Behind every successful law firm stands a team of hardworking paralegals. Paralegals and legal assistants operate behind the scenes in law offices, where they prepare paperwork, organize files, conduct research, and assist in other legal tasks. Although paralegals do not argue before the court, their tasks often overlap with those of a lawyer. If you are interested in law, want to become a lawyer, or have a passion for fighting for justice, you may be a prime candidate for online paralegal programs.

Career options for paralegals are growing. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an 8% increase in the number of paralegal jobs in the nation. The median income for a paralegal is about $50,000 annually, according to the BLS. Some career options only require an associate degree to become a paralegal, while many earn a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies online and work as a paralegal on their way to law school.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Founded in 1971 in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty provides academic instruction in 17 different colleges from a Christian perspective. For students interested in the field of legal assistantship, Liberty offers a useful bachelor of science in paralegal studies.

This affordable, online, paralegal degreeconsists of 120 credits and can be completed in as few as 3.5 years. Liberty's program provides learners with flexible and convenient online learning options, delivering content through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. Pertinent topics include legal research and writing, civil practice, American governance, and foundations of law. Students finish the program fully prepared to assume professional positions as legal assistants, law clerks, and claims adjusters.

Liberty's paralegal bachelor's degree online offers a broad transfer policy. Learners can transfer up to 90 approved credits, accelerating their path to graduation and entry into workforce. Applicants must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all prior academic work, and pay a small application fee. Liberty maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.0

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luoadmissions@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Brandman University

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Based in Irvine, California, Brandman University maintains more than 25 local campuses across the Golden State and nearby Washington State. Established in 1958 by Chapman University, Brandman boasts a diverse student population of innovative learners and working professionals. The school promotes its mission of providing dynamic educational experiences across its nearly 50 programs, including an attractive bachelor of arts in legal studies.

This paralegal degree onlinecomprises 120 credits, and is offered in both online and hybrid learning formats. Through courses like constitutional governance, litigation and trial advocacy, and law practice management, learners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to support lawyers in all areas and levels of practice. Completing the program will equip graduates with practice skills such as conducting legal research, drafting formal documents, and preparing materials for court presentations.

Upon completion of this online paralegal degree, learners meet all qualifications necessary to earn professional certifications in the field, including the Paralegal Core Competencies Exam, and the Certified Paralegal Exam.

Eligible degree-seekers must possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all prior academic work. Brandman also offers flexible transfer policies for learners with previous college experience. The school holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, Paralegal Profession
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.0

Contact
Phone: (800) 746-0082
Email: apply@brandman.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Mississippi College

Clinton, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Founded in 1826 and standing as the oldest institution of higher learning in Mississippi, Mississippi College provides academic instruction in the liberal arts and sciences to over 5,000 learners per year. Affiliated with the Magnolia State's Baptist Convention, MC accomplishes its mission of promoting academic excellence through a variety of undergraduate and professional degrees. Among these programs is a bachelor of science in paralegal studies, a fitting option for those interested in pursuing careers as legal assistants.

Housed within MC's department of history and political science, this 130-credit, online paralegal degree prepares learners by teaching legal ethics and court systems procedures. The program delivers all instruction completely online through convenient, asynchronous formats designed to accommodate both traditional degree-seekers and working professionals. Topics covered include civil litigation, legal writing, research, bibliography, and law office management. Prior to graduation learners assume legal internship placements, facilitating their entry into the professional workforce.

Applicants must complete an online application and provide recent SAT or ACT scores. Learners carrying credit from previous academic institutions can transfer up to 65 credits, expediting their path to graduation. MC possesses regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $514/credit
Credit Requirements: 130 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (601) 925-3221
Email: mdavis@mc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Located in Fort Myers, Florida, and founded in 1991, Florida Gulf Coast University offers comprehensive graduate and undergraduate programs, preparing students to excel and innovate in the workplaces of the future. FGCU provides student-centered learning and instruction across all programs, including a bachelor of science in legal studies.

