Online Paralegal Degrees

Paralegals offer support to lawyers, and an online paralegal degree directly prepares you for work in the field. Paralegals help organize files, conduct research, and write legal documents. They also gather information pertaining to legal cases, collect evidence about cases, obtain affidavits from key parties, take notes for lawyers during trials, file appeals, liaise with clients, and much more.

Some graduates work as administrative assistants at policy and law organizations or in private companies. Their jobs differ slightly from what paralegals do, but they still get to work in a supportive role at a law firm or civic organization.

The job market for paralegals is expected to remain strong in the coming years. Paralegals enjoy stimulating and rewarding work, and if you are interested in law and think you would work well in a law firm, a paralegal degree online can help you get started in the industry. Below, you’ll find pertinent information about the educational and career options available if you are interested in pursuing a paralegal degree.


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Degrees

Online Paralegal Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $15,693 17.08% 2 years $40,095 $48,031 N/A
Bachelor's $18,986 15.03% 4 years $37,250 $49,000 7.6%
Master's $18,652 11.5% 2 years N/A $71,648 N/A
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Many paralegal jobs require only an associate degree, and earning a paralegal degree online should effectively prepare you for a career in the field. Some lawyers may prefer to hire candidates with bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees, particularly for positions that require specialized knowledge. Positions that do require a bachelor’s or master’s degree often pay somewhat higher starting salaries than positions only requiring an associate degree.

Online Paralegal Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Paralegal

A paralegal associate degree is the educational credential you need to become a paralegal. This type of paralegal degree signifies that you know enough about the law to work in most law firms. A two-year paralegal degree online familiarizes you with different areas of law and the skills you need to help lawyers. Highly specialized firms sometimes require graduates with higher-level degrees, but the associate will qualify you for most positions.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Introduction to Law, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Ethics, Contracts

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Criminal Law, Business Law, Immigration Law

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Paralegal, administrative assistant, legal assistant

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $36,500 per year

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Both of the number of job openings for paralegals and for administrative assistants are expected to increase steadily over the next several years.

Online Paralegal Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Paralegal Associate’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee$$$$$444 Appleyard Dr
Tallahassee, FL 32304-2895
(850) 201-6200

The AS in Paralegal/Legal Studies program supplies graduates with an overview of the law and the skills and knowledge needed to succeed within a legal service team. To tune their degree to future career goals, students take specialized courses and their choice of electives, which include Lobbying and Legislative Law, Microcomputer Applications for Business and Criminal Law. The paralegal degree online program consists of 64 credit hours.

Classes are held over Canvas, with technical support available via phone and online tutorials. Students can access course materials, discussion boards and assignments at any time that best fits their schedules. They must meet deadlines and due dates, and some professors may require that students visit campus or an approved site to take proctored tests. TCC has created a guide to help new and prospective students prepare for an online paralegal degree.

2

Holmes Community College

Goodman$$$$$#1 Hill St
Goodman, MS 39079
(662) 472-2312

Students who enroll in the paralegal technology program can earn a technical or advanced technical certificate or an associate of applied science degree. The curriculum prepares students for entry-level paralegal positions in courts, law firms and corporations. Classes include Legal Writing, Real Property, Wills & Estates, Public Speaking and Law Office Management. Along with completing 30 credit hours of coursework, students participate in a 135 clock-hour-long internship.

All courses are held over Canvas, and students pursing a paralegal degree online can complete their studies in two years. HCC is a member of the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC), a cooperative consisting of 14 community college districts that allows students to take courses hosted by member schools.

3

Northwest Mississippi Community College

Senatobia$$$$$4975 Hwy 51 N
Senatobia, MS 38668-1714
(662) 562-3200

The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Technology program qualifies students to perform entry-level jobs in law firms, insurance companies, real estate development companies, government agencies and banks. The curriculum was developed based on the American Bar Association's guidelines and local legal practitioners. Classes emphasize the practical skills and knowledge required in common legal occupations.

Real property law, family law, trust and estate law and civil litigation are covered throughout the program, along with writing, communication and research courses. While all courses are offered online through the Canvas learning management system, online paralegal degree students are required to participate in a paralegal internship.

4

Alexandria Technical & Community College

Alexandria$$$$$1601 Jefferson Streeet
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-0221

In addition to traditional requirements, the 63-credit associate degree in paralegal studies online ensures students are computer-savvy, with courses covering databases, Microsoft Office Applications and practice-specific software. Traditional paralegal law courses include Family Law; Civil Litigation; and Estates, Probate & Real Estate. Specialized courses encompass Debtor/Creditor and Intellectual Property; Evidence, Exhibit Prep & Investigation; and Criminal Procedures, Business Organization and Family Law.

