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

With many in-person or online options to become a paralegal in Ohio, choosing the right program can be challenging. We’ve taken out the guesswork for you by reviewing top paralegal programs in Ohio.

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Editor: STEPS Staff

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A blue silhouette of the state of Ohio is centered against a light gray background. The shape highlights the state's borders and general geographic outline.

Before a court case goes to trial, hours, days, and weeks of work preparing clients, documents, and lawyers go on behind the scenes. Often, the bulk of this work is done by paralegals. Paralegals perform specialized legal work that’s different from administrative or legal assistants. A successful paralegal requires the high-level critical thinking and communication skills, in-depth knowledge of the legal code, and solid organization and writing skills that come from earning a paralegal degree from one of the reputable paralegal programs in Ohio.

Projections Central estimates a 9% increase in the need for paralegals in Ohio between 2020 and 2030. This is nearly double the national average. Additionally, paralegals can expect a median annual salary of $59,200 per year, depending on what part of the country they are in and the kind of company they work for.

If attending an online paralegal program in Ohio is your goal, or if you are exploring campus-based options, keep reading because this page can help you determine which paralegal schools in Ohio have the degree path you’re looking for.

Best Colleges to Earn a Paralegal Degree in Ohio – On-Campus

The paralegal programs in Ohio highlighted below offer various degree paths, are American Bar Association (ABA) approved, present varying degrees of affordability, and feature meaningful student support from high-level, real-life attorneys and judges. While we have highlighted three programs to get you started, this is just a preview of our 2024 ranking, which will come later in the year.

Kent State University

With a diverse array of degree options, full ABA approval, and a faculty consisting entirely of practicing and retired attorneys, KSU allows you to choose the path that makes the most sense in pursuing your paralegal degree. Boasting a 62% four-year graduation rate, KSU offers several paths to becoming a paralegal in Ohio, including a Bachelor of Arts, a minor, and a post-graduate certificate in paralegal studies. The program also works with nearby community colleges to ensure a smooth path from earning an associate paralegal degree to transferring to KSU to earn a bachelor’s paralegal degree.

Delivery:
  • Online
  • On-Campus
  • Full-Time
  • Summer Courses Available
  • Mandated Internship
Undergraduate Programs:
  • BA in Paralegal Studies
  • Minor in Paralegal Studies
  • Post Baccalaureate in Paralegal Studies
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Specialization Options:
  • Patent Agent Status: Paired with paralegal studies from Kent State

These degrees allow students to take a patent bar exam:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Botany
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
Tuition Per Semester:
  • In-State: $6,336.70
  • Out-of-State: $11,072.20

University of Toledo

Learning through hands-on experience from licensed attorneys, judges, and magistrates, students in the University of Toledo’s paralegal program also enjoy a vibrant campus with many opportunities to learn in a one-of-a-kind environment. With one of the only teaching courtrooms in the state, U of T brings a real-world perspective to your paralegal studies. In addition, The University of Toledo makes our list of top paralegal schools in Ohio due to its status as an ABA-approved program, which is a distinction only 20% of paralegal programs in the U.S. receive.

Delivery:
  • On Campus
  • Full-time
Undergraduate Programs:
  • BS in Legal and Paralegal Studies (Four Year)
  • AAS in Legal and Paralegal Studies (Two Year)
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Nurse Paralegal Certificate Program
  • Pre-Law Track
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Highlights:
Tuition Per Semester:
  • In-State: $6,279
  • Out-of-State: $10,959

Columbus State Community College

CSCC offers a technical, well-rounded paralegal curriculum designed to sharpen your critical thinking and communication skills to prepare you for the rigors of understanding intense court documents and interacting with clients and other legal professionals. With abundant transfer options, CSCC course offerings and flexibility could be the first step toward your future paralegal studiesand career. A smaller learning community, more affordable tuition, and a more personalized environment might be the options you are looking for on your path to becoming a paralegal in Ohio.

Delivery:
  • In Person
Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAS Degree in Legal and Paralegal Studies
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Highlights:
Tuition Per Semester:
  • In-State: $2,669
  • Out-of-State: $5,459

Top Online Paralegal Degree Programs in Ohio

Being a full-time, in-person student might not be the right path for you because of the rigorous demands on your time, money, and work-life balance. If you need to study at home, between jobs, or from a local coffee shop, there are several accredited online paralegal programs in Ohio to fit your schedule. Below are just a few of the highly respected and ABA-approved online programs that offer various combinations of online or in-person course sequences.

University of Cincinnati

As a leading institution in Ohio, the University of Cincinnati offers several opportunities to earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies. Offering completely online or with in-person options, U of C is an excellent option for students balancing life, work, and school. With a minimum requirement of one credit per semester, U of C Online allows for flexibility as you pursue a degree in paralegal studies. Offering both a bachelor’s and associate paralegal option along with a post-associate certificate, U of C excels in providing flexible and affordable paralegal programs in Ohio.

Delivery:
  • Part Time
  • Full Time
  • Online Available
  • In-person Options
Undergraduate Programs:
  • BS in Law and Paralegal Studies
  • AAB in Law and Paralegal Studies (options to transfer to BS pathway)
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • All Regional Campuses Accredited
Highlights:
  • Academic Advisor and Student Success Coordinator for every student
Tuition Per Semester:

BS in Law and Paralegal Studies

  • In-State: $6,785
  • Out-of-State: $6,965

AAB in Law and Paralegal Studies

  • In-State: $3,534
  • Out-of-State: $3,714

Cuyahoga Community College

CCC offers a respected, flexible, and affordable online option for paralegal programs in Ohio. Available entirely online as a post-degree certificate or associate degree, numerous alumni attend law school or work in the same community they learn and live in. With a sterling reputation, CCC stands out because of its easy-to-use online portal, affordability, and required practicum (available during the semester or summer), allowing you to put your skills and coursework into a real-world experience.