This 120-credit, online paralegal degreetrains learners practical skills and contemporary theory in law and related fields. Most degree-seekers complete the program in four year, enrolling in online and hybrid courses that use both synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. FGCU's course of studytrains learners in diverse topics such as legal research and writing, professional ethics, and constitutional criminal procedures. The program prepares students for law school, as well as highly sought after paralegal certifications like the Certified Legal Assistant exam and the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam.

FGCU offers a simple and streamlined admissions process. Eligible learners must complete an online application and submit recent SAT or ACT test scores. Students can transfer up to 60 credits at FGCU, significantly reducing the duration of their course of study. FGCU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
Tuition: $204/credit in-state; $839/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 590-3428
Email: lamos@fgcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

A private, Christian research university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University serves nearly 10,000 learners per year through its online and on-campus programs. Founded in 1978, Regent provides quality, innovative graduate and undergraduate experiences from a Christian perspective. For students interested in professional careers as legal assistants, court clerks, and litigation analysts, Regent offers a bachelor of science in paralegal studies.

Regent's program consists of 120 total credits, achievable in two or more years. Affiliated with Regent's ABA-approved School of Law, this program uses eight-week course sessions, and delivers content completely online. Synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods allow learners to complete their education with ease and flexibility. This online paralegal degreecovers all the topics and knowledge bases necessary for professional success in the industry, including civil litigation, investigation in litigation, law environment dynamics, and foundations of paralegal studies. By exploring these subjects, degree-seekers learn to interview clients, manage case files, conduct research, manage records, and draft motions, briefings, and other official documentation.

Regent boasts a generous transfer policy, allowing eligible learners to transfer up to 90 credits. Students interested in applying to this paralegal bachelor's degree online must complete an application, submit relevant academic transcripts, provide a brief personal statement, and submit recent SAT or ACT test scores. Regent maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2+ years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 373-5504
Email: advising@regent.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Charter Oak State College

New Britain, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Established in 1973 by the Connecticut State Legislature and named after the official state tree, Charter Oak State College offers public, online programs of study. Located in historic New Britain, Connecticut, Charter Oak provides quality, affordable, and flexible education at the associate, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. Among these degrees is Charter Oak's bachelor of arts in general studies with a concentration in paralegal studies. Developed by the Connecticut Bar Association, this online paralegal degreeoffers a suitable option for degree-seekers interested in furthering their education and training in the field.

A 126-credit course of study, Charter Oak's program fully prepares learners for gainful employment as legal assistants, researchers, and litigation managers. This hybrid program delivers courses online through asynchronous modules, facilitating accelerated learning and degree completion. Students study subjects including business law, legal research, and civil procedures. Practical internship placements form the capstone of this paralegal degree online, allowing learners to apply the skills they acquire in professional settings, which can often lead to employment and networking opportunities.

Eligible students must possess at least nine transferable college credits. They must also pay a non-refundable application fee, complete the online application, and submit transcripts from all previous academic work. Learners can transfer up to 87 credits from outside institutions. Charter Oak carries regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in General Studies
Available concentrations: Paralegal studies
Tuition: $310/credit in-state; $408/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 126 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (860) 515-3701
Email: admissions@charteroak.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Maryland-University College

Adelphi, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 9%

Located just 30 minutes east of Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland University College is a public university focusing on online education. Founded in 1947 as a school for working professionals and military service members, UMUC now serves nearly 70,000 learners from all walks of life, and at all levels of education. UMUC provides quality, affordable education across over 120 different programs in its graduate and undergraduate schools. UMUC's bachelor of science in legal studies ranks among these programs as a potential option for interested degree-seekers.

This online paralegal degree comprises 120 credits and provides learners with the tools and resources necessary to thrive at every level of the industry. UMUC's program offers hybrid courses as well as fully online classes delivered via asynchronous modules. The course of study examines advanced legal writing, legal ethics, and litigation practices. Upon completion of the program, learners possess the skills to conduct thorough legal research, draft official litigation documentation, and provide support in the resolution of legal disputes. The program also facilitates law school preparation for those who plan to pursue education beyond the undergraduate level.

