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Best Paralegal Programs in Colorado for 2024: Online and On-Campus

Aspiring paralegals in Colorado have a wide range of opportunities to pursue their education. Read on for more about the best paralegal schools in Colorado.

Author: Ellery Weil
Editor: STEPS Staff

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Are you looking to start your career as Colorado’s newest paralegal? Congratulations — you’ll be joining a field that, as of May 2022, had not only above-average demand which was only rising, but also a comfortable state average salary of $68,920. Paralegals are vital in our legal system, assisting attorneys and their clients with research, writing, case preparation and more.

Before you can get started, you’ll need a proper education. That’s where paralegal studies in Colorado come in. Whether you’re looking to study online or in person, check out some of the Colorado paralegal programs on this page to see if one might be a fit for you.

Best Colleges to Earn a Paralegal Degree in Colorado: Campus-Based Programs

Before you start paralegal school, you’ll need to consider what you’re looking for in a program. While the “best” program for any one person will depend on individual circumstances, there are a few paralegal programs in Colorado that are especially solid options, combining academic reputation with affordability and support for students. Later in 2024, we’ll offer a full ranking of Colorado paralegal schools, but in the meantime, take a look at some especially strong options to get you started:

Arapahoe Community College (ACC)

At Arapahoe Community College, students can earn their Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, or complete a certificate option if you already hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree and are looking for a career change. Whichever you choose, ACC’s paralegal studies department will prepare you to begin work as a paralegal upon graduation with one of their American Bar Association (ABA)-approved paralegal programs.

Students enrolled in the degree option of ACC’s two paralegal programs will need to complete all required general education courses before registering for paralegal courses. You will be studying foundational aspects of the law and legal system, and can take specialized electives. Financial aid may be available.

Delivery:
  • On Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-time
Undergraduate Programs:
  • Paralegal AAS
Graduate Programs:
  • Paralegal Certificate

Community College of Aurora (CCA)

The Paralegal Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree at CCA is a two-year, in-person, 60-credit program that is American Bar Association (ABA) approved. Transfer students are welcome, but all students must complete at least 15 of their paralegal courses at CCA to graduate. Whether you’re a transfer student or not, you will need to take at least 10 credits of specialized paralegal courses on campus for your degree.

In this program, CCA will connect you with a Pathways Advisor, who will help you choose classes and plan your studies. Students are encouraged to speak to their advisor about options for earning a bachelor’s after completing their paralegal program.

Delivery:
  • On Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-time
Undergraduate Programs:
  • Paralegal AAS

Front Range Community College

At Front Range Community College, you can complete a 60-credit AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant in roughly two years. This four-semester degree is highly specialized to focus on preparing students for future paralegal careers, and students who receive financial aid from Front Range CC should be careful to only take the degree-specific courses required.

Students complete basic liberal arts requirements in math, English, and American government, then move on to college-level courses in law and government. You will also study the Paralegal Code of Ethics and the American Bar Association Code of Ethics. Upon completion of the program, you will understand the various tasks, duties and responsibilities required for work as a paralegal.

Delivery:
  • On-Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time
Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Top Online Paralegal Degree Programs in Colorado

Want to earn your paralegal degree without the inconvenience and expense of relocating or commuting to campus? Consider an online paralegal program in Colorado. Studying online can not only save you time and money but can offer greater flexibility for students with personal or professional responsibilities. A full ranking of online paralegal programs in Colorado is coming later in 2024, but here are a few worth considering.

Colorado Mountain College (CMC)

Colorado Mountain College offers the only exclusively 100% online AAS in Paralegal Studies in Colorado. The program is American Bar Association (ABA) guideline-compliant and accredited by the State of Colorado’s Career and Technical Education Program. In addition to legal writing and composition, criminal, family, and contract law, you’ll also earn credits in liberal arts through CMC’s general education program. A three-credit capstone project is the final requirement for your degree.

Applicants are required to demonstrate college-level proficiency in reading and writing before enrolling. You may be able to transfer into a relevant bachelor’s degree program at Colorado Mountain College upon graduation.

Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
Program Options:
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time
  • Fully-Online

Community College of Denver (CCD)

At Community College of Denver, you will have the option of earning your AAS in Paralegal Studies in person, fully online from the comfort of your own home, or in a hybrid format. Whichever mode you choose, you’ll be able to choose between a traditional paralegal program, for those who want to begin work as a paralegal as soon as possible, or the transfer-specific track, designed for those who intend to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program at CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or College of Public Affairs after completing their associate’s degree.

Both programs provide a foundational education in law and government suitable for an entry-level paralegal. Financial aid may be available.

Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAS in Paralegal Studies
Program Options:
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time
  • Fully-Online
  • Partially-Online

Types of Paralegal Degrees You Can Earn in Colorado

There’s more than one way to complete your paralegal education in Colorado. Continue reading to learn more about the types of paralegal programs offered in Colorado.

Undergraduate Paralegal Degrees in Colorado

Paralegal Associate Degrees

An associate degree is one of the most popular choices for aspiring paralegals in Colorado, as evidenced by all the options available. You’ll study the foundations of the legal system and prepare to work as a paralegal over the course of this two-year degree program.

Accredited Colorado Colleges with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies

Certificate Programs

Paralegal certificate programs in Colorado are one of the fastest, and often most affordable, ways to complete your paralegal education. Whether you already have some postsecondary qualifications, or just want to start working as quickly as possible, a certificate program can often be completed in a year or less.

Accredited Colorado Colleges with Paralegal Certificate Programs

Paying for Your Paralegal Degree in Colorado

Before you enroll in a paralegal school in Colorado, take some time to consider how you’ll pay for your education. In addition to filling out your FAFSA on time to ensure you’ll be considered for federally-supported grants and loans, check out the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI). Sponsored by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, this program provides a wide range of scholarship opportunities for Colorado students. You may also be eligible for financial aid from your school, and remember to look into scholarships from private organizations, such as charitable foundations. Note the deadlines to apply and eligibility requirements as you research options.

Salary and Growth for Paralegal Grads in Colorado

Once you’ve graduated from your Colorado paralegal program, it’s time to get to work. While employment as a paralegal can be intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling, you should also be aware of what your salary and career options will look like. Fortunately, you’ll be entering a strong job market — according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegal jobs in Colorado are growing at a healthy rate of 5.3%, well above the national average for all jobs and paralegal jobs.

Wages for paralegals are rising at a rate of 3.4%, with a 2022 average salary for Colorado paralegals at $68,920, above the $59,200 national average paralegal salary for 2022. Colorado paralegals earn a mean hourly wage of over $33 per hour.

Colorado Paralegal Professional and Student Resources

  • Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association
    This non-profit, founded over 50 years ago, serves as the leading professional organization for paralegals in the Rocky Mountain region, providing continuing education, pro bono opportunities, networking and more.
  • Pikes Peak Paralegals
    An affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), Pikes Peak Paralegals is a professional association for Colorado paralegals, aiming to advance legal education, offer fellowship among members, and promote professionalism in the paralegal community.
  • Colorado Freelance Paralegal Network
    For paralegals not working with a single firm or organization, the Colorado Freelance Paralegal Network is here for you. Founded in Colorado over 15 years ago, the organization has now expanded operations throughout the country.
  • Colorado Bar AssociationWith about 17,000 members, the Colorado Bar Association is the primary legal professional body in the State of Colorado. Check out their website and create an account for legal resources, membership, and more.
  • Legal Assistants of the Western Slope
    Since 1995, Legal Assistants of the Western Slope has been a NALA-recognized association of paralegals and other legal assistants based in Durango but operating throughout Colorado. They provide continuing education and networking opportunities.