Find your perfect value college
1. The article highlights 25 affordable online paralegal certificate programs with a good return on investment.
2. These programs are ideal for those aiming to work in the legal sector without a law degree.
3. The programs listed are geographically diverse, spanning various states like Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, etc.
Are you on the hunt for top-tier online paralegal certificate programs that truly stand out? In a sea of options offered by community colleges and online schools, finding the ones that lead to a rewarding career in a law office can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But fear not, because paralegals are the backbone of the legal industry, performing a wide range of tasks essential for a lawyer’s success.
Here’s the exciting part: The field of Paralegals and Legal Assistants is on the verge of unprecedented growth, with the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projecting a remarkable 15% overall expansion by 2031. As law firms and offices strive to cut costs without compromising quality, they are turning to paralegals for their invaluable support.
Here’s the game-changer: While there are no strict prerequisites for entering this dynamic field, completing a paralegal certification course from a reputable and accredited institution will set you on the path to success. Many law firms and corporate legal teams are actively seeking individuals with the right skills, and they’re even willing to provide tailored training for the right candidates.
So, are you ready to seize the opportunity and make your mark in the thriving world of legal support? Explore the best paralegal certification programs and position yourself as the go-to paralegal that law firms and legal teams are looking for. Your exciting legal career journey begins here!
Do I even need a Paralegal Certificate?
While a degree is not needed to work as a paralegal, research shows that legal assistants who do have a paralegal certificate make significantly more money than those who do not. Perhaps employers believe those job applicants who have taken paralegal certification courses show that they are serious about learning the skills needed to perform well. Maybe employers know that there are things they will not need to teach, saving time and energy at the end of the day. Many community colleges, junior colleges, and university extension programs offer a paralegal certificate that students can complete entirely online. Some even provide free online paralegal courses that can get you started on your path to becoming a paralegal. Many of the benefits of online learning are obvious, It fits your schedule and is often less expensive than seated classes. For paralegal certificates online, you also begin learning about and accessing professional legal databases, which you will use throughout your career as a paralegal.
Ranking Paralegal Certificate Programs
Step 1: Data Collection We start by collecting data from authoritative sources like the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Niche. These sources provide trustworthy information about colleges and universities.
Step 2: Selecting Accredited Institutions To ensure our rankings focus on quality, we consider only accredited institutions with a strong reputation for education.
Step 3: Criteria and Weighting We’ve identified three important criteria:
- Cost: 40% weight
- Potential Salary: 40% weight
- Student Satisfaction: 20% weight
Step 4: Data Preprocessing We normalize the data to put all schools on a level playing field. This ensures fairness when comparing institutions with different measurement units.
Step 5: Calculate Subscores We calculate subscores for each school based on the criteria and their respective weights. For example:
- Cost Score = (Maximum Cost – Actual Cost) / Maximum Cost
- Salary Score = (Actual Median Salary – Minimum Median Salary) / (Maximum Median Salary – Minimum Median Salary)
- Satisfaction Score = Student Satisfaction Rating / Maximum Student Satisfaction Rating
Step 6: Overall Score The overall score for each institution is determined by combining these subscores using the defined weights.
Step 7: Ranking We rank the institutions based on their overall scores. The higher the score, the higher the rank.
Step 8: Additional Considerations We account for variability in the data and provide transparency by disclosing our methodology and data sources. Our rankings are regularly updated to ensure accuracy.
Step 9: Presentation We present the rankings in a user-friendly format, allowing you to filter and search for institutions based on your preferences.
Step 10: Continuous Improvement We are committed to continuously improving our algorithm to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate rankings.
In a nutshell, our Value College Ranking Algorithm helps you find the best educational value for your investment. It’s a comprehensive, transparent, and continuously evolving tool designed to simplify your college decision-making process. With our rankings, you can confidently embark on your educational journey, knowing you’ve chosen a school that offers both quality and value.
1. Miami University
Miami University was established in 1809 by a congressional act that was signed by George Washington. The purpose of its founding was to have a postsecondary institution Northwest of the Ohio River in the Miami Valley. Today they are a comprehensive public research institution of higher learning. Their campus sits on a massive 2,138 acres of land in the town of Oxford, Ohio, which is about 45 minutes north of Cincinnati. They are connected to the University System of Ohio. There are close to 25,000 students enrolled in the entire system at any given time. Miami is known as a Tier One research institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation, meaning they are known for the high level of research they conduct.
