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The 25 Best Associates in Paralegal Studies Online Degree Programs

BCR_33_Paralegal_Assoc_badgeAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for paralegals and legal assistants will grow close to 10% through 2024, about average for the country. While the field is unlikely to explode in job opportunities, it’s also consistently among the most stable and reliable professions in the economy. The fact is, the world needs lawyers, and lawyers need a lot of help.

Featured Associates in Paralegal Studies Online Degree Programs

In particular, if you’re adept at multi-tasking, have a highly organized and disciplined work-ethic, and are efficient with administrative tasks, a career as a paralegal might be just the fit. That said, you can’t simply come in off the street. First, you’ll need formal training and then, likely, certification. For many, an associate’s degree is the best option, for its efficiency, skill-focused pragmatism, and low costs. What’s more, most can be completed in under two years. Below, find our top 25 online options.

Methodology:

  • Affordability (1/3): the average out-of-state tuition per credit hour
  • Flexibility (1/3): if the program offers additional specializations and/or an accelerated track
  • Academic Reputation (1/3): the rank of the school’s parent institution according to US News

1. Liberty University

15. Liberty University
Liberty University offers an AA in Paralegal Studies that consists of 60 credits, 21 of which are in the major. Major requirements include Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Foundations of Law, Legal Research & Writing, Real Estate Transactions & Property, Tort Law, Civil Practice, and Criminal Practice & Procedure, among others. Students are able to complete course work in no more than 2 years, though students may accelerate course work through a generous transfer credit policy of up to 45 credits, which may be earned from previous academic or life experience. With an emphasis on schedule and delivery flexibility, students also have the option of completing intensive courses on campus. Students are taught by practicing lawyers and learn essential skills for employment: performing title searches, writing depositions, real estate transactions, and more. Note that, as a Christian school, religious components may be incorporated into the curriculum.

2. Rasmussen College

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Rasmussen College offers a Paralegal associate’s degree that consists of 94 credits – 32 general education, 62 major core. Among the major requirements include Computer Applications and Business Systems Concepts, Introduction to Law and the Legal System, Civil Litigation and Procedure, Contracts: Managing Legal Relationships, Paralegal Ethics, Real Estate Law, Corporate Law, Legal Research, Torts: Auto Accidents and Other Legal Injuries, and more. From there, all students must complete either a capstone or internship in order to gain real-world experience. Rasmussen stresses maximum flexibility, with accelerated and blended options, including the school’s Flex Choice, which allows students to combine face-to-face and self-paced courses. Graduation time is typically in just 18 months; students who have finished an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may also choose to pursue the certificate track, which can be completed in as little as 9 months.

3. Broadview University – West Jordan

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Broadview University – West Jordan offers an AAS in Paralegal that consists of 98 credits. Some example classes include Legal Terminology, Torts, and Litigation, among others. Students can expect to complete all course work in as little as 21 months over 7 full-time quarters, with accelerated 6-week courses. In addition, thanks to a generous transfer policy of 49 credits, course work may be further accelerated. Among the places graduates have gone onto careers in include: A10 Capital; Anderson, Julian & Hull; Armstrong & Kirkendall, Chartered; Heidman, MaKay, and Heugly & Associates; Jaramillo Law; Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake City; Lowe Law Group; Nelson, Snuffer, Dahle, and Poulson; Rogers, Townsend & Thomas; and Utah Legal Service, among others. Broadview’s online courses come with 24/7 support, an online library, and more.

4. Penn Foster College

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Penn Foster College offers an associate’s in Paralegal Studies that consists of 64 credits. Some major core requirements include Law and the Legal System, Torts, Business Law, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Litigation, Criminal Litigation, Family Law, Real Estate Law, Wills and Estates, and more. Students can complete all course work in just 4 semesters and have 24/7 access to the school’s online community and membership in the Paralegal Studies academic group. Penn Foster also stresses maximum support and flexibility, with self-paced courses, academic and financial advising, and career development support from Career Cruising, which provides a lifetime portfolio, employment guides, resume builders, and local job postings. Upon graduation, students will know how to execute all essential paralegal duties, including preparing legal paperwork, filing court documents, and performing legal research.

5. Darton State College

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Darton State College offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 63-66 hours. Major core requirements include Litigation and Trial Practice, Real Estate Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Bankruptcy Law, Employment Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Special Topics in Paralegal Studies, and more. With an emphasis on pragmatic skills, all graduates are prepared to complete essential paralegal work, including working effectively and efficiently with attorneys, clients, and the public, with an understanding of ethics, professional responsibility, and confidentiality. Further, students will develop and hone their analytical, critical thinking, communication, and organization skills. Students are able to complete the program in just 2 years.

