5 Best Paralegal Schools in Portland, OR

If you have a passion for helping local community members exercise their legal rights in court, becoming a paralegal in Oregon could be the right path for you.

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Certified paralegals work under the supervision of licensed attorneys to provide legal advice and support for clients.

As of 2023, new laws implemented by the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon State Bar Association allow certified paralegals to become licensed and work independently in limited areas of practice.

Learn more about what it takes to become a paralegal in Oregon, get information on some of the best paralegal schools in and around Portland, and find out how much Oregon paralegals make in the comprehensive guide for Portland paralegals below.

Best Paralegal Schools in Portland, Oregon

The best paralegal schools in Portland, Oregon, prepare local students for the workforce by teaching them the latest legal and practical skills.

Graduates are ready to work as entry-level legal professionals who work independently or under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

The paralegal training programs below offer two-year associate degrees, paralegal certificates, vocational certificates, or direct routes that prepare students for Oregon state licensure as independent Paralegal Practitioners.

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1 Portland Community College

Portland Community College offers aspiring paralegals three separate pathways to paralegal education at their Cascade campus.

Students can earn a two-year entry-level degree or a one-year paralegal certificate that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to earn national certification and begin practicing as Oregon paralegals supporting clients and legal professionals within the justice system.

PCC’s program is highly selective and operates on a limited admissions basis.

Courses Offered

  • Legal Interviewing and Investigation
  • Substantive and Procedural Law
  • Legal Terminology
  • Client Relations and Communications
  • Analyzing Legal Problems and Precedents

Contact Information

  • Address: 705 North Killingsworth Street, Portland, Oregon - 97212
  • Phone: 971-722-6111
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 Umpqua Community College

UCC in Roseburg offers a two-year associate’s degree program for aspiring paralegals in Oregon.

Their comprehensive Paralegal Studies degree requires students to complete a combination of general education courses with core legal courses, including the history of the American legal system, an introduction to the judicial process, and an overview of the criminal justice system.

This online program prepares graduates to complete national certification through one of the top credentialing authorities, which sets the stage for working as a licensed paralegal in Oregon.

Courses Offered

  • Concepts of Criminal Law
  • Code of Professional Responsibility
  • Legal Terminology
  • Contract Law
  • Cooperative Work Experience
  • US Government

Contact Information

3 Lane Community College

Oregon students on the road to becoming licensed paralegals can get training at Lane Community College Online.

Their online paralegal studies program prepares students for passing national paralegal certification exams administered by top certifying authorities.

Paralegal trainees are introduced to the legal profession in this 225-hour self-paced program.

Prospective paralegals have twelve months to master the concepts of the American legal system, legal research, and case management.

Program graduates complete the program with a firm grasp of legal writing, interviewing, and document preparation.

Courses Offered 

  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Introduction to Paralegal
  • Introduction to the Legal System
  • Litigation Case Management
  • Introduction to Law Office Administration
  • NALA CP Exam Prep
  • Contracts, Insurance, and Property Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 101 West 10th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon - 97401
  • Phone: 855-520-6806
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 Clackamas Community College

Clackamas Community College delivers paralegal training via its Paralegal Suite program, which features instructor-moderated options for self-paced paralegal education.

This comprehensive program introduces students to the legal system, legal terminology, and teaches fundamental and practical skills for supervised or independent practice under Oregon’s new paralegal license.

Students must complete 96 hours of training to earn credit for completing the Clackamas Paralegal Suite as they prepare for national certification or state licensure.

Courses Offered 

  • What is a Paralegal?
  • Analyzing and Drafting Legal Documents
  • Appellate Procedure
  • Tort Law
  • Conducting Legal Research
  • Contract Law

Contact Information

  • Address: 19600 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, Oregon - 97045
  • Phone: 503-594-6000
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College’s online paralegal training program provides potential paralegals with a comprehensive introduction to the legal system.

The program is self-guided or instructor-moderated and equips students with the legal knowledge and skills needed to begin the certification and licensing process.

This process makes them eligible to work under the supervision of licensed Oregon attorneys.

Certified paralegals in Oregon become qualified to work as independent paralegals providing limited legal services for family law and landlord-tenant issues upon meeting the state’s educational or substantive experience requirements.

