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 intellectual property law and health care law. Online paralegal degree programs may also be a good match for your interests and career goals.
- There are 30 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Massachusetts.1
- 14 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 12 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 13 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 9 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
- 1 school ranked in College Factual’s Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Legal Professions in 2018.4
- 5 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
- 5 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Massachusetts.6
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*
- University of Massachusetts-Amherst (#57 in-state, #44 out-of-state)
College Factual’s Best Degrees in Legal Professions 2018
- University of Massachusetts-Amherst (#10)
US News Best Law Schools 2019
- Harvard University (#3)
- Boston University (#22 tie)
- Boston College (#27 tie)
- Northeastern University (#74 tie)
- Suffolk University (#144 tie)
Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA
- Bay Path College University
- Bunker Hill Community College
- Middlesex Community College
- North Shore Community College
- Suffolk University
Paralegal Degree Programs in Massachusetts
Bay Path College
The paralegal degree programs at Bay Path College 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. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies at Bay Path College are required to complete legal specialty electives in addition to the required legal and general education courses. The small campus and intimate class sizes at Bay Path College allow the qualified faculty to give students personalized attention and career guidance throughout the degree program. With faculty holding doctorates or the highest appropriate professional degree, the level of instruction throughout this program is excellent. Bay Path also offers a 21-credit Certificate in Advanced Paralegal Studies. All three programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
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.
Elms College offers an undergraduate Legal Studies minor that requires 18 credits to complete. The minor curriculum covers subjects such as law and its connections to business, civil and criminal justice systems, and federal and state legal administration. In addition to critical thinking and communication skills, students also learn skills in effective legal research and writing. The coursework uses real-world case briefings, court opinions, and statutes and regulations to give students hands-on experience with aspects of the legal field as well as an introduction to professional ethics. Students with many different majors can choose a minor in legal studies, especially if they are interested in a career in the criminal justice system; corrections and rehabilitation; or human services. Others interested in law school may use the legal studies minor as a foundation for further study.
Middlesex Community College
That Paralegal Studies Associate of Science (AS) offered at Middlesex Community College 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 paralegal studies curriculum is based upon a solid liberal arts foundation that encompasses general education courses from a variety of disciplines. Legal specialty courses emphasize practice-oriented learning and train students to apply critical thinking and analytical problem-solving skills to paralegal problems. The degree program is fairly flexible with students allotted the choice of several legal elective courses, including an optional paralegal internship. Middlesex Community College also offers a postgraduate Paralegal Certificate for students with a degree who are looking for a career change. This American Bar Association (ABA)-approved program is an affordable option for individuals seeking formal paralegal education.
Online Paralegal Programs
Bristol Community College
Bristol Community College offers a hybrid online Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies as well as a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies. Classes are available on the Fall River, Taunton, and Attleboro campuses and courses are offered during the day, in the evening, and online. The associate program requires 21 courses and the certificate takes nine courses to complete. Required paralegal studies courses include classes in practical skills such as Law Office Management, Interviewing and Investigation, and Legal Research, as well as specialty classes in Immigration Law, Real Estate Law, and Bankruptcy Law. Bristol Community College supplements in-class learning with a hands-on internship program that gives students the opportunity to have work experience on their resume before finishing their program. Graduates of the programs commonly find work in law firms, corporations, nonprofits, and courts.
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell can complete a Certificate in Paralegal Studies entirely online. This flexible program requires 18 credits to complete; individuals must have at least a high school diploma or GED to apply. Students start with a core curriculum of courses such as Legal Research Methods, Litigation, and Real Estate Law before choosing specialty electives in their area of interest. This program emphasizes the technology commonly used in law offices, including general software applications and specialized legal software tools. UMass also provides students with the opportunity to complete a Paralegal Practicum that offers hands-on experience in research, writing, and client interaction, as well as an introduction to legal ethics in the field. After completing this online certificate program, graduates are prepared for positions in private and public law offices, government agencies, and corporate businesses.
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. 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/