6. Middlesex Community College

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Middlesex Community College offers three separate paralegal tracks: career, transfer, and postgraduate certificate. The full career track consists of 60 credits (20 courses), while the postgraduate certificate is just 27 credits (9 courses). As a blended program, not all course work is available online, though the following classes are: Intro to Law, Business Law, Litigation, and a series of Legal Research and Writing courses. Other classes include Business Organizations, Criminal Law for the Paralegal, Real Estate Law, Ethics and Professional Responsibilities for Paralegals, and more, which are elective. All students must also complete an internship to gain valuable real-world experience. Middlesex emphasizes schedule flexibility, and students may complete their studies on full- or part-time studies. Taking a full course load of 5 classes per semester, a student could complete the postgraduate certificate degree in under a year. The full track typically takes under 2 years.

7. Ashworth College

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Ashworth College offers an associate’s in Paralegal Studies that consists of 20 courses. Major requirements include Business Law, Legal Research and Writing, Criminal Law Procedures, Torts, Law Office Management, and more. In particular, Ashworth’s curriculum focuses on developing a real-world skill set and knowledge base, in addition to a well-rounded educational foundation. Course work is self-paced, but students taking on a full load can complete their degrees in as little as 16 months. All students all receive personalized career guidance, academic support, learning guides with discussion questions and projects, and more. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to perform a variety of essential paralegal tasks, including: utilizing cutting edge legal research tools and techniques; analysis of law theory, ethical issues, and legal reasoning; administrative duties and procedures, and more.

8 (tied). Hodges University

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Hodges University offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 60 total hours – 32 in the major, 20 in general education, and 8 in electives. Major requirements include Introduction to Law, Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Legal Research and Writing, Legal Ethics, and Data Privacy and Social Media, among others. Students with a full-time course load of 12 credits per terms are able to complete the degree in as little as 2 years, and students with previous academic credit may transfer elective requirements in, accelerating the program. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to assist attorneys and other legal professionals with legal research, evidence collection, communications, document and litigation preparation, and other administrative duties of law practice. All instructors hold JDs and practice, or have practiced, law in a professional setting, giving students maximum insight into both the theory and practice of law.

8 (tied). Rio Salado College

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Rio Salado College offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 64 credits – 36-39 major, 6-9 elective, and 19 general education. Major courses include Ethics for the Paralegal, Legal Foundations for Paralegals, Paralegal Fundamentals of Litigation, Paralegal Research, Paralegal Business Law, Introduction to Tort Law, Law Office Technology for the Paralegal, Paralegal Writing, and more. Students also have the opportunity to tailor their curriculum according to professional interests by choosing from a wide range of electives, such as Family Law, Bankruptcy Law, Corporate Law, Legal Investigation, U.S. Constitution, and internship. Rio Salado also provides students with excellent career development resources and services. Upon completion of the program, which typically takes 6 semesters, students receive both an associate’s degree and certificate of completion.

10 (tied). Kaplan University

19. Kaplan
Kaplan University offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 90 total credits – 50 major, 25 general education, and 15 elective. Major core requirements include Civil Litigation, Intro to Torts, Intro to American Jurisprudence, Legal Research and Writing, Family Law, Legal Ethics, Criminal Law, a capstone course, and more. From there, students have the opportunity to specialize their curriculum through a wide variety of electives. Kaplan, in particular, emphasizes student schedule flexibility, with new classes beginning monthly and many enrolled on a part-time basis in order to maintain current professional roles. All students will learn necessary and essential legal theory and skills for employment, such as preparing documents, managing technology, assisting investigative efforts, researching legal issues, and a host of other administrative duties.

10 (tied). Massachusetts Bay Community College

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Massachusetts Bay Community College offers an AS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 62-63 credits. Major requirements include Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Principles of Business Law, Principles of Management, Litigation for Paralegals, Legal Research and Writing, and more. All students also have a great deal of control over customizing their curriculum by choosing electives in the humanities, economics, social sciences, and the paralegal major. In order to gain real-world experience, students also have the opportunity to assist at a law firm. Students typically are able to finish the associate in as little as 2 years, and those with previous academic credits may be eligible to transfer those in, accelerating course work. In particular, the curriculum is designed to teach students to prepare and draft legal documents, investigate and research legal issues, interview clients and witnesses, and render practical procedural assistance in law-related matters.

