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Paralegal Schools in Florida

The colleges and universities in Florida offer a wide array of options for pursuing a certificate or degree to support a career as a paralegal or legal assistant. Many paralegal schools in Florida also offer opportunities to complete certificates or earn an associate’s degree online. Look into our guide for paralegal careers in Florida to find more information about opportunities with a degree or certificate in legal studies.

Quick Facts

For not-for-profit colleges and universities with paralegal/legal assistant degree programs.

Table of Contents
Comparison of Paralegal Programs
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs in Florida
Select Schools in Florida with Paralegal Degrees
Student Reviews

Comparison of Paralegal Programs

The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in Florida based on various factors. The table includes the paralegal programs offered, the graduation rate for first-time bachelor’s degree seekers, and the average net price of tuition for in-state students after financial aid awards. We have also included information on approval by the American Bar Association (ABA). While ABA approval is not required in order to work as a paralegal, it is a mark of program quality that is preferred by many employers.

SchoolABA Approved?Paralegal Degree(s)Acceptance Rate6Grad Rate1Online Options?Median Debt7Net Price1
Atlantic Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%61%YesN.Av.$11,760
Broward CollegeYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%31%$3,500$12,451
City College-Altamonte SpringsAS-Legal Assisting/Paralegal100%15%$14,500$17,435
College of Central FloridaAS-Paralegal Studies100%35%Yes$6,413$6,102
Daytona State CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%42%$5,250$7,732
Eastern Florida State CollegeYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%45%$6,000$3,512
Florida Southwestern State CollegeYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%32%$4,500$7,033
Florida State College at JacksonvilleYesCertificate-Paralegal Studies;
AS-Paralegal Studies
100%37%$7,000$3,017
Gulf Coast State CollegeCertificate-Paralegal100%41%Yes$5,250$3,496
Hillsborough Community CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%33%Yes$6,005$2,836
Hodges UniversityAS-Paralegal Studies;
BS-Legal Studies;
Juris Master
61%26%Yes$13,875$21,577
Indian River State CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies/Legal Assisting100%41%$4,500$984
Keiser University-Ft LauderdaleAA-Paralegal Studies100%69%Yes$14,500$30,437
Lively Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%48%N.Av.$11,392
Lorenzo Walker Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%81%N.Av.$4,804
Manatee Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%89%N.Av.$4,271
Miami Dade CollegeYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%33%$6,500$4,947
Northwest Florida State CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%35%$3,500$6,995
Nova Southeastern UniversityYesCertificate-Paralegal
BS-Paralegal Studies;
Minor-Paralegal Studies
80%58%Yes$18,750$24,776
Osceola Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administration Specialist100%66%N.Av.$16,625
Palm Beach State CollegeYesAS-Paralegal100%37%$3,791$2,833
Pasco-Hernando State CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%34%$5,500$5,072
Pensacola State CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%28%$3,500$3,518
Radford M Locklin Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%63%N.Av.$8,830
Santa Fe CollegeAS-Paralegal Studies100%59%Yes$6,500$11,764
Seminole State College of FloridaYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%41%$6,259$8,022
Sheridan Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%64%YesN.Av.$11,792
Southeastern UniversityBS-Legal Studies: Paralegal48%45%$11,000$25,025
St. Petersburg CollegeYesCertificate-Paralegal Studies;
AS-Paralegal Studies;
BA-Paralegal Studies
100%33%$9,500$3,315
State College of Florida-Manatee-SarasotaAS-Paralegal/Legal Assisting100%37%$5,250$11,078
Suncoast Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administration Specialist100%38%N.Av.$10,407
Tallahassee Community CollegeAS-Paralegal/Legal Studies100%35%Yes$5,500$3,686
Traviss Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Specialist100%73%N.Av.$7,226
University of Central FloridaCertificate-Paralegal44%72%Yes$14,500$11,617
University of MiamiCertificate-Paralegal27%83%Yes$17,500$33,102
University of West FloridaCertificate-Paralegal;
BA-Legal Studies;
Minor-Legal Studies
31%46%Yes$12,500$7,515
Valencia CollegeYesAS-Paralegal Studies100%42%$5,500$4,484
William T McFatter Technical CollegeCertificate-Legal Administrative Assistant100%62%N.Av.$12,150

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.


Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs 2018

  • University of Central Florida (#1)

US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022

  • Nova Southeastern University (#147-193)
  • University of Miami (#72)

US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022

  • Nova Southeastern University (#16)
  • University of Miami (#80)

Select Schools in Florida with Paralegal Degrees

Traditional Programs

Florida SouthWestern State College

The ABA-approved Associate of Science (AS) degree in Paralegal Studies at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) in Fort Meyers equips students with basic knowledge of an array of legal subjects including legal research and writing, criminal law, real estate law, family law, wills, trusts, torts, and litigation. The AS can also be applied towards a bachelor’s degree in Law, Business, and other related studies at local colleges and universities both within the state and nation. Graduates of this program are qualified to sit for the NALA Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal examination and are prepared for careers as paralegals, title examiners or abstractors, managers of law office operations, and more within the field of law. The flexible course schedule consists of 64 credits and requires the completion of an internship in a law office, state attorney office, or similar, prior to graduation.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) offers an ABA-approved Associate of Science (AS) degree in Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) that is designed to develop students for careers as paralegals and legal assistants as well as specialists in a variety of law-related professions. Critical thinking, problem-solving, group research, and law-related technology are the cornerstones of this program’s diverse curriculum. Following completion of the professional core courses, students are given the opportunity to apply their academic experience to a professional setting through an internship program in which they work a minimum of 180 hours in a law-related office. Graduates from this program meet the educational requirements to sit for the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College houses the only ABA-approved paralegal program in Miami–the Associate of Science (AS) degree in Paralegal Studies. The Paralegal Studies program emphasizes written and oral communication skills, basic legal knowledge, effective problem solving, business ethics, and analysis of legal documents such as wills, contracts, and incorporations. The program requires 64 credits, which takes most students two full-time years of study to complete. Graduates are competitive candidates for legal and paralegal careers in law offices, government agencies, and corporate legal departments. The Paralegal Studies program is offered at the Wolfson, Kendall, and North campuses.

Internships/clerkships at law firms, legal aid societies, and governmental agencies are a great way to get a foot in the door. Many have started as legal assistants/administrative assistants which allows for commencing on the ground floor and working up the legal ladder.” –Patricia DeRamus, ACP, FRP, President of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc.

Hybrid and Online Programs

Nova Southeastern University

At Nova Southeastern University (NSU), students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies. This degree program offers most courses online, with some courses offered on campus during the day and evening. In the ABA-approved bachelor’s program in paralegal studies, students gain a broad view of the legal system and the skills needed to become a legal assistant or paralegal. The curriculum includes general liberal arts education requirements as well as specialized paralegal studies courses. Courses include Criminal Law and Procedure; Torts and Civil Litigation; Family Law; and Legal Research and Writing. Students learn how to support lawyers and their firms through research methods, trial assistance, and legal document preparation.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF) offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies. Most components of the legal studies programs can be completed entirely online, although certain electives or prerequisites may not be offered online. The curriculum focuses on foundational concepts that prepare students to write for the legal system and conduct legal research. Legal Studies students are prepared for further education in the field such as law school or other graduate programs. UCF has partnerships with law schools to provide a three-year/three-year accelerated law degree timeline. UCF Legal Studies students may choose one or two specialization areas, including Public Law, Litigation, Criminal Law, Transactional Law, and more. The BA/BS degree is also available on campus for students who prefer traditional learning.

