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Paralegal Schools in Ohio

This guide to paralegal schools in Ohio will equip you with key information so that you can make an informed decision on where to pursue a paralegal degree or certificate. The wide range of paralegal programs in Ohio provide options to fit with your interests and desired career track, from general paralegal programs to specialty programs emphasizing practice areas like corporate law or e-discovery. Online paralegal programs can be a flexible and suitable alternative for some students.

Quick Facts

  • There are 35 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Ohio.1
  • 16 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 23 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 12 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 2 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
  • 7 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
  • 14 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Ohio.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

  • Miami University (#50 in-state, #36 out-of-state)
  • Ohio State University (#25 in-state, #24 out-of-state)

*Institution-wide ranking.

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • Ohio State University (#32 tie)
  • Case Western Reserve University (#65 tie)
  • University of Cincinnati (#65 tie)
  • Cleveland State University (#113 tie)
  • University of Toledo (#137 tie)
  • University of Dayton (#141 tie)
  • University of Akron (#144 tie)

Schools with Paralegal Programs Approved by the ABA

  • Capital University Law School
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Edison State Community College
  • Kent State University
  • Lakeland Community College
  • Mount St. Joseph University
  • Rhodes State College
  • Sinclair Community College
  • South University-Cleveland
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Cincinnati-Clermont
  • University of Toledo
  • Ursuline College
    • Paralegal Degree Programs in Ohio

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      Kent State University

      Kent State University offers an American Bar Association (ABA)-approved Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Paralegal Studies that combines a liberal arts foundation with specialized courses in law and legal studies. These specialty courses supplement the general education requirements and aim to equip students with a comprehensive, procedural knowledge of the legal system as well as foster vital critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. The large size of the university grants students scheduling flexibility as courses are offered during the day, evening, weekends, and online and may be completed with either full-time or part-time studies. Additionally, the university attracts a distinguished faculty, many of whom are practicing attorneys and specialists within their fields. The program culminates in a mandatory internship during which students develop their ability to practically apply classroom knowledge to legal tasks and begin critical networking within the field. Kent State University also offers a Minor in Paralegal Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies.

      Network, network, network! Sometimes it’s not “what” you know but “who” you know so it’s beyond important to get involved in your local, state and national paralegal organizations.” –Rebecca Lewis, MBA, MPA, Vice President of the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio and Paralegal Supervisor at the Office of the Chief Legal and Governance Office, Nationwide.

      College of Mount St. Joseph

      In Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joseph offers an established and ABA-approved Associate of Arts (AA) degree in Paralegal Studies designed to enable students to succeed in entry-level paralegal positions in law firms and other professional legal environments. Emphasis is placed on both theoretical and practical legal information such as print and electronic legal research, professional writing and presentation skills, legal procedure, and ethical business practices. An experienced faculty of practicing lawyers and paralegals provide the anchor of a comprehensive curriculum including legal research, corporate law, estates and probate, real estate law, and legal principles. The associate degree requires a total of 30 courses and 12 residency hours. Additionally, the College of Mount St. Joseph offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies for those interested in a more in-depth academic program. Both degrees are approved by the ABA and are excellent preparation for paralegal careers.

      The University of Toledo

      The University of Toledo offers several paralegal degree programs including a four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and a post-baccalaureate certificate. The paralegal studies programs at the University of Toledo have been recognized as among the top paralegal programs in the nation by Legal Assistant Today magazine and designated a “Program of Excellence” by the Ohio Board of Regents. The McQuade Courtroom houses law courses across a variety of specialties, including Contracts, Mock Trial, and Tort Law, all of which are taught by lawyers and judges who are experts in their respective fields. The breadth of available courses offers students opportunities to specialize in many areas and the flexible course timetable aims to accommodate a variety of schedules. Additionally, an emphasis on legal technology prepares graduates for immediate entry into the legal workforce. Students also complete a 180-hour internship to learn real-world skills and advance their careers. The program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

      Online Paralegal Programs

      Lakeland Community College

      Lakeland Community College offers paralegal studies programs that lead to an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Paralegal Studies degree or a Paralegal Studies Certificate. Both programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and graduates are eligible for the Ohio State Bar Association Paralegal Certification. Courses are offered on campus in a flexible format and some are offered online. Students learn legal concepts in foundational courses before choosing from electives such as Real Estate Law and Practice, Litigation Management, and Family Law. Coursework covers legal research and writing, ethics of law, and technology commonly used in the field. Students in both programs also complete a 100-hour paralegal internship. After completing the associate degree or certificate program, graduates can choose to pursue further education or find entry-level positions in law offices, government agencies, or legal departments.

