced professors who boast real-world experience in legal services, law, and policy.

Features

While many students will no doubt be interested in working in a traditional legal setting, Purdue University Global students have also secured employment with a number of other entities as legal and support staff, including

  • corporations
  • insurance firms
  • consulting firms
  • health care institutions

Notables

Purdue University Global’s program is based on current knowledge, research, and case studies in the field. Students interested in becoming paralegal professionals in particular will benefit from the available Paralegal Studies concentration, which includes courses in litigation, criminal law, and administrative law. Their program could also serve as a suitable basis for students interested in law school.

20

Eastern Kentucky University

College Choice Score: 71.30

Average Net Price: $12,255

School Website

Overview

Eastern Kentucky University boasts an American Bar Association–approved program that is designed to help students either enter the paralegal profession for the first time or advance their existing legal career. The program is available partially online, so students enjoy much more flexibility in their education at EKU than at some institutions. Students can complete all but 10 credit hours of their program 100 percent online. The remaining 10 credit hours are earned in the form of an intensive two part, on-campus residency.

Features

EKU’s curriculum blends academic and professional preparation through course topics such as

  • legal research and writing
  • litigation
  • legal administration
  • computer applications
  • family law
  • criminal law
  • probate practice

Notables

The program is focused on best practices in the industry and also on student outcomes. Students at EKU can choose from three different program options: Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies; Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Science; Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Science. Courses are offered in eight-week terms, and the program offers job placement services for all graduates. EKU’s program is a charter member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE).

21

Mississippi University for Women

College Choice Score: 69.44

Average Net Price: $10,018

School Website

Overview

Mississippi University for Women offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies as well as a minor in Legal Studies through its Department of Legal Studies. The Bachelor of Arts program requires extensive training in foreign languages, and the Bachelor of Science requires additional courses in science, mathematics, laboratory science, and/or computer applications/programming. Either program will leave students well prepared for their chosen career.

Features

Coursework in both programs covers a wide range of topics in the field. Students will be well equipped for the unique challenges of a legal career through courses such as the following:

  • Torts
  • Legal Writing
  • Law Office Technology and Management
  • Practical Legal Lab
  • The Legal Environment of Business
  • Real Estate Law
  • Civil Litigation

Notables

MUW’s program is one of only two programs in the state of Mississippi approved by the American Bar Association. It is a comprehensive, four-year degree that will prepare students not only with a solid understanding of legal concepts, issues, practices, and topics but also the skills necessary to functioning as an integral part of a legal team. Graduates of the program enjoy excellent placement records, and the program is also suitable preparation for those interested in pursuing law school.

22

National American University

College Choice Score: 69.44

Average Net Price: $18,404

School Website

Overview

National American University offers a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies as well as an Associate’s degree. The Paralegal Studies degree provides students with the technical knowledge of a law office applications and the substantive legal knowledge to be a critical part of a legal team. The programs offered at the Rapid City and Sioux Falls campuses are separately approved by the American Bar Association. The program offered in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, including the Bloomington campus, Brooklyn Center campus, Burnsville campus, and Roseville campus, is separately approved by the ABA.

Features

Students in NAU’s program will be exposed to not only topical and theoretical issues but also to real-world issues and problems through courses such as

  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Professional Ethics & Law Office Procedure
  • Law Office Technology
  • Legal Writing

Notables

NAU classes are offered at multiple locations, which allows a measure of flexibility in students’ programs. In addition, NAU offers online classes, adding additional flexibility to the program. Graduates of NAU’s program have secured employment as paralegals; legal assistants; title examiners, abstractors, and searchers; legal support workers; and more. Students from NAU are qualified to sit for the CLA exam and can receive the designation of “Certified Paralegal” or “CP” after successfully passing the exam.

23

Mississippi College

College Choice Score: 69.44

Average Net Price: $16,804

School Website

Overview

Mississippi College, a private, Christian school, offers a major in Paralegal Studies as part of its Bachelor’s program. The program focuses on training students to work under the supervision of an attorney rather than practicing law per se, although the program can serve as preparation for students interested in entering law school. Graduates will find employment opportunities with private law firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments.

Features

Paralegal majors will cover a wide variety of topics in their coursework, including but not limited to

  • Introduction to Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Wills and Estates
  • Family Law
  • Law Office Management
  • Legal Research and Writing

Notables

Students in the program will learn about legal ethics, major areas of law, drafting legal documents and performing legal research, state and federal court systems and procedures, and basic paralegal assignments. The program is housed in the Department of History and Political Science, which strives to inspire students to greater intellectual curiosity and stronger commitment to Christian and democratic ideals. All courses are taught by experienced and accomplished faculty.

24

Loyola University Chicago

College Choice Score: 69.44

Average Net Price: $34,934

School Website

Overview

Loyola University Chicago offers a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies that is available both to recent high-school graduates and also to those who have already earned an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies. Associate’s students with at least 15 semester credit hours in the field can apply to the program and complete it in an expedited time frame. The program is unique in offering several different areas of emphasis in Litigation Practice, Corporate Practice, and a combined Litigation and Corporate Practice track. All tracks require 120 credit hours.

Features

Students in the combined Litigation and Corporate Practice track will undertake the most comprehensive set of courses, including the following:

  • Civil Litigation I
  • Civil Litigation II
  • Civil Litigation III
  • Business Organizations
  • Contract Administration & Analysis
  • Secured Transactions & Bankruptcy

Notables

Students of Loyola’s well-regarded program will enjoy new and exciting opportunities and also acquire the paralegal skills necessary to meet the demands of the modern legal workplace. Students can maximize the number of transferable credits through a two-year paralegal program and complete Loyola’s portion on a flexible schedule of eight-week classes while they attend to their existing professional obligations.

25

The University of West Florida

College Choice Score: 66.67

Average Net Price: $11,175

School Website

Overview

The University of West Florida’s Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies offers students an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills necessary for success in a paralegal career or in law school. Students interested either in attending law school or working in the legal profession as a paralegal or office administrator are ideal candidates for this program. Legal Studies faculty are highly experienced and involved in their profession. Students acquire both a broad understanding of basic principles of law and the role and function of the legal system.

Features

West Florida’s program places an emphasis on basic legal knowledge, skills, and ethical principles. Students will gain expertise in

  • substantive law
  • research skills
  • ethical awareness
  • oral advocacy
  • persuasive writing

Notables

West Florida boasts small class sizes and ample opportunities for research, internships, and networking. Many students in the program find that it is excellent pre-law preparation. All of the full-time Legal Studies faculty members are attorneys who are graduates of ABA-Approved law schools and are available for law school advising. Pre-law students are encouraged to work closely with Legal Studies Faculty in planning their program of study.

PARALEGAL STUDIES
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