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

College of Central Florida
3001 SW College Rd
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 873-5800
https://www.cf.edu/

Student Review: “The College of Central Florida’s paralegal program was a unique and educational experience. The courses were generally divided between legal classes, technology and office support classes, and general education requirements, with a decent range of opportunities for electives. The head of the paralegal program was very helpful and liked to ensure that her students were well-informed about career opportunities after leaving the school, sending out periodic e-mails regarding job openings. Many of the other professors who taught the legal classes were attentive and insightful, though the same could not be said of other professors with few exceptions. Additionally, since many of the classes I took were online, the school needs drastic improvements in that area. Many courses were unorganized and unfinished and some of the professors admitted that they had little working knowledge of how to manage online courses. Overall, I value the education that I received but I believe the school needs to offer better training to professors.” -Student at College of Central Florida
stars-3

Daytona State College
1200 W International Speedway Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 506-3000
https://www.daytonastate.edu/

Student Review: “So when I attended the paralegal program over at Daytona State College in Daytona Florida. I would say I had a pretty decent experience. The professors were really friendly and helpful and help me a lot especially when I have problems. I remember on one occasion I was on the verge of dropping out of school. And one of the professors came to my home to make sure that everything was okay. So in terms of the friendliness of the school and the family-like environment, I think there is no other college that can match Daytona State in my opinion. On the other hand, there were a few other professors in which felt like were under qualified to teach a college level course. I mean we literally had a professor that would just read definitions from the textbook when I took legal terminology back in 2012. That was a not fun experience because the class was at night and the majority of the class would basically go to sleep. The professor would just go on and on and on about legal nonsense and jargon. And of course, since I was paying for the course I wasn’t about to go to sleep but trust me was very difficult. I think I had a really good experience though I met a lot of friends that I still work with today. And they even help me find my first job, which I thought, was amazing. So if I had to write my experience is out of 10 I would probably give Daytona state a 7 only because what they lack in terms of quality of the education they gain in terms of providing in an environment thatA‹≥ conducive to learning.” -Student at Daytona State College
stars-3

Florida State College at Jacksonville
101 W State St
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 646-2300
https://www.fscj.edu/

Student Review: “I enjoyed my time in the paralegal program. I learned a lot and the class sizes were small, maybe 20-25 students. I like that much better than a huge lecture hall type environment. There was a lot of one on one interaction with professors. The student community was really involved, as well. They organized a very well run paralegal association. They hosted meetings, field trips, and volunteer tours of different firms. The school is also very good about finding jobs for graduates. I still constantly get emails alerting me to full time and part time jobs, as well as internships. My only complaint would be that there are not as many full-time professors as I would’ve liked. Most of them are adjunct professors with other jobs, and this limits their office hours. All in all, I was satisfied with my college experience at Florida State College at Jacksonville.” -Student at Florida State College at Jacksonville
stars-4

St. Petersburg College
6605 5th Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 341-4772
https://www.spcollege.edu/

Student Review: “The paralegal studies program at St. Petersburg College has been somewhat of a ‘roller-coaster’ experience for me. I have really enjoyed my classes and my instructors, for the most part. They’ve made the curriculum interesting and fun by using a vast array of learning activities and tools. I only have two major complaints. The first is that the professors teaching the courses are pretty much all lawyers with a day job. Therefore, required classes are only offered early in the morning or very late at night. In addition to that, the program only offers certain classes during certain terms. It’s likely that you end up wasting a semester or two waiting to take a class that is most often a pre-requisite for the current courses being offered. My other major complaint is that a lot of the required reading materials are written by the teachers or affiliates of the school and they are textbooks that are specific to St. Petersburg College. Also, they come ‘loose-leaf’. The major problem with this is that when the class is over, the school doesn’t buy back ‘loose-leaf’ textbooks and because it’s school specific it can’t be sold on the Internet either. All of the books are $150-$300 for which you can’t get any money back after passing the class. To me, that’s unethical and financially irresponsible. As a student, it becomes very costly. One of the important things that the school offers in reference to the paralegal studies program is a discussion board where the department head posts available jobs. She makes sure that it’s active and updated on a daily basis which is a wonderful way to ensure that the students become successful after graduation. I learned not only excellent workplace skills but some teachers were sure to include life skills as well.” -Student at St. Petersburg College
stars-3

