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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Paralegal Training

Paralegal Training Cost

How Much Does Paralegal Training Cost?

low costAssociate's Degree: $600-$5,400 Per Yearaverage costPrivate or Vocational School: $5,000-$12,000+high costState College or University: $5,000-$23,000 Per Year
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Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, provide support to lawyers in many aspects of legal proceedings. Most have either an associate's degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies. While paralegals aren't required by law to be certified, various local and national paralegal organizations offer certifications.

Typical costs:

  • The most common method of paralegal training is through a community college paralegal program leading to an associate's degree. Full-time tuition and fees for a two-year degree, based on two 15-unit semesters, is about $600 to $5,400 per year. California has one of the lowest per-unit rates, $26, while the Community College of Vermont is at the top of the scale with a per-credit cost of $205 for in-state residents. See How Much Does Community College Cost for more information.
  • Some state colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in paralegal studies. These programs cost about $5,000-$23,000 per year, depending on whether the student is an in-state or out-of-state resident. The New York City College of Technology[1] , run by The City University of New York, offers a four-year bachelor's degree course in Legal Assistant Studies approved by the American Bar Association. Its in-state tuition and fees are $4,600 per year; out-of-state tuition and fees are $12,450 per year. See How Much Does College Cost for more details.
  • For those who already have a college degree in another field, a certificate in paralegal studies is considered sufficient training and costs $3,000-$8,000 or more. UCLA Extension[2] offers a five-month classroom course for $5,500 plus a nonrefundable $150 application fee.
  • Various private business and vocational schools offer both associate's degree courses and certificate programs in paralegal studies, for $5,000-$12,000 or more. Studying with the Center for Advanced Legal Studies[3] in Texas costs $10,500 for a certificate in paralegal studies that can be completed in seven months. An associate's degree in paralegal studies costs $21,700 and can be completed in 15 months.
  • Correspondence or online courses for a certificate in paralegal studies cost $3,000 to $10,000 or more. UC Berkeley[4] offers a two-part online course. Each part costs $1,750 and must be completed within three months.
  • Some employers offer on-the-job training for paralegals. Check with prospective employers such as law firms, corporate legal departments, and various levels of government.
Related articles: Court Reporter Schools, Legal Secretary Training, Law School, Community College, College

What should be included:
  • According to the US Department of Labor[5] , Paralegal associate's and bachelor's degree courses usually combine paralegal training with classes in other academic subjects.
  • Most paralegal certificate programs provide intensive paralegal training for those who hold college degrees in other fields.
  • Paralegal training should include courses in legal research and the legal applications of computers.
  • Some paralegal training courses offer internship work experience in a private law firm, corporate legal department or government agency.
Additional costs:
  • The National Association of Legal Assistants[6] , The American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc.[7] , and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations [8] all offer paralegal certifications based on experience and/or passing an exam. The costs are about $75 to $400. Most employers do not require membership in one of these groups, according to US Department of Labor[9] .
  • Books and supplies for associate's degree studies cost about $759 at the City University of New York: Bronx Community College. At California community colleges, books cost about $1,500, according to[10] .
  • Costs for room and board range from about $2,000 per year at Hinds Community College in Mississippi to $9,920 at Ilisagvik College in Alaska, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • Financial aid is available from most community colleges and universities. Check their specific websites for eligibility and application requirements. The College Board[11] also offers information on financial aid.
Shopping for paralegal training:
  • The American Bar Association [12] offers a directory of approved paralegal programs.
  • The American Association of Community Colleges[13] offers a national directory of community colleges.
  • The American Association of Colleges and Universities offers an online list of state colleges.
  • The US Department of Education maintains an online College Navigator[14] which locates schools by zip code and degree requirements.
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