Miami University is one of many distinct schools that offer accredited online paralegal certificate programs. This particular program engages students in a variety of skills in order to gain employment as a paralegal in many industries successfully. Students will learn how to apply ethical practices in legal environments, increase competency in rules regarding compliance and case management, draft legal documents, use legal technology, and gain specific career-ready skill sets. This online paralegal program utilizes a model that builds on interval-based learning, that focuses on incremental skill building. A high school diploma is the only prerequisite for the paralegal certificate program. The course of study should take six months to complete.
2. Texas Christian University
Texas Christian University was established in 1873 by two brothers named Addison and Randolph Clark, both of whom were connected to the Christian Restoration Movement. Prior to founding Texas Christian University, they created what was known as the Male and Female Seminary of Fort Worth. Currently, their campus is situated on 272 acres of land, only three miles from the downtown region of Fort Worth, Texas. Though the Disciples of Christ do not govern them, they are affiliated with the group. The US News and World Report have ranked Texas Christian University among the top 100 National Universities in the country.
Texas Christian University offers an online paralegal certificate program in collaboration with The Center for Legal Studies. While this school and program are regionally accredited, the program itself is a non-credit course, meaning it does not contribute to the process of earning a larger degree. TCU offers Paralegal and Advanced Paralegal Training courses that are specifically geared toward legal workers who are both beginning and advanced. The online paralegal certificate program is 14 weeks in length, broken down into seven weeks per section. Students can participate in the program from anywhere in the world, as the option for a fully online course of study is offered, though students can choose face-to-face learning. This series of classes will benefit anyone interested in building skills towards a legal career. There are experiential learning opportunities embedded in the online paralegal programs.
3. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina was founded as South Carolina College in 1801, in the wake of the American Revolution. During the Reconstruction era following the U.S. Civil War, the University of South Carolina took a radical turn from its successionist parent state. It became the only Southern state university to allow African-American students to study, and to allow black folks on the Board of Trustees beginning in the late 1860’s. In the 150 years since these tumultuous times, the fighting spirit of the University of South Carolina remains. The unbroken lineage of excellence remains also, with over 350 programs of study, and a robust roster of certificate and continuing education courses and opportunities.
The paralegal certificate program at USC is offered online or on-campus format. The division of Professional Education & Certificate Programs staffs experts in the field of Law to prepare successful paralegal professionals. In fact, all classes are taught by practicing attorneys in South Carolina. Students will have the chance to learn from the hands-on approach of working on actual legal proceedings. They will write case briefs and interview witnesses. The program also uses its resources to train paralegals in areas of the job that make them better professionals. Things like resume writing and interviewing skills will set USC certificate holders apart from others entering the field. The Continuing Education Department oversees this paralegal program and is one of the ways that USC engages with the surrounding Columbia community and beyond.
4. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is also known as UNC and was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1789. It was to be built beside the ruins of an old chapel, precisely because of its central location within the state. They became the third oldest school in the country and the first public university that the nation’s constitution chartered. They are now the flagship institution of the seventeen schools within the University of North Carolina System. Their campus is situated on 729 acres of land in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their total enrollment is close to 30,000 students, including a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s and Doctoral students.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the schools that offer programs. This online paralegal certificate program gives students options to study with the flexible online format or partake in the more traditional face-to-face classes. This competitive program ensures students will gain the necessary skills to enter the legal field competently. Unlike some programs, their prerequisite requirements include either a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, so students can skip the general education component and hit the ground running. Following completion of the online paralegal certificate program, students will be able to sit for the North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification Program.
5. Boston University
Boston University, also known as BU, was established in 1839. They were initially connected to the United Methodist Church, though now they are nonsectarian. Currently, they are known as one of Boston’s largest employers with close to 4,000 faculty members alone. Total enrollment is nearly 33,000 students annually. Their main campus is on the Charles River, spanning multiple neighborhoods with its 135 acres of land. Their West campus is where most of their athletic buildings exist and a large dormitory. Formerly BU was known as a commuter school, but now they guarantee students on-campus housing for all four years.
