There is no specific educational requirement in most U.S. states for legal assistants or paralegals. Some paralegals have only on-the-job experience, while some paralegals have completed a two-year course or bachelor's degree in paralegal studies. Others have completed a bachelor's or even a master's degree in another field, and quite a few of these people have also completed a regular or post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate.
Many paralegals have completed all of their training before entering the profession, while others have completed their education while working their way up from the mailroom in a law firm. Many Paralegals take Continuing Legal Education credits to fulfill the requirements of their firm, state, or association. U.S. Paralegal or Legal Assistant courses of study have long been available in associate's degree or certificate programs at community colleges and private universities.
However, similar programs exist at four-year universities and have expanded over the years. More and more prestigious universities offer bachelor's degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates in the subject. One guess to the increasing trend might be that as law responds to rapidly changing technological, social, and business environments, the workload of law firms and even their way of doing business changes as well. Source: Wikipedia
Paralegal Education - Websites
- ABA Directory of Paralegal Education Programs
Provides links to ABA approved Paralegal Education Programs throughout the U.S. Entry into the paralegal field is open to a wide range of individuals with diverse educational backgrounds and previous work experiences. Two-year community and junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and business and proprietary schools, some of which are freestanding institutions devoted solely to providing this type of education, offer paralegal education programs
- American Association for Paralegal Education
AAfPE is a national organization that serves the needs of paralegal educators and institutions offering paralegal educational programs. AAfPE’s primary purposes are rooted in the continuing development of higher quality education for paralegal students as well as to be the main source of authority in paralegal academics.
- American Institute for Paralegal Studies
American Institute for Paralegal Studies is a distance learning school, accredited by ACCET, offering a 25-credit program.
- Blackstone Career Institute
The Blackstone Legal Assistant/Paralegal program is continually being refined by the most experienced and talented professionals in the legal field, as well as experts in the area of distance education. In general, it takes students between eight months and two years to complete the online paralegal diploma program.
- Institute for Paralegal Education
Our commitment to your success is what drives our daily activities, and we're confident that you'll find the training and education that best meets your professional objectives and skill sets. When you train with IPE and NBI, you not only make an investment in your career, but you also make an investment in yourself.
- National Paralegal College
Our nationally accredited programs will enable you to earn your paralegal certificate in just 7 months, your paralegal associate's degree in 15 months, or your bachelor's degree in legal studies in under 3 years.
- Standing Committee on Paralegals
The Standing Committee has a 30-year history within the ABA. It mission is to improve the American system of justice by establishing ABA standards for the education of paralegals and by promoting attorneys' professional, effective and ethical utilization of paralegals.
- Sunmer College - Paralegal Program
The program at Sumner College can help prepare you to enter the legal field, assisting attorneys in a variety of areas. You will study the basic foundation and structure of the American legal system and become proficient with the litigation and legal research process. Coursework will also teach you the use of computer programs as they apply to the practice of law. Many of our instructors are attorneys working in the field or have worked in the legal field. They know what employers are looking for and can help you learn the skills you need to succeed upon graduation.
- The Center for Legal Studies
The Center for Legal Studies is a legal education company focused on providing students the most affordable and effective legal education possible. We deliver our curriculum to our students in live lecture, online, DVD, video, audio, and CD-ROM formats through over 600 colleges and universities nationwide to provide our students with the flexibility necessary to achieve their academic goals while continuing with their everyday lives.
- The Paralegal Institute
The Paralegal Institute is here to help you fulfill those needs in your life while getting an education that will help you in your future.
- University of San Diego - Paralegal
Paralegal Program For over 30 years, the University of San Diego Paralegal Program has been educating students for positions in the legal profession. Classes cover topics such as legal research, civil and business litigation, contracts, real estate, bankruptcy and criminal law. Graduates are prepared to work in law firms, banks, corporations and government agencies. This American Bar Association approved program offers day and evening classes, employment assistance, financial aid and internship opportunities.