American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs in the US

Attending an ABA approved paralegal program is absolutely crutial to your career in Paralegal.  Since many Paralegals plan on going further up in the legal profession, it only makes sense to get started on the right foot.

American Bar Association (ABA) Approved Paralegal Programs

The Berkeley College Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

 This Berkeley program is designed to be completed in 6 months. This program has 308 contact hours and is designed to arm a perspective student to embark upon an entry-level paralegal career.

The Berkeley College Paralegal Studies Certificate Program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), and upon completing these Paralegal Studies, the Certificate Program students will be thoroughly prepared to:

  • Acquire secure employment as a Paralegal or Legal Assistant in the private and public sector
  • Demonstrate that they understand their roles which includes  delivery of paralegal services
  • Demonstrates a good grasp of ethical rules as well as principles of professional responsibility which govern the legal profession in general and the work of paralegal or the legal assistants specifically.
  • Shows a high level of competence and excellent understanding of key sections of substantive law and has the ability to perform specific roles in that particular area of practice and works well with other professionals in the legal field including other Paralegals.
  • Shows a high level of competence in legal research and writing, analysis of problem as well as the practical application of critical and analytical thinking.
  • Proficient in basic computer programs and those programs specific to the Paralegal profession.
  • Proficient in computer aided legal research necessary to properly prepare documents and research memoranda.
  • Ability to draft client correspondence, a variety of formal pleadings and documents, briefs and client intake questionnaires.

Monroe Community College Paralegal Studies Certificate program

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program in the college was formally approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in February, year 2004. Their program will properly prepare the graduates for the entry level employment as paralegals. The entry level paralegal will works under close supervision of an experienced lawyer researching the law, carrying out factual investigations, preparing legal documents drafts, as well as working with actual clients.

The graduates from this college could be employed in various areas such as: private law firms, government agencies, insurance companies and corporations. However, you should note that in all areas of law, the paralegals are restricted from forming any type of attorney-client relationships which includes setting legal fees, offering legal opinion and advice, and from proving legal representation of clients in court. Paralegals are not to provide legal services directly to the public, except the few instances allowed by law.

In order to be admitted to the Monroe College Paralegal Program, you will need a bachelor's degree, or an Associate's degree with 18 credit hours in Liberal Arts program from an accredited school.  You should also have significant experience in banking, finance, government, insurance, or other law-related environments. As a condition of acceptance into the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, people who have minimum computer experience are asked get registered for CRC 101 Practical Computer Literacy either prior to or concurrently with matriculation in the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. The Paralegal Advisory Board approved Monroe Community College's selective admissions criteria.

The Paralegal Studies Program (situated in the Business Division at Amarillo College)

The Paralegal Studies Program opened it's doors to the public in 1999 and then years later,  acquired ABA approval in February 2006. This is a 2-year program which takes 71-72 semester credit hours. The graduates will get an Associate of Applied Science degree. The curriculum contains 21 credit hours of General Education requirements, 38-39 credit hours of Paralegal Studies courses, and 16 credit hours of Office Administration courses. The entire Paralegal Studies courses are offered as evening or weekend courses. Paralegal Studies courses are offered during the spring, summer and fall semesters. Students have to select one program which is either the Paralegal Studies Practicum with two credit hours or Advanced Civil Litigation with three credit hours.

The AUM Justice and Public Safety Department 

The UUM Justice and Public Safety Department has been offering an American Bar Association(ABA)-approved Paralegal Certificate program for around two decades. The aim of each program is production of highly competitive graduates with excellent knowledge who will  thrive in Paralegal careers or in careers as Legal Assistants for the law courts, or any other Judicial careers.

There are three options for earning the Paralegal Certificate in the ABA-approved program at this institution and they are; a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice and Public Safety--Legal Studies track (4 years/120 semester hours); a Master of Science in Justice and Public Safety--Judicial Administration Option (2 years/30 semester hours); an ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate program in collaboration with AUM's School of Continuing Education, which is offered to students who have already cleared 30 semester hours of general college credit (10 courses). Program graduates are usually employed in the law firms, courts, government agencies, public and private agencies, corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, title companies, and real estate offices.

Cerritos Community College

Cerritos Community College is a two-year public institution which is situated in Los Angeles County just twenty minutes from downtown Los Angeles and downtown Orange County. They offer a rigorous internship program that has more than 35 partnership businesses who accept the graduates of this program. Some of those businesses include private law offices, local courthouses, State Attorney General's Office, community legal aid office, District Attorney's Offices, and the Public Defender's Office.

The college has a state of the art computer lab that is equipped with more than 30 computers with the current software for legal applications. Their staff is made up of 2 full-time faculty members who are lawyers and adjunct faculty members including lawyers and paralegals, all of them have real world experience. Students who have completed an AA degree or higher when they enter this institution’s program can earn a Paralegal Certificate by taking 21 units of Paralegal courses.

Hamline University

Hamline University offers a paralegal program which fully integrates the liberal arts and specific paralegal instruction. They accept new college students, transfers and post-Baccalaureate students. The students get a hands on knowledge of the library system and participate in joint litigation projects with Hamline University's Law students.