Courses are delivered through the D2L Brightspace learning management system, and the program concludes with an internship where students apply what they learned to a real-world setting.

5

Georgia Military College

$$$$$
, GA
() -

Students looking to obtain an associate degree in paralegal studies online work towards either an AA or an AS degree, consisting of 98 and 94 credit hours respectively. The curriculum stands out for its variety of courses in science and the humanities, with general education requirements similar to those taken for a bachelor's degree. Graduates of the paralegal degree online are well-versed in the philosophy of law and ready to evaluate constitutional law, statutory law and case law. Students also develop strong research, organizational and communication skills.

Online courses are held over Moodle; videos and help resources are available on their website for new students. GMC has an open admission policy; anyone who has graduated from high school or completed their GED may apply to and enroll in one of the AA or AS programs.

6

Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson$$$$$1300 N Plum St
Hutchinson, MN 67501
(620) 665-3500

The associate degree in paralegal studies online program requires 62 credits, with curriculum covering legal research, legal processes and administrative topics such as HR and accounting. Law-focused courses include Personal Injury and Civil Wrongs, Family Law, Legal Ethics and Litigation. Business and writing courses are also a big part of program, empowering graduates with strong communication and planning skills.

After completing the program, students take the National Association of Legal Assistants examination to become certified paralegals. After logging into the LearningZone, students can access their online courses, hosted by Canvas. Help resources and technical support are also available.

7

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Fergus Falls$$$$$1414 College Way
Fergus Falls, MN 56537-1000
(218) 736-1500

Students in the online paralegal degree program learn how to work under the supervision of an attorney preparing legal documents, analyzing procedural and substantive legal problems and managing caseloads. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the online AAS program includes courses in: Civil Law for Paralegals, Real Property and Family Law. Students also take writing and political science courses, and the choices for electives include an internship and accounting and government courses.

Pam Cummings, an instructor for the paralegal program, has professional experience as a legal secretary, legal assistant and closing agent in probate law and real estate law. Online classes are held over D2L Brightspace.

8

Yavapai College

Prescott$$$$$1100 E Sheldon St
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-7300

The associate degree in paralegal studies online program is for students who want to enter the workforce immediately after earning their degrees. Those who want to pursue a bachelor's degree should get in touch with an academic advisor to create a degree plan that will transfer. Students complete at least 62 credit hours in general education and paralegal courses, including LAW 101: Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility. This class teaches codes of ethics at state and national levels, how to respond to ethical dilemmas and how to approach such issues in a professional manner.

The program concludes with an internship allows students to explore different career options and develop workplace experience. All online classes are held using the Canvas learning management system; students can access materials and discussions from their computers or on their mobile devices through the Canvas app.

9

Madisonville Community College

Madisonville$$$$$2000 College Drive
Madisonville, KY 42431
(270) 821-2250

The paralegal technology program immerses students in a curriculum based on standards developed by the National Association of Legal Assistants. Classes encompass general education requirements and technical courses that include: Law Office Management, Legal Writing, Legal Research and Family Law. Students complete a total of 66 credit hours in order to earn this Associate of Applied Science degree.

Students interact with their course materials, classmates and instructors through Blackboard. Some exams and quizzes may be taken through the learning management system, but students may be required to find a proctoring center for their tests. The school is partnered with the Kentucky Virtual Campus which gives students enrolled at participating schools access to more than 1,100 classes from colleges across the state. Online MCC students can use the virtual library, online bookstore and 24-hour technical support service to help complete their degrees.

10

Prince George's Community College

Largo$$$$$301 Largo Rd
Largo, MD 20774-2199
(301) 546-7422

Students of the AAS program complete a curriculum that qualifies them to work as a paralegal and a legal assistant. In addition to core courses in Criminal Law and Techniques of Legal Research, the college offers a host of criminal justice and specialized paralegal classes that can be taken as electives, including: Employment Law, Domestic Relations and Paralegal Internships. The 60-credit program prepares students to enter the workforce directly after graduation, but students have the option of transferring to a four year institution.

All online classes are held over Blackboard; students access the platform by logging in with their Owl Link account. Once signed on, students can use a number of digital resources, including Blackboard IM to live chat with classmates and the Smarthinking online tutoring services.

