Paralegal Schools in New York
New York’s colleges and universities offer a broad array of paralegal programs from general practice to specialty practice areas like e-discovery and international law. The following overview of paralegal schools in New York is designed to equip you with key information so that you can make the decision that is right for your career. You might also consider online paralegal programs as alternatives to traditional on-campus programs.
Paralegal Program Stats
- There are 39 colleges and universities that offer a paralegal/legal assistant degree program in New York.
- 14 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 33 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 5 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- There are 21 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs in New York.
- Highest graduation rate: Marist College 80%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: CUNY New York City College of Technology 39%.1
- Highest net price per year: Marist College $33,426.1
- Lowest net price per year: Erie Community College $2,980.1
- Highest student population: Suffolk County Community College 26,787.1
- Lowest student population: Cheryl Fells School of Business 52.1
- Annual tuition range for paralegal programs at community colleges and career schools in New York: $4,320-$21,750.2
- 9 schools in US News Best Law Schools Rankings of 2013 (top 100): Columbia University #4, New York University #6, Cornell University #13, Fordham University #38, Yeshiva University #58, Brooklyn Law School #80, SUNY Buffalo Law School #86, Syracuse University #96, St. John’s University #98
Read on to continue learning about paralegal schools in New York, career prospects for paralegal graduates, and more.
Paralegal Degree Programs in New York
New York City College of Technology/CUNY
New York City College of Technology/CUNY is a public institution that offers both a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Paralegal Studies. Both programs are built upon a solid liberal arts foundation ad offer a wide range of specialty courses for those interested focusing their degree in a specific area of law. The program aims to provide students a thorough understanding of the legal system, the fundamentals of legal analysis and a high degree of proficiency in legal technology. In addition to imparting legal knowledge, the program fosters vital tools for entry into the legal community such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills, formal writing and oral communication skills and individual research skills. Both the BS and the AAS programs incorporate a mandatory internship into the classroom curriculum, giving students an opportunity to apply coursework to real-world situations. This internship also helps students form valuable connections in the legal community. City Tech is home to an excellent in-house law library and is within walking distance of state and federal courts and major law firms, providing students major resources in the study of law. Both the BS and the AAS programs are approved by the American Bar Association.
Social networking on LinkedIn provides an opportunity for legal recruiters, and HR managers in law firms and corporate law departments to search for worthy candidates by reviewing your online resume.” –Laura Kryta, President of the Western New York Paralegal Association and Paralegal at Phillips Lytle LLP.
Berkeley College of New York City
The post-baccalaureate Paralegal Studies Certificate program at Berkley College is a 308-contact hour program that may be completed in as little as six months and equips students with the technical ability, legal knowledge and professional skills necessary to enter a variety of legal departments upon graduation. In a short period of time, this program builds on each student’s prior education and fosters important critical reading and writing skills, enabling students to conduct and present legal research with minimal supervision. Professional skills such as computer proficiency, written and oral communication, and client interaction are addressed throughout the curriculum to help prepare students for all aspects of the paralegal profession. Courses are held at Berkeley’s NYC Midtown Manhattan location. Tuition, fees, books, and miscellaneous supplies are estimated to cost a total of $8,671 and may be paid with the assistance of federal, private and institutional loans.
Bronx Community College
Bronx Community College offers an AAS in Paralegal Studies that has been approved by the American Bar Association. This program focuses on business and law courses that offer a comprehensive background in legal fundamentals, key paralegal skills, and practical experience. The mandatory 210-hour internship component allows students to gain valuable experience within a legal setting, network among potential employers, and hone the skills developed throughout the program coursework. This program also allows students to apply earned credit toward any law-related bachelor’s degree, should the student wish to continue his or her education after completion of the AAS. Finally, the AAS in Paralegal Studies program at Bronx Community College strives to impart sound business ethics and a sense of professional responsibility in the graduates to best prepare them to enter the competitive job market.
State University of New York College of Technology at Canton
The State University of New York College of Technology at Canton, or SUNY Canton, offers a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Legal Studies program that prepares students for successful paralegal careers. The program can be completed on campus or entirely online, as the Legal Studies program is one of the school’s signature online programs. The interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes legal research and legal writing and encourages students to take complimenting courses in such areas as Accounting, Business, and Criminal Justice. The curriculum also includes an internship option that allows students to earn credits while gaining real-world experience. The instructors at SUNY Canton bring broad practice experience to the classroom, providing an additional experiential basis for learning. The majority of students – 85% – at SUNY Canton receive some form of financial aid, including endowed scholarships based on academic merit or financial need.
