10 Best Paralegal Programs in Washington

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If you’re intrigued by courtroom drama and the idea of helping others find justice, a paralegal career might be the perfect fit for you.

Today’s paralegals are the backbone of the legal industry as they play vital roles in supporting trial attorneys, corporate legal departments, and government agencies throughout the legal process.

Recent high school graduates or those with proof of an equivalent are eligible to enroll in one of Washington’s best paralegal programs to earn a paralegal certificate, credential, Associate’s degree, or Bachelor’s degree.

Washington graduates and career switchers seeking paralegal education will be happy to learn that America’s BLS reports that the job outlook for Washington Paralegals is expected to grow right along with the national average, which is predicting a growth rate of around 4% between now and 2032.

Paralegal Job Duties

  • Preparing Court Filings
  • Legal Billing Support
  • Trial Support for Attorneys
  • Client Communication / Interviewing
  • Use Legal Software and Technology
  • Case Preparation
  • Document Management
  • Legal Research

Steps to Become a Paralegal in Washington State

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent
  2. Enroll in a paralegal education program
  3. Complete paralegal education
  4. Get certified through a nationally recognized agency

Top Paralegal Certifications – Washington State

Washington Paralegals, who complete the best paralegal programs in the state, are on track to seek certification with national paralegal certification agencies.

National agencies certify US paralegals who demonstrate proficiency in legal research, drafting legal documents, and supporting attorneys with administrative tasks.

  1. Certified Paralegal – CP: This credential is designed especially for paralegals. It validates paralegal knowledge and skills is issued by NALA.
  2. Continuing Legal Education – CLE: Certified Paralegals must take CLE to stay updated on the latest law trends and meet state requirements. The NFPA offers ongoing CLE certification options for experienced paralegals.
  3. Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam – PACE: Paralegals with on-the-job experience and completed a comprehensive paralegal education program are eligible to sit for the PACE exam and earn the RP distinction from the NFPA.
  4. Paralegal Core Competency Exam Certification – PCCE: This valuable credential is issued by the NFPA and certifies that paralegals have consistently demonstrated professional competence in the areas of legal research and writing, ethics, and the law.

Best Paralegal Programs in Washington 

Now that you understand what a paralegal does and who issues national paralegal credentials, you’re ready to move on to learning about the best paralegal programs in Washington!

Search Paralegal Programs

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

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1 Seattle Central College

About the Program

Prospective paralegals in Washington State can earn a Paralegal Certificate online via Seattle Central College’s Paralegal Certificate Course offered by their Continuing Education Department.

Their 100% online paralegal course operates in partnership with the Center for Legal Studies, and it is taught by experienced legal professionals.

Students who enroll with SCC will learn how to support attorneys and other law professionals in the American Justice System.

Enrollees will learn to complete legal investigations, research, interview witnesses, and manage case files.

Courses Offered

  • Employment Law
  • Law School Prep
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Personal Injury for Paralegals
  • eDiscovery for Paralegals

Program Cost: $1,895.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1701 Broadway BE1139 I-M - Seattle, Washington - 98122
  • Phone: 206-934-5448
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Renton Technical College

About the Program

Prospective paralegals take Renton Technical College’s Legal Assistant Program to earn a Certificate of Completion or an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Students can enroll in paralegal training in winter, fall, or spring and attend classes online, in person, or as a hybrid mix of the two.

This program teaches students the concepts of legal file management, scheduling, and professional conduct.

They also offer elective course options, family law, and business math as part of their paralegal training programs.

Courses Offered

  • Civil Litigation
  • Word Processing
  • Human Relations 
  • Business Law Procedures
  • Business Communications 

Program Cost: $1,679.00 – Certificate, $2,074.00 – Degree

Contact Information

  • Address: 3000 Northeast 4th Street - Renton, Washington - 98056
  • Phone: 425-235-2352
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 South Puget Sound

About the Program

Associate in Applied Science degree for paralegal students and Certificate of Proficiency for Post-Bachelor candidates.

South Puget Sound’s Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies prepares its students for entry-level employment in law firms, government agencies, community action agencies, corporate legal departments, and beyond.