12 (tied). Clayton State University

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Clayton State University offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 61 credits – 27 major, 12 elective, 22 general education. Major requirements include Civil Litigation, Legal Research and Writing, Criminal Litigation, Business Organizations, Real Estate Law, Family Law, and Law Office Skills. From there, students have the opportunity to customize their curriculum according to areas of professional interest through a wide variety of electives, like Bankruptcy/Debtor-Creditor Relations, Health Care Law, Intellectual Property Law, Employment Law, and an occupational internship to gain real-world experience. The school emphasizes schedule flexibility, and course work can be completed online, on campus, or in blended formats. Students also receive academic advisors to assist in mapping out a curriculum and career development track. For those interested, CSU also offers a paralegal certificate, bachelor’s in legal studies, and minor in legal studies.

12 (tied). Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky University offers an associate’s degree that consists of 64 credits – 37 major, 25 general education, 9 elective. Major courses include Legal Research and Writing, Real Estate/Bankruptcy Practice, Litigation, Legal Administration, Family Practice, Legal Administration, and a seminar. In addition, all students must complete an internship in order to gain valuable real-world experience. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor their curricula with wide variety of electives, like Family Law Practice, Probate Practice and Procedure, Estate Planning and Procedure, and more. All instructors hold a JD or PhD in Law, and EKU allots for flexibility and personalized support from enrollment to career development. For those interested, Easter Kentucky also offers a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate (30-31 credits) and bachelor’s in Paralegal Science (120 credits.)

12 (tied). Ocean County College

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Ocean County College offers a certificate of proficiency in Paralegal Studies that consists of 18 credits. Major course requirements include Business Law, Law and Legal Assisting, Litigation, Legal Writing and Research, Law Office Management, Principles of Management, Real Estate Law, Constitutional Law & Rule of Evidence, and more. In addition, all students are required to complete an internship in order to gain real-world experience. While Ocean County doesn’t offer an AAS for paralegal work, students may be interested in the AAS for Business, with a Paralegal Studies concentration, in which case the certificate would transfer credits over. All students benefit from a range of resources, including: admissions services, financial aid counseling, support coaches, academic advising, veteran affairs, and tutoring.

15. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies that consists of 39 credits – 11 core, 19 legal specialty, and 9 paralegal elective. Example classes include Legal Communication, Theories of Liability, Litigation, Legal Research, and Law, Ethics, and Society, among others. Students are also required to complete a practicum in order to gain real-world experience. For those who have already earned a baccalaureate degree, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods offers a certificate program that consists of 30 credits. (A bachelor’s in paralegal studies is also available for 45 credits.) Thanks to a generous previous credit-earning program, many students are able to accelerate course work through transfer credits, prior learning assessments, previous life experiences, alternative format courses, and more. More than 90% of graduates find employment immediately.

16. American Military University

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American Military University offers an AS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 62 credits, 18 of which are dedicated to the major. Major requirements include Introduction to Law for Paralegals, Litigation, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal, Legal Research and Writing, and Legal Ethics. Students are also required to complete a seminar. Upon completion of the program, paralegal studies students will be able to perform all essential tasks expected of them in a professional law office: utilizing legal research methods and techniques; practicing sound legal reasoning for legal document writing; and accomplishing administrative tasks in a timely, ethical, and appropriate manner. Students will also develop and hone critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills. Thanks to a generous transfer policy of up to 46 credits, students may be eligible to accelerate course work. AMU offers similar bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Management.

17. Edmonds Community College

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Edmonds Community College offers a Associate of Technical Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies that consists of 90 credits – 20-25 general education, 30 liberal arts, 10-15 non-legal electives, 25 major, and 20 major elective. Major requirements include Introduction to Law and the Legal Process, Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing , Law Office Technology, and Contracts. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the curriculum for their professional interests, with legal electives like Administrative Law, Real Estate and Property Law, Intellectual Property, Criminal Law and Procedure, Commercial Transactions, an internship, or special projects. For students who have received previous academic credits, Edmonds’s generous transfer policy allows up to 65 total credits to be transferred in (all 45 non-legal credits, and up to 20 legal credits), which may significantly accelerate course work. Note also that students are required to complete at least 15 credits of work on campus.

18 (tied). Keiser University

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Keiser University offers an AA in Paralegal Studies that consists of 60 credits, 24 of which are dedicated to the major. These courses include Legal Research and Writing; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Civil Litigation; Torts Law; Family Law; Real Property; and Contracts, among others. In particular, the program is designed to teach students to support attorneys in transactional and litigation fields through legal research, document drafting, case management, evidence gathering, and litigation. Upon completion of the degree, Keiser students will have developed and honed skills in critical thinking, communication, and writing, plus be able to perform the technical and administrative duties required of them at a law office, business, or corporation.

