12 Best Paralegal Programs in North Carolina

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With over 10,000 paralegals employed in North Carolina, the local schools enable budding legal professionals to learn how to work at a law firm, aiding in and preparing documents for case preparation, which requires a paralegal degree.

Budget concerns are driving more law firms to hire paralegals over attorneys, which makes North Carolina paralegal occupations one of the fastest growing in the state.

North Carolina colleges and universities offer numerous paralegal programs covering various skills and specialties ranging from copyright to corporate law.

Therefore, finding a paralegal program that works best with your career and educational goals is essential.

Keep reading to learn more about the best paralegal programs in North Carolina!


North Carolina boasts 23 universities and colleges that offer paralegal degree programs comprising 15 certificates, 20 associate degrees, and one master’s degree, but no bachelor’s degree programs.

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1 Cape Fear Community College


CFCC gives aspiring paralegal students the option of a certificate track focused on real property or civil litigation.

Each program requires 18 credit hours, a time commitment of three semesters.

Program graduates will earn a Certificate in Paralegal Technology, which prepares them for entry-level positions at real estate firms, government agencies, and corporate law or private law firms.

Tuition and fees for out-of-state residents are around $9,000, and in-state residents will pay around $2,700.

Courses / Programs Offered

The real property coursework includes property and commercial law, bankruptcy, wills, and trusts.

The civil litigation track covers commercial, family, and civil law, civil litigation procedures, trial preparation, and investigation.

Contact Information

2 Central Piedmont Community College


The Associate in Paralegal Technology offered by CPCC is an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved program, which provides the required practical skills to succeed in legal assistant and paralegal professions.

The 73-credit hour program can be completed in two years with full-time study.

Courses / Programs Offered

The curriculum combines general education courses with procedural and substantive legal specialty courses such as Civil injuries, family law, and wills, estates, and trusts.

The program emphasizes technical and professional skills, including writing, research, accounting, and word processing, which are daily proficiencies required for the job.

In addition to the associate degree program, CPCC offers a diploma program in Paralegal Technology for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a different area and are interested in the legal field.

Graduates of this program meet all state requirements to take the North Carolina Certified Paralegal examination.

Contact Information

  • Address: 1201 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204
  • Phone: 704-330-2722
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 Charlotte School of Law


Charlotte School of Law offers a Paralegal Certificate program that can be completed in under six months in the traditional classroom format or via real-time virtual broadcast from any location.

This modality format is only one of two in the entire state.

One of the best aspects of this program is access to the most comprehensive law library in Western North Carolina.

Program tuition costs $5,500 and does not include exams, parking, and books.

Courses / Programs Offered

The Paralegal Certificate program curriculum comprises criminal law, real estate, immigration, civil litigation, fundamental skills, and legal research. Students are required to complete an internship with a local law firm before graduation.

Contact Information

  • Address: 201 S College St #400, Charlotte, NC 28244
  • Phone: 704-971-8540
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Coastal Carolina Community College


Budding paralegal students interested in CCCC have three educational options: a specialized certificate in Litigation Legal Assistant, Real Property Legal Assistant, Corporate Law Legal Assistant, Legal Secretary, a Paralegal Technology Diploma, or an associate degree in Paralegal Technology.

All programs can be completed in person or online for the ultimate flexibility.

With full-time study, the specialty certificates and diploma program can be completed in three semesters, around one year, and the associate degree program can be earned in five semesters, around two years.

Students and graduates can access CCCC’s Career Center, which has local job postings, interviewing workshops, and resume consultation services.

Courses / Programs Offered

The diploma and associate degree programs cover family law, corporate law, law office management, criminal law and procedure, and civil litigation topics as the base of each curriculum.

The certificate program coursework varies based on the specialization.

All educational paths teach students professional and ethical legal standards, research, and writing skills.

Contact Information

  • Address: 444 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546
  • Phone: 910-455-1221
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Duke University


As one of the leading schools in the south, Duke University is a highly reputable school, with students flocking to the campus from across the globe due to its high academic standards and post-graduate job placement.

The school offers an online Certificate in Paralegal Studies for those seeking a career change into the paralegal profession.

