Paralegal Schools in Massachusetts
The following guide to paralegal schools in Massachusetts provides you with important information about the paralegal schools and programs in the state. In addition to broad-based paralegal/legal assistant degrees and programs, some schools may also offer opportunities to learn more about specialty practice areas like international law and constitutional law. Online paralegal degree programs may also be a good match for your interests and career goals, especially if you need more flexibility. Be sure to visit our paralegal careers in Massachusetts page to find out more about job opportunities for paralegal and legal studies graduates.
- There are 16 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Massachusetts.1
- 10 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 9 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 6 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 1 school offers a master’s degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- No schools ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
- 2 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
- 2 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
- 5 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Massachusetts.5
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 Massachusetts
- Select Schools in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts based on various factors. The table includes paralegal program-specific information such as the programs offered and whether there are any online options. It also includes general school information to help you compare the colleges and universities that host these programs, including overall acceptance rate, graduation rate for first-time bachelor’s degree seekers, median debt for graduates, and net tuition per year for full-time undergraduate study. 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.
|School||ABA Approved?||Paralegal Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Bay Path University (Longmeadow)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Becker College (Worcester)||—||BS-Legal Studies;|
|Bentley University (Waltham)||—||Minor-Law||47%||90%||—||$25,000||$41,582|
|Bristol Community College (Fall River)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
AS-Paralegal and Legal Studies
|Bunker Hill Community College (Boston)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable)||—||Certificate-Paralegal||100%||24%||—||$5,500||$8,315|
|Hampshire College (Amherst)||—||BA-Self Directed: Legal Studies||2%||63%||—||$17,745||$35,499|
|Lasell University (Auburndale)||—||BA-Legal Studies||84%||59%||—||$24,000||$28,404|
|Massachusetts Bay Community College (Wellesley Hills)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Middlesex Community College (Bedford)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
AS-Liberal Studies:Paralegal Studies
|Mount Wachusett Community College (Gardner)||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|North Shore Community College (Danvers)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Quincy College (Quincy)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Suffolk University (Boston)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst)||—||BA-Legal Studies||64%||82%||—||$20,600||$22,927|
|Western New England University (Springfield)||—||MS-Law||85%||65%||—||$19,500||$30,071|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022
- Suffolk University (129 tie)
- Western New England University (#147-193)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- Suffolk University (#4)
- Western New England University (#154 tie)
Select Schools in Massachusetts with Paralegal Degrees
The ABA-approved Paralegal Studies programs at Bay Path University instruct students in various disciplines needed in the professional paralegal field, ensuring that graduates have proficient knowledge in substantive legal areas, technical skills, and ethical business practices. Graduates of the Paralegal Studies curriculum will be able to draft legal documents, use technology appropriate to legal tasks, and perform legal research. Students pursuing the 60-credit Associate of Science (AS) or the 120-credit Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Studies at Bay Path are required to complete legal specialty electives in addition to the required legal and general education courses. The completion of either program will qualify graduates for the ABA-approved Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies also offered at Bay Path. Required courses for Paralegal Studies majors include Business Law, Principles of Criminal Procedure, and Real Estate Law. Students in the BA program are required to take a Legal Studies Internship course, which will expose students to a working legal office. Transfer students must complete at least 18 credits of paralegal courses at Bay Path in order to earn a degree from the university. Bay Path also offers a BA in Legal Studies that has been approved by the ABA.
The ABA-approved Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies offered at Middlesex Community College (MCC) prepares students to analyze factual data, prepare legal documents, and research legal questions within the context of professional law offices, corporations, and other legal environments. The 60-credit Paralegal Studies curriculum is based on a liberal arts foundation that encompasses general education courses from a variety of disciplines as well as paralegal courses. Legal specialty courses emphasize practice-oriented learning and train students to apply critical thinking and analytical problem-solving skills to paralegal problems. The paralegal curriculum is flexible, with students choosing four legal elective courses out of eight offered, including Contract Law, Criminal Law for the Paralegal, and Intellectual Property Law. All Paralegal Studies students are required to take either a Paralegal Internship or an online simulation course in law office management. MCC also offers an ABA-approved 27-credit post-graduate Paralegal Certificate for students who already have a degree and are seeking to change careers and enter the paralegal field.
