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. 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.

Quick Facts

  • There are 21 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
  • 15 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
  • 3 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
  • No schools 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
  • 12 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in New Jersey.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • College of New Jersey (#37 in-state, #21 out-of-state)
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey (#72 in-state, #51 out-of-state)
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick (#34 in-state, #31 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • Seton Hall University (#59 tie)
  • Rutgers University (#74 tie)

Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA

  • Atlantic Cape Community College
  • Bergen Community College
  • Brookdale Community College
  • Essex County College
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Mercer County Community College
  • Middlesex County College
  • Montclair State University
  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • Rowan College at Burlington County
  • Rowan College at Gloucester County
  • Union County College
    • Paralegal Degree Programs in New Jersey

      Atlantic Cape Community College

      Atlantic Cape Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and incorporates general education courses, paralegal introductory courses, and focused legal courses in areas such as legal research and writing, litigation preparation, client contact, document preparation, and other technical skills. Upon completion of the required paralegal courses, students gain exposure to the field through a mandatory three-credit cooperative education course. This program is designed for paralegals and prospective paralegals who wish to increase their legal proficiency and enter the legal field immediately upon graduation.

      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.

      Mercer County Community College

      Mercer County Community College in Trenton, NJ offers a career-focused, ABA-approved Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that prepares students for employment in private law offices, government agencies, private corporations, banks, and insurance companies. The main objectives of the program are to prepare graduates to fulfill the role of paralegals within the legal system, impart a thorough understanding of the legal system, and foster critical thinking, document analysis, and formal writing skills. Graduates will be able to demonstrate proficiency in a wide range of substantive legal areas such as wills and probate, family law, civil litigation, commercial law, and real estate. All legal specialty courses are taught by practicing attorneys, offering students valuable insight into the legal environment. Both daytime and evening courses are offered and the degree may be pursued either full-time or part-time. This associate degree program is ideal for students aiming to enter the legal workforce as soon as possible.

      Fairleigh Dickinson University

      Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) offers a 300-hour, non-credit Paralegal Studies Certificate program. The program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is designed to facilitate the transition from the classroom to employment as a paralegal in law offices, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations. Courses are taught by practicing attorneys, many of whom are affiliated with the leading law firms in the region. Additionally, the FDU program offers students opportunities for on-the-job experience through the Optional External Experience Opportunities program, which facilitates practical internships with law firms and legal departments throughout New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area. The certificate program is conveniently offered through both daytime and evening courses at two locations, Teaneck and Madison. Daytime students can complete the program in as little as six months, whereas the evening program is designed for students working full-time and can be completed in 12 months.

      Online Paralegal Programs

      Ocean County College

      Students can earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies entirely online from Ocean County College. The 33-credit program starts with foundational courses such as Introduction to Litigation and Legal Research and Writing. After completing the core courses, students can choose from electives such as Criminal Law and Procedures, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and Health Care and Elder Law. These courses prepare graduates for roles in law offices by teaching practical skills in legal research and technology. 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 Ocean County College’s Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Business-Paralegal Studies. The AAS program is also available completely online.

      Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

      Rutgers University’s Center for Continuing Professional Development is home to a competitive Paralegal Certificate program. This program is available entirely online and students can complete the 300 required hours at their own pace. Sample courses include Attorney and Paralegal Ethics, Legal Writing, Criminal Law, and Estates and Family Law. Students learn 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 networking 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). Many graduates earn national certification before obtaining an entry-level paralegal or legal secretary position. Applicants for the certificate program must have at least a high school diploma.

      Student Reviews

      Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

      Atlantic Cape Community College
      5100 E Black Horse Pike
      Mays Landing, NJ 08330
      (609) 625-1111

      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
      (856) 225-6375

      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

      Stockton University
      101 Vera King Farris Dr
      Galloway, NJ 08205
      (609) 652-1776

      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. Kiplinger’s Best College Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
      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/