Their programs emphasize practical legal education, writing for clear communication, and completing general education requirements.

Courses Offered

  • Contracts
  • Civil Procedure
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Tort Law
  • Professional Mediation

Program Cost: $4,805.00 + Book and Supplies for Washington State Residents

Contact Information

  • Address: 2011 Mottman Road Southwest - Olympia, Washington - 98512
  • Phone: 360-596-5200
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Spokane Community College

About the Program

Spokane Community College offers Washington-area students two options for pursuing paralegal education approved by the American Bar Association.

The first option allows students to earn an Associate in Applied Sciences degree.

The AAS paralegal degree program takes students around six quarters to complete.

They offer ongoing enrollment in fall, winter, spring, and summer for degree-seeking criminal justice students.

Their Paralegal Certificate Program also accepts students year-round; most students can complete it within four quarters.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Legal Careers
  • Legal Ethics
  • Law Office Procedures and Technology
  • Legal Specialty Courses
  • Washington and Idaho Court Rules
  • Legal Citations
  • Business Mathematics
  • Law Office Computing

Program Cost: $ 1,541.00-$3,524.00 per credit hour + Books, Supplies, and Equipment

Contact Information

  • Address: 1810 North Greene Street - Spokane, Washington - 99217
  • Phone: 509-533-8400
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Tacoma Community College

About the Program

Washington State residents seeking paralegal education can find American Bar Association-approved programs at Tacoma Community College.

Prospective paralegals can prepare to earn an Associate of Applied Sciences or a Paralegal Pro Certificate for working professionals.

TCC’s paralegal programs prepare its students to apply basic principles of legal analysis, manage legal technology, and trial preparation.

Courses Offered

  • Legal Document Production
  • Paralegal Fundamentals and Ethics
  • Writing Basics for Paralegals
  • Civil Procedure
  • Computer Applications and the Law
  • Criminal Procedure for Paralegals
  • Legal Research and Writing

Program Cost: Starting at $ 1,342.20 + Books, Materials, and Supplies for Washington State Residents

Contact Information

  • Address: 6501 South 19th Street - Tacoma, Washington - 98466
  • Phone: 253-566-5000
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 University of Washington

About the Program

The University of Washington prepares students to work in courtrooms, law offices, and corporate legal departments through its online Paralegal Studies Certificate program.

Their flexible online paralegal program takes most students between eleven and seventeen months to complete as they learn the fundamentals of legal theory and reasoning, litigation, business law, family law, and environmental law.

This program offers scholarships for students who qualify and demonstrate financial need.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law and Legal Practice
  • Law Office Procedures and Technology
  • Complex Litigation
  • Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis
  • Civil Procedure and Litigation
  • Professional Responsibility and Ethics

Program Cost: $8100.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 1410 Northeast Campus Parkway, Seattle, Washington - 98195
  • Phone: 206-543-9686
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 Whatcom Community College

About the Program

Students who enroll in Whatcom Community College’s Paralegal Studies Program can earn a 90-credit hour Associate of Applied Science Degree in Legal Studies, or they can opt for the 45-credit hour Paralegal Studies Certificate in this in-person and online paralegal studies program.

Prospective paralegals can learn fundamental legal concepts from start to finish in their AAS degree program.

While working, paralegals can refresh their existing skills and take on a legal niche to increase their credentials and salary.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law and the Legal Process
  • Administrative Law
  • Business Law
  • Law Office Procedures and Legal Ethics
  • Legal Terminology
  • The Practice of Family Law
  • Contracts, Consumer Law, and Access to Justice

Program Cost: Starting at $7,811.00 including books, fees, and supplies for Washington State Residents

Contact Information

  • Address: 237 West Kellogg Road - Bellingham, Washington - 98226
  • Phone: 360-383-3000
  • Website: Visit School Website

8 Edmonds Community College

About the Program

The Law and Government Department at Edmonds College offers one of the best paralegal programs in the Pacific Northwest at its Lynwood, Washington, campus.

