Why This Matters

  • 50% OF PARALEGALS HAVE ASSOCIATE DEGREES

    Information provided from O*NET shows that half of those working as paralegals have an associate degree. Another 7% only have a certificate.

  • 10% JOB GROWTH FOR PARALEGALS

    The demand for paralegals and legal assistants is expected to rise 10% by 2029, as law firms work to increase efficiency and reduce the costs of their services.

  • EARN $52,920 PER YEAR AS A PARALEGAL

    Trained paralegals and legal assistants earn $52,920 on average. The lowest 10% earned less than $32,000, while the highest 10% earned more than $85,000 per year. Secretaries and assistants earn $40,990 per year.

Our Research

This list looks extensively at associate degrees in paralegal studies, legal support services, and legal assistant studies. There are a few options for becoming a trained paralegal, including earning an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies. Credit hours and degrees from accredited institutions are typically more transferable to other schools.

All the paralegal programs we reviewed on our list are offered by regionally accredited schools, which ensures the degree plans meet the highest academic rigor in education. The American Bar Association (ABA) also reviews paralegal programs to ensure they meet the highest standards.

  • 61 hours to write this article
  • 172 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 180 education programs we compared

The Top 43 Online Paralegal Associate Programs

Best Online Paralegal Associate Programs Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
01
Best in the Mid Atlantic
Liberty University
01
Best in the Northeast
University of Providence
01
Best for Vets
American Military University
01
Best for Legal Admin Asst Diploma
Alexandria Technical & Community College
01
Best in the South
Keiser University
01
Best for Exam Preparation
Hodges University
01
Best in the Midwest
Purdue University Global
01
Best Evening Option
Madisonville Community College
01
Best for Career Services
Bryant & Stratton College
01
Best Accelerated Option
Eastern Kentucky University
01
Best for Communications
Tallahassee Community College
01
Best Internship Options
Massachusetts Bay Community College
01
Best Liberal Arts Option
Florida National University
01
Best Mentor Program
Marian University
01
Best in the West
Cerro Coso Community College
01
Best in the Southwest
Rio Salado College
01
Best Experiential Education
Iowa Lakes Community College
01
Fastest to Completion
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
01
Best for Working Professionals
Hutchinson Community College
01
Best for Transfer Students
Herzing University
01
Best Credit for Prior Learning
Roger Williams University
01
Best Certificate Option
Lake Superior College
01
Best Dual Credit Option
Trinity Valley Community College
01
Best Hybrid Option
Holmes Community College
01
Best Community College, Southwest
Yavapai College
01
Best for Adult Learners
Clovis Community College
01
Best Self-Paced Option
Ashworth College
01
Best for Career Preparation
Patrick Henry Community College
01
Best Elective Options
Nassau Community College
01
Best Pre-Law Option
Central Texas College
01
Most Affordable
Penn Foster College
01
Best Office Specialist Certification
Santa Fe College
01
Best in the Northwest
University of Alaska Fairbanks
01
Best Paralegal Career Track
Middlesex Community College
01
Best Start Dates
American Public University
01
Best Field Experiences
University of Northwestern Ohio
01
Most Flexible
Western Piedmont Community College
01
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Drury University
01
Best for Degree Completion
Mountain Empire Community College
01
Best Technical Certificate Program
Hinds Community College
01
Best for Tutoring
Kansas City Kansas Community College
01
Best Legal Clerk Option
New River Community College

What You Should Know About This Degree

Paralegals are essential to the legal industry. They need to be detail-oriented, have strong writing and communication skills, and be able to research and analyze important legal documents.

It’s important to note the different legal paths to consider when exploring an education program and potential careers. A legal secretary or legal assistant has a similar focus, but the job tasks and course requirements are different. Secretaries and assistants typically perform routine clerical and administrative duties and, on average, earn less than a paralegal.

After you complete your paralegal studies and earn your associate degree, you can apply for the Certified Paralegal (CP) credential from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

The overall job market for paralegals and legal assistants is positive. Employment is expected to rise at an above-average pace through 2029. Many people who want to work in the legal field will earn their associate degree in paralegal studies and use that as preparation for a career as a lawyer, mediator, or other legal specialist.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online paralegal associate programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Many paralegal and legal assistant programs accept students from a variety of backgrounds. Common requirements include a high school diploma or equivalency.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most students can earn the required 60 credit hours for their online associate degree in paralegal studies in two to three years. Once they earn their associate degree, they can apply for the optional Certified Paralegal credential, which shows potential hiring managers that they have the necessary skills and training to work as a paralegal or legal assistant.

Once you select an online paralegal studies program, you will need to keep track of your application and deadlines. You’ll also need to consider how to finance your associate degree in paralegal studies and find out if you qualify for any scholarships or employer-based tuition reimbursement plans.