Paralegal Schools in Michigan
The numerous colleges and universities in Michigan offer a broad selection of general practice paralegal programs as well as programs in specialty practice areas such as nurse paralegal. This overview of paralegal schools in Michigan will help you compare your options for earning a paralegal degree or certificate so that you can make an informed choice on where to attend school. You may also find that an online paralegal program in paralegal studies can be a suitable alternative to traditional on-campus study. Please visit our paralegal careers in Michigan page for information on employment options for paralegal and legal studies graduates.
- There are 20 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Michigan.1
- 10 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 13 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 5 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 2 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 1 school ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
- 3 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 2021.4
- 9 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Michigan.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 Michigan
- Select Schools in Michigan 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 Michigan 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.
|School||ABA Approved?||Paralegal Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant)||—||Minor-Legal Studies||70%||61%||—||$21,250||$15,266|
|Davenport University (Grand Rapids)||Yes||Certificate-Legal Studies;|
|Delta College (University Center)||—||ABS-Legal Support Professional||100%||15%||—||$4,578||$3,866|
|Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti)||Yes||BS-Paralegal||74%||46%||Yes||$18,500||$16,078|
|Grand Valley State University (Allendale)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Henry Ford College (Dearborn)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Kalamazoo)||—||Certificate-Legal Office Assistant||100%||20%||—||$4,591||$4,778|
|Lansing Community College (Lansing)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Macomb Community College (Warren)||Yes||AAS-Paralegal||100%||12%||Yes||$3,000||$8,648|
|Madonna University (Livonia)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Michigan State University (East Lansing)||—||Master of Legal Studies||71%||81%||—||$21,829||$16,579|
|North Central Michigan College (Petoskey)||—||AAS-Legal Studies||100%||25%||—||$5,168||$3,672|
|Northern Michigan University (Marquette)||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Oakland Community College (Bloomfield Hills)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Oakland University (Rochester)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal||83%||57%||—||$17,750||$12,843|
|Siena Heights University (Adrian)||—||AAS-Inverted Major: Legal Assisting;|
BAS-Inverted Major: Legal Assisting
|University of Detroit Mercy (Detroit)||—||Certificate-Legal Studies||77%||67%||—||$20,875||$18,338|
|Washtenaw Community College (Ann Arbor)||—||AA-Paralegal||100%||20%||—||$5,675||$2,250|
|Wayne County Community College District (Detroit)||—||AAS-Paralegal Technology||100%||11%||—||$4,705||$5,012|
|Wayne State University (Detroit)||—||Master of Studies in Law (MSL)||75%||48%||Yes||$16,500||$15,012|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs 2018
- Eastern Michigan University (#12 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022
- Wayne State University (#72 tie)
- Michigan State University (#91 tie)
- University of Detroit Mercy (#147-193)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- University of Detroit Mercy (#68 tie)
- Michigan State University (#121 tie)
Select Schools in Michigan with Paralegal Degrees
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) offers an ABA-approved Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies for students interested in pursuing a paralegal career or graduate-level education. The Legal Studies program allows students to work towards a comprehensive understanding of legal procedures and ethics while honing practical skills such as legal writing and research. The BS and BA require the same major courses; the BA degree requires proficiency in a foreign language demonstrated by three semesters of coursework while the BS requires statistics and research methods coursework. The program embraces a liberal education philosophy, preparing students to make ethically sound decisions by encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving. The 120-credit hour program will help students develop an understanding of law through courses such as Law in our Lives; Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties; and Legal Thought, a capstone course that analyzes the schools of thought that have informed the basis of law in the US. In addition to the bachelor’s programs, GVSU also offers an ABA-approved Paralegal Studies undergraduate certificate, a minor in Legal Studies that is not approved by the ABA, and a 3+3 fast track program called LEAP (Legal Education Admission Program) that combines the Legal Studies bachelor’s program with a Juris Doctor (JD) program in about six years of study.
The Lansing Community College (LCC) paralegal program aims to educate students to become career paralegals equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute to a variety of legal tasks in private law offices, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and other professional legal settings. The Paralegal Studies program at LCC offers both an ABA-approved Associate of Business (AB) in Legal Studies and an ABA-approved Post-Bachelor Certificate in Legal Studies. The AB program requires students to take at least 63 credits, while the Certificate program requires 34 credits. Graduates of both programs should be able to conduct interviews, prepare legal documents, perform legal research as needed, and understand the law. These skills are developed in courses such as Legal Research and Writing; Probate Law and Procedure; and Litigation Specialties. Through the Legal Studies Internship, students will have the opportunity to practice in a real-world legal environment and develop professional relationships through over 160 hours of work experience. LCC has an open enrollment system and therefore has no requirements for admission. Students seeking financial aid, however, must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Northern Michigan University (NMU) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies that requires 120 credit hours to complete and will help students develop paralegal skills that can be applied to a variety of legal venues and adapted to an ever-changing legal field. NMU’s Paralegal program will teach students practical and technical skills such as legal research and writing; the use of technology; problem-solving; and legal theory and ethics. Coursework in the four-year curriculum includes Contract Law for Paralegals, Introduction to Law, Probate Law for Paralegals, and Cannabis Law. Retention in the program requires a “C” or better in all required major courses. NMU also offers a 60-credit Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies and a 30-credit Post-Bachelor Paralegal Certificate.