Degree-seekers interested in applying to UMUC's paralegal bachelor's degree online must complete the online application and submit relevant transcripts. The program accepts up to 90 transfer credits. UMUC possesses regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
Tuition: $294/credit in-state; $499/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (855) 655-8682
Email: undergrad.advisor@umuc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

William Woods University

Fulton, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Operating out of Fulton, Missouri, since 1870, William Woods University retains a diverse learning community of more than 3,500 learners and faculty. A private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Christian Church of Missouri, WWU advances its mission of providing progressive, growing leadership in higher education. The school offers an array of affordable, convenient programs of study, including an online bachelor of science in paralegal studies. This program provides degree-seekers with the necessary preparation for law school, and other rewarding legal occupations.

WWU's degree requires 122 credits. With transfer credit, some learners complete it in as few as two years. The program builds a core of legal knowledge and critical thinking skills, as well as a broad understanding of professional ethics, written and oral communication, and interpersonal skills. A hybrid and online program, this course of studycombines rigorous coursework delivered through flexible, digital formats in a learner-centered, service-oriented educational environment. Students acquire foundational knowledge in subjects like law and paralegalism, civil practice, and legal research, while engaging in peer collaboration and hands-on practical applications.

Eligible applicants for this online paralegal degreemust possess a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA from all previous academic work, official academic transcripts, and submit recent SAT or ACT test scores. WWU maintains regional accreditation for all its programs of study through the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $235/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Program Length: As few as 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.5
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 995-3159
Email: Admissions@WilliamWoods.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

A private, nonprofit institution based in Florida, Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale provides quality, professional academic programming in traditional and online formats. Founded in 1977 as a career school, Keiser focuses on hands-on, professional instruction, with small class sizes, designed to facilitate industry-leading education on a personal level. For degree-seekers interested in securing professional legal work, Keiser offers a valuable bachelor of arts in legal studies with a concentration in law office management.

A 120-credit program Keiser's online paralegal degreeprepares learners to pursue a law degree, and trains them for careers in the field. Degree-seekers enrolled in this program develop legal research and drafting skills, analyze substantive law and case studies, examine civil and criminal litigation procedures, and learn to recognize prominent legal and ethical dilemmas. The course of study delivers all material completely online, and covers a range of important topics such as legal interviewing and investigation, constitutional law, management and organizational behavior, and law office technology. The program culminates with a capstone project that allows learners to apply the skills and concepts acquired in an area of interest.

Students interested in applying to Keiser's paralegal bachelor's degree onlinemust supply verification of previous academic work and complete an online application. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits to this program, shortening the overall duration of the degree. Keiser holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies
Available concentrations: Law Office Management
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 40 months

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 453-4737
Email: AdmissionsInfoONL@keiseruniversity.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Northwestern State University

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Founded in 1884 in the Red River port city of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Northwestern State University is a responsive, learner-oriented institution committed to quality higher education. Among it’s more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, NSU offers an impressive bachelor of arts in criminal justice with a concentration in pre-law and paralegal studies.

NSU's program consists of 120 credits, which students complete in about four years. The degree provides a well-rounded liberal arts education with a legal focus, preparing students for graduate studies in law or professional employment in the paralegal industry. A fully online program, classes are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Topics covered include legal research and litigation, estates, trusts and wills, family relation law, and law office administration. NSU stands out among paralegal degree programs online by offering an annual job fair that allows degree-seekers to meet and network with potential employers.

Learners eligible for the program must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all prior academic work, submit official transcripts, and recent SAT or ACT test scores. NSU possesses regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Available concentrations: Pre-law and paralegal studies
Tuition: $375/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.0
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (318) 357-6967
Email: crim_justice@nsula.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

Founded in 1870 by Jesuit priests, and maintaining six major campuses across the greater Chicago metropolitan area, Loyola University of Chicago offers over 200 combined graduate and undergraduate programs. Boasting a 99% graduation success rate, Loyola prepares learners and working professionals for success in their chosen areas of expertise. For aspiring paralegals, Loyola offers a rigorous bachelor of arts in paralegal studies.

A 120-credit program, Loyola's online paralegal degreeprovides learners with the opportunity to practice and develop skills in litigation and corporate practice, as well as legal writing, research, and analysis. Delivering all course content through synchronous and asynchronous modules, the program provides learners and working professionals with maximum convenience and flexibility. Students can access material any time they choose, completing assignments in contract administration, civil litigation, legal technology and discovery, and advanced topics in American law.

