In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online paralegal programs in 2016.
For students who are interested in legal studies but don’t have the time or resources to go to law school, a paralegal degree could be just what they need. These programs can help students pursue careers in legal assisting, legal research, or litigation support, among other fields. And online programs offer an additional level of convenience, although it’s worth mentioning that all paralegal degrees that are accredited by the American Bar Association will require at least a few face-to-face classes. Either way, the affordability and convenience that online paralegal programs provide is hard to beat – as the following ranking shows clearly!
10. Broadview University
Online Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree
Students enrolled in the paralegal degree online program at Broadview University can complete their studies in just three years – if they attend full time and year-round. However, the program is flexible by design, so don’t worry if you can’t move at such a fast pace. The school also accepts college credits from other academic institutions, which can further shorten the time until graduation. Students should plan on checking into their classes on a daily basis and spending two to four hours per credit each week on assignments and studying. Assignments are due each week, so be sure to stay on top of work. And if you need help, professors are available by phone during weekly office hours and, of course, via email.
Net Price: $19,817/yr
9. Roger Williams University
Online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Roger Williams University’s online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal studies is grounded in technology; the program includes courses like “Emerging Technologies and the Legal Environment” and aims to produce “technically-savvy paralegals.” 30 credits of the 121 total required to graduate are part of the Core curriculum, which requires two writing courses, a math course, and Intro to Speech Communications. As with other online paralegal programs, the course of study at Roger Williams University is not available entirely online. Because the program is accredited by the American Bar Association, students must complete 10 of the semester credits through traditional face-to-face classes.
Net Price: $36,025/yr
8. Globe University
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies
Students looking to get practical experience from their paralegal online degree should consider the program at Globe University, which is grounded in real-world learning. Most of the instructors are attorneys and paralegals with working experience, and actual employers assisted in developing the career-relevant coursework. A required internship further emphasizes the importance of gaining practical experiences for the modern world. Students take all of the required classes – including an Orientation to Online Learning course – through GU’s asynchronous learning environment, “CampusConnect.” The school also provides career service specialists to help find jobs for graduates in their chosen fields.
Net Price: $19,582/yr
7. Hampton University
Online B.A Degree in Paralegal Studies
The four-year Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies at Hampton University is designed both for aspiring paralegals and current professionals hoping to advance their careers. HU is proud of its liberal arts courses, which are integrated into its affordable paralegal degree online; concepts like critical thinking and rhetoric are an important part of the program. The curriculum, which provides some opportunities for electives, includes mandatory courses in history, biology, business, and statistics, in addition to standard legal studies classes. Students interested in a well-rounded four-year liberal arts program that also provides a foundation for a career as a paralegal should look closely at HU’s degree.
Net Price: $22,529/yr
6. William Woods University
Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
William Woods University offers a unique Virtual Law Office internship as a part of its highly collaborative online paralegal degree program. The school offers eight-week courses at an accelerated pace with a focus on discussion and networking with fellow students. WWU also offers a tuition promise: the cost of a student’s degree won’t go up as long as that student stays continuously enrolled. And that shouldn’t be too hard, thanks to WWU’s highly focused curriculum. All of the options for required electives are a part of the Paralegal Studies Department and together make up a straightforward 14-course sequence that will take you from registration to graduation.
Net Price: $21,386/yr
5. SUNY College of Technology at Canton
Online Legal Studies – B. Tech
The affordable paralegal degree online at SUNY College of Technology at Canton is available 100% online, unlike some of the other schools in this list. Potential applicants interested in working for corporations will appreciate the program’s focus on business law, and interested students can take advantage of an internship option that puts them into a professional workplace while still in school. SUNY’s Legal Studies degree is designed for recent high school grads, transfer students who are already in paralegal or criminal justice programs, and working professionals looking to burnish their credentials.
Net Price: $11,884/yr
4. Jones College
Online Legal Assistant Bachelor Degree Program
The cheap online paralegal degree at Jones College – the most affordable on this list – comes with a caveat: only Florida residents are eligible to obtain their bachelor’s from Jones College entirely online. Still, the low price and specificity of choices – students can select a major concentration in Civil Litigation, Torts, or Constitutional Law – make JC’s program a tempting choice for anyone living in the Sunshine State. Although the school is extremely career-focused, it encourages Legal Assistant majors to mix courses from their major component with general education and elective classes for a well-rounded education at a very affordable price.
Net Price: $9,051/yr
3. Herzing University-Minneapolis
Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
As with SUNY’s program, the Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at Herzing University aims to provide a solid foundation in business management and administration. Courses like The Digital Firm and Business Communications, Quantitative Decision Making, Principles of Microeconomics, and Principles of Macroeconomics are sure to expand the horizons of students interested in more than just a basic paralegal degree online. The entire 126-credit program includes a broad range of general education courses, and most students working toward their online paralegal degree at SUNY will take around 36 months to graduate.
Net Price: $19,925/yr
2. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Online Paralegal Studies Degree
Like some other online paralegal programs we’ve mentioned, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods offers an accredited online paralegal degree that mandates 10 in-person credit hours – although it’s worth it in order to gain access to an ABA-approved curriculum. Students can complete all of their remaining courses online, acquiring a broad background in politics, history, and economics as they go. Classes such as Women and the Law and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation may be a welcome respite for students who tire of dry legalese. In addition, all students must spend a minimum of 150 hours working in a professional legal setting before they graduate in order to gain experience in their chosen career field.
Net Price: $15,214/yr
1. Florida Gulf Coast University
Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University provides one of the absolute best online paralegal programs because it gives students a deep understanding of basic legal concepts while providing plenty of flexibility. This paralegal degree online ranking puts FGCU at the top not just because of its affordable tuition and laudable graduation rate, but also because of its versatile curriculum. In addition to interesting core classes, a broad set of electives covers everything from litigation, wills, and real estate to family, criminal, and international law. However, only students with an associate’s degree, adequate transfer credits, and/or more than a year of professional work experience can complete their degree entirely online. Otherwise, you’ll need to take two to four classes on the FGCU campus in Fort Myers – most of which are conveniently offered on evenings and weekends.
Net Price: $12,948/yr
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in online paralegal programs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
By CVO Staff