The self-paced program comprises 300 hours of study designed to train students in all aspects of the trade, and the program tuition is $7,000 regardless of in-state or out-of-state location.

The minimum educational requirement is a two-year associate degree program, which can be in any field.

Courses / Programs Offered

During the program, students will learn about legal writing and research, discovery and pleadings, investigation, evidence, form manipulation, and preparing documents for federal and state court.

The program comprises three study areas: Essential Skills for Paralegals, The Legal Environment, and Substantive Legal Studies.

Contact Information

6 Durham Technical Community College


DTCC offers a Guided Career Pathways program that allows students to earn a 70-credit hour Paralegal Technology associate degree or a 46-credit hour Paralegal Technology diploma.

The associate degree program takes around two years to complete, and the diploma requires a time commitment of one year of full-time study.

Both curriculums prepare students to assist with and conduct substantive legal work under an attorney.

Courses / Programs Offered

Both programs cover commercial law, trusts, estates, family law, legal writing and research, and civil litigation.

Core classes common to both degree paths include Civil Litigation I, Writing and Inquiry, and Introduction to Paralegal Study.

Best of all, most classes can be completed online to give students the ultimate flexibility.

Contact Information

7 Fayetteville Technical Community College


FTCC has an ABA-approved associate degree in the Paralegal Technology program that requires a time commitment of five semesters, which equates to two years.

The 68-credit program helps students prepare to aid a law firm, insurance company, business organization, or government agency with office management, court filings, legal research, or probate work.

The program was developed to start in the fall semester and could offer eligible students financial aid and scholarship packages.

Incoming students can transfer six credit hours of legal classes and must finish at least 18 legal courses at the school.

Courses / Programs Offered

Although all general law topics are covered, the program emphasizes wills and estates, real estate, and civil litigation in the coursework.

Other foundational classes include legal research, communications, office management, and probate work.

The FTCC program is unique in that a Work-Based learning component is required, which enables students to partake in a firsthand legal environment toward the end of the program.

The school also offers a three-semester Paralegal Diploma for students with bachelor’s degrees in non-legal related fields.

Contact Information

8 Guilford Technical Community College


GTCC offers two educational paths: an associate degree in Paralegal Technology or a Paralegal Technology Certificate program for those with bachelor’s or associate degrees.

The 66-credit hour associate degree program takes approximately two years to complete, and the diploma program requires a one-year time commitment.

The primary differences between the two are that the associate degree offers more comprehensive detail in the legal courses but also requires general education core classes.

Some courses are available online or at night for those who need additional flexibility.

Courses / Programs Offered

The curriculum covers various legal topics for success in an entry-level paralegal position, including civil litigation, professionalism and ethics, and legal writing and research.

Program graduates can sit for the North Carolina Certified Paralegal examination.

Also, many graduates pursue a bachelor’s degree or continue to law school.

Contact Information

9 Meredith College


Meredith College has a one-year ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate for those with a bachelor’s degree in another field.

Students can focus their curriculum on Real Estate, Corporate Law, or Civil Litigation, depending on their interests.

The school boasts weekly hiring announcements for alums and students seeking employment.

Furthermore, the flexible course schedule helps make the program accessible to those with varying scheduling requirements.

Courses / Programs Offered

The core curriculum requires four courses comprising Professional Development, Law Office Management, Legal Research, and Legal Survey, plus a specialty class in one of the three law practice areas.

Upon completing the courses, the graduation requirement is a C or higher in all classes.

Each of the four core classes costs $915, and the specialty course costs $3,255, which is charged based on the course content, not the instruction format.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3800 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607
  • Phone: 919-760-8600
  • Website: Visit School Website

10 Southwestern Community College


SCC offers a 74-credit hour associate degree in Paralegal Technology program that also requires summer semester study, focusing on civil litigation and criminal law.

Program graduates are eligible to sit for the North Carolina Paralegal Certification exam.

The program requires a five-semester time commitment, which takes around two years to complete.

Tuition and fees cost $2,200 for in-state residents and $7,600 for out-of-state students.

