6 Best Paralegal Schools in Houston, TX

If you’re wondering how to start a lucrative legal career that offers a low entry barrier and high salaries, becoming a paralegal in Houston could be the right career path for you.

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Houston’s paralegals are in high demand across the city, as law firms, courts, and corporate offices depend on their administrative support services.

Learn more about what it takes to become a paralegal in Houston and get details on some of the best paralegal schools offering certification-based education in the comprehensive guide below.

Best Paralegal Schools in Houston

The best paralegal schools in Houston follow certification-based education tracks implemented by the American Bar Association and the National Association of Legal Assistants.

Our comprehensive list below includes some of Houston’s best paralegal programs, where aspiring paralegals can get their education by taking classes on campus or by taking advantage of web-based education online.

The programs listed below offer paralegal certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees that prepare students for passing certification programs and finding entry-level employment at law firms, government offices, corporate offices, and legal clinics.

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1 Houston Community College

Houston Community College offers a 128-hour Paralegal Studies degree and a paralegal certificate program through its Continuing Education Business Department.

Trainees can take classes at many locations throughout its district campuses.

The paralegal training program follows a strict course sequence that begins with educating students on the concepts of United States Law.

The curriculum then introduces students to the field of legal studies and the interpretation of Texas law.

HCC graduates who complete the program will earn an associate’s degree in Paralegal Technology.

Courses Offered

  • United States Law
  • Introduction to Texas Law
  • Legal Studies
  • Paralegal Composition
  • Intermediate Texas Law
  • Advanced Texas Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas - 77002
  • Phone: 713-718-2000
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Lone Star College

Lone Star College offers several different options for local students seeking paralegal education.

Their ABA-approved paralegal studies program includes a paralegal certificate and a paralegal degree program.

Students who choose the degree program route can earn an Associate of Applied Sciences degree at the North Harris campus in Houston.

Graduates who complete the program gain a comprehensive introduction to the legal profession.

They are equipped with skills in business law, legal research, and the technical skills needed to operate the latest legal software and tools.

Courses Offered

  • Business Law
  • Introduction to Law and Legal Professions
  • Legal Research
  • Paralegal Ethics
  • Federal Government
  • Rules of Civil Procedure

Contact Information

  • Address: 250 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, Texas - 77060
  • Phone: 280-260-3500
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College trains students on the fundamental concepts needed to work as administrative legal assistants for licensed local attorneys.

Aspiring paralegals learn and practice substantive law principles that help them navigate the legal system when working in Texas courts, law firms, and government offices.

SJC students graduate with the knowledge to conduct legal research, interview clients, and use the latest legal technology and software to e-file motions, pleas, and other legal documents.

The American Bar Association approves the paralegal studies program at SJC.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Law Office Technology
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Family Law
  • Advanced Civil Litigation

Contact Information

  • Address: 5800 Uvalde Road, Houston, Texas - 77049
  • Phone: 281-998-6150
  • Website: Visit School Website

Opportunities for local paralegal education abound at the Center for Advanced Legal Studies in Houston, which has three pathways for paralegal education.

They offer web-based learning options with live instructor-led training for certificate—or degree-seeking legal assistants.

Future law office clerks can also earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in paralegal studies at CALS.

Trainees who opt for paralegal certificate programs can complete their comprehensive training programs in as little as eight months when attending part-time classes.

Students seeking associate degrees can expect to complete their programs in two years, and bachelor-seeking students should expect to spend three to four years learning about the in-depth workings of the local courts and the United States judicial systems.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Law and Ethics
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Civil Procedure
  • Computers and the Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Intellectual Property Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 West Sam Houston Parkway S, Houston, Texas - 77042
  • Phone: 713-529-2778
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Rice University

The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University delivers paralegal education to local Hustonians via their web-based program.

Students get virtual paralegal education that introduces them to the legal field, helps them break down complex legal terminology, conduct legal research, and complete legal analysis in support of practicing attorneys.

Rice University offers a spring and fall entry for their online paralegal studies program, which most students take about five months to complete.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to the Legal Field
  • Application of Hearsay Rule
  • Rule Elementization
  • Federal Court Structure
  • Legal Research
  • Interviewing Clients

Contact Information

  • Address: Rice University School of Continuing Studies - Houston, Texas - 77251
  • Phone: 713-348-4803
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 University of Houston

Houston-based students who prefer to learn at their own pace can take self-paced paralegal studies classes online at the University of Houston.