Loyola holds a generous transfer and admissions policies. Learners can transfer up to 64 credits earned from outside institutions, accelerating their path to graduation and employment. Applicants interested in this paralegal degree online must submit official academic transcripts evidencing a minimum 2.0 GPA. They must also hold an associate degree or at least 15 credits of coursework in the field. Loyola carries regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $670/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.0

Contact
Phone: (312) 915-6820
Email: paralegal@luc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Hodges University

Naples, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 27%

Located in vibrant Naples, Florida, Hodges University prepares learners to leverage higher learning in their professional and civic endeavors. This private, nonprofit institution focuses on providing career-oriented, inclusive education and community engagement. Founded in 1990 as International College, the school currently offers comprehensive education in nearly 40 distinct disciplines across five schools and colleges. Housed in the Nichols School of Professional Studies, Hodges's bachelor of science in legal studies trains students for professional success as law clerks, paralegals, and arbitrators.

This online paralegal degreecomprises 120 credits, including general education and core major requirements, and is attainable in four years or less. The program prepares learners to assist lawyers and other legal professionals with research, communications, evidence collection, and litigation.

Delivered completely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning methods, Hodges accommodates busy, complex schedules. Learners can login at any time, attending classes and completing assignments at their convenience. The course of study covers important topics and competencies such as the fundamentals of law, legal research and writing, statutory interpretation, and court procedures.

Degree-seekers eligible for this paralegal degree online must complete a short application form, and participate in an initial, exploratory discussion with an admissions counselor via phone or video conference. Additional documentation may be required. Hodges maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
Tuition: $570/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 920-3035
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

A public, comprehensive institution located in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University offers more than 40 different online graduate and undergraduate degrees. Established in 1874 and revamped by the Kentucky General Assembly 32 in 1906, EKU serves over 15,000 learners each year. For students interested in obtaining employment as administrators, managers, and researchers, EKU confers a vigorous bachelor of arts in paralegal science.

EKU's program consists of 120 credits and, depending on experience and transfer credits, most learners complete the course of study in two to four years. This paralegal degree onlineequips learners for fulfilling careers as clerks and legal assistants for law firms, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies.

A hybrid course of study, EKU's program requires learners to complete a minimum of 10 credits through traditional classroom instruction on campus. Students enrolled in EKU's online paralegal degreeexamine the foundations of the field by studying legal research and writing, litigation practices, civil and criminal law procedures, and constitutional politics. The program culminates with internship placements that combine theory with practical applications in professional settings.

Students eligible for this program must submit official academic transcripts as well as recent SAT or ACT test scores. Learners holding previously earned credit can transfer up to 90 credits. EKU possesses regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its paralegal studies programs retain official approval from the American Bar Association.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Science
Tuition: $409/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2-4 years (depending on transfer credits)

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-9951
Email: onlinedegrees@eku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

West Terre Haute, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Situated between the Wabash River and the Illinois state line in Terre Haute, Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College unites virtue and knowledge in a liberal arts setting. The oldest Catholic-affiliated institution in the Hoosier State, SMWC empowers learners to meld intellectual pursuits with spirituality as they strive to attain their personal and professional goals. Founded in 1846 with the first charter for higher education of women in Indiana, SMWC champions progressive values and innovation in its academic programming. A bachelor of arts in paralegal studies stands among these programs, and serves as a viable option for students aiming to secure employment as legal professionals.

Courses in this 90-credit online paralegal degree are split evenly between general education and core requirements. The program provides all coursework completely online through synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods. Learners can work through the degree at their own pace, striking a manageable balance between work, life, and education. SMWC's paralegal degree online prepares degree-seekers for the workforce by offering instruction in a variety of core topics. Topics include legal communication, interviewing and investigation, theories of liability, and computer basics in law. The course of study concludes with a legal practicum component that allows learners to apply acquiring skills in pre-professional settings.

