Paralegal Schools in Minnesota
There are numerous paralegal schools in Minnesota offering programs at the certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. The following guide to paralegal schools in Minnesota provides key information about paralegal programs at Minnesota’s colleges and universities to help you 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. Please visit our paralegal careers in Minnesota page to find out more about career opportunities for paralegals in Minnesota.
- There are 11 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Minnesota.1
- 7 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 7 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 4 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
- 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
- 4 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Minnesota.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 Minnesota
- Select Schools in Minnesota with Paralegal Degrees
Comparison of Paralegal Programs
The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in Minnesota 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|
|Alexandria Technical & Community College (Alexandria)||—||AAS-Paralegal||100%||58%||Yes||$8,251||$13,175|
|Anoka Technical College (Anoka)||—||Certificate-Legal Assistant;|
|Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato)||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Hamline University (St. Paul)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
Master in the Study of Law
|Inver Hills Community College (Inver Grove Heights)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Lake Superior College (Duluth)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Fergus Falls)||—||AAS-Paralegal||100%||41%||Yes||$8,405||$9,813|
|North Hennepin Community College (Brooklyn Park)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Ridgewater College (Willmar)||—||Certificate-Legal Assistant;|
|University of St. Thomas (St. Paul)||—||BA-Business Administration: Law and Compliance;|
Master of Studies of Law
|Winona State University (Winona)||Yes||BS-Legal Studies;|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022
- University of St. Thomas (#126 tie)
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law (#147-193)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law (#80 tie)
- University of St. Thomas (#80 tie)
Select Schools in Minnesota with Paralegal Degrees
Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies that offers students the chance to develop legal skills in communication, legal research, and legal arguments. The 120-credit hour degree will help prepare students for a variety of legal positions by building an understanding of the law and the legal system. Legal Studies majors will take 42 credits of major coursework, including 24 hours of upper-division classes such as Legal Procedures, Family Law, and Western Legal Traditions. With consent from their professor, students may take a Legal Studies Internship course with an approved affiliate to gain hands-on professional experience. A Senior Seminar is required for students who do not pursue an internship. Students must take the last 33 credits on campus at BLC and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 to graduate. In addition to the BA in Legal Studies, BLC offers a Minor in Legal Studies and a Paralegal Certificate.
North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) offers both an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal and a Paralegal Certificate program, both of which are ABA-approved. Courses are offered primarily in the evenings to accommodate working students. The AS program includes general education courses, ranging from mathematics to communication and composition, in addition to legal specialty courses, but the Certificate program does not include general education courses. Students in both Paralegal programs must take a minimum of 30 credits of paralegal coursework, in subjects such as criminal law, computer applications, and litigation. A mandatory internship requires students to spend 150 hours working in a law office or legal department. All legal specialty courses are taught by licensed attorneys, giving students valuable insight into the professional legal field. For graduates seeking further study in a bachelor’s program, NHCC has articulation agreements with Concordia University, Hamline University, Metropolitan State University, and Winona State University.
The ABA-approved Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies at Winona State University (WSU) offers students the opportunity to learn legal skills based on a set of core legal courses. Legal Studies majors can pursue three different study options: the Professional Option for students seeking careers as paralegals, the Law and Society option for students seeking further academics pursuits, and a 3+3 Option that allows students to complete three years in the Legal study major at WSU before transferring to the Master of Study in Law (MSL) at Mitchell Hamline School of Law (MHSL). Students in all three options will spend their freshman year taking primarily general education courses and an introductory course to American law. Beginning in their sophomore year, students will take legal classes such as Civil Procedure; Legal Research and Writing; and Administrative Law. Students taking the Professional Option or the 3+3 Option will have the opportunity to participate in an internship to gain professional experience before graduating. For students in non-legal majors, WSU offers a Minor in Legal Studies.
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.
Hybrid and Online Programs
The ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate program at Hamline University is designed to impart legal knowledge and professional skills to students who are in the process of completing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies or who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in any field. The 20-credit curriculum can be completed in as little as nine months. All courses in the Certificate program can be completed online, with each class meeting virtually one day a week. The Paralegal Certificate can be integrated into the BA in Legal Studies coursework for undergraduates who wish to combine career-oriented, practical paralegal training with a liberal arts core. Students have access to the law library on the St. Paul campus and take courses that foster research and legal skills such as Legal Research and Writing; Transactions and Contracts in Business; and Regulation in America. Students who complete the Paralegal Certificate through the BA in Legal Studies will be eligible to complete Hamline’s Master of Study in Law (MSL) by taking 14 additional credits.
Inver Hills Community College offers an ABA-approved hybrid Associate in Science (AS) in Paralegal degree. The 60-credit program can be completed in as little as 22 months. Students must complete at least nine credits of courses in the legal specialty through a traditional classroom format, but other courses may be taken online. The curriculum combines 30 credits of liberal arts coursework with 30 credits in specialized courses such as Criminal Justice System; Litigation and Trial Practice; Probate; and Real Estate Law. Students also complete a paralegal internship, which includes earning the National Society of Legal Technology (NSLT) Certificate. Graduation requires a minimum GPA of 2.0. Graduates are prepared to work in business organizations, law firms, real estate, or nonprofits. For graduates seeking further legal education, Inver Hills has transfer agreements with universities throughout Minnesota. Students who have already received a bachelor’s degree may be interested in Inver Hills’s ABA-approved Post Graduate Paralegal Certificate.
Students at Lake Superior College (LSC) can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that can be completed online or on campus. The 60-credit AAS takes two full-time years to complete if all prerequisites have been met. The program is designed for students who are planning to enter the workforce directly after graduation. The curriculum includes specialty courses that emphasize the legal skills and technologies used in the field, such as Legal Writing; Advanced Legal Research; and Criminal Law and Procedure. Students also learn the basics of legal investigations, legal research, and drafting legal documents for lawyers. Towards the end of the program, students will take a paralegal capstone course that can include an internship, pro bono work, concurrent employment in a legal office, or some combination of these experiences. The capstone also includes the development of a professional portfolio. Graduates should be ready to pursue entry-level positions in the legal field. In addition to the AAS, Lake Superior College also offers a Paralegal Studies Certificate and an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies, both of which can be completed online or on campus.
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/