Paralegal Schools

There are a number of options available for people looking for paralegal schools. Depending on the program you select, you could graduate in a few months or be attending classes in a two or four-year program. The one you select will depend on your current level of education, as well as your career goals.

Certificate programs, that can be completed in a few months, are meant for people who have completed an undergraduate degree who are looking for specific training to get them ready for work in the paralegal field.

Students who choose to work toward an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies follow a curriculum that includes general courses in English, writing and computer use. As they progress through the course list, their studies become more focused on legal topics.

Enrolling at a school and taking classes is the traditional way for adults to learn. Students have the opportunity to make friends and participate in clubs, intramural sports and other activities offered by the school. The social aspect of higher education can also help a prospective paralegal improve his or her communication skills and may even lead to contacts that can help him or her find a job after graduation.

Certificate Program

Anne Arundel Community College offers a certificate program in Paralegal Studies for students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree that included a minimum of 18 hours of general education courses. This is a one-year, 31-credit program, and students can choose to focus their studies in one of the following areas:

  • Business
  • General Practice
  • Litigation

Examples of courses offered in the certificate program include:

  • Business Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Law Office and Technology
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Tort Law

Tuition for the 31-hour certificate program is calculated at a rate of $88 per credit hour for Anne Arundel County residents. Residents of other Maryland counties pay $169 per credit hour. Out of state and foreign students are charged $299 per credit hour. Tuition ranges from $2,728-$9,269. Administration fees, books, materials and transportation are extra.

Associate’s Degree Program

The Associate’s degree program in Paralegal Studies from Trident Technical College is a two-year program. Students complete some general education courses in computers, English composition, math and science as part of the program.

The curriculum includes a number of required legal study courses, and students also choose from a list of electives relating to criminal justice to complete the requirements for a degree. Here are some examples of course titles for the program:

  • Claims Investigation
  • Correctional Systems
  • Criminal Evidence
  • Criminology
  • Cyber Crimes and the Law
  • Judicial Process
  • Legal Bibliography
  • Legal Writing
  • Police Administration
  • Practical Crime Scene Investigation
  • Property Law
  • White Collar Crimes Investigation
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate

The Trident College program also includes a mandatory internship. This component gives a student the opportunity to get practical experience and can be a way to get a foot in the door with a prospective employer.

The maximum amount a resident of Charleston/Berkeley/Dorchester County will be charged for tuition to attend Trident College is $1,765. The maximum for residents of other counties is $1,958. Out of state students pay $3,341 for tuition. Books and materials, transportation and personal expenses are extra.

Bachelor’s Degree Program

Kent State University offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Paralegal Studies. Students must complete a number of general education courses, as well as several ones in law-related ones to complete the requirements for their degree. A person enrolled in this program would select their law-related courses from a list, which allows them to focus their education on the areas of law that interest them most.

Examples of legal courses in this program include:

  • Administrative Law and Process
  • Civil Law and Procedure
  • Constitutional Law: Government Power
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Estate and Probate Administration
  • Family Law and Procedure
  • Fundamental Tax Procedures
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law of Corporations & Other Associations
  • Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Tort Law

The estimated cost of attending Kent State for an Ohio resident is $17,406 per year, including room and board. Out of state students pay a higher rate for tuition, which brings their cost of attending this school to $25,366 per annum.

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