The ABA-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal at Oakland Community College (OCC) will help students develop legal skills in evidence analysis, legal research, and litigation preparation that can be applied to legal systems at the local, state, or federal level. The 62-credit AAS program requires both general education and paralegal courses and can be completed by full-time students in as little as two years. Students will take courses such as Legal Ethics, Substantive Law, and Trial Preparation. OCC highly recommends that students take advantage of the Paralegal Internship Program, which allows students to gain professional experience and begin developing contacts within the legal field. Internship students will spend 135 hours in a professional legal environment performing supervised work on a project related to the student’s career goals. For graduates of the AAS program seeking to continue their academic study, OCC has transfer agreements with Eastern Michigan University and Madonna University. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree may apply to OCC’s ABA-approved Post-Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies.
Hybrid and Online Programs
Students at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) can earn a 124-credit ABA-approved Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies. EMU also offers a 72-credit second bachelor’s degree program in Paralegal Studies for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject and are interested in transitioning to the legal field. Most courses are available in a hybrid format or completely online, though students must take at least nine credits of legal courses through synchronous formats. The curriculum offers specialized paralegal classes such as Civil Litigation, Investigation, and Procedure; Law Office Administration and Technology; Legal Writing, Research, and Analysis; and Family Law, as well as electives such as Women and Law; Marijuana Law; and Real Estate Law. These classes teach practical knowledge such as understanding law and court procedures, drafting legal documents, and the basics of legal research and analysis. Students can also hone their skills in a hands-on environment at a required attorney-supervised paralegal internship or an optional capstone. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 and receive a “C” or higher in all major courses. EMU accepts transfer credits for the undergraduate program and has articulation agreements with several schools throughout eastern Michigan.
The Paralegal Studies program at Madonna University offers students three ABA-approved options for paralegal study with courses available at the Livonia, Macomb, or Henry Ford campuses or online. Madonna hosts a four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies, a two-year Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies, and a one-year Post-Baccalaureate Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies. All three curricula teach practical paralegal skills such as legal research, internet research, real estate law, and intellectual property law. These legal skills are taught as a part of a liberal arts education, meant to help graduates operate as part of a modern, multicultural society. While the course schedule is flexible, at least nine semester hours are required to be Madonna also hosts a Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Paralegal program specifically for experienced BSNs (registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing). The ABA-approved Nurse Paralegal program will teach RNs to use their nursing knowledge to assist in legal cases involving injury or death or in positions in which the legal and medical fields intersect.
Ferris State University
1201 S State St
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Student Review: “I attended Ferris State University and received a legal studies associates in May of 2008. Overall I thought the education was of a high caliber in the law classes, but lacking in general education. I had good professors and small class sizes. All of my professors had worked as lawyers previously, and I had a good group of peers in my cohort. I disliked the actual work of the classes and job, I do not enjoy studying the law. There is a lot to memorize, and a lot of convoluted research that has to be done to even learn what the law is. Ferris is also in Big Rapids, MI, which is the middle of nowhere. There is little to no nightlife and the campus was generally empty on the weekends. I feel because of the commuter nature of the school, I wasn’t able to build a large network that could help me get a job after school. Overall, I learned a lot, but I didn’t learn how to get a job in the field afterward.” – Student at Ferris State University
Lansing Community College
309 N Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933
Student Review: “The paralegal program at Lansing Community College was a reasonably okay experience for me. While some of the courses were interesting and rewarding, others were much less so. The quality of the course was very dependent on the professor who was teaching it, so asking around about who was the best for which class is definitely recommended. All of the professors were flexible and approachable when it came to an issue with the course. The best thing about the program is that the courses themselves were very flexible in terms of scheduling. The school was very focused on making sure that people were successful in completing the program, so classes were offered online, in person, in evenings, on weekends, and during the day. Overall the program, which is ABA Accredited, is more than worth the investment. It’s not perfect, but the advantages outweigh the negatives by far.” – Student at Lansing Community College
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/#top
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/