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Best Online Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Interested in a legal career that allows you to embrace challenges and make a big impact? Paralegals are integral to the legal process, and you can become one by earning your paralegal bachelor degree.

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Editor: STEPS Staff

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Three colleagues are sitting at a table in a modern office, engaged in a lively discussion. A man in a suit, a woman in a striped shirt with glasses, and another man in a suit smile as they look at a laptop. Documents and office supplies are on the table.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 300,000 paralegal and legal assistant roles in the country. As a paralegal, you’ll be integral to the legal process, supporting lawyers by drafting essential documents, conducting research, and preparing for civil and criminal trials. Becoming a paralegal is a great option if you thrive on intellectual challenges, diverse work environments, and making an impact. Becoming a paralegal can also be a great avenue for pursuing more advanced legal education and professions.

To become a paralegal or legal assistant, you’ll need to earn a proper education from an accredited institution. Many paralegals have associate or bachelor’s degrees in social science or business. However, a small portion of schools offer paralegal bachelor degree programs, including several popular online options. In this guide, we’ll explore several online bachelor’s degree paralegal studies programs and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the profession.

Spotlight on Top Online Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Finding a high-quality paralegal bachelor degree program can be tricky. A few schools in the country offer these programs, meaning you may not find them at your local university or community college.

Luckily, some online bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies programs are available 100% online, allowing you to access these programs from anywhere at any time. In this section, we’ll explore several paralegal bachelor degree online programs to help you find the right program for you.

The online Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies at Regent University will help you grow your research and writing skills, expand your knowledge of legal terminology, and enhance your clerical and management skills. The online program is taught by faculty who hold the highest degrees in their field, ensuring you learn from the best. Over the course of four years, you’ll learn how to:

  • Draft motions, briefs, pleadings, and other critical legal documents
  • Effectively interview clients and witnesses
  • Conduct basic accounting and record management

You’ll graduate prepared for exciting, entry-level legal career opportunities, including paralegal, legal assistant, legal aid advocate, clerk of court or judiciary clerk, administrative assistant in court, and litigation support analyst.

Not only does the online Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies provide a comprehensive education, but it’s also relatively affordable compared to other similar programs. For part-time students, the average cost of tuition is $2,700, while full-time students should expect to pay $4,740.

As an American Bar Association-approved program, the University of Cincinnati’s 100% online Bachelor of Science in law and paralegal studies will help you develop the in-demand skills to launch or advance your legal career. The online program will teach you how to:

  • Analyze legal documents and processes
  • Prepare briefs, wills, and contracts
  • Investigate facts and laws of cases

Led by licensed attorneys and practitioners who are well-connected in the industry, the online program boasts a high job placement rate, preparing you for roles in high-growth fields like compliance, government agencies, risk management, and corporate law. With part-time and full-time offerings and multiple start dates per year, the program offers busy professionals the flexibility and convenience to complete their degrees in just four years.

The online program costs $6,785 to $6,965, depending on residential status. Plus, the University of Cincinnati offers financial support to ensure you can afford your degree.

Through a multidisciplinary approach and small class sizes, the University of Hartford’s online Bachelor of Arts in paralegal studies covers law, science, and ethics for a well-rounded education. Taught by experienced practicing attorneys who are experts in their respective fields, the American Bar Association-approved program focuses on a wide range of legal specialties and focus areas, including family law, employment law, healthcare law, and bankruptcy. Additionally, the program includes an internship to give you hands-on, real-world experience in a legal environment.

The University of Hartford offers personalized job counseling and placement services to help you kickstart your legal career, with the university boasting a 95% placement rate. Plus, you’ll join an extensive, global network of alums who can help further your career. While the university’s tuition is roughly $22,176 per semester, 90% of students receive financial aid to make earning a high-quality education more affordable and doable.

What You’ll Learn in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies

While each bachelor’s degree paralegal studies program has its own curriculum, you’ll typically explore key legal concepts like ethics, probate processes, court proceedings, and litigation to ensure you’re job ready. Additionally, you’ll sharpen your research and writing skills to develop critical legal documents and aid lawyers and attorneys during legal proceedings. Regardless of which program you choose, there are several standard courses you’re likely to encounter, some of which we discuss below.

Common Courses in Paralegal Studies Programs at the Bachelor’s Degree Level

1. Legal Ethics:

As a legal professional, having strong ethics is critical to maintaining a reputable career. In this course, you’ll explore the ethical rules that govern paralegals, lawyers, and other law practitioners. You’ll develop a strong understanding of your ethical responsibilities as a paralegal, including client confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and unethical law practices.

2. Civil Litigation:

Dealing with civil law cases will be crucial to your career as a paralegal. This course will explore civil legal procedures, including discovery, evidence guidelines, and trial preparation. Additionally, you’ll gain practical knowledge in specialized fields like personal injury, contracts, and property law.

3. Legal Research and Writing:

As a paralegal, a significant aspect of your role will be conducting research and creating documents. In this course, you’ll hone your research and writing abilities to effectively find legal information, analyze court cases, and draft critical legal documents like motions, briefs, and contracts.

4. Introduction to Legal Studies:

This will likely be one of the first courses you take as part of your online bachelor’s degree paralegal studies program. In this course, you’ll build foundational knowledge of the U.S. legal system and explore prominent areas of law, including contracts and torts. You’ll gain a basic understanding of legal terminology and explore famous cases.

5. Estate Planning & Probate:

Paralegals often assist with estate planning and deal with local probate courts. In this course, you’ll explore wills, trusts, power of attorney, asset valuation, and debt settlement. Plus, you’ll learn how to draft estate planning documents and navigate the complex probate procedures. ey-client privilege, proper handling of fees and funds, conducting financial billings, and avoiding issues that can lead to a conflict of interest and malpractice.

