Paralegal Schools in North Carolina
The universities and colleges in North Carolina offer a multitude of paralegal and legal assistant programs covering specialties from copyright law to civil litigation to fit with your career interests and goals. This guide to paralegal schools in North Carolina will provide you with important information so that you can make an informed choice. You may also wish to consider online paralegal programs, which some find to be a more flexible alternative to on-campus programs.
Paralegal Program Stats
- There are 26 colleges and universities that offer a paralegal/legal assistant degree program in North Carolina.
- 13 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 25 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 0 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- There are 6 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs in North Carolina.
- Highest graduation rate: King’s College 84%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: Cape Fear Community College 36%.1
- Highest net price per year: South College-Asheville $30,984.1
- Lowest net price per year: Pitt Community College $4,534.1
- Highest student population: Central Piedmont Community College 19,840.1
- Lowest student population: South College-Asheville 217.1
- Annual tuition range for paralegal programs at community colleges and career schools in North Carolina: $6,334-$17,100.2
- 3 schools in US News Best Law Schools Rankings of 2013 (top 100): Duke University #11, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill #31, Wake Forest University #36
Continue reading this guide on North Carolina paralegal schools to find more information about paralegal schools in North Carolina as well as career information for graduates.
Paralegal Certificate Programs in North Carolina
Guilford College’s Paralegal Certificate Program prepares students, who already possess an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, for a career as a paralegal. Courses are held two evenings a week for four-hour sessions and on select Saturdays throughout the 19-week program. Students must complete 190 hours of in-classroom study and an additional 100 hours of independent study, which includes completing assignments. The paralegal curriculum is divided into paralegal skills courses and law coursework. Core courses cover contracts, criminal law, family law, real estate, and torts. Courses are generally taught by experienced, practicing attorneys. Graduates of the program have the necessary qualifications to take the North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification examination.
My best advice for getting hired as a paralegal would be to network – join paralegal associations, attend local seminars – the more people you meet, the better. If a position becomes available and you have a connection with that firm or organization through networking, you can reach out and let them know you will be applying – as with any opportunity where there is competition, you need to do what you can to make yourself stand out in a good way.” –Penny Higdon, North Carolina Certified Paralegal and President, Metrolina Paralegal Association.
Paralegal Degree Programs in North Carolina
Central Piedmont Community College
The Paralegal Program at Central Piedmont Community College offers a thorough introduction to the practical skills necessary to succeed in paralegal and legal assistant professions and is the only American Bar Association approved paralegal degree program in Western North Carolina. Full-time students can complete the Associate of Science (AS) in Paralegal Technology in two years. The curriculum incorporates both college-level general education courses as well as substantive and procedural legal specialty courses. Special emphasis is placed on professional and technical skills such as word processing, accounting, research, and writing. The full cost of the program is estimated to be around $1104 per semester for North Carolina residents, making it a very affordable and comprehensive paralegal degree option.
Meredith College’s small school environment is bolstered by the average class size of 20 students and the personal attention allotted to each student from an array of highly qualified faculty. The paralegal degree program offers three concentrations within the field, civil litigation, business organizations and real estate. These specialty tracks are a unique offering at Meredith and may be beneficial to paralegal students wishing to specialize in a specific area of law. As an established paralegal degree program in the area, Meredith College has developed close ties with the local legal community, fostering promising opportunities for recent graduates. Additionally, the flexible course schedule and convenient location in Raleigh, NC, make the program quite accessible to individuals with various scheduling obligations. The paralegal program at Meredith College has been approved by the American Bar Association and has been certified by the North Carolina State Bar.
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a five-semester degree program in Paralegal Technology that emphasizes both legal knowledge as well as professional and scholarly skills such as public speaking, presentation software and computer skills. Legal areas of particular emphasis within the curriculum include civil litigation, real property, and wills and estates. The mandatory co-op work experience component of the program enables students to engage with a real-world legal setting at the culmination of the course sequence. This program is designed to be entered in the fall semester and may offer scholarships and financial aid packages to qualified students. Fayetteville Technical Community College’s paralegal AAS degree program has been formally approved by the American Bar Association.
American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs in North Carolina (Not-for-Profit)
- Carteret Community College (Morehead City)
- Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte)
- Fayetteville Technical Community College (Fayetteville)
- Meredith College (Raleigh)
- Methodist University (Fayetteville, NC)
- Pitt Community College (Greenville)
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Ave
Charlotte, NC 28235
Student Review: “I really have enjoyed my time in the paralegal program at CPCC. Most of the professors are very interesting and their classes are enjoyable; they all are former lawyers. The classes not only gave us knowledge that we need, but we did a lot of class activities that are practical, like learning how to draft complaints and answers. I also got a co-op internship while I was there with Lawyer on the Line, and it was amazing experience. I really enjoyed being able to be in the diploma program. I already had a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and I was able to complete the diploma program in one year. It was not full of unnecessary classes; everything was relevant.” -Student at Central Piedmont Community College
Student Review: “The Paralegal Technology program at CPCC is wonderful. I took the Post-Bac Diploma track. It took me a little over a year, but I learned more there than I did getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at a 4-year university. All of the professors are both knowledgeable and friendly. They have great internship opportunities, which I took advantage of. It is also a very affordable program, and I even won a scholarship. There is a great selection of classes, and they even let you take a few of them online (mostly the computer classes). Taking the computer classes online in my own time was great since I was working multiple jobs while attending school.” -Student at Central Piedmont Community College
Pitt Community College
1986 Pitt Tech Rd
Winterville, NC 28590
Student Review: “Pitt Community College can be kind of a mixed bag at times, but I had a really good experience with the paralegal program. The faculty is professional and competent and willing to help a hard-working student however they can. The courses are challenging, but they prepare you for a career in the real world, and the college offers flexible hours for working people like myself. Best of all, in my last year there were tons of student employment opportunities. So I earned credits, and got job experience while I attended. If you live in Pitt County, and can’t afford ECU for whatever reason, PCC is the way to go.” – Student at Pitt Community College
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695
Student Review: “The North Carolina State University paralegal program was a solid introduction for anyone who holds a previously-earned bachelor’s degree in English or business and is interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal. The scope of the program was broad; however, on many topics, instructors sacrificed depth for breadth, so students may need to look into certain subjects more thoroughly in order to feel completely prepared for paralegal work. The program’s focus on legal databases was comprehensive, which can be very helpful for paralegals who seek jobs that require a lot of research. The instructors also used a general document template rather than one more suited for the state (North Carolina) in which most graduates of the program would seek employment.” -Student at North Carolina State University
Student Review: “The University of North Carolina State paralegal certificate program was great. This was a fourteen week course that provided me with the foundation I needed in understanding the American legal system. There were two parts to the program. Both parts were 45 contact hours worth of Work. Everyone I encountered in this program was great. The teachers were very approachable and presented the information in an easy to understand way. They also made the courses fun and excited by telling stories of their lives in the legal system. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in becoming a paralegal. I think it is one of the top programs in the state. It prepared me for the career I want.” -Student at North Carolina State University
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/