As far as accredited online paralegal certificate programs go, Boston University offers a well-respected program designed with academic excellence and professional development in mind. This is a rigorous and thorough course of study that students can complete within a 14-week structure. The entire online paralegal certificate program comes with one inclusive and affordable price. Students have access to BU faculty who are leaders in the legal field. The program is delivered using the latest technology that allows for hands-on learning. The flexible online will enable students to access the application from anywhere in the world, 24/7. A community of peers is built into the structure of the program, allowing for cohesive networking opportunities for all students.
6. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is generally referred to as UGA. They were founded in 1785 when the governor of the state asked the state legislature for 40,000 acres of land to establish a college or “seminary of learning.” They closed for three years during the Civil War from 1863-1866, and have been operational consistently since. They are one of three schools in the country that can call themselves the oldest public university in the nation. Currently, their campus sits on 762 acres of land in the town of Athens, Georgia. In 2020 the US News and World Report ranked the University of Georgia 16th among public schools in the country.
The University of Georgia is one of several schools offering accredited online paralegal certificate programs UGA is responding to the statistics that paralegals are one of the fastest-growing in-demand professions in the country. This online paralegal certificate program prides itself on its flexibility, as the online format can be used anywhere, at a schedule that works for the student. The online paralegal certificate program teaches the ins and outs of interviewing witnesses, investigating fact patterns, preparing legal documentation, researching the law, and ensuring cases are ready for court litigation. The entire program is 90 hours in length, and has bi-monthly start dates; therefore students don’t have to wait long to get started.
7. The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin, often referred to as UT, was founded in 1881. They are the flagship institution for the University of Texas System. Their campus is located just over a mile from the state capital building in Austin, Texas. They are known for their high level of research and academic rigor, and therefore are considered a “Public Ivy.” They are the eight largest post-secondary institutions in the country based on enrollment, with a total enrollment of over 50,000 students at any given time. Their mascot is the Longhorn, and it is not uncommon to see the school color of burnt orange with a white longhorn adorning passersby while walking through the lively city of Austin.
The Center for Professional Education at the University of Texas at Austin offers one of the growing accredited online paralegal certificate programs in the country. Responding to one of the most in-demand professions enables students to gain competitive skills while studying from the comfort of their own home, at the whim of their personal schedule needs. Within the web-based learning experience, students will be given one-on-one contact with an instructor who is a successful leader in the field. Each student will get to choose an elective that aligns with their interests, such as criminal law, family law, tort law, business organizations, and contract law.
8. University of Washington
The University of Washington is often referred to as UW. It was established in 1861, initially under the name Territorial University of Washington. Their primary campus is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington on 703 acres of land. It is in the boundaries of the Puget Sound Region in the Pacific Northwest. They are a member of the Association of American Universities, and they are also classified as an R1 Doctoral Research University, meaning the Carnegie Foundation has determined that they conduct a high level of research. It has also been considered a “Public Ivy,” speaking to its academic integrity and rigor, as well as its selective application process.
Among accredited online paralegal certificate programs is the Certificate in Paralegal Studies at the University of Washington. Students who participate in this program will leave with a solid understanding of the underpinnings of the United States Legal System, as well as the many skills necessary for a career in law. Students will study hearings, trials, law, litigation, court systems, professional ethics, and technology. This program does require some face-to-face coursework on campus, though students can complete some of their classes entirely online. This course of study is designed for those who are already paralegals, those interested in becoming paralegals, and those interested in pursuing a position in the field of law.
9. Liberty University
Liberty University is often referred to as just, “Liberty.” They were founded in 1971 with the original name Lynchburg Baptist College. Their founder is Jerry Falwell, a well-known conservative pastor. Liberty is one of the most prominent Christian postsecondary institutions in the country, measured by student enrollment. The majority of their student body participates in classes online, which includes over 90,000 students annually. Over 15,000 students participate in courses at their 7,000-acre campus located in Lynchburg, Virginia. All of their courses include a Christian foundation, as it is infused in all of their subjects. The university is known for being a social hub of Republican politics and views.
Liberty University is among the accredited online paralegal certificate programs that are perfect for students interested in fast-tracking into the legal field. The program is conducted entirely online, optimizing flexible learning, and enabling students with busy lives to be successful. The courses are eight weeks in length, and the entire program can be completed in one year (on average). The whole course of study adds up to 18 credit hours. Students will learn from faculty who have extensive experience in the professional and legal fields. This comprehensive collection of classes will be a good start for students who decide to continue on and achieve a bachelor’s degree in a judicial discipline.