American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs in New York (Not-for-Profit)
- Bronx Community College (Bronx)
- Finger Lakes Community College (Canandaigua)
- Genesee Community College (Batavia)
- Hilbert College (Hamburg)
- Hofstra University (Hempstead)
- LaGuardia Community College/CUNY (Long Island City)
- LIU Brooklyn (Brooklyn)
- LIU Post (Brookville)
- Marist College (Poughkeepsie)
- Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry)
- Monroe Community College (Rochester)
- Nassau Community College (Garden City)
- New York City College of Technology/CUNY (Brooklyn)
- New York University (New York)
- Queens College/CUNY (Flushing)
- Schenectady County Community College (Schenectady)
- St. John’s University (Jamaica)
- Suffolk County Community College (Selden)
- SUNY Rockland Community College (Suffern)
- Syracuse University (Syracuse)
- Westchester Community College (Valhalla)
1000 Fulton Ave
Hempstead, NY 11549
Student Review: “My paralegal experience at Hofstra University so far has been great and it has really re-inspired me in what I want to be doing with my professional life. I decided to take this course because I was on the fence about law school and I have had a little over a year off since I graduated with my BA in Political Science, so this program is great for anyone who is in an in-between phase like me, anyone who wants to be a paralegal, or anyone who is thinking about going to law school but not exactly sure about it just yet. I’m very happy that I decided to take this program and there are also extra workshops that are included in the program fees that teach you good resume-building skills, interview skills, and there is even a workshop to learn everything you need to know before taking the test to become a Notary Public. This program really promises to open a lot of doors professionally, and I am very excited for my next step.” -student at Hofstra University
695 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065
Student Review: “The paralegal program at Hunter College was exceptional. My professors encouraged me to apply for various graduate schools to further my career path. My classes consisted of lectures and internships. The college helped me look for a internship that I can use as class credit toward my degree. I was grateful for their help. I found myself being supported by my colleagues and my professors throughout the program. I thank the program at Hunter for their professionalism in preparing each student for their career in law by sharing their personal experiences while working as attorneys and other various related fields. The program itself helped me prepare myself for what it would be like outside in the real world. Their focus was not based on theories alone and their method of teaching has enabled me in becoming a member of the law field.” -Student at Hunter College
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
Student Review: “At John Jay Overall I think the paralegal program is challenging and teaches important information and is full of people who are experts in their field. I’ve had opportunities to work on research projects in my first year. However sometimes we have graduate classes in the old building which is hot in the summer and cold in winter and smells funny all the time. You’d think for the money we pay we’d get to be in the newer building with the better tech and nicer rooms. There is affiliated housing offered but its very expensive as is the surrounding area because it’s New York . Nevertheless College is a wonderful and delightful learning experience. The most of gotten from College was to overcome my fear of Public Speaking which is much needed in almost all fields of Business. I also appreciated the knowledge of my Professors and there willingness to share and engage with us all no matter what level of experience we were on.” -Student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York University – School of Professional Studies
7 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Student Review: “I really enjoyed studying at New York University, the quality of my professors and curriculum were outstanding. Also, taking classes in the middle of Greenwich Village in Manhattan is amazing. Most importantly the alumni base and being based in New York City allowed me to land a paralegal internship at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm, one of the best in the country. I ended up getting full time offer from them after two months of interning. I cannot imagine I would have had this opportunity at another school. The only thing I didn’t like about the program was the old building that the classes took place in, they need to do some serious updating of the dated facilities considering how much tuition costs. All around enrolling in the NYU paralegal studies program was the best career decision I have ever made.” -Student at New York University – School of Professional Studies
Stony Brook University
100 Nicolls Rd
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Student Review: “Even though my paralegal studies class was online I never felt like I was alone. My professors were always available to answer any questions I had, and doing this study online allowed me to do things at my own pace. I was still able to be at home for my son who was only a year old at the time and do my studying at night. I was able to finish the program two weeks early and I never felt like I had to give up any part of my normal life while at the same time achieving something to make my life better. As a single mom I was concerned that I would not be able to keep up with the work load and my home life, but my professors were so eager to help and explain anything I didn’t understand that I never had to question if what I had thought I read was what was being said. I had received a BA in History from Stony Brook University as an undergrad and I was thrilled when I realized that SBU was also an option for this paralegal study as well. I knew that in their hands, I couldn’t fail. I was right. I am a proud Seawolf and I love SBU.” -Student at Stony Brook University
Washington Online Learning Institute
14 S Main St #4
New City, NY 10956
Student Review: “Washington Online Learning Institute gave me all the tools I needed to get an education while still working full time and taking care of my family. The teachers were very supportive and gave great feedback on assignments. You can tell they are very knowledgeable and truly care about teaching. I think it is a great school for someone who has a full time job and other responsibilities; the assignments are very manageable and they give you plenty of time to finish them. I will definitely be attending more educational classes there to help further my education and will recommend them to anyone looking for a school.” -Student at Washington Online Learning Academy
Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Rd
Valhalla, NY 10595
Student Review: “I was generally unimpressed with the Paralegal Certificate Program at Westchester Community College. There were a few standout professors, namely in the contract law and bankruptcy law classes, that made attending worth it. I felt the program does not prepare you for real work as a paralegal. Far too much time is spent teaching a high-level overview of legal concepts, something generally unneeded in a paralegal’s day to day job, leaving us without simple important skills like teaching us how to track down the court rules or e-file a document. On the plus side, most classes are offered at night so it is very easy to schedule while working.” -Student at Westchester Community College
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?state=NY&sort=best