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Top 4 Paralegal Degrees Online

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Learning

The days of attending classes that fit in with your lifestyle are over. Online courses provide flexibility so that you can attend school when it’s convenient for you. Choosing an online degree program means you’re not limited by time or space. You can attend classes at a college in your town or select one a thousand miles away. The choice is yours. But just like everything else, there are great online paralegal programs and there are the not-so-great. Here’s a quick guide to some of the best programs around. Sites that rank schools look at some key criteria: faculty-to-student ratio, graduation rate; and financial aid. Check out the paralegal degree programs at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, William Woods University, Hampton University and Mississippi College.

Top 4 Paralegal Degrees Online

  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
  • William Woods University
  • Hampton University
  • Mississippi College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Recognition by U.S. News & World Report is a distinctive honor. SMWC has been ranked by the magazine as one of the best colleges in the Midwest as well as having the best online programs in the United States. Students can opt for three online degree choices- certificate, associate’s and bachelor’s. The program is mostly online and students are given the choice of an 8-week or a 16-week program format. Because the program adheres to the American Bar Association standards, the legal specialty courses (10 credit hours) must be taken on campus. SMWC’s program follows the American Association for Paralegal Education’s Core Competencies. With a student/faculty ratio of 8/1, SMWC is a small-college that provides personal attention to students. Courses are taught via Desire2Learn platform. Students access classes through the Brightspace portal. Financial aid is available and over 45% of students graduate.

Highlights

  • Mostly online programs offers 3 options - certificate, associate- and bachelor’s degrees
  • Adheres to American Bar Association standards
  • Classes are taught via Desire2Learn

William Woods University

Paralegal students are WWU can choose from a one-year program or a Bachelor of Science program. Students with an associate’s degree or those who have taken general education classes can go right into paralegal studies. New freshmen must sign up for the four-year program and take general education courses in addition to paralegal classes. Online classes are accessed through Owlnet and run at an accelerated pace for 8-weeks each. WWU belongs to the American Bar Association as well as the American Association for Paralegal Education. 52% of enrolled students graduate. Financial aid is available, and students enjoy a small class size.

Highlights

  • Online classes run 8 weeks and are available on Owlnet
  • William Woods University is a member of the American Bar Association
  • Financial aid is available

Hampton University

HU’s online paralegal program was designed for students who have legal assistant experience as well as for those new to the industry. Online students can select either a certificate or a four-year degree. However, residents of Maryland may not enroll in the online program. With a 66% graduation rate, Hampton’s small class size and high retention rate earned a spot on the top online schools list. Classes are accessible via Blackboard. Online students can also access Hampton’s library and use virtual proctors during exams. Financial aid is available.

Highlights

  • Online classes are available on Blackboard
  • Financial aid is available
  • Students can earn certificates or degrees

Mississippi College

Approved by the American Bar Association, Mississippi College’s online paralegal degree can be earned in either 2-years or 4-years. Students with an existing associate’s degree will be able to finish in two years while new full-time students will take four. MC students will intern in government agencies under working lawyers. Classes are held on the Moodle platform and on Blackboard Collaborate, Turnitin and Respondus. Financial aid is available. Over 50% of enrolled students graduate.

Highlights

  • Adheres to American Bar Association standards
  • Internships are part of the curriculum
  • Financial aid is available

Conclusion

Paralegal programs differ by length of programs and types of degrees offered. Programs that adhere to American Bar Association standards are generally ranked higher than those that are not. Programs with smaller class size and higher graduation rates are optimum for the learning experience, however, you should look at how a program integrates into your lifestyle.