Paralegal Schools in Texas
The numerous colleges and universities in Texas offer a broad array of paralegal programs from general paralegal degrees to certificates of completion and a master’s in legal studies. This overview of paralegal schools in Texas will provide you with the information you need to choose the program that best meets your career aspirations. As an alternative to traditional on-campus programs, you might also consider online or hybrid paralegal programs, which can be a more flexible option. Please visit our guide to paralegal careers in Texas to find out information about paralegal opportunities and salary levels in Texas.
- There are 38 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Texas.1
- 21 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 28 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 6 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 1 school offers a master’s degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- No schools ranked in Paralegal411’s Top Online Paralegal Programs.2
- 3 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
- 3 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
- 1 ABA-approved paralegal degree program is in Texas.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 Texas
- Select Schools in Texas with Paralegal Degrees
- Student Reviews
Comparison of Paralegal Programs
The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in Texas 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.
|School||ABA Approved?||Paralegal Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Alvin Community College||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Austin Community College District||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Blinn College||—||Certificate-Legal Office;|
|Central Texas College||—||Certificate-Paralegal/Legal Assistant;|
|Collin County Community College District||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal General;|
|Del Mar College||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|El Paso Community College||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Houston Baptist University||—||BA-Pre-Law/Legal Studies||71%||44%||—||$12,500||$20,436|
|Houston Community College||—||Certificate-Paralegal Technology-Law Office Clerk;|
Certificate-Paralegal Technology-Legal Assistant;
AAS-Paralegal Technology-Legal Assistant
|Kilgore College||—||Certificate-Legal Assisting/Paralegal;|
|Lamar State College-Port Arthur||Yes||AAS-Paralegal||100%||32%||—||$4,790||$7,805|
|Lee College||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Lone Star College System||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|McLennan Community College||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Navarro College||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Odessa College||—||Certificate-Legal Studies;|
|Paul Quinn College||—||BA-Legal Studies & Criminology||79%||20%||—||$8,100||$13,951|
|San Antonio College||—||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||26%||Yes||$5,500||$5,853|
|San Jacinto College||Yes||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||32%||—||$5,250||$8,858|
|South Plains College||—||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|South Texas College||—||AAS-Paralegal||100%||23%||—||N.Av.||$1,337|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||—||Minor-Legal Studies||100%||52%||—||$16,820||$12,866|
|Tarleton State University||—||BA-Legal Studies||56%||49%||—||$12,608||$14,631|
|Tarrant Community College||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Texas A&M-Commerce||Yes||BA-Paralegal Studies;|
|Texas Southmost College||—||Certificate-Legal Assisting;|
|Texas State University||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal Studies;|
|Texas Wesleyan University||—||BS-Paralegal Studies||42%||30%||—||$13,750||$26,434|
|Trinity Valley Community College||—||Certificate-Legal Assistant Technology;|
AAS-Legal Assistant Technology
|Tyler Junior College||—||AAS-Paralegal||100%||19%||—||$5,500||$8,837|
|University of Houston-Clear Lake||—||BS-Legal Studies||74%||N.Av.||Yes||$12,516||$9,215|
|University of Texas at Austin||—||Certificate-Paralegal||32%||86%||Yes||$20,366||$15,502|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||—||Certificate-Legal Studies||77%||42%||—||$14,442||$13,168|
|Wharton County Junior College||Yes||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||18%||—||$5,500||$4,482|
- — 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 Texas-Austin (#16 tie)
- Texas A&M University (#53 tie)
- University of Houston (#60 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- Texas A&M University (#25 tie)
- University of Houston (#46 tie)
- University of Texas-Austin (#68 tie)
Select Schools in Texas with Paralegal Degrees
Amarillo College (AC) offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies that holds approval from the ABA. The 60-credit hour program includes courses in Family Law; Civil Litigation; Contracts; and Interviewing and Investigating. The program is available through both traditional and hybrid formats, with most students completing the program in three to five years. Legal Studies students have the opportunity to pursue internships with organizations such as Legal Aid, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Innocence Project of Texas. Program graduates are prepared to take national certification exams for paralegals through organizations such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Credits earned at AC may be transferred to four-year universities in pursuit of a baccalaureate degree or in preparation for law school. AC also offers a 24-credit hour graduate Professional Certificate in Legal Studies.
The El Centro campus of Dallas College offers an ABA-approved Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS) in Paralegal degree program. The paralegal program aims to impart legal knowledge to responsible, detail-oriented students with an interest in the practice and theory of law. In addition, the program fosters legal writing and research skills to prepare graduates for a variety of tasks allotted to paralegals in diverse professional environments. Dallas College’s location in downtown Dallas allows students to benefit from an on-campus law library and proximity to a number of law firms, as well as the Dallas County Records Building, George Allen Civil Court Building, Frank Crowley Courts Building, and Earle Cabell Federal Building. Students also benefit from a mandatory cooperative work experience program in which they gain valuable work experience at an approved law firm or court. In addition to being one of 11 ABA-approved paralegal programs in north-central Texas, the Dallas College associate’s program is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) and may be completed at significantly lower tuition rates than comparable programs.