10. Duke University
Both Quakers and Methodists established Duke University in 1838. They were initially located in the town currently known as Trinity and were known as a private subscription school called Brown’s Schoolhouse. They have remained a private school known for academic excellence. Now, they have three connecting campuses that take up over 8,000 acres of land. They have under 15,000 students enrolled per year, and an academic staff close to 3,500. They are consistently ranked among the best schools in the world by a number of outlets. In fact, Forbes put Duke among the top schools to produce “Forbes 400 billionaires.”
Within the list of accredited online paralegal certificate programs, Duke University offers an excellent option. This program was designed for adult learners and professionals either interested in a shift in their career path, or a new skill set that can land them a job in the legal field. This program is flexible and self-paced, with all of the coursework online. Students generally complete the program in one year. The curriculum is interactive and delves into the most critical skills related to the field of law. Students will have access to an online writing lab, as well as one-on-one support from a licensed lawyer.
11. Rice University
Rice University was founded in 1912 and has remained a private research university since. Their campus is situated on 300 acres of land in Houston, Texas, very close to the Houston Museum District and the Texas Medical Center. They are known for their highly selective admissions process and are actually considered the most selective in the state of Texas. They are comprised of eleven residential colleges with eight additional academic schools. They emphasize intimate learning environments that include much individual attention, with 6:1 student to faculty ratio. They have over 50 undergraduate majors and nearly 30 minors for students to choose from.
Through the Susanne M Glasscock School of Continuing Studies is Rice University’s Paralegal Graduate Certificate Program. The program is among the accredited online paralegal certificate programs, that can also be achieved on campus if students prefer a face-to-face experience. This is a rigorous academic program suited for the serious student who is already coming in with a Bachelor’s degree. Students can study from anywhere in the country with this program, as there are no requirements for on-campus sessions. Students can already be searching for their new career with their certificate in hand five months from the start of the program.
12. UC Berkeley Extension
The University of California System has been operating extension programs for over a century, with the goal of educating adult learners. The UC Berkeley extension is especially active and is proud to offer what is considered UC Berkeley quality educational opportunities without having to get accepted or commit to a four-year or graduate program. They offer a plethora of online classes, though they also have three academic centers that provide courses in San Francisco, Belmont, and Downtown Berkeley. Joining a program at the UC Berkeley Extension generally ensures quick access to skill-building and professional development that cuts right to the chase.
UC Berkeley Extension is one of the high-quality schools offering an accredited online Paralegal certificate program. The online format utilized by this program was designed for optimal convenience and flexibility. The program begins with the class Essential Paralegal Studies I, and a chosen elective. Throughout the program, students will participate in three required courses and three electives, which total eight semester units. Students can complete the application in 6 months to a year of study. Participants have much freedom to focus on topics of interest, as the curriculum is tailored to their needs. Some students may choose criminal law, while others might want to focus on family law.
13. Villanova University
Villanova University was established in 1842, by what was called the Order of St. Augustine. Today, they continue to be an active member in the Augustinian Secondary Education Association and carry a Roman Catholic affiliation. Initially, they only accepted male students, however in 1918, they began offering admission to women. Their campus sits on 254 acres in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metro area, just 12 miles from Center City. The US News and World Report tied them for 46th in the ranking for Best National University in 2020. They have consistently been ranked in other categories, including number 1 for the Best Master’s University Category.
Villanova University offers a Paralegal Certificate Program that can be completed with two options, one that takes four months and the other nine months. This program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Students can study on a full-time or part-time basis, with flexible evening or daytime classes. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree completed before applying for this program. Villanova will accept up to four courses from another paralegal program as transfer credits. Upon completion of the required fifteen classes, students can graduate from the program, and continue to have access to the Career Services at Villanova.
14. Widener University Delaware Law School
Widener University was originally founded in 1821 as a prep school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1862, the campus moved from Wilmington to West Chester, Pennsylvania. The school later became a university called Chester County Military Academy. It is currently located in Chester, Pennsylvania, where it has been since 1868. Even though graduate programs were introduced in 1966, and the military preparatory element was removed, the school did not go by the name of Widener until 1972. The School of Law was acquired in 1975, which was split in 2015 to become two separate law schools one on the university’s Delaware campus and another in Harrisburg, PA. They operate four campuses and offer more than 80 programs of study.
