Paralegal Schools in Colorado
The paralegal schools in Colorado offer numerous choices for students who are interested in obtaining a degree or certificate in the paralegal and legal assistant fields. Select programs also offer students the opportunity of specializing in in-demand paralegal skills like e-discovery and litigation support. This guide to your options for pursuing a paralegal degree or certificate in Colorado will help you make an informed decision on where to attend school in line with your personal skills, interests, and salary expectations.
- There are 11 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Colorado.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
- 2 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 3 schools offer 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
- 2 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 Colorado.6
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*
- University of Colorado-Boulder (#68 in-state, #94 out-of-state)
College Factual’s Best Degrees in Legal Professions 2018
- United States Air Force Academy (#3)
- University of Denver (#11)
US News Best Law Schools 2019
- University of Colorado-Boulder (#46)
- University of Denver (#63 tie)
Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA
- Arapahoe Community College
- Community College of Aurora (Aurora)
Paralegal Degree Programs in Colorado
Arapahoe Community College
The Arapahoe Community College Paralegal Studies department prepares graduates to assist attorneys with substantive tasks including interviewing, investigation, research, document drafting, and document analysis. The college offers both a certificate program and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies. The AAS integrates general education courses such as public speaking, mathematics, and communication with specialized law courses such as legal analysis, civil litigation, and legal research. This combination offers students a well-rounded introduction into the professional environment and fosters critical thinking skills in areas beyond the legal subject matter. The certificate program is designed for students who have already completed a formal degree and omits the general education courses to focus entirely on developing legal skills and imparting legal knowledge. Both the certificate program and the AAS program in Paralegal Studies at Arapahoe Community College have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1977.
Find the area of law that is your passion. Be open to the possibility that the paralegal job you desire may not be immediately in your reach and accept the opportunity (whether receptionist, legal assistant, or legal secretary) presented and make the best of it. Many companies like to promote from within.” –Mianne L. Besser, President and NFPA Secondary of the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association.
Front Range Community College
Students at Front Range Community College can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal/Legal Assistant. The AAS program requires 60 credits, which can be completed in four semesters, with some courses available online. The curriculum includes a wide range of subjects including contracts, property law, and litigation. Coursework in classes such as Civil Litigation, Legal Writing, and Business Organizations also emphasizes practical knowledge in legal research and writing skills. Students learn how to prepare legal documents, research cases, and interact with clients. The program also teaches ethical considerations in the field as students study within the framework of the Paralegal Code of Ethics. Before graduation, students have the opportunity to complete an internship in a local legal setting, allowing students to gain some professional experience before graduating. Front Range also offers a Legal Assistant Certificate, a 30-credit program that can be completed in two semesters and prepares students for entry-level positions in the field.
Community College of Denver
At the Community College of Denver, students can complete an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) with an emphasis in Paralegal. This program is designed for students who either want to work in an entry-level position in the paralegal field after graduation or who want to transfer academic credit and continue their studies at a four-year college or university. The curriculum starts with general education courses before students begin the core paralegal courses like Constitutional Law, Legal Writing, Criminal Law, and Probate and Estates. Students can also choose specialty electives in subjects such as corporate law, criminal law, family law, and real estate. Coursework focuses on the practical skills needed in the field such as supporting lawyers in closings, e-hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegal students also learn interviewing, research, and drafting techniques. The Community College of Denver also offers a Paralegal Certificate; all academic credit in this program is fully transferable to the AAS degree program.
Online Paralegal Programs
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and a certificate in Paralegal Studies, both of which can be completed online and are designed to prepare graduates for careers in private law firms or government offices. These programs particularly emphasize communication and presentation skills as well as writing and document analysis. CMC has a transfer agreement with Colorado Mesa University (CMU) that allows students to transfer paralegal credits from CMC toward completion of a Bachelor’s in Public Administration/Public Safety at CMU. This opportunity to combine degree programs may be beneficial for students who wish to explore careers as paralegals but also want to complete a more broad-based degree in a flexible format. The AAS and certificate programs share the same fundamental curriculum with emphasis on torts, family law, property law, civil litigation, legal research and writing, and criminal law. However, the AAS requires completion of additional general education courses omitted from the certificate program. These programs are comprehensive and well-respected within the state.
Community College of Aurora
The Paralegal Studies program at the Community College of Aurora (CCA) offers an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved, 30-semester credit hour certificate program. Some paralegal courses are available to complete online, but certain classes must be completed on campus in a traditional format. The curriculum encompasses many areas of law including family law, contracts, torts, probate and estates, civil litigation, criminal law, and property law. In addition to teaching substantive and procedural legal information, the program develops students’ abilities through practical courses such as legal research and writing. The CCA Paralegal Studies program also includes an optional internship experience at the culmination of the degree, during which students are given the opportunity to apply legal knowledge to hands-on tasks and practice critical professional skills such as formal writing, communication, and presentation. CCA also offers an Associate of General Studies in Paralegal Studies and an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies, both of which have partially online curricula.
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/