Courses Offered 

  • How Do Paralegals Integrate Into a Law Practice?
  • Legal Terminology
  • Investigating Legal Matters
  • Writing Legal Briefs
  • Tort Law
  • Legal Analysis

Contact Information

  • Address: 626 High Street North East, Salem, Oregon - 97301
  • Phone: 503-399-5001
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Portland Community College
#2 Umpqua Community College
#3 Lane Community College
#4 Clackamas Community College
#5 Chemeketa Community College

Paralegal Salary Information

Oregon’s paralegals make well-paying salaries as entry-level and experienced legal professionals.

Online salary reports show that the annual earnings range for Oregon’s licensed and certified paralegals starts at just over $60,000.00 per year on the lower end of the earnings scale.

The average salary for local paralegals is reported at $68,314.00.

Higher-earning paralegals can earn over $77,000.00 each year in Oregon.

Certified paralegals who want to maximize their earnings potential in Oregon can increase their annual salaries by earning advanced certifications, applying for state licensures, and working for high-paying legal employers.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Portland, OR

City Name Salary
Portland, OR $68,314

Paralegal Job Duties in Oregon

The first step toward becoming a paralegal is to understand what role they play in the legal system.

A paralegal’s day can be filled with a variety of administrative and hands-on legal tasks for clients and attorneys to keep judicial processes rolling.

Paralegals are often the backbone of many judicial agencies and law offices.

Licensed Oregon paralegals who complete the required training may have an even heavier workload as they can sign legal contracts and work independently with clients in a limited capacity for family law and landlord-tenant-related issues.

  • Paralegals assist attorneys and clients with legal document preparation for pleadings, motions, affidavits, and briefs.
  • Communicate with clients and interview witnesses to gather pertinent information.
  • Prepare and file legal documents with court and government agencies.
  • Conduct administrative tasks like billing, appointment scheduling, timekeeping, and
  • court calendar management.
  • Organize and maintain confidential legal files, documents, and databases.
  • Schedule meetings, dispositions, and court appearances.

How Can I Become a Paralegal in Portland?

Complete the following steps to become a licensed or certified paralegal in Portland.

Step #1. – Complete Your High School Education

Most paralegal programs in Oregon require students to be between 18 and 21 years old and have proof of completing their high school education.

Aspiring paralegals must show proof of earning a high school diploma or equivalent before being admitted into competitive paralegal training programs.

Step #2. – Learn About Paralegal Certifications

The National Association of Legal Assistants and the widely recognized National Federation of Paralegal Associations are two of the top agencies that issue paralegal certifications for qualified trainees in the US.

Students can earn the Core Registered Paralegal Certification, which demonstrates entry-level competency in the legal field, or the Registered Paralegal, which is an advanced credential for established paralegals with more than a few years of experience working in the field.

Step #3. – Research Paralegal Programs and Organizations

Once you’ve completed your high school education and you know which certification credential or license you’ll need to begin your legal entry-level career, you can move on to the next step.

Learn more about your career as a paralegal through national certification agencies and academic programs.

Paralegal programs that lead to certification or state licensure will require students to demonstrate their competency in the field through a combination of education, hands-on experience, and certification.

Step #4. – Complete Your Paralegal Studies Program

There are a variety of options for completing your paralegal studies in Oregon.

Aspiring paralegals can take classes at brick-and-mortar colleges, universities, trade schools, or online.

After you’ve selected your favorite program, completed the application process, and been accepted as a student, you can dive into your paralegal studies.

Paralegal trainees learn how the legal, judicial, and criminal justice systems work together to provide legal solutions.

Students also learn legal terminology, how to prepare and interpret legal paperwork, and how to conduct legal research.

Step #5. – Get a Paralegal License or Apply for Certification

Oregon paralegal program graduates are eligible to sit for national certification exams to earn their credentials or apply for licensure after completing the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner program administered by the Oregon State Bar Association.

Oregon’s paralegals have exciting legal careers supporting local area attorneys and clients navigating their way through the judicial system.

Local students who want to pursue this career will need to complete a combination of education, substantive experience, certification, or licensure to practice within the state.

Highly experienced paralegals have a minimum of 5 years of full-time substantive paralegal experience or 7500 of substantive experience. 

Certification Pathways for Oregon Paralegals

Approved Degrees for Oregon Paralegals

  • Associate degree or higher from an accredited educational institution.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Graduation from an accredited law school.
  • Substantive legal experience.
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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