The Delaware School of Law has the honor of being the only law school in the state. While its parent school is just over the border in Chester. Delaware Law School is highly focused on the unique, legal culture of the state of Delaware which focuses heavily on respect and civility within the bar and bench. Students are at a distinct advantage in receiving pro bono experiences, externships, clerkships, and permanent employment after graduation upon graduation. Delaware’s preeminence in corporate law, bankruptcy, and intellectual property, combined with the Law School’s influential presence in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, gives students abundant opportunities for clerkships, externships, pro bono experiences, and permanent employment after graduation. The online paralegal certificate program is taught by the same incredible faculty and prepares students to become an attorney’s right hand in all aspects of legal work.
15. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst
The University of Massachusetts System has been working with innovative learning modalities longer than many institutions. They have been operating a the UMASS University Without Walls (UWW) since 1971. This satellite institution was created by The University of Massachusetts Amherst to offer distance education programming, even before the internet was accessible. Their intention was to serve an adult learner population that does not have easy access to traditional classroom learning for a variety of reasons. They now offer many fully accredited online certificate and degree programs that feature flexibility.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is one of the high-quality schools offering accredited online Paralegal certificate programs. Their program is entirely online and offers an interesting synthesis of practical skills application and legal theory. There are two interesting features that set this program apart from the others which include: a practicum that engages students in the real-world skills of law, and a class specifically on computer applications for legal professionals. The program is known for its flexibility, as well as its access to faculty who are leaders in the field of law. The entire program is 18 credits in length.
16. Auburn University
Auburn University was established in 1856 as a public research institution. They were first created under the name East Alabama Male College and maintained close ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Historically, they only accepted white students up until 1964, when they offered admission to the first African-American male student named Harold A. Franklin. They are now one of the few schools in the country with designations for space grants, sea grants, and land-grant research. Their campus is located on 1,843 acres of land in Auburn, Alabama. The US News and World Report ranked Auburn 103rd in the country among public and private universities.
Auburn University offers an Advanced Paralegal Certificate course through its Office of Professional and Continuing Education. This program was created to build on the skills from the nationally acclaimed Paralegal Certificate Course. The class is structured for students to Choose and complete six topics within the list of advanced paralegal course topics. Each class is administered in a seven-week online session. None of the classes have to be taken in any order in particular. Some of the topics include Intellectual Property, Family Law, Advanced Legal Research, Bankruptcy Law, and Criminal Procedure, among others. Students can tailor the program to fit their personal and professional interests and goals.
17. Bay Path University
Bay Path University was established in 1897, under the original name Bay Path Institute. Their early mission included urban education that supported business and job growth. Their name came from the Bay Path for which they were located, which was where the western part of the state joined with the Massachusetts Bay colony. They are now located in the town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts on a 46-acre campus. They are primarily an all women’s school that offers bachelor’s and master’s degree educations online and in person. They do have coeducational master’s degree programming. They make an extra effort to cater to adult learners.
Bay Path University offers a certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies that provides an excellent option for accredited online paralegal certificate programs. The program in total requires 21 credit hours. It is an approved program by the American Bar Association. This program is an excellent option for students who have already received an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, as it will support a career in law or provide an excellent bridge for a graduate program. Students will learn the ins and outs of the legal system, as well as critical thinking and writing, ethical personal and professional behavior, as well as the ways to use technology for the purposes of legal research.
18. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University, often referred to as KSU, was founded in 1963. They were initially established as a Junior college by the Georgia Board of Regents under the name Cobb County Junior College. Since then, they have become a four-year research degree-granting private institution of higher learning. It is now the third biggest postsecondary in the state of Georgia, with a total enrollment of over 35,000 students. KSU is also one of the 50 largest schools in the country. As of 2016, they are considered an R1 research university, as classified by the Carnegie Foundation, meaning a high level of research is conducted on campus.
If you are wondering how to become a paralegal, Kennesaw State University has a Paralegal Certificate program that can answer all of your questions and bring you in the direction of this lucrative and exciting career path. They offer a paralegal certificate online program that will train you in the ins and outs of the US legal system. Students must have a GED or High School Diploma to enter the program, and also be proficient in necessary computer skills, including the Microsoft Word Suite. There are 92 class sessions in total, and 30 credit hours to achieve in order to complete the program.
19. Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University, also known as FGCU, was founded in 1991, though due to construction delays, they did not begin offering classes until 1993. FGCU is a member of the State University System of Florida, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their campus sits on an 800-acre campus in Fort Myers, Florida. Their offerings include over 56 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 Master’s degrees, and three doctoral options. They have 11 certificate programs, many of which can be achieved entirely online, taking into account the needs of adult learners. The University is comprised of five distinct colleges.
Florida Gulf Coast University addresses the question of how to become a paralegal with a flexible online program</span> that trains students to enter the field of law equipped with all of the skills to make a contribution. This course of study offers a paralegal certificate online that takes place over the course of two consecutive seven-week courses. New sessions begin every eight weeks, making it easy to matriculate without waiting. There are no prerequisites for this course; however, there are extensive homework requirements for each class period, so it is imperative that participants can make space in their lives for the rigor of this short series of classes.
20. Ohio University
Ohio University was founded in 1804 and held the original name American University. It was initially a vision had by Rufus Putnam, a Revolutionary War Brigadier, and a clergyman by the name of Manasseh Cutler. They have become one of the most selective public institutions of higher learning in the state. They have over 250 undergraduate degree program offerings, with a large selection of graduate degree options as well. Their total enrollment is 37,000 students annually. Their primary campus includes 1,800 acres of land in the town of Athens, Ohio. They are known as a high-level research institution as Classified by the Carnegie Foundation.
Ohio University’s ecampus has partnered with the Center for Legal Studies to train a student body on how to become a paralegal equipped with the best tools out there. This program considers itself to be one of the most affordable options available and prides itself on flexibility. Upon successful completion of the fully online program, which requires an 80% or better on all of the coursework, students will be granted CEUs. The majority of the classes are offered in seven-week online sessions, and the paralegal course itself is conducted over 14-week-long periods. Materials for the program must be bought separately through the Center for Legal Studies.
21. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, also known as UW, was established in 1894, and first opened its doors to 201 students. Their nickname is “the Pointers.” Currently, they are a member of the University of Wisconsin System. In 1927 they became a Normal School, designed to train teachers, and continued to evolve in response to what the times called for. Their dynamic campus sits on 400 acres of land in the small town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Their student body consists of over 9,600 students, and their offerings include over 120 undergraduate programs, all within four distinct colleges that make up the university.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point offers one of the best online paralegal programs for students who are interested in growing relevant skills or for those who are already working in the legal field. This program is unique in that it approaches each student as an individual, and, therefore, offers online private tutoring opportunities. The flexible online format allows students to set a study schedule around their other commitments. The program is a 12-month program that focuses on entry-level paralegal skills. Each incoming student will start the program with a research class geared emphasizing paralegal studies. The paralegal certificate online total cost is under $1000.
22. James Madison University
James Madison University is a public institution of higher learning known for research. They were initially founded as an all-women’s school that trained teachers and have since evolved to offer comprehensive postsecondary education. Located in the Shenandoah Valley, the campus sits on 721 acres of land in the town of Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named James Madison University among the more selective schools regarding admission. Their offerings consist of over 115 bachelor’s degree programs, master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral level degrees. Under the James Madison University umbrella are ten individual schools.
James Madison University offers a paralegal certification course online that allows students to achieve a comprehensive Paralegal Studies Certificate. This particular program is designed for professional adult learners who are either staff and legal assistants or are interested in transitioning their career path and therefore are seeking new skills. The program is delivered online with the ultimate defining feature being the flexibility that it offers. Students will start with a class called Introduction to Law, and continue to build on skills such as legal writing and research, contract law, and civil litigation. This program does not offer official certification but is an assessment-based certification program.
23. Suffolk University
Suffolk University was established in 1906, initially as a law school by Gleason Archer Jr, who was a prominent lawyer in Boston. The school was initiated with the name Archer’s Evening Law School and was designed to enable students who worked during the day to study at night in service a brighter future. Currently, they are a nonsectarian private research institution of higher learning, situated on the edge of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. Their total enrollment annually is close to 14,000 students. They are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts.