Their paralegal program prepares students to consult with and support trial attorneys by applying practical legal education and skills earned in their Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Technical Arts, and Advanced Paralegal Certificate programs.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law and the Legal Process
  • Civil Procedures
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Contracts
  • Law Office Technology

Program Cost: $4299.00 – $9,273.00 + fees for Washington State Residents

Contact Information

  • Address: 20000 86th Avenue W, Lynwood, Washington - 98036
  • Phone: 425-640-1459
  • Website: Visit School Website

9 Green River College

About the Program

The Continuing Education Department at Green River College in Auburn, WA, offers paralegal training for prospective professionals.

They require students to have a high school diploma or an equivalent to enroll in their Paralegal Certificate Program, which teaches entry-level paralegals and legal secretaries the fundamentals of supporting legal professionals in courtrooms and other legal settings.

Students who enroll in the Paralegal Certificate Program offered by Green River College are trained on a variety of criminal justice concepts and how to conduct legal research using Lexis Nexis.

Courses Offered

  • Paralegal Essentials
  • Research Investigation and Discovery
  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Research and Analysis
  • Advanced Research, Writing, and Trial Preparation
  • Litigation Procedure Discovery Process
  • Administrative Law Office Structure
  • Fact Investigation and Interviewing

Program Cost: $495.00-$11,196.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 12401 Southeast 320th Street - Auburn, Washington - 98092
  • Phone: 253-833-9111
  • Website: Visit School Website

10 Penn Foster Online - Paralegal Diploma

About the Program

Penn Foster’s Online Paralegal Diploma Program offers an option for prospective paralegals in Washington State to earn their credentials when they aren’t within range of a local college or university offering paralegal education.

Students who enroll in their online paralegal program can earn credits toward a paralegal diploma or continue to pursue a Paralegal Studies associate degree online.

This accredited program offers self-paced online options for completing the Washington State paralegal education requirements needed to sit for national certification.

Courses Offered

  • Legal Terminology
  • Business Law Basics
  • Litigation Basics
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Computer Applications
  • Business English

Program Cost: $749.00

Contact Information

  • Address: 925 Oak Street - Scranton, Pennsylvania - 18515
  • Phone: 1-800-471-3232
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Seattle Central College
#2 Renton Technical College
#3 South Puget Sound
#4 Spokane Community College
#5 Tacoma Community College
#6 University of Washington
#7 Whatcom Community College
#8 Edmonds Community College
#9 Green River College
#10 Penn Foster Online - Paralegal Diploma

Paralegal Salary Information

According to online salary reports from Indeed, paralegals in Washington State make around seven percent above the national average with a starting annual salary of just over $62,000.00 annually.

Paralegals with credentials, legal specialties, and more years of substantive experience can make as much as $90,000.00 a year in Washington.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Washington

City Name Salary
Seattle $70,788
Spokane $63,154
Tacoma $68,993
Vancouver $66,666
Bellevue $70,788
Everett $69,518
Federal Way $68,993
Kent $68,856
Yakima $64,732
Bellingham $65,938

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA110$60,100$28.9$76,710$40,040
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA190$60,560$29.11$80,630$47,460
Kennewick-Richland, WA160$59,870$28.79$81,230$40,780
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA80$56,720$27.27$77,310$37,160
Olympia-Tumwater, WA470$59,520$28.61$74,590$44,840
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA5,590$78,230$37.61$106,510$50,410
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA510$60,900$29.28$89,020$42,740
Wenatchee, WA80$60,890$29.28$79,340$41,610
Yakima, WA200$57,210$27.51$74,020$39,520
* 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.

4 Responses to 10 Best Paralegal Programs in Washington

  1. Avatar
    Hunter Ingram #

    I attended one of these programs and it really set me up for success in my paralegal career. Highly recommend!

  2. Avatar
    Callie Holt #

    I’ve been researching paralegal programs in Washington for a while now, and this list definitely helps narrow down my options.

  3. Avatar
    Annie McGuire #

    As a practicing paralegal, I can say that having a solid education from one of these programs makes a huge difference in your confidence and competence on the job.

  4. Avatar
    Karter Ramos #

    Choosing the right paralegal program is crucial for launching a successful career in the legal field.

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