11

Rio Salado College

Tempe$$$$$2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 517-8000

The paralegal curriculum covers the fundamentals of law; the litigation process; and the research, communication and technology skills required to perform on a law services team. Students complete 64 credits to earn the AAS degree; 55-58 credits are earned in general education and paralegal studies courses. To fulfill the remaining 9-12 credits, students choose from the restricted electives including: Bankruptcy Law for the Paralegal, Legal Investigation and Paralegal Internship Skills.

Online courses are held via RioLearn, RSC's elearning interface. Rio walks students through how to access the different features of the online platform with an FAQ and screenshots on the Tips & Tools page. Students who need extra help with their courses can receive free tutoring through Smarthinking.

12

Tompkins Cortland Community College

Dryden$$$$$170 North St
Dryden, NY 13053-0139
(607) 844-8211

Upon completing the paralegal program, students are armed with an Associate of Applied Science degree and the breadth of knowledge they need to manage office duties while assisting supervisors and attorneys with legal procedures, cases and research. The paralegal degree can be completed in two or three semesters; students who have already earned college credits may apply them towards this degree. The 63-credit curriculum includes a selection of unrestricted electives with which students can steer their degree towards their career goals.

TC3 uses Blackboard to host its online classes. After signing onto MyTC3, students can access course materials and discussion boards, take tests and submit assignments. Students participate in a paralegal internship at the end of the program to gain marketable work experience; those with prior legal experience can file to obtain life experience credits and waive the internship.

13

Darton State College

Albany$$$$$2400 Gillionville Rd
Albany, GA 31707-3098
(229) 317-6000

Paralegal students have the freedom to choose courses that reflect their interests and future careers; classes offered include: Contract Law; Employment Law; Tort Law; and Wills, Trusts, and Estates. By adhering to the recommended course-load each term, students can earn their AAS in two years.

All online courses are held through the GeorgiaVIEW platform, powered by the D2L learning management system. Online students have access to a number of resources, including an online bookstore, online tutoring services and digital library resources. Students may be required to schedule their exams at an approved proctoring site in their area.

14

Ivy Tech Community College

$$$$$
, IN
() -

Indiana's Ivy Tech offers prospective paralegal students the choice between two associate degree programs: the Associate of Applied Science and the Associate of Science. Both degrees are comprised of 60 credit hours and can be completed in four semesters; the AAS prepares students to enter the workforce upon graduation, while the AS can be used to transfer to one of the Indiana universities that have a reciprocity agreement with Ivy Tech. The AAS requires students to take four more paralegal courses than the AS program: Tort Law, Contracts and Commercial Law, Property Law and Law Office Technology. Both degrees culminate in a capstone course that prepares students for certification.

Classes are taught through Blackboard; this LMS allows students to connect with materials, classmates and instructors with any device connected to the internet. With the Blackboard IM feature, students can collaborate on coursework in real-time. New online students are encouraged to view Blackboard Webinars, available on Youtube, to learn more about how the platform functions.

15

University of Northwestern Ohio

Lima$$$$$1441 N Cable Rd
Lima, OH 45805
(419) 227-3141

Over the span of six quarters, students in the paralegal program complete 108 credit hours of coursework. Thirty-five credits fulfill the general education requirements; the remaining 73 consist of technical requirements. Students take classes in: Keyboarding, Domestic Relations, Automated Research and Advanced Word Processing Applications. The program culminates in a capstone course that allows students to apply what they've learned to real-world cases.

Online classes are held over the digital learning platform Moodle. Students access their class materials and discussion boards by logging into the UNOH Virtual College. Many of the school's student services are available online, including the digital library materials and databases.

16

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale$$$$$1500 NW 49th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
(954) 776-4456

Students of the paralegal program earn an Associate of Arts that can be used as a terminal degree or applied to a bachelor's program through credit transfer. Students complete 60 credit hours of coursework: 36 credits in general education requirements and 24 credits in major courses. Along with classes that encompass paralegal duties and legal procedures, students take a Legal Research and Writing course that covers legal citation, legal precedent and how to perform computer-assisted legal research.

The online learning platform is powered by Blackboard. Many of the programs students use for their classes have mobile apps; students can access Blackboard and several applications that help them manage their assignments.

17

Itawamba Community College

Fulton$$$$$602 W Hill Street
Fulton, MS 38843-1099
(601) 862-8000

Mississippi's Itawamba Community College offers a 100% online AAS in Paralegal Technology program through Canvas.

Curriculum covers basic computer skills, law office management and legal writing courses, in addition to general education requirements focused in the arts.