Learn more about the courses and classes you might take in an online paralegal associate degree program on our Courses and Classes for Paralegal Degrees page.

Accreditation for your Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree Online

When earning your paralegal bachelor degree online, choosing a program accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the usual college accreditations is essential. ABA approval demonstrates the program has undergone a rigorous review process that ensures students receive a high-quality education that will adequately equip them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the paralegal profession. When evaluating ABA-approved programs, the committee looks at:

  • Instructor qualifications and experience
  • Course syllabi
  • Textbooks
  • Instructional materials
  • Instructional support
  • Student support services

By evaluating these factors, the committee ensures that students receive an outstanding educational experience that will adequately prepare them to succeed as paralegals. Additionally, many employers recognize the value of obtaining a paralegal bachelor’s degree from an ABA-approved program, which can give you an upper hand in the job market. However, attending an ABA-approved program is not required to become a paralegal, and you can still be successful in attending another program.

FAQs About an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies

Have questions about earning a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies online? Explore some of the most frequently asked questions below.

How long does it take to earn a paralegal bachelor’s degree online?

The time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies online will depend on your school and schedule. Most traditional full-time bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete, while part-time programs may take a little longer. However, if you have the time and financial capabilities, you could finish your paralegal degree much faster by taking more courses per semester. Check with your school to get a better idea of how long it’ll take to complete the online paralegal bachelor’s degree program.

How much does an online paralegal studies bachelor’s degree cost?

The cost of an online paralegal studies bachelor’s degree can vary widely depending on the school and individual program. You should expect to pay between $15,000 and $60,000 on average. While the cost of some programs can be daunting, many accept federal financial aid and offer scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial support to alleviate the cost. Some schools may also provide payment plans, such as allowing you to break up your tuition cost into monthly installments. You can find more information about funding your education in our financial aid guide. In addition, the table below highlights three online paralegal programs to give you a better idea of what you can expect to pay.

SCHOOL NAMENO. OF CREDITSCOST/CREDITTOTAL TUITION
University of Massachusetts120$500/Credit$60,000
Texas A&M Commerce120Texas Residents: $351/credit
Out-of-State: $759/credit
Texas Residents: $42,120
Out-of-State: $91,080
Eastern Kentucky University120$434/Credit$52,080

What are the admissions requirements for online paralegal bachelor’s degrees?

Admissions requirements for online paralegal bachelor’s degrees vary by school and program, but you’ll typically need the following to complete your application:

  • Transcripts from all prior institutions attended
  • Standardized test scores (if required by the institution)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal essays

You’ll likely also need a minimum GPA as mandated by the school. You may also be required to complete specific coursework before admission.

Can I earn my paralegal bachelor’s degree 100% online?

Yes, many schools offer bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies 100% online. These programs offer busy professionals a flexible and convenient pathway to earning their degrees. Online paralegal bachelor’s degree programs can be asynchronous, allowing you to complete coursework on your own time or feature live classes where you’ll be required to attend class at a specific time. Additionally, some schools may require students to come in for specific courses or events, so checking with the school is essential.

How much can you make with a paralegal studies bachelor’s degree?

A paralegal studies bachelor’s degree can prepare you for a wide range of legal careers including paralegal, court reporter, and legal secretary. Your salary will vary depending on role, location, company, and years of experience. To give you a better idea of what you could make with a paralegal studies bachelor’s degree, here are the national average salaries for popular roles as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Do I need certification or licensure to work as a paralegal?

You likely won’t need to earn additional certification or licensure to work as a paralegal. However, earning certifications like the certified paralegal, the professional paralegal, or the American Alliance certified paralegal can help bolster your resume and stand out to potential employers. It’s important to note that each state has its own requirements for becoming a paralegal, so you should check local resources to better understand the steps you need to take.

Similar Programs You May Be Interested In

Additional Resources for Paralegal Students and Professionals

Start learning more about paralegal programs and careers by diving into these student-friendly resources, tailored for aspiring paralegals and seasoned professionals alike.

  • American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc.
    For over 20 years, this organization has been committed to advancing the paralegal profession. The American Alliance of Paralegals holds regular events and cost-effective training opportunities that enhance the knowledge and skills of its members.
  • American Bar Association
    The American Bar Association provides resources for legal professionals and advocates for quality legal education. Paralegals can find insightful information on compensation, job duties, and employment opportunities.
  • How to Become a Paralegal
    Our page on How to Become a Paralegal walks you through the process Step-by-Step from deciding if the career is right for you, to finding a program, to looking for jobs.
  • Institute for Paralegal Education
    The Institute for Paralegal Education offers continued education for paralegals. The organization offers hundreds of live and on-demand courses that have helped over 60,000 professionals develop new skills and knowledge.
  • Laws.com
    This website provides knowledge on a wide range of legal topics, including statutes, state laws, bills, criminal law, immigration, and intellectual property.
  • NALA The Paralegal Association
    For nearly 50 years, NALA has been providing professional development and networking opportunities for paralegals to help them advance their careers. The organization also holds professional certification programs to bolster your resume.
  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.
    As the first national paralegal association, this organization represents over 4,000 members globally and strives to advance the paralegal profession.
  • National Association for Legal Support Professionals
    This association helps paralegals stay up to date with the tools, skills, and resources needed to advance in the profession. Members can connect with other legal professionals for career guidance and support.
  • Paralegal Bootcamp
    The Paralegal Bootcamp is a training program offered by an experienced paralegal to help others get on-the-job training prior to their first role.
  • Scholarships and Resources for Paralegal Students
    Our guide to scholarships, grants, and funding for paralegal students can help you pay for your paralegal associate’s degree whether you study online or on campus.