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Paralegal Schools in Minnesota

There are numerous paralegal schools in Minnesota offering programs at the certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree levels. The following guide to paralegal schools in Minnesota provides key information about paralegal programs at Minnesota’s colleges and universities so that you can make the right educational choice for your career goals. You may also discover that online paralegal schools can be a suitable alternative to on-campus study and may be a better fit for some students.

Quick Facts

  • There are 21 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Minnesota.1
  • 12 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 14 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
  • 3 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 2 schools 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
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
  • 6 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Minnesota.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • University of Minnesota-Morris (#79 in-state, #40 out-of-state)
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (#23 in-state, #10 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

College Factual’s Best Degrees in Legal Professions 2018

  • Hamline University (#12)

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • University of Minnesota (#20)
  • University of St. Thomas (#113 tie)

Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA

  • Hamline University
  • Inver Hills Community College
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • National American University
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • Winona State University
    • Paralegal Degree Programs in Minnesota

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      Hamline University

      The Paralegal Certificate program at Hamline University is designed to impart legal knowledge and professional skills to students who are in the process of completing or who have already completed a bachelor’s degree. Hamline University’s program uniquely combines career-oriented, practical paralegal training with a liberal arts core to produce well-rounded and employable graduates. Students benefit from an up-to-date and extensive law library on the St. Paul campus and courses that foster research and presentation skills. Both day and evening courses are offered to accommodate various schedules. This certificate program is comprehensive and an excellent option for students interested in paralegal careers who have completed or are pursuing degrees in other specialties. This program has been formally approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

      My best advice for getting hired as a paralegal is to keep your options open. Apply for jobs even if you feel it isn’t in the area of law you ideally want to work in. Furthermore, apply for jobs even if you feel that you may not be qualified. By sending your resume in you may be fortunate enough to get an interview and the interview experience alone is priceless.” –Lisa Kilde, President of the Red River Valley Paralegal Association and paralegal at Ohnstad Twichell, PC.

      Minnesota State University

      Minnesota State University offers a four-year bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies that includes full introductions to a variety of substantive legal fields as well as a heavy emphasis on legal writing and research. Legal procedures and writing formats are specifically addressed throughout the curriculum to prepare students for the specific tasks that may be allotted to them as legal assistants and paralegals. An active law library on campus is an invaluable resource to the paralegal department and enables students to partake in individual research and presentation. Additionally, a mandatory internship component gives students the opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge, experience an active legal workplace, and network with potential employers. As a bachelor’s degree, this program is considerably more in-depth than shorter degree programs and consequently reflects a higher mastery of the field. This program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is ideal for students who wish to have a more comprehensive introduction to paralegal studies or who wish to seek further graduate study in law or criminal justice.

      North Hennepin Community College

      North Hennepin Community College offers both an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies and a Paralegal Studies Certificate program. The AS program includes an array of general education courses ranging from mathematics to communication and composition. These courses help foster a solid foundation of computational ability, problem-solving, and professional skills. The core of the curriculum is the legal specialty courses, which range from probate to real estate and criminal law. Students are able to choose areas of focus within the substantive law courses through the selection of electives. All legal specialty courses are taught by licensed attorneys, giving students valuable insight into the professional legal field. These programs have both been formally approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

      Online Paralegal Programs

      Lake Superior College

      Students at Lake Superior College can earn an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies that can be completed online or on-campus. The AS takes two years to complete if all prerequisites have been met; students also have the option to transfer previously-earned academic credit into the program. The curriculum centers on courses such as Legal Writing, Advanced Legal Research, and Criminal Law and Procedure, emphasizing legal terminology and technology used in the field. Students also learn the basics of legal investigations, legal research, and drafting legal documents for lawyers. The program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a four-year college program after graduation and intend to transfer their academic credit. Graduates may also choose to pursue entry-level positions in the field such as judicial assistant, probate paralegal, real estate paralegal, and legal assistant. In addition to the associate degree, Lake Superior College also offers a Paralegal Studies Certificate that can be completed online or on-campus.

      Inver Hills Community College

      Inver Hills Community College offers a hybrid online Associate in Science (AS)-Paralegal degree. The 60-credit program has been formally approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Students must complete at least 10 credits of courses in the legal specialty in a traditional classroom format, but other courses are offered online. The curriculum starts with 30 credits in the liberal arts before moving on to 30 credits in specialized courses such as Criminal Justice System, Litigation and Trial Practice, Probate Law, and Real Estate Law. Students also complete a paralegal internship, which includes earning the National Society of Legal Technology Certification. The program can be completed in as few as 22 months, although students can study and take courses at their own pace. Graduates are prepared to go on to work in business organizations, law firms, real estate, or nonprofits, or to further their education in the legal field.

      References:
      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/