Suffolk University’s Law and Legal Studies program offers students three ABA-approved degree programs designed to prepare students for employment as paralegals and legal assistants in law firms, corporations, or government. Students can pursue an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies or either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Law. To accommodate working students, classes in the Law and Legal Studies curriculum are offered during the day and in the evening. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree will take 126 credits of courses over four years, while the AS degree requires 64 credits over two years. Legal specialty courses in the AS curriculum include Law of Contracts; Technology and the Law; and Employment and Labor Law. Students in the BA or BS programs must complete a Paralegal Internship during which they will spend a semester working in a law office or legal department gaining hands-on professional experience. For students wishing to study the legal profession who already have a bachelor’s degree or a different major, Suffolk offers a minor in Law and a Paralegal Certificate program.
Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) can complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies that emphasizes the intersection of law, politics, and society in a variety of contexts. The major will help students hone skills in critical thinking, communication, and conflict resolution. Legal Studies majors may pursue a UMass Amherst Letter of Specialization in conjunction with their degree, in Comparative and International Law; Conflict Resolution; Constitutional Law; Data Analytics for Politics, Policy, and Legal Studies; or Law and Social Justice. Letters of Specialization are additional credentials that graduates can list on their resumes or CVs, indicating the completion of significant additional coursework in a specialized field. The 120-credit degree program requires 37 credits of legal studies coursework such as Empirical Legal Studies; Law and Social Activism; and Machine Bias and Law. UMass Amherst also offers students hands-on experiences such as a legal studies internship or a study abroad experience. Graduation from the program requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in Legal Studies courses and overall. UMass Amherst is a member of the Five College Seminar Consortium in Legal Studies, a group of five colleges that share resources and facilities, develop joint programs, and offer transportation between campuses.
More so than ever, employers are requiring candidates to hold, at the minimum, a four-year degree. While in school, I would encourage candidates to join their local paralegal association to take advantage of the many networking, education and pro-bono opportunities that it provides. Finally, I would encourage candidates to choose a specialty in the field.” –Kevin Johnson, President of the Massachusetts Paralegal Association and Legal Assistant at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, PC.
Hybrid and Online Programs
Bristol Community College offers a hybrid Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal and Legal Studies as well as a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies. Classes are available at the Fall River, Taunton, New Bedford, and Attleboro campuses, and courses are offered during the day, evening, and online. The associate program requires 61 to 62 credits to complete, and the certificate requires 27. Required paralegal studies courses include classes in practical skills such as Law Office Management; Interviewing and Investigation; and Basic Legal Research, as well as specialty classes in Immigration Law, Real Estate Law, and Bankruptcy Law. Bristol supplements in-class learning with a hands-on internship program that gives students the opportunity to gain work experience and develop their resumes before finishing their program. Graduates of the programs commonly find work in law firms, corporations, government, and courts, or pursue more advanced studies.
The Associate in Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies at Massachusetts Bay Community College (MassBay) will help students develop paralegal skills such as document preparation, legal writing, and client interviewing so that they can effectively assist attorneys in legal matters. Paralegal courses are available entirely online to accommodate differing schedule needs. The two-year curriculum combines paralegal study with business and liberal arts courses to provide students with a well-rounded education. Graduates of the AS program will be able to conduct digital legal research; analyze legal documents; and use mathematical and scientific tools to analyze and solve problems. The curriculum requires 62-63 credits, including Litigation for Paralegals; Legal Research and Writing; and Criminal Law and Procedures. Students in their final semester may enroll in a Paralegal Internship with a law office or legal department to gain practical professional experience. MassBay also offers a Paralegal Certificate, available entirely online.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
37 Mather Dr
Amherst, MA 01003
Student Review: “UMass Amherst has a fairly decent legal studies program. It’s good in its faculty and integrity but offers little sense of community or any small class sizes. Even as an older student, my classes are around 30-40 people, which for me, feels big. It’s reading intense and can honestly be kind of boring. I noticed a definite liberal bias and a certain spin on certain issues by particular professors. Overall it’s a challenging program and would prepare someone well for law school or any job in that service. I would suggest taking a science major at UMass- much better buildings, class sizes, and creativity.” -Student at University of Massachusetts Amherst
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/