Not only does Suffolk University offers online paralegal associate degree classes but one can also achieve a bachelor’s degree or certificate in paralegal studies with significant coursework online. This program is located in the undergraduate law program at the Government Center in Boston, so when you are studying on campus, there are many opportunities to network with professionals in the field of law. All of their programs meet the established standards of the American Bar Association and have been approved by the ABA since 1994. The undergraduate programming acts as legal credentials for employment. Many graduates of Suffolk’s programming have achieved employment shortly after completion in a variety of related law settings.
24. The University of California at Irvine
The University of California at Irvine was founded in 1965 and was established with three of the new University of California campuses under the California Master Plan for Higher Education. Currently, they are a public research institution situated in Irvine California and help to make up the ten-school University of California System. Their offerings include 80 undergraduate degree programs, as well as professional degrees. They are one of the nationally classified institutions by the Carnegie Classification of Higher Learning, stating that they conduct a high level of research. In 1996 they became a member of the Association of American Universities.
The University of California at Irvine offers a paralegal certificate program online and students can also opt to take face-to-face classes. The classes are taught by experienced lawyers and paralegals working in the field. The American Bar Association approves the program. The program was designed for those interested in entering the law field from a variety of angles, those who might be interested in law school or becoming part of a legal services team, or those interested in individual courses that can help brush up on their skills. Keep in mind that a paralegal’s salary is in the range of 38K-64K annually.
25. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was founded in 2013 in place of the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas at Brownsville/ Southmost College. This came about from a vote by the University of Texas Board of Regents. The new university was designed to include a medical school and access to the Permanent University Fund (PUF). They are one of the most prominent postsecondary institutions in the country that has a population that is majority Hispanic. Close to 80% of their students are Mexican-American. Their total enrollment is close to 29,000 students. They are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers paralegal certificates online through their Continuing Education Division of Academic Affairs. This course of study provides the foundations that comprise the United States Legal System in 84 credit hours. Students will be trained in litigation, in the skills to interview witnesses, and understand a fact pattern effectively. Civil procedure and ethics are also stressed components of the curriculum. This is an affordable program, especially given the fact that the investment of time and money will spill you out into a paralegal salary range of 38K-64K per year. This credential allows students to seek immediate employment in the field.
Why Should I Get a Paralegal Certificate Online?
Enrolling in an online paralegal certificate program is a great way to get started in your law career quickly. This is the perfect type of career for people who have an interest in criminal law and legal careers but do not want to devote the time or money to law school. If you want to work closely with lawyers and the justice system, a paralegal career will provide this for you, and the online paralegal certificate program is a great track.
If you are already employed or already have other obligations on your time, you can pursue a paralegal career through the best online paralegal certificate programs. You may find a cheap paralegal certificate online which will provide you with all of the information and training you need to succeed.
If you are already working as a paralegal, but never got your certificate, receiving your certification through the best paralegal programs will open up new work opportunities for you as well as great earning potential.
Some law offices will hire paralegals without a certificate, but in these cases, you will be limited in where you can work and sometimes in how much you can earn. A cheap paralegal certificate online can open up many doors for those who need affordability to be the most important factor.
How Much Does an Online Paralegal Certificate Program Cost?
While researching the best online paralegal certificate programs, you will want to research how much this type of education will cost. The amount of money you invest into your education is an important consideration. You will want to make sure you can afford this certification and that it will add value to your skillset. When you are considering the costs of a cheap online paralegal certificate, you will want to compare these costs to how much you can hope to make in this profession yearly.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that a paralegal can earn $52,000 annually while the cost of a cheap paralegal online certificate is approximately only $5,000 to $10,000. The cost of your online paralegal certificate will vary depending on where you obtain your training.
What Can I Do With an Online Paralegal Certificate?
Certified paralegals can find work in lawyers’ offices. These professionals will work closely with lawyers and the local justice system to ensure that criminal law cases move smoothly through the court system. Paralegals get to work with clients gathering information that will be vital to their client’s court case.
In addition to getting a paralegal certificate, there are also many personal skills which an individual should bring to this profession as well.
Reading comprehension- It is imperative that a paralegal have excellent reading comprehension as you will be required to read through large amounts of information and conduct legal research. You will be required to relay this information to the lawyers or to others in the justice system accurately.
Writing Skills- It is also important that a paralegal have good writing skills. You will be required to communicate with clients, lawyers, and others on a regular basis through written communication.
Communication Skills- Paralegals will use their communication skills on a daily basis to receive and give vital case information to clients on a regular basis.
Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.
Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.
In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.
With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.