Paralegal Schools in Tennessee
The colleges and universities in Tennessee offer a broad array of paralegal programs for students interested in earning a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or advanced degree in paralegal studies. This overview of paralegal schools in Tennessee will provide key information so that you can make an informed choice. Online paralegal schools are an alternative to on-campus programs that you may also wish to consider, as some students find online programs to be a more flexible option and a better fit.
Paralegal Program Stats
- There are 21 colleges and universities that offer a paralegal/legal assistant degree program in Tennessee.
- 4 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 20 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 3 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- There are 8 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs in Tennessee.
- Highest graduation rate: Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers 71%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: Nashville State Community College 21% and Roane State Community College 21%.1
- Highest net price per year: Daymar Institute-Murfreesboro $31,215.1
- Lowest net price per year: Southwest Tennessee Community College $5,571.1
- Highest student population: Southwest Tennessee Community College 12,958.1
- Lowest student population: Roane State Community College 5,861.1
- Annual tuition range for paralegal programs at community colleges and career schools in Tennessee: $11,913-$18,100.2
- 2 schools in US News Best Law Schools Rankings of 2013 (top 100): Vanderbilt University #15, University of Tennessee-Knoxville #61
Continue learning about paralegal schools in Tennessee, popular paralegal programs in the state, and more by reading below.
Paralegal Degree Programs in Tennessee
Roane State Community College
Roane State Community College offers a two-year, American Bar Association approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in Paralegal Studies. Upon completion of this program, graduates are expected to have a strong understanding of the Tennessee court system’s procedure and substantive laws and display proficiency in a variety of legal and professional skill sets. Students will be instructed in basic paralegal responsibilities such as legal ethics, research, writing, communication and critical thinking. General education courses are additionally integrated throughout the legal specialty courses to give students a well-rounded introduction to the professional environment. The capstone feature of the program is a paralegal internship to be completed in the final semester. This opportunity allows students to apply basic legal concepts and gain experience in a professional legal office. The program is primarily conducted at the main campus, located in Harriman, though most paralegal courses can be taken at any RSCC campus via Interactive Distance Education classrooms, wherein students may take a course through live video feed.
Act as if your time at school is a preliminary interview…Instructors watch and learn who their students are. They watch for those particular students who stand out, are prepared, and do their best. These same instructors are the ones that many local lawyers call for referrals when they are looking for paralegals. Instructors can give you advice on how to approach looking for a job in your local area and suggest contacts that may not be openly posted online.” –Carla Baker, First Vice President-Education of Greater Memphis Paralegal Alliance and Paralegal at Rice, Amundsen, & Caperton PLLC.
University of Memphis
For individuals wishing to pursue a more in-depth degree, the University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree containing paralegal core courses as well as general education subjects. The core curriculum focuses on practical application of legal knowledge through collection, analysis and presentation of legal materials. Both written and oral communication skills are emphasized throughout the course sequence and special emphasis is placed on professional computer skills and technological competency. The primary advantage of pursuing a bachelor’s degree, as opposed to an associate’s degree is that students are given more opportunity to select elective courses and specialize within the broad field of paralegal studies. The University of Memphis offers an unusually wide selection of paralegal-specific courses with much more detailed and in-depth subject topics than those typically offered associate degree programs. Paralegal students at the University of Memphis also have access to an excellent faculty of legal professionals who can provide relevant career guidance and who help to coordinate a mandatory paralegal internship component. This program has been approved by the American Bar Association and is an excellent program for students who seek an in-depth and comprehensive education in the legal field.
Walters State Community College
The AAS in Management at Walters State Community College includes a Paralegal Studies curriculum that has been approved by the American Bar Association as an adequate paralegal training program. The program is designed to teach students to perform paralegal tasks such as legal research, client interviews, document preparation and case management. Students are also instructed in relevant computer and technology skills. The Paralegal Studies communication within the Management AAS includes general studies requirements in composition, macroeconomics, and humanities. Concentration courses in Paralegal Studies cover a variety of legal and paralegal topics such as accounting, business organizations, ethics, and substantive legal areas. Overall, the degree requires 60 total credit hours, with 45 of those within the paralegal concentration and 15 credit hours in general education. Students enrolled in this program benefit from the dual emphasis on paralegal topics and management/professional skills.
American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs in Tennessee (Not-for-Profit)
- Chattanooga State Technical/Community College (Chattanooga)
- Pellissippi State Community College (f/k/a Pellissippi State Technical Community College)
- Roane State Community College (Harriman)
- Southwest Tennessee Community College (Memphis)
- University of Memphis (Memphis)
- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Chattanooga)
- Volunteer State Community College (Gallatin)
- Walters State Community College (Morristown)
Middle Tennessee State
1301 E Main St
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Student Review: “The paralegal program at MTSU is offered as a minor in the political science department. It required about 18 hours of specific paralegal and law courses, taught almost entirely by adjunct professors. Most of the professors were lawyers in a solo practice. The classes were very easy and required little time outside of class. Classes were almost always taught at night, which makes it perfect for non-traditional/working students. I was fortunate to find a paralegal job within one week of graduating, which was due in large part to my education. Once I began working in the legal field, I found that only 25-50% of the work I had done in my classes actually helped me in my career. Overall, I was glad I completed the paralegal program at MTSU because it helped me get a job in my field, but the program could definitely use some fine tuning to make it more helpful.” – Student at Middle Tennessee State
Southwest Tennessee Community College
737 Union Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
Student Review: “At Southwest TN Community College’s Paralegal Studies Program, you get a good education plus the bonus of learning real-world skills. My teachers not only taught me the textbook information, but they also taught me what I would actually need to know for the career. They brought in speakers and used assignments that were real cases in order for us to get a good idea of what we would be doing once we graduated. Most, if not all, of the teachers were actually practicing attorneys as well, so they were able to keep up-to-date on all the rules and practices of the legal field. They also made sure to include anyone who seemed to be struggling in their studies.” – Student at Southwest Tennessee 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=TN&sort=best