Interested students must submit all previous academic transcripts, as well as recent ACT or SAT scores. Applicants must also provide a resume, a 500-word essay, and a letter of recommendation. SMWC maintains regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies
Tuition: $496/credit
Credit Requirements: 90 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT and SAT

Contact
Phone: (812) 535-5151
Email: smwc@smwc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

One of 64 campuses in the prestigious SUNY system of public higher education, SUNY College of Technology at Canton focuses on science, technology, and engineering. Located in Canton, an upstate New York city near the Adirondack Mountains, SUNY Canton has provided quality academic education since its inception in 1906. The school strives to provide accessible and affordable programming, enabling learners to achieve their professional goals. SUNY Canton advances this mission across a variety of degree and certification programs, including a bachelor of science in legal studies.

SUNY Canton's online paralegal degree comprises 124 total credits, and is attainable in four years or less. The program focuses on industry fundamentals, and includes a pre-professional internship option. Degree-seekers enrolled in this program access classes and course material online via convenient, asynchronous instruction methods. Subject areas covered include negligence and intentional torts, constitutional law, criminal practice and civil litigation. Designed for working professionals, transfer learners, and recent high school graduates, this paralegal degree online combines expert instruction with enriching, real world experience.

SUNY Canton boasts a simplified admissions process and a generous transfer policy. Eligible learners must complete an online application and submit recent SAT or ACT test scores. They must also provide academic transcripts indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. SUNY Canton maintains regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
Tuition: $286/credit in-state; $343/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (315) 386-7517
Email: delongj@canton.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Time To Complete Paralegal programs online typically take three to four years to complete with a full-time courseload
Credit Hours Most bachelor's degree programs require about 120 credits (or 30 per year)
Core Courses Criminal/Civil Law, Tort/Probate/Family Law, Legal Research and Communication, Legal Ethics, and American Politics
Concentrations Criminal Law, Healthcare Law, Labor Law, and Corporate Law
Accreditation American Bar Association
Additional Considerations Paralegal studies and legal studies are often delivered together

Long hours, complex research, and painstaking legal document preparation may be constant throughout life as a paralegal but paralegals choose from a variety of career paths and industries, resulting in significant diversity in the field. If you are passionate about the law, online paralegal programs can help you earn the knowledge, skills and credentials to thrive in a paralegal career. Here are four of the most popular job options that online paralegal degree holders pursue:

Paralegal/Legal Assistant: Paralegals or legal assistants work in private law firms, public law offices, government departments, corporate law divisions, and nonprofit law establishments. Although they cannot argue in court or offer legal advice, many of their tasks overlap with those of lawyers. Professionals in this field prepare legal documents, file records, and perform administrative work.

Claims Adjuster: Often working with claims appraisers, examiners, or investigators, claims adjusters research and investigate insurance claims. An adjuster is tasked with investigating a specific claim and resolving claim payment responsibility. From medical to automotive, claims adjustors usually work for private insurers, and a legal background is useful for understanding risk and uncovering fault.

Law Clerk: A judicial law clerk works for a federal, state, or municipal court or judge. Clerks are tasked with research and legal document preparation for the court in the same way a paralegal is for a law office. Other administrative clerk jobs in government or private offices may be attractive to paralegal degree holders. These jobs may include record keeping, research, and data collection.

Title Examiner: Title examiners work with legal records. Benefiting from both public and private career opportunities, title examiners compile lists of contracts, real estate transactions, insurance paperwork, or automobile sales. Title examiners may be required to authenticate a record or prepare legal summaries for lawyers. Title examiners work for law offices, government agencies, insurance companies, and real estate firms.

Position Projected Growth Rate
Paralegal/Legal Assistant 8%
Claims Adjuster 3%
Law Clerk 2%
Title Examiner 3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Although paralegal programs online may consist of a range of curricula, most include the same core class options. Topics students can expect to encounter when enrolled in the best online paralegal programs include legal investigation and communication, legal ethics, civil law, criminal law, real estate law, and insurance law.

