8 Best Paralegal Certificate Programs

What is a Paralegal Certificate?

Students who want to make a quick entry into the legal field opt to earn paralegal certificates as proof of their education, readiness, and experience in the field.

Accredited US colleges, universities, workforce development departments, and similar programs issue paralegal certificates.

Paralegal

Those who want to continue with their education after entering law school are on track to become attorneys and other legal professionals upon completion of a nationally accredited and American Bar Association-approved paralegal program.

Typical Paralegal Job Duties

  1. Legal Research: one of the essential duties of certificate holders is conducting legal Research for attorneys and clients to discover important information and uncover hidden details about court cases, trials, and depositions.
  2. Document Preparation: Paralegals spend a lot of their time drafting legal documents like contracts, pleadings, motions, and briefs that are presented as evidence in court.
  3. Case Management: Acting as the right hand of licensed US attorneys requires paralegals to support lawyers with case management by organizing case files and maintaining chronological records of case development and updates.
  4. Certification: Paralegals who want to support attorneys in America’s corporate offices and courtrooms must meet the certification requirements of credentialing agencies in the US. Currently NALA and the NFPA issue the sought-after CP certification that earns students the right to work for almost any employer based on their skills.
  5. Continuing Legal Education: NALA and other credential-issuing agencies require practicing paralegals to keep up with the latest industry trends, updates, and laws. Continuing education and monitoring changes in the legal system are ongoing requirements for all legal professionals and working paralegals.

Background checks and drug screens may be required.

Below, we discuss some of the best paralegal certificate programs in the US and provide information on what courses they offer, certification-based curriculum, and contact information for each program.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paralegal Certificate Program

There are a few essential factors for working paralegals and new paralegal students before committing to and enrolling in an accredited paralegal program.

The following are a few factors for students to consider when selecting their programs.

Accreditation: Paralegal Certificate Programs accredited by the American Bar Association have been approved to educate students with the substantive skills and legal knowledge required to excel in the field.

Curriculum: The best paralegal programs offer students a well-rounded curriculum that teaches them the fundamentals of the American Legal system and how to support lawyers while adhering to local, state, and federal laws.

Specialization Options: Paralegals who want to increase their earning potential can select paralegal certificate programs that offer legal specializations in some of America’s most in-demand legal fields.

Certification Track: Students serious about pursuing paralegal careers should choose certificate programs that follow a certification-based curriculum that prepares them for sitting for national certification exams administered by the NALA or the NFPA.

Online vs. In-Person Class Options: Many of today’s paralegal programs take the busy lives of students and working paralegals into account. As such, choose online or in-person options that meet your scheduling requirements as you pursue your legal career at your own pace.

Best Paralegal Certificate Programs

The best paralegal certificate programs in the United States prepare students to begin or enhance their legal knowledge and earn paralegal certification.

Certified Paralegals across the US make high-paying salaries as they support licensed legal professionals with hands-on and administrative functions while preparing for and hearing cases in court.

The programs below are some of the best in the county, approved by the American Bar Association, and offer students quick entry into the profession.

Search Paralegal Programs

Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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1 Duke University Paralegal Certificate Program

About the Program

Duke University offers one of the best online paralegal certificate courses in the US.

Their web-based program included video tutorials, quizzes, and mock exams that prepare students for real-life courtroom roles as Certified Paralegals.

Students who take Duke’s online paralegal training get access to Lexis Advance and Westlaw Next as part of their curriculum and immersive study.

They also have dedicated support from a licensed attorney who works for them as a paralegal advisor.

Courses Offered

  • Essential Skills for Paralegals
  • Pleadings and Discovery
  • Deposition Digesting
  • Discovery Preparation
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Legal Research Skills
  • Motions, Notices, and Briefs
  • The Law Office
  • Law Office Etiquette
  • File Maintenance

Program Costs: $6,995.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 2138 Campus Drive, Durham, North Carolina, 27708
  • Phone: 919-684-5760
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 UC Berkely Extension Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

The UC Berkeley Extension Paralegal Studies Certificate provides an in-depth view of America’s legal system and prepares students for national certification and entry-level employment in the field.

Students who take UC’s program learn the essential skills needed to work in a law office, courtroom, and other legal environments where they support the efforts of attorneys while working under their supervision.

UC’s paralegal course is taught by licensed attorneys who teach students how to conduct legal research, organize case files, and adhere to California legal rules and regulations.

Courses Offered

  • Essential Paralegal Studies – Foundational Skills
  • Authority, Research, and Writing
  • E-Discovery, Process, and Practice
  • Paralegal California Procedures
  • Paralegal Contract Law
  • Paralegal Criminal Law
  • Paralegal Family Law
  • Paralegal Intellectual Property Law
  • Paralegal Tort Law

Program Costs: $7,970.00 plus registration fee and course materials.

