Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 39,000 MORE OF YOU BY 2028

    Demand for paralegals is expected to rise 12% over the next decade, as law firms aim to increase efficiency and lower costs. Trained paralegals can take over some tasks typically assigned to legal secretaries or lawyers.

  • EMPLOYMENT IN LEGAL PROFESSIONS TO RISE 7%

    The overall job outlook for legal professions is bright, with employment growth expected to continue at an above-average pace. Working as a paralegal can be valuable preparation for a career as a lawyer, arbitrator, or mediator.

  • PREPARE TO WORK IN 9+ DIFFERENT LAW AREAS

    Paralegals have many different options for the areas of law in which they will work. Popular areas of legal practice include corporate, immigration, intellectual property, real estate, bankruptcy, and personal injury.

Our Research

There are a few different routes to becoming a paralegal; earning a certificate in paralegal studies is one of the most popular, particularly for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. For this list, we focused specifically on certificate programs.

All of the certificate programs evaluated can be completed online, although some schools also offer an on-campus or hybrid option.

The programs we reviewed are offered by schools with regional accreditation, ensuring a high quality of post-secondary education. Additionally, many of the programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), which does its own reviews of paralegal education programs for quality and industry standards.

Once we narrowed our list, we evaluated each program on the basis of reputation, course strength, cost, faculty, and flexibility. Each program then received an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 74 hours to write this article
  • 137 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 291 education programs we compared

The Top 43 Online Paralegal Certificate Degree Programs

Best Online Paralegal Certificate Degree Programs
01
Northwestern State University of Louisiana

intelligent score 99.23

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 21 credits

Department Department of Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $375 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 318-357-6011

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 21 credits

01
Liberty University

intelligent score 99.04

Award Best for Veterans

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Veterans

Delivery Format Online

Programs Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

Department School of Law

Estimated Cost per Credit $422.50 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-424-9595

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

01
Lake Superior College

intelligent score 97.04

Award Best Community College

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Community College

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Business and Industry Division

Estimated Cost per Credit $209.20 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, HLC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 218-733-7600

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Boston University

intelligent score 96.72

Award Best Private Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Private Research University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 8.3 credits

Department Center for Professional Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $481.33 per credit

accreditation New England Commission of Higher Education, NECHE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 888-700-3966

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 8.3 credits

01
University of California, Berkeley

intelligent score 94.88

Award Best in the West

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the West

Delivery Format Online

Programs Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 8 credits

Department Haas School of Business

Estimated Cost per Credit $996.25 per credit

accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges, WASC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 510-642-4231

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 8 credits

01
Rice University

intelligent score 94.83

Award Best Career Services

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Career Services

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Graduate Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 9.3 credits

Department Susanne M. Glasscock Scool of Continuing Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,871.00 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 713-348-4060

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Graduate Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 9.3 credits

01
George Washington University

intelligent score 92.33

Award Most Experienced Faculty

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Experienced Faculty

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

Department College of Professional Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $1,145.00 per credit

accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, MSACS

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 202-994-2083

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

01
Stony Brook University

intelligent score 91.92

Award Best for Adult Learners

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Adult Learners

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 6 sessions

Department School of Professional Development

Estimated Cost per Credit Starts at $1,595 per course

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 631-216-7517

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Paralegal Certificate

Required Credits to Graduate 6 sessions

01
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

intelligent score 90.45

Award Best Catholic College

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Catholic College

Delivery Format Online

Programs Paralegal Studies Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department Social and Behavioral Sciences Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $496.00 per credit

accreditation American Association for Paralegal Education, AAPE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 812-535-5151

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Paralegal Studies Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Mississippi College

intelligent score 90.06

Award Best Christian College

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Christian College

Delivery Format Online

Programs Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 27 credits

Department School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $625.00 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 601-925-3221

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Required Credits to Graduate 27 credits

01
Best HBCU
Hampton University
01
Best For-Profit University
American Public University
01
Best for Synchronous Classes
James Madison University
01
Best for Active Military
American Military University
01
Best for Tuition Discounts
Ashworth College
01
Best Electives
Cerro Coso Community College
01
Most Diverse Curriculums
University of Miami - Division of Continuing & International Education
01
Low Tuition
University of Georgia
01
Most Affordable
Rutgers University
01
Good Value
Kennesaw State University
01
Best in the South
Texas Christian University
01
Best Public Research University
Florida International University
01
Best Continuing Education
Florida Gulf Coast University
01
Most Flexible Start Terms
UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education
01
Best in the Northeast
University of Massachusetts Lowell
01
Best Self-Paced Curriculum
The University of Texas at Austin
01
Best Part-Time Program
University of California, Irvine
01
Low Tuition
Ohio University
01
Best in the Southeast
University of South Carolina
01
Best for Accelerated Classes
The University of Texas at San Antonio
01
Best Global Campus
Purdue University Global
01
Most Flexible Enrollment
Duke University
01
Best in the Southwest
Rio Salado College
01
Best in the Northwest
University of Washington
01
Best For-Profit College
Paralegal College
01
Simple Admissions Process
California State University, Bakersfield
01
Best Student Support Services
Bryant & Stratton College
01
Most Military Friendly
Rasmussen University
01
Best Hybrid Program
Eastern Kentucky University
01
Fastest Completion Time
Franklin Pierce University
01
Best Liberal Arts University
Assumption University
01
Best in the Midwest
Hamline University
01
Industry-Leading Faculty
Post University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Paralegals need to be detail-oriented and organized, and they must have strong writing, communication, and research skills. A training program will help you develop those skills while teaching you the necessary legal terminology and practices, but it’s important to assess if you possess the right qualities before pursuing education to become a paralegal.

Individuals can prepare for a paralegal career by earning a post-secondary certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. For individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree, a post-secondary certificate in paralegal studies is typically the fastest way to get the training required for most paralegal jobs.

If you do not currently hold any degree, you can research associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs. An associate’s degree is enough to qualify you for most paralegal jobs and will provide a solid foundation if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The number of programs offering a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies is limited; therefore, most people will pursue a bachelor’s degree in another field, followed by a paralegal certificate.

Once students complete their studies, they can apply for the Certified Paralegal (CP) credential through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). This optional credential confirms to potential employers that you have the necessary training and expertise to be a professional paralegal. You must pass an examination in order to receive the CP credential.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Paralegal Certificate programs:

  • Do I need financial aid? Generally, students enrolled in non-degree programs are ineligible for federal financial aid like loans and grants. If you need this type of funding to subsidize your tuition, you may want to consider an associate’s or bachelor’s degree instead of a certificate.
  • Does the program offer options for specialization? Most paralegal certificate programs cover a broad range of skills and knowledge applicable to all types of law. However, some programs offer electives that allow students to get in-depth knowledge in a particular area of law. If you have a specific interest, find out if the program you are considering offers an elective in that area.

Check on the enrollment process for the program you are considering. Certificate programs typically have more flexible registration processes than degree-granting programs. They may have a specific start date, or you may be able to enroll at any time. Even if you are not eligible for financial aid, find out if any programs offer scholarships. If you are currently employed, your employer may offer tuition assistance benefits to help you cover the cost of the program.