Students can apply what they learned throughout the program and gain workplace experience by participating in a paralegal internship at the end of the program. Graduates are qualified to work as paralegals in law firms, government agencies and businesses.

18

Mountain Empire Community College

Big Stone Gap$$$$$3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
(276) 523-2400

The Mountain Empire Community College AAS in Paralegal Studies program is offered on campus and online through Blackboard Learn. The program provides insight into a breadth of legal fields, with courses including Business Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning and Probate.

Students gain specialized skills and the ability to perform specific tasks, required in most paraprofessional positions, through Legal Office Procedures, Legal Transactions, Human Relations, Trial Preparation & Discovery Practice and Legal Research courses. Students are also prepared for paralegal certification exams.

19

Lake Superior College

Duluth$$$$$2101 Trinity Rd
Duluth, MN 55811-3399
(800) 432-2884

The Lake Superior College AAS in Paralegal Studies is available on campus and online through the digital learning platform Brightspace, by D2L. Courses such as Law Office Applications, Computers in the Law Office, Legal Transcription, Legal Document Processing, Legal Studies, Advanced Legal Research, Microsoft Office, Advanced Microsoft Office, Bookkeeping, Records Management, Presentation Software and Word Processing thoroughly prepare students for the technical roles and procedures required on many legal services teams.

Upon completing the 60-credit-hour program, graduates have a firm grasp of the American legal system, legal terminology and federal and state court rules and procedures. Legal research skills are also developed, along with the ability to draft and format legal documents and letters. Students can choose to specialize their studies in at least three of the following areas: constitutional law, bankruptcy, real property, torts and personal injury, wills and probate, victim advocacy and alternative dispute resolution. The program concludes with an internship where students get hands-on experience in the legal field.

20

Tyler Junior College

Tyler$$$$$1400 East Fifth Street
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 510-2200

The Tyler Junior College offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies fully online. The paralegal program provides an in depth look into business, administrative and clerical roles of paraprofessional through Law Office Management, Principles of Accounting and Business Organizations courses, while providing a scope of knowledge on the law and legal processes via Constitutional Law, Civil Litigation and Introduction to Law courses. Specialized skills are gained in Legal Research and Interviewing and Investigating courses.

The 60-credit-hour, online Associate in Paralegal Studies program is available through the online learning platform Canvas. A variety of resources are available for virtual students, including online tutoring and a rich collection of online journals and magazines.

21

Eastern Florida State College

Cocoa$$$$$1519 Clearlake Rd
Cocoa, FL 32922
(321) 632-1111

Eastern Florida State College's Paralegal Studies program is partially available online through Canvas. Law classes are available through their eLearning program, as is a legal internship students can take in-person at a regionally approved location. Students must take general education courses either at the EFSC campus or online through a different school. In addition to providing graduates with an AAS in Paralegal Studies, the program prepares students for the National Association of Legal Assistants certification examination.

The 67-credit program readies students for assisting attorneys or supervisors with legal research, client interviews, case investigations and drafting documents, forms, letters and memoranda. Graduates are skilled in managing cases, preparing for trials and administrative duties.

Law Office Management, Law Office Procedures, Business Organizations and Microcomputer Applications prepare students for the managerial and administrative duties, while Legal Research, Torts, Property Law, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Contracts and Criminal Law courses provide students with skills and knowledge to perform legal tasks.

22

Mohave Community College

Kingman$$$$$1971 Jagerson Ave
Kingman, AZ 86409-1238
(928) 757-4331

Arizona-based Mohave Community College offers an Associate in Paralegal Studies program completely online in synchronous or asynchronous formats. Curriculum encompasses legal research, legal writing, basic computer training, accounting and hands-on learning through legal projects, externships and employment. A breadth of law courses are required, including Corporate Law; Bankruptcy; Family Law; Property Law; Tort Law; and Wills, Trusts, and Estates.

After completing the 62- to 63-credit program, students are qualified to work as paralegals in law firms or perform various other roles, including court clerks, government employees, title examiners, contract clerks, legal investigators or law firm administrators. Online classes are held via Schoology.

23

Liberty University

Lynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

The paralegal curriculum, developed and taught by experienced lawyers, prepares students to enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. Completing 60 credit hours of coursework, students learn the concepts of law and working as a paralegal in the context of Liberty's Christian values. Required courses include: Foundations of Law, Criminal Practice & Procedure, Introduction to Christian Thought and American Government.

