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How To Choose ABA Approved Online Paralegal Degree Programs - Part I.

Paralegal Studies institutions approved by ABA (American Bar Association) all have the following characteristics .

Curriculum for Paralegals are usually ABA curriculum tailored towards providing you , after a successful completion of paralegal studies, the skills and opportunities of working as a lawyer's assistant in research, document preparation, client interviews and drafting of legal documents. As a qualified paralegal your service are also required in the legal departments of corporations, firms and organizations.

Another aspect of ABA approved Paralegal program is the pre-law specialization that prepares you for the law school proper.

ABA approved Paralegal institutions offer Associate of Applied Science, Post Degree Certificate, (only those who have already obtained a bachelor or associate degree are qualified). Bachelor of Science degree on Paralegal Studies and Certificate in Legal Nurse Consulting are two other programs offered by ABA approved paralegal study institutions.

ABA approved Paralegal institution’s minimum course duration is 1 - 2 academic years and internship is mandatory in most schools.

If you are looking for ABA approved Paralegal Education Program, then the Standing Committee on Paralegals Directory of ABA approved Paralegal Education Programs is where to look.

Some work experience is usually beneficial for an intending paralegal student like you. Courses, depending on the type of institution, can run for between 2 (for community and junior colleges) to 4 years in a University. Aside from the general requirements above, the ABA Standing Committee Directory listing carry varying standard requirements for different instructions in terms of duration of course, course content and admission requirements.

Therefore, you should consider the factors favourable to you while choosing any particular school or institution.

More than 1000 institutions are offering Paralegal degree and certificate programs in the United States of America, but the ABA approved Paralegal institutions can be found at the ABA standing committee Directory of Paralegal schools.

NOTE: ABA approval for Paralegal schools or instructions is not mandatory by law so it is not a measure of the quality of or reputability of an institution that it is ABA approved, yet institutions have found it necessary to get ABA approval by meeting the ABA requirement in order to, I suppose, bluster their image. My advise is that you should go for ABA approved institutions for your paralegal studies.

Online institutions like their offline counterparts are of different categories and as such offer different qualities of course content programs. You should as a matter of fact take a critical look at the institution offering the Paralegal Degree Online program you chose. Carry out your investigation with the information below to ensure that such institution is an ABA approved paralegal degree online program.


Paralegal degree programs prepares you for employment as a paralegal or legal assistant in a private law office and even both the public and the private sectors such as banking, insurance, real estate etc. Care must, however, be taken to ensure that a chosen school or online paralegal degree program is approved by the American Bar Association in conjunction with the institution being an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal education (AAFPE) and other relevant regulatory bodies for Paralegal studies.


Most ABA approved schools and ABA approved online degree programs will have programs of study that look similar to the following:

A Bachelor's Degree program otherwise called BPS (Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in legal Studies) of a full 120 credit hour.
A Credit Certificate for students who already have the equivalent of an associate degree but desirous of obtaining a Paralegal bachelor's degree. Course content here is 26 credits in legal specialities which are usually waved if a student decides to head up to bachelor's degree program.

The objective of these programs is to provide you with general legal education for paralegals’ work in both the public and the private sector, including the legal firms.

Course content include both operations of the legal system, theory of law and legal problems analysis.

This is to ensure thorough understanding of the ethics and concepts binding both lawyers and people assisting them to practice law ethically to the satisfaction of both the law and the citizenry .

Continued at Part II

Neshah, a retired paralegal recommends Online Paralegal Degree SUCCESS, for ABA approved online paralegal degree programs opportunities.

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Comment by Anna Patterson on October 24, 2009 at 9:54am
Thank you for the lead. I'm in an area were being bilingual is prime. I love my employer, but I know that unlike taxes, nothing is certain. Looking to reach out to my community by providing a skill, something to benefit myself, as well as others, my bilingual heritage. Forsyth County is in great need for fluent bilingual personnel.

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