  • Legal Research and Communication: Courses in investigation, research, communication, or compositions may appear under various names at different institutions, but these courses make up the core of any online paralegal degree program. To prepare for a successful career as a paralegal, students must learn the terminology, methods, and style of drafting legal briefs and motions.
  • Legal Ethics: A paralegal may not have all of the abilities a lawyer has, but he or she has the same ethical responsibilities. From securely managing documents and data to maintaining client privacy, paralegals learn the do's and don'ts of legal ethics early on in their classload.
  • Civil and Criminal Law: Split into two classes on legal studies or more, paralegals learn about the two largest divisions of America's criminal justice system. Whether you end up working for the DA or a private small claims lawyer, either criminal or civil law may become more important to your career, but both are important foundations for any online paralegal degree program.
  • Real Estate Law: Outside of law offices, courts and government departments, real estate business and insurers are the businesses most in need of paralegal degree holders. As a student of real estate law, you can learn about the requirements of home owners, real estate firms, and intricacies of contract law and trusts.
  • Insurance or Business Law: Similar to real estate law, paralegal students learn about other industries known for litigiousness including business and insurance. Corporate law and insurance claims adjusters are popular landing spots for paralegal graduates. It's worth paying attention to these in-depth legal studies courses.

BACHELOR'S IN PARALEGAL STUDIES SALARY

The range of salaries that bachelor's degree holders can expect depends largely on job title, sector, and experience. An entry level legal assistant or paralegal salary is lower than others on average. The median income for these positions is skewed lower due to so many employees working with only a few years of experience. But even with little experience, career opportunities in the corporate sector or a senior level paralegal career track can offer much higher salaries. Other career options for paralegal graduates, such as claims adjuster or law clerk, offer better salaries for professionals with more experience.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Paralegal $45,973 $37,000 $47,000 $55,000
Senior Paralegal $70,200 $52,000 $63,000 $75,000
Corporate Paralegal $64,759 $53,000 $69,000 $74,000
Claims Adjuster $51,927 $43,000 $52,000 $64,000
Law Clerk $34,278 $33,000 $41,000 $46,000

Source: PayScale

PARALEGAL STUDIES LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION

Unlike becoming a nurse or teacher, your path to becoming a paralegal does not require state-mandated certification. However, there are some certification opportunities that can help when seeking positions with specific employers or within specific sectors. Additionally, other career options that you can pursue with a bachelor's degree, such as becoming a public claims adjuster, may require certification.

  • Certified Legal Assistant or Certified Paralegal - CLA or CP certification is awarded by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. After completing your degree, you can attempt the two-day NALA awards CLA or CP designation test to prove your proficiency.
  • Professional Paralegal - The National Association for Legal Secretaries awards certifications for paralegals and other law office employees, including the PP. Paralegals must hold a bachelor's degree and have four years of experience before attempting the PP.
  • Paralegal Advanced Competency Examination - Awarded by the the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc., the PACE and the Registered Paralegal “RP” proves competency and includes state-specific requirements.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Paralegals and legal assistants benefit from professional organizations that allow for job support, networking, and annual conferences. Available to long-time paralegals and recent grads alike, these associations assist professionals in finding new job opportunities, provide educational resources, and facilitate social interaction with fellow professionals.

  • The National Association of Legal Assistants - With an emphasis on professional education, NALA and its many members can help you stay at the forefront of the paralegal world.
  • The National Federation of Paralegal Associations - The NFPA a foundational paralegal organization that every professional in the field should know. This organization administers the PACE exam along with many publication and events relevant to the field.
  • The American Bar Association - The top organization for American lawyers is also critical for paralegals. With more than 400,000 members, the ABA allows paralegals to tap into the mainstream legal sector for networking and continuing education.

The prospect of paying for your paralegal degree online can be daunting, but there are many tools and opportunities designed to help you navigate this process. Fill out your FAFSA and contact your program's financial aid office to discover what scholarships, grants, loans, and need-based aid are available to you. Some students may be eligible for work-study or other need-based opportunities, and schools often offer merit-based awards as well. Private grants or scholarships specifically for paralegal studies students may also be available.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
3 Brandman University Irvine, CA
4 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
5 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA
6 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
7 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell, MA
8 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
9 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
10 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT
11 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
12 Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH
13 Hodges University Naples, FL
14 William Woods University Fulton, MO
15 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, MD
16 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA
17 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College West Terre Haute, IN
18 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton, NY
19 Hampton University Hampton, VA
20 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
Best Online Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL
3 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
4 Hampton University Hampton, VA
5 William Woods University Fulton, MO