Courses / Programs Offered

During the program, students learn about real property, case analysis, financial accounting, legal writing and research, professionalism, trusts, and wills.

The school also requires students to complete a co-op at an SCC-approved local employer to gain firsthand experience in a legal office.

This gives students additional knowledge and skills to hit the ground running at an entry-level paralegal position.

Contact Information

  • Address: 225 Industrial Park Loop, Franklin, NC 28734
  • Phone: 828-306-7001
  • Website: Visit School Website

11 UNC-Chapel Hill


The main campus of UNC-Chapel Hill offers a Paralegal Certificate program that requires an intensive 19-week time commitment, during which the student must attend Tuesday and Thursday evening and Saturday classes, which equates to 10 hours per week.

Participants must complete 110 hours of research and study through writing assignments outside the classroom.

Collectively, this equates to 300 hours of academic engagement.

Courses / Programs Offered

The program comprises two survey courses, five law courses, and one paralegal skills course.

The survey courses include wills, trusts, estates, and constitutional law.

The law courses include torts, real property, family law, criminal law, and contracts.

The paralegal skills course covers the fundamentals of the profession, regardless of the legal setting.

Contact Information

12 Wilson Community College


Wilson Community College offers a 71-credit hour associate degree in Paralegal Technology, which the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification recognizes.

This means graduates are qualified to sit for the North Carolina State Bar paralegal certification exam.

Having this certification makes students more attractive to potential employers.

Courses / Programs Offered

During the program, students learn how to conduct basic and advanced paralegal tasks such as office management, drafting legal communications and documents, investigations probate work, public records search, and legal research.

These courses create the foundation for success at a law firm.

Students can complete the program in five semesters (a little over two years) with the full-time study option.

Graduates can work at business organizations, insurance agencies, banks, government agencies, or private law firms.

Contact Information

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Cape Fear Community College
#2 Central Piedmont Community College
#3 Charlotte School of Law
#4 Coastal Carolina Community College
#5 Duke University
#6 Durham Technical Community College
#7 Fayetteville Technical Community College
#8 Guilford Technical Community College
#9 Meredith College
#10 Southwestern Community College
#11 UNC-Chapel Hill
#12 Wilson Community College

Paralegal Salary Information

The average annual base salary for a paralegal in North Carolina is $51,700, with pay ranging from $37,600 to $71,000, not including other benefits.

The North Carolina paralegal salary is considerably less than the national average of $58,200, with pay ranging from $38,100 to $89,000.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in North Carolina

City Name Salary
Charlotte $65,330
Raleigh $65,184
Greensboro $63,912
Durham $64,795
Winston-Salem $64,134
Fayetteville $61,365
Cary $65,184
High Point $64,294
Wilmington $61,599
Asheville $61,474

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC480$54,930$26.41$71,630$35,850
Burlington, NC80$48,880$23.5$64,650$36,430
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC4,180$60,360$29.02$84,140$39,310
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC630$55,920$26.89$80,830$35,110
Fayetteville, NC320$48,820$23.47$70,240$31,540
Goldsboro, NC90$44,990$21.63$60,880$31,630
Greensboro-High Point, NC780$51,000$24.52$71,750$36,880
Greenville, NC230$49,910$23.99$70,650$35,360
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC180$47,740$22.95$62,400$36,200
Jacksonville, NC200$48,820$23.47$68,410$34,350
New Bern, NC180$48,630$23.38$72,820$31,550
Raleigh, NC1,950$64,210$30.87$84,210$37,660
Rocky Mount, NC100$44,360$21.33$59,670$29,440
Wilmington, NC500$50,320$24.19$65,270$37,290
Winston-Salem, NC920$50,450$24.26$66,470$36,240
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, OCC Code 23-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Paralegal Programs by State

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.

2 Responses to 12 Best Paralegal Programs in North Carolina

  1. Avatar
    Patrick Marshall #

    These programs contribute significantly to the legal community in North Carolina, producing skilled paralegals who play a vital role in law firms and organizations across the state.

  2. Avatar
    Duke Gross #

    It’s encouraging to see North Carolina’s commitment to providing top-notch paralegal education. The demand for well-trained professionals in the legal field continues to grow.

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