      University of Northwestern Ohio

      Students can complete an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Legal Assisting degree through the University of Northwestern Ohio. This 108-quarter credit program can be completed entirely online. The curriculum begins with general education classes in the liberal arts. Students then complete 73 quarter credit hours in legal subjects, including courses like Litigation, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, and Legal Research and Writing. Classes emphasize core legal concepts but also skills in critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills. The coursework also has a strong focus on legal research and writing methods and other real-world legal tools. Courses are led by faculty who are also licensed attorneys with real-world experience, helping students integrate classroom knowledge with on-the-ground practice. Graduates from the Legal Assisting program may go on to work as paralegals or legal assistants or use their associate degree as the foundation for continued education.

      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.

      Cuyahoga Community College
      2900 Community College Ave
      Cleveland, OH 44115
      (800) 954-8742
      http://www.tri-c.edu/

      Student Review: “Taking Cuyahoga County Community College’s post-degree Paralegal Certification program was the best thing I’ve ever done. I’d worked in a law firm for eight years before I enrolled, and I learned more during at Cuyahoga Community College than I did on the job. We learned how to do everything from simple secretarial work to detailed legal research. I learned about civil procedure, government, administrative agencies, and business. During the program, we created a portfolio filled with sample work, which I will use as I grow in my career. After receiving my certificate, I went on to better, more rewarding work in the law firm and I plan to one day work in government.” -Student at Cuyahoga Community College
      stars-4

      Student Review: “My paralegal program was overseen by the American Bar Association and as a result, I got a varied and practical, hands-on education. I was already working in the field and wanted to advance my career. I found that the things I learned in my program were IMMEDIATELY relevant to my job. I developed a greater understanding of the legal field as a whole. I learned things such as hands-on research, motion and brief writing, and why we file in the courts that we do. I learned to identify the elements of torts, and how to fill out and review a bankruptcy petition. The only thing I did not like about my program was the bureaucratic workings of the school itself. I was told at the onset that I could take most of my classes online or at a local campus, which turned out to be false. Most of the classes I needed were only at one campus, 40 minutes from home and a rush to get to after work. Additionally, some of the core classes were only offered at one or two times each semester, which meant that trying to figure out WHEN I would be able to take the class I needed to graduate while holding down a full-time career was difficult. Because of this, it took me an extra year to finish my program as I could only take a class or two each semester.” -Student at Cuyahoga Community College
      stars-5

      Student Review: “Cuyahoga Community College’s Paralegal program really prepared me for my job as a paralegal in a consumer rights law firm. Their program was overseen by the American Bar Association and because of this, I was exposed to a wide variety of practices, which I am able to apply every day. I learned practical skills such as legal research and civil procedure, and softer skill such as dealing with attorney personality types. The most useful part of the program was learning how to organize my thinking. Prior to taking the program the concept of applying the law to something seemed confusing. The program taught me how to look at things objectively and order my thinking to apply the rules of civil procedure and also systematic research, to better my ability to sum up a new matter before bringing it to my attorney and also to write letters and briefs. I think this program was valuable as a real-world tool, and not just as an area of academic study. It was also highly affordable, and worth every penny when compared to the salary I’m currently making in my career.” -Student at Cuyahoga Community College
      stars-5

      Kent State University
      800 E Summit St
      Kent, OH 44240
      (330) 672-3000
      http://www.utoledo.edu/

