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Paralegal Schools in New Mexico

This guide to paralegal schools in New Mexico will provide you with the information you need to make a decision on where to pursue a paralegal degree or certificate. The colleges and universities in New Mexico offer a variety of programs to fit your personal interests and career goals and may also offer opportunities to earn a degree or certificate in specialty practice areas. As an alternative to traditional classroom study, you can also consider an online paralegal program. Be sure to check out our paralegal careers in New Mexico guide for further information on your career possibilities.

Quick Facts

  • There are 7 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in New Mexico.1
  • 5 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 6 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No schools ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
  • No ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in New Mexico.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 Mexico
Select Schools in New Mexico with Paralegal Degrees

Comparison of Paralegal Programs

The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in New Mexico 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
Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque)Certificate-Paralegal Studies;
AAS-Paralegal Studies
100%31%$4,044$4,193
Clovis Community College (Clovis)Certificate-Paralegal;
AAS-Paralegal
100%43%Yes$4,000$5,735
Navajo Technical University (Crownpoint)Certificate-Legal Assistant;
AAS-Law Advocate
100%9%N.Av.$8,083
New Mexico State University (Alamogordo)Certificate-Legal Assistant;
AAS-Paralegal Studies
100%16%$10,500$7,841
New Mexico State University- Dona Ana (Las Cruces)AAS-Legal Assistant100%14%$10,500$5,869
Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe)AAS-Paralegal Studies100%25%$9,500$7,756
University of New Mexico (Albuquerque)Certificate-Paralegal94%21%Yes$12,500$6,958

  • — 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 New Mexico (#102 tie)

US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022

  • University of New Mexico (#100 tie)

Select Schools in New Mexico with Paralegal Degrees

Traditional Programs

Central New Mexico Community College

The Paralegal Studies programs at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) include an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and a Post Degree Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies. The AAS is a minimum of 63 credit hours and combines general education courses in business and composition with law-specific courses such as Torts and Civil Litigation. The program also develops crucial professional skills through courses such as Legal Research, Paralegal Computer Applications, and MS Word. The Certificate program is for students who already have an accredited bachelor’s or associate’s degree; it requires a minimum of 36 credit hours and includes courses such as Introduction to Paralegal Studies; Legal Research and Writing; and Paralegal Computer Applications. Both the AAS degree and Certificate include a mandatory internship that allows students to contribute to a professional law office in the local area. Both curriculums are designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the legal field.

New Mexico State University

At New Mexico State University (NMSU), students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies. The AAS degree requires the completion of 61 credit hours; the curriculum starts with general education courses before moving on to legal specialty classes. Required core courses include Litigation for the Paralegal; Tort and Insurance for the Paralegal; and Wills, Trusts, and Probate for the Paralegal. Students learn foundational knowledge about the American legal system as well as basic legal office and legal technology skills. Classwork emphasizes hands-on lessons in data analysis, investigation and interview methods, legal document drafting, and other common tasks paralegals do to support attorneys. After graduating from the AAS in Paralegal Studies program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Paralegal Exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). NMSU also offers a 29-credit Legal Assistant Certificate program. After completing the certificate program, students can choose to graduate and search for entry-level positions in the field or to transfer their academic credit toward the AAS program.

Santa Fe Community College

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) offers an Associates in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Paralegal Studies. This 61-credit degree prepares students to perform a wide range of paralegal duties. Performing legal research and documentation, processing cases, interviewing subjects, and conducting case investigations are included in the skills taught in the SFCC paralegal program, and students are offered the opportunity to apply their education in the Paralegal Studies Internship course during the second semester of studies. Required courses include Torts, Practices, and Procedures; Contract Law; Civil Litigation; Criminal Law; and The Law and the Professional Investigator. Additionally, students are trained in legal office operations, making them well suited for management in legal firms. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in the paralegal field, such as paralegal, legal assistant, judiciary support, legal secretary, and government agency staff.

Hybrid and Online Programs

Clovis Community College

Students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal (Legal Assistant Studies) through Clovis Community College (CCC). The legal assistant program is offered completely online and the 62 required credits usually take students four semesters to complete. The program offers a broad-based education that allows students to take a variety of courses within the legal field before they choose their discipline. With required courses such as Legal Writing; Criminal Law; Litigation; and Law Office Practice and Procedures, students learn the skills necessary in the paralegal field. After completing the foundational curriculum, students can choose elective courses in legal subspecialty areas like contract, real estate, or bankruptcy law. CCC also offers a 33-credit Certificate of Completion in Paralegal (Legal Assistant Studies). Graduates of the paralegal programs are prepared to find and work in entry-level positions in businesses, private law firms, government agencies, and legal aid organizations.

University of New Mexico

The Continuing Education department at the University of New Mexico (UNM) offers a flexible, hybrid Paralegal Certificate program for students who have at least a high school diploma or GED. The program was designed for students interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal, for those who are considering law school, and for working professionals looking to update their skills. The Certificate can be earned in eight weeks and is comprised of 96 credit hours. Through its hybrid format, half of the credit hours are spent in on-campus meetings and half are completed fully online. The curriculum provides a broad introduction to the paralegal field while offering exposure to helpful tools like LexisNexis, a legal research database. Students will also gain hands-on practice through service projects and have the opportunity to network with professionals in the local legal community. Graduates of this program should be competent and well-versed in basic legal terminology, legal procedures, litigations, civil procedure, and professional conduct.

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/