When it comes to legal education, ABA approved paralegal programs can give graduates an advantage over others. ABA approved paralegal programs online and on campus are considered the gold standard when it comes to obtaining education and certification for these professionals.
–Hint: If you’re just looking for a list of schools… click here: Paralegal School List–
Standardized EducationOne reason why an ABA approved paralegal program is so highly regarded is the fact that it provides standardized education for all students. The American Bar Association sets forth particular criteria as far as required courses for a degree program go. They also spell out exactly what should be taught in a particular course in order to provide individuals with the skills most commonly needed in the industry.
Other programs may or may not meet these requirements, which is why a diploma from an ABA approved institution is highly desired.
ABA approved paralegal programs must be taught by licensed attorneys who are in good standing with that state’s Bar Association. As a result, students get the most up-to-date training possible, since these instructors apply real-world knowledge that supplements textbook material. An ABA approved paralegal program usually consists of very small classes, which means that students get the benefit of more personalized instruction than they would otherwise get at other colleges. Sound interesting – Find paralegal programs with great instructors here.*
Part of the requirements for ABA approved paralegal programs is a 120-hour externship. This externship is required whether a student is taking ABA approved paralegal programs online or via a traditional classroom setting. It is performed under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or practicing judge, and is worth three or four credit hours depending on the institution.
This allows students to gain some practical experience in the field before they begin working full time at this profession, and can also help them network with attorneys that might be hiring as well.
ABA approved online paralegal programs as well as on-ground courses focus heavily on legal ethics. Nearly every course gives examples of unethical practices that could be considered a violation of Bar Association rules.
For example, students who are taking estate planning are cautioned against drafting wills in which they would be named a beneficiary. They are also constantly reminded that paralegals are not authorized to practice law or give legal advice.
The constant focus on ethics means that there should be fewer violations among those who have graduated from ABA approved programs.
There are numerous advantages to taking an ABA approved course in order to become a paralegal. The training involved in one of these programs is extremely intense in order to prepare one for the highly technical work required in this career field.
Peruse the list below to find your school or click here.
Paralegal School List
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- CERT: Paralegal Studies
- Paralegal (Associate's)
- Paralegal (Bachelor's)
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
- BS in Paralegal Studies
- AAS in Paralegal Studies
- And more...
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Paralegal Studies (AS)
- Legal Studies (BS)
- Bachelor of Science: Paralegal Studies
- Associate of Applied Science: Paralegal Studies
- Certificate: Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate
- And more...
At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education. That’s why we offer a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes flexibility, convenience, and support. Whichever program you choose, you can take classes in 8-week modules, six times a year from faculty members with advanced degrees and extensive real-world experience. You’ll also enjoy access to a full array of academic support services, including advising, tutoring, writing center assistance, and our virtual library at no additional charge.
- Certificate: Paralegal (Legal Studies)
- A.S. in Legal Studies
- B.S. in Legal Studies
Virginia College continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.
- BAC-Paralegal Studies
- AS - Paralegal Studies
- Executive J.D. SM Program
- Juris Doctor Program
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania. We offer certificate and bachelor's and master's degree programs in a wide variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
- Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy
- Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies
Featured Image for ABA Approved Paralegal Programs by miiiSH
*not all of the programs on the list are ABA approved. Please due your due diligence with each individual school to find out which one is a good fit for you.