      Student Review: “The Kent State Paralegal Studies program was wonderful. The professors were all experienced attorneys, and they provided us with a practical education that covered all of the basics that I needed to start work. They gave great advice for me as a student and as a future paralegal, and I am still in touch with several of them as I continue my career. The thoroughness of the program gave me a wide range of legal knowledge, and this has been commented on in every interview I’ve had, and I know that it was a major factor in me receiving the job offer that I decided to accept. The online classes are the weakest aspect of the program. They are good for learning the material, but do not allow a student to build any kind of relationship with their professors.” -Student at Kent State University
      stars-5

      Lakeland Community College
      7700 Clocktower Dr
      Kirtland, OH 44094
      (440) 525-7000
      http://www.lakelandcc.edu/

      Student Review: “The paralegal studies program at Lakeland Community College provided real-world experience to students. All the core courses were taught by practicing attorneys and judges who imparted upon us practical knowledge as well as comprehensive coverage of the underlying legal theory and history behind each field of law. The coursework and projects in each class involved preparing real pleadings, legal forms, and other documentation on the current forms in use in Lake County and local municipalities. I was a legal secretary at the time I was attending Lakeland for paralegal studies, and the coursework was directly relevant to my work at the law firm. While I did have difficulty in finding an internship, I can’t attribute that to Lakeland directly; local law firms in my area weren’t eager to take on interns (which is understandable); as such, the only lacking part of Lakeland’s program is internship placement and post-graduation job placement. The quality of instruction is top notch and the instructors care about the success of their students. The flexibility of class scheduling is beneficial to non-traditional students (evenings, weekends, accelerated coursework, online courses). I can’t recommend Lakeland’s paralegal program enough, it really trains students to jump right into the workforce.” -Student at Lakeland Community College
      stars-5

      University of Cincinnati
      2600 Clifton Ave
      Cincinnati, OH 45220
      (513) 556-6000
      https://www.uc.edu/

      Student Review: “The University of Cincinnati’s paralegal program is pretty nice so far (I am only a freshman right now). The curriculum isn’t too hard as long as you’re paying attention but I feel it’s still challenging enough to keep me interested and engaged. The professors are really nice and always welcome you to their weekly office hours if you are in need of help. My advisers really helped me to figure out what classes I need to take to stay on track to graduate as well as giving me advice for getting in contact with potential employers in the future. However, I do wish the classes were more personal. I guess I am a freshman so a lot of my lectures are in big classes with lots of people and even though the professors are welcoming during office hours, there’s not a lot of face time in class.” -Student at University of Cincinnati
      stars-4

      Student Review: “University of Cincinnati’s Paralegal Program is ranked within the Top Ten nationally for a reason. The emphasis upon cooperative education and particularly in this case, an internship that happened to be with the largest law firm in the United States was an immense opportunity. I can only say glowing things about the program and my experience. Professors are accessible and supportive. Furthermore, all learning is sequential, reasoned, and principled. Put another way, what I learned never felt haphazard or random or without purpose. There is a strong emphasis on academic and legal writing and you need to hit the ground running. That emphasis upon rigorous writing assignments really translated into success for me. I have a job as a paralegal and if the teleological purpose of a paralegal program and its existence is to prepare individuals for careers as paralegals, then the University of Cincinnati succeeds. My only complaints are that parking is horrendous and it’s not in a good part of town. Overall, I am deeply satisfied and I feel that I invested my time and money wisely.” -Student at University of Cincinnati
      stars-5

      University of Toledo
      2801 W Bancroft St
      Toledo, OH 43606
      (800) 586-5336
      http://www.utoledo.edu/

      Student Review: “The University of Toledo paralegal studies program was a good experience for me. One key aspect that I liked most was the instructors. Most of the faculty had spent decades practicing law or were currently doing so. This made the course content very relevant and engaging. They were very accessible although they were practicing professionals and provided personal attention outside of the classroom. I was able to secure an internship at a firm through a contact that my instructor set me up with. In the classroom, we had assignments that prepared me well for my internship and the real world!” -Student at University of Toledo
      stars-4

      References:
      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-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
      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/