Contact Information

  • Address: 1995 University Avenue, Suite 130, Berkeley, California 94704
  • Phone: 510-642-4111
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 Villanova University Paralegal Certificate Program

About the Program

This American Bar Association-approved program trains aspiring paralegals on the substantive knowledge and skills needed to work as Certified Paralegals.

Villanova offers students two options to complete their paralegal studies.

Students can take classes full-time in person, or they can take courses as part-time paralegal students online.

Prospective paralegals who enroll with Villanova are exposed to a variety of in-demand legal skills and specialties, including contract law, intellectual property law, and real estate law.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Paralegal Profession and Principles
  • Paralegal Office Coordination
  • Legal Writing
  • Employment Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Ethics
  • Estates and Trusts
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Torts and Personal Injury Law

Program Costs: $8,625.00 – $9,225.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania - 19085
  • Phone: 610-519-4500
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Widener University Delaware Law School Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

Widener University Delaware Law School offers its 24-credit hour Paralegal Studies Certificate to students who have earned the equivalent of an associate degree by completing 60 credit hours of previous coursework.

Their self-paced program is designed to be completed in one summer session or two semesters.

Widener’s paralegal program is ABA-approved and offers a combination of online and asynchronous classes for students to complete their education.

It allows students up to one year to complete their program.

Courses Offered

  • Estate Administration Law
  • Health Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Litigation
  • Criminal Law

Program Costs: $1,389.00 per credit hour.

Contact Information

  • Address: 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware - 19803
  • Phone: 302-477-2100
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Boston University Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

Boston University gives students access to their Paralegal Studies Program online.

Their 14-week program has all-inclusive tuition and is taught by practicing attorneys.

Students who take online paralegal studies at Boston University learn the fundamentals of how to work in the American Legal System.

They learn legal research, real estate law, business law, and litigation-related curriculum that prepares them for entry-level work and certification as paralegals.

Courses Offered

  • Probate and Family Law
  • Legal Technologies
  • Business Law
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Legal Writing and Reasoning
  • Legal Research

Program Costs: $63,798.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 233 Bay State Road, Boston, Massachusetts - 02215
  • Phone: 617-353-2300
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies has a Paralegal Studies program that teaches students the foundations of working as a US paralegal along with related skills and courses.

Students who take classes with Georgetown have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of working as a paralegal, along with learning one of several specialties to increase their earning potential.

Georgetown offers instruction in civil procedure, criminal procedures, and legal technology to help them excel in the field and prepare for national certification.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Employment Law
  • Introduction to Administrative Law
  • Contract Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Civil Procedure
  • Advanced Legal Research and Writing
  • Legal Terminology
  • Tort Law
  • Communications Law
  • Paralegal Internship

Program Costs: $1,529.00 per credit hour.

Contact Information

  • Address: 640 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest Washington, DC - 20001
  • Phone: 202-687-7000
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Loyola University Chicago Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

Loyola University has one of the most prestigious law schools in the country.

Their School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers aspiring paralegals the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree or certificate in paralegal studies.

Students who attend Loyola can take classes to earn a paralegal certificate online and on campus.

They offer full-time and part-time learning options to help accommodate student schedules.

Courses Offered

  • Corporate Practice
  • Litigation and Corporate Practice
  • Litigation and Practice
  • Immigration Law for Paralegals
  • Real Estate Law for Paralegals
  • Government Law for Paralegals
  • Labor and Employment for Paralegals
  • Bankruptcy Paralegals
  • E-Discovery for Paralegals

Program Costs: $730.00 per credit hour.

Contact Information

  • Address: 820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois - 60611
  • Phone: 312-915-7900
  • Website: Visit School Website

8 University of California, Los Angeles - UCLA Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

About the Program

UCLA has a paralegal studies program that prepares students for careers as working paralegals and pre-law students.

Their ABA-approved program is designed to support active and aspiring legal professionals on their journey to expanding their legal education and earning related certifications.

UCLA’s program gives students a glimpse into the world of paralegals, attorneys, and other legal professionals by teaching them the fundamentals of contract law, criminal law, real property law, torts, and more.

Courses Offered

  • Real Property
  • Business Organizations
  • Contracts
  • Torts
  • Securities Law
  • Legal Research
  • Drafting Legal Documents
  • Legal Technology
  • Pleadings and Discovery

Program Costs: $10,122.00.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1145 Gayley Avenue, Los Angeles, California - 90024
  • Phone: 1-800-825-9971
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Duke University Paralegal Certificate Program
#2 UC Berkely Extension Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
#3 Villanova University Paralegal Certificate Program
#4 Widener University Delaware Law School Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
#5 Boston University Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
#6 Georgetown University Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
#7 Loyola University Chicago Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
#8 University of California, Los Angeles - UCLA Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

Paralegal Salaries in the US

Online salary reports from Indeed show that paralegals in the United States make just under $60,000.00 per year on average when starting out.

Paralegals who earn additional certifications and specialties can make as much as $100,000 per year depending on their specialty, years of experience in the field, geographical location and cerficaition credentials.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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