Delivery:
  • Part Time
  • Full Time
  • Fully Online Available
Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAB in Law and Paralegal Studies (options to transfer to BS pathway)
  • Post-Degree Professional Certificate
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Highlights:
  • 85% of students live and work in the area
  • Options to Transfer
  • Legal Administrative Specialist Certificate available
Tuition Per Semester:
  • In-County: $1,565
  • In-State: $1,919
  • Out-of-State: $3,565

Lakeland Community College

We’ve highlighted Lakeland Community College because of its flexibility, affordability, and ABA approval. With certificate and associate degree options in paralegal studies, LCC offers an intensive internship with a local law firm or attorney that exposes you to the day-to-day world of a paralegal. With smaller class sizes and the same rigor as more prominent universities, LCC creates a hospitable environment for students. In addition, LCC’s Holden University Center allows students to transfer seamlessly into several different programs and universities across the state to further their options in pursuing their paralegal studies.

Delivery:
  • Full Time
  • Hybrid Available
  • In-Person Internship required
Undergraduate Programs:
  • AAB in Law and Paralegal Studies
  • Post-Degree Professional Cert
Accreditation Status:
  • ABA Approved
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Highlights:
  • Academic Advisor and Student Success Coordinator for every student
Tuition Per Semester:
  • In-County: $1,109
  • In-State: $1,321
  • Out-of-State: $2,656

Types of Paralegal Degrees You Can Earn in Ohio

Because there is no certification or licensing requirement to become a paralegal in Ohio, most paralegals are hired based on their work and academic experience. Paralegal programs in Ohio vary widely depending on the type of school, degrees offered, and accreditation status. With so many degrees and certificates offered, knowing which program might be the right one for you can become confusing. Learn more about the types of paralegal studies available in Ohio.

Undergraduate Paralegal Degrees in Ohio

Paralegal Associate Degrees

An associate degree in paralegal studies in Ohio opens a world of opportunities in the legal field to you. With this degree, you can immediately embark on a private or public sector paralegal career, transfer to a four-year university to earn your bachelor’s degree or earn a post-associate certificate in a specialized paralegal subject.

Accredited Ohio Colleges with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

A BA in paralegal studies from an accredited institution like the ones below could be the right choice if you are certain of your love of law and the work associated with being a paralegal. In addition to the paralegal coursework you’ll tackle, pursuing a bachelor’s degree at one of these paralegal schools in Ohio offers an in-depth and well-rounded education, enabling you to sharpen your communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.

Accredited Ohio Colleges with a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies

Certificate Programs

Paralegal programs in Ohio offer certificates to students who already hold a degree but have decided to move into a paralegal or related career. With a degree already in hand, professionals embarking on paralegal certificate programs in Ohio can build on their bachelor’s degree to gain a specialized education in the law in topics such as estate and probate, contracts, tort law, and other timely legal issues.

Accredited Ohio Colleges with Paralegal Certificate Programs

Paying for Your Paralegal Degree in Ohio

Cost and affordability are often some of the most crucial factors in your education decision. Although there are numerous levels of affordability in the schools and universities suggested above, our financial aid guide and scholarships guide are great resources to help pay for your degree. When paying for a paralegal program in Ohio, your scholarship options may be local or national.

A number of the schools mentioned have scholarships readily available to apply for, including the University of Toledo and Cuyahoga Community College. In addition to scholarships, if you decide to pursue your paralegal career in a nonprofit or government-funded field, you might be eligible for student loan forgiveness.

Salary & Growth for Paralegal Grads in Ohio

As the legal field becomes increasingly complex and specialized, with more research, lawsuits, and demands placed on lawyers, the job market for paralegals in Ohio is bright. According to Projections Central, the need for paralegals in Ohio will grow by 9% by 2030, particularly in the Columbus and Cleveland areas. In addition to increased job opportunities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average paralegal in Ohio earns $55,000, with the top 10% earning over $78,000. Your salary and growth will initially correlate with your degree or certificate, but the real-world experience you gain can quickly raise your earning potential.

Ohio Paralegal Professional and Student Resources

  • Cleveland Association of Paralegals, Inc.
    CAP is a professional organization based in Cleveland, featuring over 14,000 members and 160 organizations. With a series of networking events, seminars, and “Lunch ‘n Learns,” among other events, you’re encouraged to join to learn and engage with others.
  • Paralegal Association of Central Ohio
    Becoming a member of PACO automatically qualifies you to join the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Activities include charitable giving, networking events, alliances with local law firms, and more. Paralegal studies students may join with an instructor as a mentor.
  • Paralegal Association of Northwest Ohio
    Monthly membership meetings with keynote speakers, professional development opportunities, and leadership and mentoring activities are just a few of the perks of joining PANO.
  • Cincinnati Paralegal Association
    The CPA is a nonprofit local organization that provides a job board, networking across the Cincinnati area, a monthly newsletter, a mentor program, and ongoing charitable work.
  • Ohio Bar Paralegal Certification Program
    This voluntary certification program available in Ohio can help increase your salary and add another layer of credentials to your resume as you enter the paralegal field.