Paralegal Schools in Arizona
The paralegal schools in Arizona offer a variety of paralegal/legal assistant education programs, including programs leading to the award of undergraduate certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Within these paralegal/legal assistant programs, you may find the opportunity to specialize in certain areas of the law such as criminal justice or e-discovery. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, you may also wish to consider the options for online or distance paralegal programs, which some individuals find to be a better fit.
- There are 11 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Arizona.1
- 7 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 6 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 3 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 4 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
- No schools ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs in 2018.3
- 1 school ranked in College Factual’s Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Legal Professions in 2018.4
- 2 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
- 2 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Arizona.6
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*
- Arizona State University-Tempe (#88 in-state, #72 out-of-state)
- Arizona State University-West (#84 in-state, #90 out-of-state)
College Factual’s Best Degrees in Legal Professions 2018
- Arizona State University (#9)
US News Best Law Schools 2019
- Arizona State University (#27 tie)
- University of Arizona (#41 tie)
Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA
- Phoenix College
- Pima Community College
Paralegal Degree Programs in Arizona
Arizona State University
Arizona State University (ASU) offers a fully online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) through the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. ASU’s online MLS is a 30-credit program that provides graduates who do not want to pursue a full law degree with a strong legal foundation in as little as one year. Five concentrations or emphases are available including Sports Law, Sustainability Law, HR & Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Criminal Law. Graduates will leave the program with a basic understanding of US law, legal reasoning, and legal structures. Admission requirements include possession of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and an average GPA of 3.0. GRE or GMAT scores may be considered, as well as undergraduate studies coursework and other documentation provided in the application.
Phoenix College is part of the Maricopa Community Colleges and offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies and a Certification of Completion in Paralegal Studies, both of which are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). This program focuses on practical skills development, enabling graduates to draft legal documents and perform legal research with minimal supervision. Additionally, the curriculum familiarizes students with the fundamentals of substantive legal areas including torts and business law. Effective written and oral communication, teamwork, critical thinking skills, technology skills, and research techniques are fostered throughout the coursework sequence. Students without prior legal work experience are highly encouraged to participate in the optional internship program.
Pima Community College
Pima Community College offers both an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and a post-degree Certificate in Paralegal Studies. Both of these programs impart procedural legal knowledge and develop paralegal skills such as document preparation and legal research. To bolster the coursework, the associate degree program includes a mandatory internship program in a government or private legal setting. Financial aid is available through federal, state, and private loan options and through various scholarships and grants. Several payment plans allow students to spread out payments over a period of time. The course schedule offers flexibility to accommodate working students. The degree may be completed by taking classes exclusively on evenings and weekends, or through a combination of day, evening, and weekend courses.
Mohave Community College
Mohave Community College offers two programs for students looking to prepare for paralegal careers. A two-year degree program leads to the award of the Associate of Applied Science Paralegal, which requires 62 credit hours to complete. This program focuses on core skills such as conducting legal research, mastery of legal writing, and understanding ethics in legal practice. The program also includes a paralegal practicum which may incorporate a formalized externship or culminating project. Mohave Community College also offers a paralegal certificate program that qualifies students to take the Arizona Legal Document Preparer Examination. The certificate program requires 30 credit hours to complete and can be completed in as few as three semesters. Students pursuing either program may choose to study on a full- or part-time basis and may follow a program sequence or take courses according to their schedule.
Online Paralegal Programs
Through Yavapai College’s School of Social Sciences, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies or complete a Legal Office Clerk Certificate or Paralegal Studies Certificate. All three programs are offered completely online. The degree programs are designed to meet the needs of students interested in becoming paralegals in legal or business offices as well as those already working in the legal field who want to advance their careers. Students learn the fundamental skills needed in the field such as interviewing clients, writing and researching legal issues, and using common law office technology. The 61-credit AAS degree prepares graduates for direct entry-level positions; students interested in continuing on and transferring credit to a baccalaureate degree should speak with an academic advisor. Once the AAS core curriculum is finished, students can choose electives such as Wills, Trusts, and Probate; Procedural Criminal Law; and Law Office Management. The Law Office Clerk Certificate requires 18 credit hours to complete, and the Paralegal Certificate requires 30 credit hours.
Rio Salado College
The Rio Salado College, which is part of the Maricopa Community College system, offers a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal as well as an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal; both programs can be completed online. The programs cover the foundations of the legal system, including business and tort law and legal ethics. The AAS curriculum starts with general education courses and requires 64 credits in total, and the CCL program requires 36-39 credits. Through courses such as Paralegal Litigation, Business Law, and Tort Law, students learn legal writing and communication skills. The paralegal programs also use the WestlawNext legal research system, a commonly-used platform in law offices. Familiarity with this search system gives students the opportunity to complete a Westlaw certificate training program, providing them with an advantage in the job search. Rio Salado College also offers career support and an internship program to help graduates find positions in the paralegal field.
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
Student Review: “Although I love my field of study, my experience with my school of choice has not been the best. I feel that a lot of the coursework is generic, the professors aren’t as invested as they should be, and the quality of my education is rather low. I have had it take weeks for professors to respond to my emails. It’s impossible to go forward with the next chapter and the work that goes along with it when I’m waiting for clarification on the previous week’s work. I am so, so happy that I can pursue my education online, and I think Rio Salado does a great job in that department, but I don’t think the teachers are actually teaching. I am teaching myself and then the teachers are grading me based on my own learning. A lot of what I learn in my courses are just repeated from prior ones. I think they have a long way to go. I am almost to the part in my degree where I’ll be studying specific areas of law and hopefully, that will help and I’ll feel more educated and confident going forward.” -Student at Rio Salado College
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
3. Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs: https://www.paralegal411.org/degrees/bachelors/online/
4. College Factual’s Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Legal Professions in 2018: https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/legal-studies-and-professions/rankings/top-ranked//
5. US News Best Law Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
6. American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/