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Paralegal Schools in Montana

Earning a degree or certificate in paralegal/legal studies can be the first step in starting a rewarding career. The paralegal schools in Montana can help you achieve your career goals by preparing you to practice as a paralegal or legal assistant. Because Montana’s schools only offer a few paralegal programs, you might be interested in schools in neighboring states like Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Or, as an alternative to traditional on-campus paralegal programs, you may also wish to consider online paralegal degree programs, which can offer more flexibility for working students. Please visit our guide to paralegal careers in Montana to find out more about employment prospects for graduates of paralegal and legal assistant programs.

Quick Facts

  • There are 3 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Montana.1
  • 2 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school offers an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school offers a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
  • No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
  • 2 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Montana.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 Montana
Select Schools in Montana with Paralegal Degrees

Comparison of Paralegal Programs

The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in Montana 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.

SchoolABA Approved?Paralegal Degree(s)Acceptance Rate6Grad Rate1Online Options?Median Debt7Net Price1
Fort Peck Community College (Poplar)Certificate-Lay Advocate/Paralegal100%15%N.Av.$3,631
University of Montana (Missoula)YesCertificate-Legal Studies94%44%Yes$14,250$15,220
University of Providence (Great Falls)YesAS-Paralegal Studies;
BS-Legal and Paralegal Studies
55%38%Yes$16,750$25,023

  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs 2018

  • University of Providence (#24)

US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022

  • University of Montana (#134 tie)

Select Schools in Montana with Paralegal Degrees

Traditional Programs

Fort Peck Community College

Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) offers students a one-year Lay Advocate/Paralegal Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) that is intended to prepare students for entry-level positions as a paralegal or begin practice as a lay advocate in Tribal Courts. Graduates of the program will have the necessary skills and legal knowledge to perform legal research, prepare legal documents, and represent litigants as lay advocates in the Tribal Court system. The certificate does not allow graduates to represent clients in state or federal courts, however. The 31-credit hour program includes seven credits of general education coursework in mathematics, communications, and human relations and 24 credits of legal and criminal justice courses. Legal classes such as Wills, Probate, and Property Law; Criminal Law; and Criminal Evidence are required to complete the program. The certificate programs at FPCC are designed to be terminal programs, and as such, credits may not transfer to other schools.

Hybrid and Online Programs

University of Montana

The ABA-approved Legal Studies Certificate offered at the University of Montana (UM) prepares students for entry-level positions in the legal profession by developing professional skills and a foundation of theoretical and practical legal knowledge. The program is offered online and can be paired with an associate’s degree or taken as a post-graduate certificate. Graduates of the one-year program will be able to perform paralegal tasks such as drafting legal documents, conducting legal research, interviewing clients, and preparing cases for trial. In addition, students will receive instruction in subjects such as legal ethics, legal terminology, and the function of the law. The curriculum includes an internship in which students will spend at least 90 hours in a professional setting. After finishing the program, graduates will be prepared for legal positions in law firms, government offices, or private companies.

University of Providence

The University of Providence (UP) offers an online ABA-approved Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal and Paralegal Studies that balances legal theory and professional skills. To help enlisted personnel pursue the 117-credit program, UP has developed partnerships with the US Army and the US Air Force. Graduates of the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) with paralegal associate degrees can complete a BS in Legal and Paralegal Studies by taking 60 or fewer credits at UP. For members of the US Army, UP offers the only online ABA-approved paralegal degree completion program specifically for Paralegal Specialists (27D). Students in UP’s paralegal studies program will learn industry-specific skills such as legal research and writing; communication and time management skills; and critical thinking skills that will prepare them to work not only as paralegals, but as HR managers, trust officers, and compliance officers. They can also select elective courses to focus their studies on various legal areas. The program offers a legal internship, during which students can apply classroom knowledge and engage in paralegal work in a private law firm, public defender’s office, or county attorney’s office. In addition to the BS program, UP offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies that includes much of the same legal coursework and career preparation.

References:
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/