This web-based paralegal training course equips students with the fundamental skills needed to work as certified paralegals, providing support for licensed attorneys in courtrooms and trials and as administrative legal assistants in law offices.

UH provides a comprehensive introduction to the legal field, legal technology, ethics, and legal client support that helps students pass state and national certification exams upon graduation.

Courses Offered

  • Regulation of Paralegals
  • Introduction to Legal Analysis
  • Legal Interviewing
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research
  • Estate and Family Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 4333 University Drive, Houston, Texas - 77204
  • Phone: 855-520-6806
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Houston Community College
#2 Lone Star College
#3 San Jacinto College
#4 Center for Advanced Legal Studies
#5 Rice University
#6 University of Houston

Paralegal Salary Information

According to reputable salary data reports, Houston’s paralegals make well-paying annual salaries that include work-life benefits like health insurance, 401K matching, and medical insurance for families.

For example, the average salary for local paralegals is just under $70,000.00 annually.

In contrast, earners on the higher end of the paralegal salary scale make just over $78,000.00.

Earners on the lowest end of the salary scale bring in just over $61,000.00 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Houston, TX

City Name Salary
Houston, TX $70,000

Paralegal Job Duties in Houston

The first thing to know about paralegals is what their job duties entail.

Today’s paralegals are indispensable members of legal teams who often provide the backbone for building solid cases and uncovering compelling details in trials and depositions.

Houston’s paralegals work in law firms and fast-paced legal environments to carry out the following tasks. 

  • Legal Research for Trial Preparation: Legal assistants spend many hours researching laws, rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to their attorney’s active cases.
  • Legal Document Management and Organization: Certified legal secretaries help lawyers prepare legal documents like motions and pleadings for filing with local courts.
  • Legal Analysis for Providing Insights to Attorneys and Clients: Lawyers often rely on their legal support team to provide them with critical legal insights based on factual data when preparing for trial.
  • Legal Compliance and Ethics: Practicing paralegals must carry out their job duties while remaining in compliance with legal and ethical standards of practice.
  • Managing Legal Technology for Case Prep, Document Organization, and Electronic 
  • Filing: Today’s legal techs rely heavily on the use of computers and legal software to conduct legal research, organize case documents, and e-file time-sensitive legal docs.
  • Scheduling Appointments and Court Dates: Skilled paralegals schedule appointments with clients, witnesses, and other interested parties and follow up on court dates for attorneys.
  • Administrative Office Support: Legal secretaries help lawyers with administrative office support by completing tasks like billing, invoicing, paying bills, and ordering legal office supplies.

How to Become a Paralegal in Houston

Now that you know what a day in the life of a Houston paralegal is like, let’s discuss how to become a paralegal in the Lone Star State.

One of the first questions you’re probably asking is, “Do I need a license to work as a paralegal in Houston?”

The short answer to this question is no. 

Aspiring paralegals in Houston should know that the state of Texas doesn’t require its legal assistants to have occupational licenses.

However, local law firms and state, federal, and government legal employers prefer to hire candidates with many years of substantive legal experience working under the supervision of a licensed Texas attorney or students with certification credentials.

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is the agency that regulates state-based certification for Texas paralegals.

The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court authorize TBLS to certify local paralegals.

This state-based certification agency will issue credentials to Texas paralegals who complete the appropriate combination of education and training to qualify for national certification under the NALA. 

Future paralegals may qualify for certification by completing an approved ABA or NALA program along with the required number of years of supervised substantive practice.

Visit the TBLS website to learn more about which programs qualify for educational credits and which activities count toward substantive legal work experience under state law.

Complete the following steps to become a certified legal assistant in Houston.

Step#1. – Complete Your High School Education and Be at Least 18 Years Old

Step #2. – Research the Best Paralegal Schools and Complete an Application

Step #3. – Complete a Certification-Based Paralegal Studies Program

Step #4. – Apply for Certification with the National Association of Legal Assistants and/or The Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Step #5. – Find Paralegal Employment by Getting Help from Your Career Resource Center or Online

Step #6. – Complete Mandatory Continuing Education Requirements to Maintain Your Certification 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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