The online class portal is powered by Blackboard. Students can familiarize themselves with the platform by participating in a sample course. With their Liberty login, online learners have access to a number of tools and resources to help them succeed in their programs, including Online Communities to help them feel connected to their peers and a writing center.

24

Clovis Community College

Clovis$$$$$417 Schepps Blvd
Clovis, NM 88101-8381
(800) 769-1409

Clovis Community College offers an AAS in Legal Assistant Studies program entirely online. The 66-credit program can be completed in seven semesters. Students gain a firm understanding of administrative and specialized responsibilities required in most law services through Accounting, Introduction to Legal Assistant Studies, Law Office Practice and Procedures and intermediate and advanced Legal Writing and Research courses.

Graduates also walk away with a solid understanding of state and federal American law, with American National Government, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedures, Family Law, Torts Practices and Procedures and Litigation classes required. Online courses are available through Blackboard. Academic advising, library material and technical support are all available online for eLearning students.

25

Cerro Coso Community College

Ridgecrest$$$$$3000 College Heights Blvd
Ridgecrest, CA 93555-9571
(760) 384-6100

The 60-unit curriculum instills students with the skills and legal knowledge they need to help lawyers with research and trial preparation. Graduates are prepared to work with clients, and they understand how the law and legal proceedings work. Major requirements, totaling 32 units, consist of eight mandator and at least three optional courses; classes include: Legal Ethics, Workers' Compensation Law and California and Federal Civil Procedure Legal Forms.

Online classes are hosted on Moodle and accessed by logging into the InsideCC platform. Technical support is available 24/7, and online students can utilize tutoring, counseling and library services and resources. Students who feel their previous education or life experiences meet the criteria of certain classes may apply to waive those requirements by submitting a prerequisite challenge.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal

An online paralegal degree from a four-year college or university will provide you the expertise needed to work in highly-specific branches of the law. This degree exposes you to key legal concepts and also in-depth areas of the law that will help you work with lawyers in complicated cases. Earning a paralegal degree online at the bachelor’s level can give you an edge when competing for jobs at top law firms, and you may earn a higher salary than paralegals who only hold an associate degree.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Foundations of Law, Tort Law, Criminal Practice and Procedure, Corporate Law

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Corporate law, legal writing, immigration law

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Paralegal, legal assistant, legal researcher

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $48,810 per year

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    An online paralegal degree from a four-year college or university will qualify you for a job pool that is projected to grow by approximately 8% between 2014 and 2024.

Online Master’s Degree in Paralegal

A graduate paralegal degree can help you advance your career by providing you with additional specialized knowledge and skills. While an associate or bachelor’s degree in the field will prepare you for most jobs in the field, a master’s online paralegal degree qualifies you to take on additional responsibilities.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Litigation, Contracts, Advanced Legal Writing, International Law

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Paralegal studies, legal research, administrative law

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Paralegal, legal assistant, legal advocate, legal document editor

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $48,810 per year

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    8% growth rate between 2014 and 2014.

Online Paralegal Choose Your Career

Average Paralegal Salaries

$36,500
$48,810

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Salary: $36,500
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 3,976,800 High School Diploma or Equivalent N/A

Secretaries and administrative assistants support business executives and executive directors in a range of industries, including schools, government organizations, and legal offices. Legal secretaries differ from paralegals in that they are responsible for more clerical duties, such as transcribing and filing documents, responding to emails and phone calls, and scheduling meetings and travel itineraries. They may also take on bookkeeping responsibilities, help manage finances, and conduct research. Many legal secretaries opt to earn a paralegal associate degree and certification in order to move up into a paralegal position.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Salary: $48,810
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
8% 279,500 Associates Certified Paralegal, Advanced Certified Paralegal - Not required

Paralegals support lawyers. They collect information, take notes during trials, meet with legal clients to discuss cases, draft correspondence for lawyers, file affidavits, complete paperwork, and much more. A job as a paralegal may be a good fit if you are organized, pay attention to detail, are interested in law, and if you enjoy working closely with someone in a supportive role. A paralegal associate degree will qualify you to enter this position upon graduating, and earning certification will help you stand out among other job candidates.

Online Paralegal Professional Requirements

Certified Paralegal/Advanced Certified Paralegal

NALA, the premier paralegal association in the United States, offers two different certifications for graduates from paralegal programs to prove the breadth of their knowledge to potential employer: the Certified Paralegal credential and the Advanced Certified Paralegal credential. Both of these credentials are earned by completing a series of coursework and exams through NALA.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Several months