Paralegal Education Programs

The paralegal profession as we know it today has existed for over thirty-five years. During that time, paralegal training programs have evolved in order to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to become a paralegal. There are several types of paralegal schools and programs:

  • Proprietary Schools: Schools established for the exclusive purpose of training paralegals. They are usually from four months full-time to one year part-time and award a certificate upon completion. Entrance and minimal education requirements vary.
  • Junior and Community Colleges: Two-year full-time programs that award associate degrees in paralegal studies upon completion. Curriculum includes core classes as well as substantive legal classes. Entrance requirements are the same as those established by the school for all students.
  • Four-Year Colleges and Universities: Offer both majors and minors, and Bachelor's Degrees in Paralegal Studies. Some four-year colleges also offer certificate programs through their continuing education departments. Several area schools also offer graduate degrees in paralegal-related courses of study. Entrance requirements vary by school.

The American Bar Association (ABA) has established guidelines and procedures for obtaining ABA approval of paralegal education programs. To obtain ABA approval, a school must demonstrate that its program is consistent with sound educational policies in accordance with the ABA guidelines.

Not all programs are ABA approved. Most respected academic credit-bearing programs, however, are overseen by an accrediting agency that dispenses official accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Another organization involved in ensuring the quality of paralegal education programs is the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE). Schools that belong to AAfPE must be ABA approved or in substantial compliance with ABA guidelines. If the school that you are investigating is a member of AAfPE, it indicates that it is maintaining a particular standard of education.

Students can find out about available paralegal programs through NCAPA, local bar associations, the ABA, AAfPE, or the career centers in schools of higher education.

Area Universities & Programs

Student Liaison

To better serve the needs of students attending local paralegal programs, NCAPA developed the Student Liaison position to act as a personal contact with paralegal program directors and current and prospective student members.

The Student Liaison is responsible for forwarding NCAPA event and association information to the paralegal program director and students. Liaisons also coordinate special speaking events and/or informational sessions.

Other Scholarship Opportunity

Are you seeking a paralegal related certificate or degree?  Please click here to see the scholarship opportunity from Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.  The deadline to file an application is October 1, 2019.


Student Liaison Coordinator
Pascalle Goddard ([email protected])