Best Accelerated Paralegal Programs Online

Want to work as a paralegal as soon as possible? Here's what you need to know to find the right accelerated paralegal degree program for you.
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Bianca Gonzalez is a queer Latina brain cancer survivor who writes career readiness and corporate social responsibility content through the lens of accessibility and inclusion. You can find her at
Updated on September 20, 2023
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Learn more about our editorial process is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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  • Paralegal programs will give you a working knowledge of legal terminology and topics.
  • With an accelerated paralegal program, you can enter the workforce in as little as one year.
  • You can work in courtrooms and law offices in administrative roles with a paralegal credential.
  • You can choose between an accelerated associate or bachelor's degree or a certificate program.

With an accelerated paralegal program, you can land entry-level positions in less time than a traditionally paced program. Programs will explore different kinds of litigation, legal ethics, and contract law.

The best accelerated paralegal program will depend mainly on your long-term career goals and how in-depth you would like your curriculum to be.

Here's an overview of some of the best accelerated paralegal programs.

Accelerated Paralegal Degree Overview

With an accelerated paralegal program, you can earn the necessary credentials and enter the workforce sooner. You'll complete coursework in foundational subjects like state and federal legislation.

Some programs allow you to specialize in a specific field, such as real estate, family law, and torts and insurance.

You might be required or have the option to take an internship as part of your curriculum. Some program options include certificate and diploma programs and an associate or bachelor's degree.

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Online Associate in Paralegal Programs

Accelerated associate degrees in paralegal will give you the foundational knowledge you need to work in an entry-level paralegal position in as little as one year.

However, you'll need to take on more coursework to graduate on time. Traditionally paced online associate in paralegal degree options are also available.

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degrees

An accelerated associate degree can get you into the workforce in as little as one year.

Online Bachelor's in Paralegal Programs

An accelerated bachelor's degree in paralegal will get you into the workforce faster but will also demand that you master coursework at a faster rate. A four-year curriculum will go into more depth than a certificate program. It will also open the door to pursuing a master's degree program.

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degrees

A bachelor's in paralegal degree will give you a more in-depth understanding of more advanced, specialized topics.

Paralegal Diploma and Certificate Programs

Accelerated paralegal certificate and diploma programs can take 12 months or even less. These programs focus on the specific skills you will use on the job. You'll become familiar with contracts, the litigation process, and professional ethics.

Certificate programs are one of the fastest ways to earn a paralegal credential and enter the workforce, though continuing education can open opportunities for career advancement later on.

Featured Online Paralegal Certificate Degrees

You can take advantage of several free online paralegal courses on topics like terminology, criminal law, and environmental law and policy to grow your knowledge base.

What Is a Paralegal?

Paralegals help lawyers prepare for trials and litigation. They may help gather information on a case, conduct research, and perform other administrative tasks.

While we most commonly think of paralegals in a courtroom setting, some will assist corporate lawyers as they help businesses comply with government regulations.

When earning an accelerated paralegal credential, you have several options.

Careers With an Accelerated Paralegal Degree

A paralegal credential will prepare you for legal careers in law offices, courts, and administrative roles in various industries requiring legal compliance. You can work as a law clerk, court reporter, or claims adjuster with an accelerated paralegal degree.

5 Popular Jobs for an Accelerated Paralegal Degree
Paralegal Jobs Median Annual Salary (May, 2021)
Administrative Assistant $39,680
Law Clerk $57,490
Paralegal $56,230
Court Reporter $60,380
Claims Adjuster $64,710
Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Here are some common questions people ask when considering an accelerated paralegal degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting an Accelerated Paralegal Degree

How long does it take to get a paralegal degree?

The time it takes to get a paralegal degree will depend on whether you're pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree. Some accelerated associate degree and certificate programs take as little as 6 months to one year to complete.

Some bachelor's degree programs reduce the time it takes to earn your four-year degree by accepting many transfer credits and by granting credits for work experience.

These programs may also offer higher course loads or more terms per year.

What can I do with a bachelor's in paralegal studies?

A bachelor's in paralegal studies will qualify you for corporate and litigation paralegal roles. You can also work in specific industries where familiarity with the law is fundamental, such as estate planning and government positions.

You can also continue your education and attend law school to become a lawyer or judge. Or you can consider applying to master's programs in other disciplines that closely deal with law, like public policy or business administration.

Is an online associate degree in paralegal credible?

Online associate degree programs are credible so long as they are accredited. Accreditation ensures that your college or university will provide you with an education that compares to the same standards as other programs.

Accredited online programs go through the same vetting process as accredited in-person programs. While institutions can be accredited, the American Bar Association accredits law schools and paralegal programs. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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