Student Review: “The paralegal program at St. Petersburg College was a wonderful experience. First, the head of the program, Dr. Susan Demers, is a passionate and experienced professional who is dedicated to excellence in paralegal programming. Her vision is well supported by a full-time staff. Dr. Christie Powers a savvy lawyer, is well informed about the curriculum, guiding students according to desired goals. Dr. Powers also teaches the Certification Exam Preparation Course. I passed the dreaded NALA exam on the first try. Then there is Dr. Rachel Bennett’s Legal Assistant Seminar and Work Experience “exit course.” As a third career individual, that course took my archaic resume and transformed it into a functional one. The role-playing was pragmatic and helpful in overcoming interview jitters. I was employed within weeks after graduation. Dr. Bennett is very compassionate and responds to students in their uniqueness. Then there are the amazing adjuncts; judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys bringing to bare their experiences upon my eager yearning for a complete paralegal education. This program is approved by the American Bar Association and the well-coordinated effort by the Dean and staff, along with the experienced adjuncts, makes it one on the best paralegal programs in America.” -Student at St. Petersburg College
stars-5

University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000
https://www.ucf.edu/

Student Review: “The paralegal program at UCF varied a lot by teacher. However, most of the professors were very knowledgeable about the subject matter and really loved what they were teaching us. As I stated, this varied a lot depending on the instructor of the course. Some of the instructors were a little bit lazy and would only provide slideshows and read directly off the slides. Although many people enjoy the ease of memorization of material, I felt as though it was a waste of money to merely memorize and not learn the material. I loved the legal research and writing classes because we learned through actually completing research projects or writing assignments rather than just being talked at. Overall I believe the good outweighed the bad and I learned a great deal from the professors who actually cared about educating us!” -Student at University of Central Florida
stars-4

Student Review: “The program was well structured, and the professors all had legitimately successful legal backgrounds. However, the program is really most useful for students planning on attending law school. I wasn’t able to land any internships while attending UCF, and I did little to no networking. I would attribute these two factors (or the lack of) to not landing any related job after graduating. I ended up joining the Military. Unless you plan on attending law school or have some existing connection to someone in the legal field who could help place you in a job, I would not recommend this program. The jobs available with this degree are low paying and are highly competitive to be hired. The courses are great and well taught, I just don’t believe there is much you can do with the undergraduate knowledge by itself.” -Student at University of Central Florida
stars-3

Valencia College
1800 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 299-5000
https://valenciacollege.edu/

Student Review: “Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Valencia in their paralegal studies program. My professors were all successful attorneys with years of hands-on experience. The classes were informative and relevant to the industry. Valencia really emphasizes legal research, which is probably the most challenging and time-consuming part of the courses. They also require the Introduction to Paralegal Studies class, which is great if you’re on the fence about the field. My favorite class was the real property (real estate) class, which is a big deal in Florida since we are so reliant on property and its taxes. They also require classes in business law, civil litigation and criminal law, as well as classes to improve your proficiency with technology. They have a huge, on-site legal library and plenty of resources to help you succeed. Post-graduation, however, the lack of career services really disappointed me, with nearly all of my fellow classmates having trouble finding a job within their field, as well as myself. There really is no alumni support, although they do periodically send me emails asking for feedback to help further students. Overall, I do recommend Valencia. It is a great school that offers a thorough education. Just be prepared to do your own career hunting and don’t expect much (if any) support from the school.” -Student at Valencia College
stars-4

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs: https://www.paralegal411.org/degrees/bachelors/online/
3. US News & World Report Best Law Schools 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Legal Writing Programs 2022: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/legal-writing-rankings
5. American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/paralegals/
6. Niche: https://www.niche.com/
7. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Ranking ROI of 4,500 US Colleges and Universities: https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/CollegeROI/