Paralegal Schools in New Jersey
This overview of paralegal schools in New Jersey is designed to provide you with information on the schools and programs available in the state so that you can compare your options and make the right choice for your educational needs. The paralegal schools in New Jersey offer a variety of competitive programs that may be a good match for your skills and interests. You might also wish to consider an online paralegal program, which some students find to be a flexible alternative to on-campus study. Be sure to visit our paralegal careers in New Jersey page to find out more about career opportunities for paralegals and legal assistants.
- There are 18 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in New Jersey.1
- 12 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 12 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 3 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 1 school offers a master’s 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
- 8 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in New Jersey.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 New Jersey
- Select Schools in New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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|
|Bergen Community College (Paramus)||Yes||Certificate-Legal Nurse Consultant;|
|Brookdale Community College (Lincroft)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Camden County College (Blackwood)||—||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||20%||—||$5,500||$6,191|
|Centenary University (Hackettstown)||—||Minor-Paralegal and Legal Assistant Studies||75%||54%||—||$19,500||$22,221|
|Essex County College (Newark)||Yes||Certificate-Nurse Paralegal;|
|Mercer County Community College (West Windsor)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Montclair State University (Montclair)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
BA-Justice Studies: Paralegal Studies;
MA-Law and Governance: Legal Management
|Middlesex County College (Edison)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Ocean County College (Toms River)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
AAS-Business: Paralegal Studies
|Ramapo College of New Jersey (Mahwah)||—||BA-Law and Society||76%||72%||—||$18,750||$16,823|
|Raritan Valley Community College (Branchburg)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Rowan College of Burlington County (Mount Laurel)||Yes||AAS-Paralegal||100%||28%||—||$4,750||$7,080|
|Rowan College of South Jersey (Sewell)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Rutgers University-Newark (Newark)||—||Certificate-Paralegal||72%||69%||Yes||$19,500||$11,981|
|Seton Hall University (South Orange)||—||Minor-Legal Studies in Business||74%||73%||—||$19,500||$30,909|
|Sussex County Community College (Newton)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Union County College (Cranford)||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|William Paterson University of New Jersey (Wayne)||—||BA-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
- Seton Hall University (#70 tie)
- Rutgers University (#91 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- Rutgers University (#9 tie)
- Seton Hall University (#61 tie)
Select Schools in New Jersey with Paralegal Degrees
Bergen Community College offers an ABA-approved Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that combines general education classes with legal coursework to help students develop the communication skills, experience, and legal knowledge needed to enter a career in the legal field. Students in the 60-credit program will receive instruction in legal ethics; legal research and writing; the principles of law; and legal accounting in preparation for careers as paralegals, legal assistants, and court reporters. While at least nine credits must be taken in a synchronous format to meet the ABA’s requirements, the AAS in Paralegal Studies offers several courses through either an online or hybrid study. The four-semester curriculum includes specialty courses such as Mechanics of Property Transactions; Mechanics of Family Law; and Personal Injury and Product Liability. Bergen also offers a Co-Op Work Experience course, during which students spend 180 hours working in a law office or law-related position. In addition to the AAS in Paralegal Studies, Bergen offers a 30-credit, ABA-approved Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate for registered nurses (RNs) seeking to transition into a legal position.
The ABA-approved Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Studies at Essex County College (ECC) will help students prepare for entry-level positions with a variety of employers within the legal field. The two-year program offers training in legal principles and practical skills such as client interviewing, investigation, and document preparation. Students must complete 66 credit hours, including 36 credit hours of general education courses and 30 credit hours of paralegal courses covering topics such as litigation, government regulation, torts, legal research, and contracts. Students have the option of enrolling in the Law Office Management and Field Experience course, during which they are placed in a law-related position to gain practical work experience. Those wishing to transfer into ECC’s Paralegal Studies program from another ABA-approved program may transfer up to 15 credits towards the degree requirements. For graduates seeking to move on to a bachelor’s degree program, ECC has articulation agreements with select local four-year schools. Paralegal students may also be interested in ECC’s Certificate in Paralegal or Certificate in Nurse Paralegal.
Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in Trenton offers an ABA-approved Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal that helps prepare students to fulfill the role of paralegals within the legal system, operate ethically and professionally, and utilize effective legal research and writing skills. Students will take 18 credits of paralegal courses in a wide range of substantive legal areas such as wills and probate, family law, litigation, and business law. The two-year curriculum also includes practical courses for paralegal students, including Career Development for Law and Justice Professionals and Law Office Management and Technology. Of the 18 credits needed for the major, 12 must be taken on-campus. All legal specialty courses are taught by practicing legal professionals or doctorate-level professors. Classes are available during both the daytime and evening as well as online, and the degree may be pursued either full time or part time. MCCC also offers an ABA-approved Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal for students who have already earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Rowan College of South Jersey’s (RCSJ) ABA-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal at the Gloucester campus will help students gain the legal training necessary to analyze the facts of legal disputes, draft legal documents, prepare witnesses, and assist practicing attorneys. Graduates of the two-year program should be able to perform legal research; employ time-management skills to meet deadlines; and work effectively with diverse groups of people. The 63-credit curriculum combines general education courses with specialized legal coursework. Paralegal courses include Paralegal Skills and Office Practices; Criminal Law and Procedure; and a Legal Practicum that will allow students to apply their instruction to an internship in a law office. Transferring students may carry over up to 15 credits from another paralegal program with department approval. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s or associate degree may be interested in RCSJ’s ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate program. The Paralegal programs are only available at RCSJ’s Gloucester campus.
Take whatever opportunity best presents itself at the time. You never know where it may lead. Also, make every effort to learn new skills, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Helping out with the firm’s bookkeeping, or organizing the file room, may seem below you as a skilled professional, but it could make all the difference if a management position becomes available.” –‘Grumpy Humbug,’ Paralegal in the Mid-Atlantic Region and author of the A Paralegal’s Life blog.
Hybrid and Online Programs
Students can earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies from Ocean County College (OCC) entirely online. The 33-credit program includes foundational courses such as Introduction to Litigation and Legal Research and Writing. In addition to the core courses, students can choose from electives such as Criminal Law and Procedures; Mediation and Conflict Resolution; and New Jersey Family Law. These courses will help prepare graduates for roles in law offices by teaching practical skills in legal research and technology and helping students understand different areas of the legal field. Graduates from the certificate program may find careers in entry-level paralegal or legal assistant roles or continue their education in legal studies. All certificate program credits can be applied to OCC’s Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Business-Paralegal Studies, which is also available completely online.
Rutgers University’s Center for Continuing Professional Development is home to the Certified Paralegal Certificate program. This program is available entirely online and is self-directed. Students have 12 months to complete the program but may do so at their own pace. Those who cannot complete the program in 12 months may request an extension. Courses include Attorney and Paralegal Ethics; Legal Writing; Criminal Law; and Estates and Family Law. Students will study the foundations of the law as well as practical skills related to research, interviews, and legal analysis. Select coursework also focuses on practical skills like resume-building and portfolio development that can help graduates find positions in the field. The tuition includes access to preparatory exam courses organized by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). To qualify for the NALA exam, students must complete a bachelor’s degree or seven years of experience as a paralegal or legal assistant. The Paralegal program has no prerequisites, but a high school diploma or equivalent is generally required to work as a paralegal.
Atlantic Cape Community College
5100 E Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Student Review: “I got my paralegal certification from Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey. I found the curriculum to be tougher than I had first thought it would be. The campus is a bit small but very cozy. I put a lot of effort into my studies and got through it with the necessary knowledge to do the best at my job, so I am very grateful to Atlantic Cape Community College and all the staff – they were always very nice and helpful. The professors always went out of their way to help us understand everything well. I think one of the things that I would definitely change is bringing in more speakers to encourage the students. We did not have much of that when I went through the program, but the few times someone did come in, it was very refreshing and helpful.” -Student at Atlantic Cape Community College
Rutgers School of Law
217 N 5th St
Camden, NJ 08102
Student Review: “Rutgers Law School has a wonderful staff filled with professors who truly care about there students. The program itself also highlights practical experience such as internship and externship programs as well as clinical. Additionally, Rutgers Law School offers a wide array of pro-bono opportunities so students can get hands-on experience in the legal field. The academic achievement of Rutgers students is also truly amazing. Many students receive scholarships, grants, and fellowships due to their academic success. In addition to the academic success of students at Rutgers Law school, over 90% of students graduate with a career lined up. The Law School is really an amazing place to receive a legal education.” -Student at Rutgers Law School
101 Vera King Farris Dr
Galloway, NJ 08205
Student Review: “I enjoyed the paralegal program. It required me to buy specific books that I suppose may be helpful in the future. For example, I own the Blue Book Uniform Citation manual and Paralegal for Dummies. They weren’t too expensive which I appreciated. It was an intense program and we had to have homework due every week, often multiple assignments. Assignments could be answering questions about our knowledge of the legal system, legal definitions, legal jargon, or drafting mock documents. We had two major projects that included legal cases. We were expected to write the arguments for the client and any arguments the lawyer may have to potentially deal with. The program overall had good professors and feedback was thorough and received quickly.” -Student at Stockton University
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/