Why This Matters

  • 34% OF PARALEGALS HAVE BACHELOR’S DEGREES

    Data from O*NET shows that slightly more than a third of those actively working as paralegals have a bachelor’s degree, and another 50% only have an associate degree.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 35,300 MORE PARALEGALS BY 2029

    As law firms seek to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce costs, jobs for paralegals are projected to grow at a rate of 10% over the next decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

  • EARN MORE THAN $50,000 PER YEAR

    Paralegals and legal assistants earn a median annual income of $52,920. Wages are higher for those who work for the government, at $56,740 per year on average, as well as for those who have a bachelor’s degree.

Our Research

This list focuses on undergraduate programs related to paralegal studies that offer a bachelor’s degree. Most programs award a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies or a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. Our list also includes programs that award a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Legal Studies. We reviewed programs that are offered online and in blended formats.

For quality purposes, all schools on our list are regionally or nationally accredited. Several programs are accredited by the American Bar Association, which established the first guidelines for paralegal education. Our list also includes programs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which rates colleges in parts of the United States based their learning standards, ethics, teaching capabilities, and student resources.

  • 63 hours to write this article
  • 140 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 210 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies Programs Badge
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What You Should Know About This Degree

A paralegal degree is not the same as a law degree. Lawyers must obtain a bachelor’s degree followed by a graduate-level law degree. Lawyers must also be licensed to practice law by passing the bar exam. To become a paralegal, most employers require job applicants to have at least an associate degree in paralegal studies. Many employers prefer or require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Prospective students should look for undergraduate programs related to paralegal or legal studies that are accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, as this signifies that a school has met certain quality standards.

Several organizations offer paralegal certification. The National Association of Legal Assistants sponsors a certification examination known as the Certified Paralegal. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations offers the Paralegal Advanced Competency Examination to become a Registered Paralegal. NALS sponsors a voluntary certification program that includes four different options, and the American Alliance of Paralegals offers the American Alliance Certified Paralegal.

The job outlook for those who earn this degree is strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for paralegals will grow at a rate of 10% over the next 10 years, which will create more than 35,300 new job openings for the workforce.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in paralegal studies programs:

  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? The amount of time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree in paralegal or legal studies depends on several factors. However, full-time students typically earn this degree in four years.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Most colleges and universities require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalency to be considered for enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program. Some schools also have minimum GPA requirements and ask candidates to submit standardized test scores. Before applying, check the program’s admissions requirements to confirm that you meet their qualifications.

As you research programs, keep track of application deadlines and determine what materials you need to submit. You can find information about each program’s application process online or by contacting the admissions department.

Financing your education is another important consideration. The cost of college varies widely by school and program. Funding opportunities may include scholarships, loans, and grants. If you’re employed, ask your employer about educational assistance programs.