18 (tied). Everest University Online

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Everest University Online offers an associate Paralegal program that consists of 96 total credits – 34 general education, 40 major, 8 elective, and 14 college core. Major courses include Criminal Procedure and the Constitution, Legal Research and Writing, Torts, Contract Law, Family Law, Law Office Management, Civil Procedure, and Wills, Trusts, and Probate. From there, students have the opportunity to customize the curriculum according to their professional interests through a range of electives, like Contemporary Issues and Law, Business Organizations, Real Estate Law, and Environmental Law, among others. All graduates of the program are prepared to assist attorneys in interviewing, gathering evidence, reviewing cases, law research, documentation prep, and administrative work. Everest students have gone on to work in legal offices, state and federal government agencies, corporate legal departments, consumer groups, insurance companies, banks, title companies, and legal aid societies.

20 (tied). University of Great Falls

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The University of Great Falls offers an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies that delivers in a blended format, with 10 credits required to complete on campus, out of a total 28. Major requirements include Commercial Law, Introduction to Paralegalism, Introduction Legal Analysis, Legal Research and Writing, Litigation and Trial Practice, Field Experience in Legal Assistance (internship), and capstone course. From there, students can tailor their degree through choosing 2 of the following 7 electives: Commercial Transactions, Domestic and Family Law, Property Law, Estate Law, Debtor-Creditor Law, Office Systems, and Legal Research Institute. All UGF students are prepared to complete a range of essential paralegal tasks, including draft documentation, writing and research, and more. Many graduates have gone on to work in law firms, corporations, legal aid organizations, banks, insurance com- panies, and government.

20 (tied). Madisonville Community College

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Madisonville Community College offers an AAS in Paralegal Technology that consists of 66 credits. Major requirements include Legal Systems and Terminology, Legal Research, Family Law, Law Office Management, Real Property, Civil Litigation, Torts, Ethics, and more. Most students are able to complete course work in under 2 years on a full-time basis. For those who have earned previous academic credits, MCC’s transfer policy may allow select courses to be waived, accelerating course work. All course work is delivered via Blackboard, and material is available 24/7, in addition to chat rooms, discussion boards, and more designed to create a collaborative, intimate learning environment. (The school also provides an online technical support desk.) Students who have already received an associate or bachelor’s degree may apply to the school’s certificate program (39 credits).

22. Virginia College

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Virginia College offers an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies that is designed to develop essential professional skills, technical competencies, and research experience for students looking to assist lawyers in a wide range of settings, including courtrooms, corporations, governmental offices, banks, and attorneys’ offices. Among the skills students learn include document drafting, legal research and writing, delivery of legal services, file maintenance and organization, case reviewing, evidence gathering, and administrative office procedures. Students will also be able to assist attorneys in execution of wills, real estate closings, depositions, and courtroom prep. VC’s career services provides students with resumes, counseling, interview preparation, and more.

23. Bryant and Stratton College

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Bryant and Stratton College offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that consists of 60 total credits. Major requirements include Intro to Legal Studies, Contract Law, Civil Litigation, Legal Research and Writing, Law Office Management and Technology, Torts and Remedies, Criminal Law Procedure, and a paralegal capstone, among others. The curriculum is designed to teach students how to research cases, prepare documents, and interact with clients, and emphasizes, in particular, the ethical considerations for legal professionals as laid out by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Federation for Paralegal Associates. All online course work at Bryant and Stratton strives for maximum flexibility and builds around a collaborative, intimate educational environment that offers both academic and technical support. Students also receive online tutoring, orientation, and the First Year Experience, a group advising seminar which focuses on students’ career and academic success.

24. Remington College

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Remington College offers an associate’s Paralegal degree program that consists of 90 credits. Major core courses include Packaged Applications, Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Legal Liability and Ethics, Civil Litigation and Trial Preparation, Business and Contracts Law, Family Law, Probate Law, Real Estate Law, and Bankruptcy Law. Courses deliver in six 13-week terms and may be completed in as little as 18 months for students on a full-time basis. Upon graduation, all students will be prepared to perform a wide range of essential paralegal duties, including: examining, researching, and summarizing case matierals; drafting legal documents; maintaining complete case files; and helping attorneys prepare for trial, among other tasks. Remington’s career services provide a number of resources, from professional networking and resume building, to professional development and employment applications.

25. Florida National University

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Florida National University offers an AA in Paralegal Studies that consists of 60 credits, including 12 major credits and 9 elective. Major courses are Legal Research and Writing, Professional Ethics and Liability, and Introduction to Civil Procedure. From there, students can tailor their studies for professional needs through electives like Contracts and Business Entities, Business Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Torts. In addition, to gain a well-rounded educational foundation, students also complete course work in in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers. Course materials are available via Blackboard 24/7, and the online program supports a collaborative and intimate learning environment through discussion boards, chat rooms, and more.