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Paralegal Schools in Arkansas

This guide to paralegal schools in Arkansas provides key information on the schools and programs available in the state for those interested in pursuing an education in the paralegal/legal assistant field. Numerous paralegal programs are available in Arkansas that may fit your skills and career interests. As an alternative to an on-campus program, you may wish to consider an online paralegal degree, which may provide greater flexibility for students with work and other commitments.

Quick Facts

  • There are 7 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Arkansas.1
  • 2 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 4 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school offers a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school offers a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school 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
  • No schools 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 Arkansas.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Arkansas (#59 in-state, #57 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (#88 tie)
  • University of Arkansas-Little Rock (#141 tie)

Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA

  • Northwest Arkansas Community College
  • University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
    • Paralegal Degree Programs in Arkansas

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      Northwest Arkansas Community College

      The Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) Paralegal Studies program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 2008 and has continued to offer a high-quality program that balances broad-based instruction in the legal field with comprehensive technical knowledge. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies has an emphasis on career building and works with students to develop critical thinking skills as well as interview and resume writing techniques. Nearby employers include the corporate headquarters of WalMart, Tyson, and J.B. Hunt Trucking, as well as nearby private law firms. Additionally, the college has an established agreement with the University of Arkansas law school to facilitate paralegal research. The NWACC program provides thorough paralegal training, offers students ample opportunities to pursue internship and job shadowing experience, and prepares students for entry into the competitive and diverse job market.

      University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

      The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Legal Studies at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith was the first paralegal program in the state of Arkansas to obtain approval from the American Bar Association (ABA). This established program teaches both civil and criminal legal theories as well as the practical skills needed to fulfill the expanding role of paralegals in the legal environment. Students have the opportunity to integrate their coursework with real-world experience through an optional internship program that connects students with positions in the US Attorney’s office and local courts and law firms. As part of the University of Arkansas system, students in this program receive a full range of student services and may pursue separate degrees concurrently.

      Online Paralegal Programs

      University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech

      The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Technology degree program. This 61-credit hour program is not available completely online, but many of the legal courses are offered in an online or hybrid on-campus and online format. The curriculum starts with general education courses before moving on to legal specialty courses such as Legal Research and Writing, Torts, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, and Family Law. Through classroom and online coursework, students learn both principles of law and the hands-on knowledge they need in the field. Students practice practical skills like research, investigation, interviewing, drafting documents, and legal writing. Graduates from the Paralegal Technology program are prepared to start their careers in entry-level positions in the legal field. The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech also offers Paralegal Technology and Legal Secretary certificates.

      Southeast Arkansas College

      The 300-hour paralegal training program through Southeast Arkansas College can be completed entirely online. Students can enroll at any time and study at their own pace, although the course must be finished within 12 months from the start date. The program prepares students to take the Certified Paralegal Examination from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Tuition for the online paralegal training program includes the self-study courses for NALA’s Certified Paralegal Exam Review. After graduation, individuals are prepared to enter the paralegal or legal assistant industry in entry-level positions. The course progression includes subjects such as Attorney and Paralegal Ethics, Legal Writing, Criminal Law, and Law Office Administration. In addition to the knowledge needed to pass certification examinations, students also learn practical skills in working within the legal system, such as conducting legal research and interviews, legal writing, and legal technology.

      References:
      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-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
      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/