How to Choose an Online Paralegal Studies Program

How to Choose an Online Paralegal Studies Program

Would you like to pursue a career working in the legal system, or working in a law office?

Becoming a paralegal will allow you to have a fulfilling career working alongside other members of a legal team. Paralegals are an important part of any law office, and talented paralegals are always in demand.

In the past, paralegal studies programs were primarily held in traditional classrooms, but today, online paralegal training programs are the format many students prefer.

If you’re looking for online paralegal studies programs, and researching the different options, trying to find the best way to choose a paralegal program, we have some great tips for making your enrollment decision.

Become a Paralegal with an Online Paralegal Degree

An online paralegal degree will help students gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to work as an entry-level paralegal.

Paralegals work under the supervision of a licensed attorney, and although they are not allowed to practice law, their work is essential in law offices, government, and corporate legal teams.

In a legal team, paralegals conduct legal research, interrogatories, client interviews, prepare legal documents, and do discovery for legal cases.

Where do Paralegals Work?

Paralegals work in a wide variety of places that need legal work done. Anywhere attorneys are needed, paralegals are also needed to support the work of lawyers.

  • Law firms and law offices
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Corporate law
  • Real estate and title insurance
  • Criminal defense
  • Immigration
  • Family law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Estate Planning and Probate
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

By earning a paralegal certificate or degree, you will be qualified to work in the legal system under a supervising attorney.

Types of Online Paralegal Programs

There are a few different types of online training programs for paralegal studies.


Many schools offer a paralegal certificate program. This is generally the quickest way to complete a program, typically in a year or less. Some schools may require you to already have a college degree to enroll in a certificate program.

Associate Degree

Many paralegals opt for an associate degree, which takes around two years or less to complete. This option allows you to learn many different aspects of paralegal studies, and you earn a degree once the program is completed.

Bachelor’s Degree

A few schools offer a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, which takes about four years to complete.

While this is not necessary to work as a paralegal, there may be reasons students choose this option, such as a prerequisite for advanced certification by a paralegal organization.

What Courses Does an Online Paralegal Studies Program Include?

An effective paralegal training program prepares students for a career working as a paralegal, assisting an attorney in various types of client cases. Some of the courses you might take during a paralegal training program include:

  • Essential Skills for Paralegals
  • Legal terminology
  • Professional Ethics
  • Legal Writing and Analysis
  • Civil Litigation
  • Legal Research
  • Client Interviewing
  • Tort Law
  • Contract Law
  • Business Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Probate and Estate Law
  • Bankruptcy Law

Be sure to compare each online program and make note of what courses are in their curriculum. These courses may vary between different programs.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Paralegal Program?

Certificate programs generally take a year or less to complete. Associate degree programs take two years or less to complete.

If you take a bachelor’s program in advanced paralegal studies, it will usually take about four years to graduate. Most students enroll in programs that take between one and two years to complete.

Career Services and Placement

Some programs work with local law offices to provide internships or job placement. Ask prospective schools whether they have job placement options. It is also good to inquire about the job placement rate of each program.

This shows how many graduates of the online paralegal studies program go on to have meaningful employment as a paralegal after completing the program.

How Much Do Online Paralegal Programs Cost?

The cost of an online paralegal program will vary depending on whether it is a certificate or degree program, the curriculum, and length of the program. One thing to ask about is the cost of tuition per unit.

Are Online Paralegal Programs Well-Respected?

The biggest question students have is whether employers will respect online paralegal studies programs in the same way they do in-person degrees. The best way to check is to make sure the program is accredited and ABA-approved.

Schools that are regionally accredited have passed stringent inspections of their curriculum, faculty, and teaching methodologies.

Campus, formerly known as MTI College, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The American Bar Association (ABA) also has a list of paralegal programs that they have reviewed and approved. Only a few hundred programs in the country out of thousands meet the high standards of the ABA.

Advantages of Taking Online Paralegal Classes

Online paralegal programs are a viable alternative to in-person classes, with several advantages.

  • An online paralegal studies program allows you to complete coursework from home.
  • You will receive the same quality of education online as you would in-person.
  • Some online paralegal studies programs are ABA-approved.
  • If you already have a college degree, you may be able to earn a paralegal degree or certificate more quickly. Many programs are designed for students who already have degrees.
  • No commuting to a physical school location will help you save time and stress each day.

Take the First Step Towards Becoming a Certified Paralegal

The A.A. Online Paralegal Studies program at Campus is open for eligible students. This fully online program will let you fast track your education to becoming a paralegal.

For more details, or to talk directly to our friendly Admissions department, call (916) 339-1500 or fill our contact form today. A representative from Campus will be in contact with you shortly afterwards.

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