The San Jacinto College Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies degree program is approved by the ABA and will help prepare students for careers at law offices, courts, private companies, and government agencies. The program curriculum focuses on the substantive law areas and duties that are commonly encountered in the legal community and provides a broad set of skills to increase the potential for finding employment following graduation. Reflecting the expansion of the role of paralegals, the coursework also provides technical training in important skills such as document preparation; client and witness interviewing; investigation; legal research and writing; and assisting attorneys at trial. Paralegal Studies students at San Jacinto College have opportunities to pursue internships at law firms, corporate offices, non-profits, and government offices.
Texas A&M University-Commerce’s ABA-approved Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (BA/BS) in Paralegal Studies is a career-oriented program that cultivates legal knowledge and skills in conjunction with a broad-based liberal arts foundation. The paralegal coursework emphasizes legal research skills, family law, probate, civil procedure, business organizations, law office management, business ethics, real estate law, and constitutional law. Students also receive practical instruction in the technological skills needed to perform in the legal environment and graduate with the proficiency necessary to succeed in a variety of professional settings. The curriculum requires all students to complete an 18-credit minor. The paralegal internship program allows students to integrate theoretical coursework with hands-on experience in offices such as the County or District Attorney’s Offices or an approved private attorney’s office.
Texas State University offers an ABA-approved Certificate in Paralegal Studies program to students who have previously completed a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours of study. The program requires concurrent enrollment in Texas State’s Master of Arts (MA) in Legal Studies and takes 24 credit hours to complete. Required courses include Legal Research; Legal Theories and Analysis; Litigation; and Legal Drafting. Elective courses include Estates and Trusts; Administrative Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Intellectual Property. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared to enter the paralegal field as trained paralegal professionals working under the supervision of attorneys. The Department of Political Science also offers the Master of Arts (MA) in Legal Studies that requires 36 credit hours to complete.
If you are really serious about being a paralegal, obtain certification status. Attorneys know that when you are certificated (when you are fresh-out-of-school), you have a good feel for what you are talking about. Whereas when you are certified, you have “arrived” and you know what you are talking about – certification means you can be reasonably relied on to know what you’re talking about. It means you’ll be able to demand a higher salary right off the bat.” –Alexander May, Board Certified Paralegal, TBLS, Paralegal at Germer Beaman & Brown PLLC and President-Elect of the Capital Area Paralegal Association.
Hybrid and Online Programs
At Central Texas College (CTC), students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Paralegal/Legal Assistant studies. This two-year program requires four full-time semesters of study to complete the 60-credit curriculum. Students can take classes entirely online or on campus during the day or in the evenings. Core classes in paralegal subjects include Criminal Law and Procedures; Torts and Personal Injury Law; and Federal Government. The curriculum prepares students to work in the legal field or pursue further education in law. After completing the associate’s degree, graduates are qualified to sit for the Paralegal Core Competencies Exam from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the Certified Legal Assistant Exam from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). CTC also offers a Certificate of Completion in Paralegal/Legal Assistant studies that can be completed in 30 credit hours (two semesters).
The University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies that works to prepare students for careers as paralegals or further legal study. The 120-credit hour curriculum focuses on developing skills in three essential areas: legal principles; legal research and writing; and the important role of the trial, appellate, and dispute resolution processes. The four-year degree is available in-person or through a hybrid format, combining online and face-to-face education. Legal Studies students will take courses such as Criminal Law & Procedures; Legal Writing & the Appellate Process; and Property Transactions and general education classes in subjects such as history, government, and math. Legal Studies students also have extracurricular opportunities such as participating in the American Mock Trial Association national competition, helping organize the annual Constitutional Law Day Program, and attending seminars sponsored by the State Bar of Texas. Graduation requires a GPA of at least 2.0 with a “C” or better on at least 30 credits of upper-level courses. Applicants to UHCL will need to submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores; however, students in the top 10% of their graduating class may forego the testing requirement.
El Paso Community College
9570 Gateway N Blvd
El Paso, TX 79924
Student Review: “I enjoyed my paralegal program. I learned how to do wills, real estate documents, such as deeds and abstracts of judgment. I learned the importance of trial notebooks and how to prepare one. I spent a whole year just learning the rules for Texas and how to research the laws of the state. I had only 3 teachers for the entire time I was in the program, so it was very personalized. Part of the program is the internship. I ended up being hired at the firm I was interning at and have been here for over 2 years. I was prepared enough that I was able to pass my national certification test. I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a career.” -Student at El Paso Community College
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX 75205
Student Review: “SMU’s paralegal certification program was a really great and informative program. I was able to earn a certification in paralegal studies in less than a year and without paying a huge sum of money. I learned a lot of things that have been really valuable in my current job as a paralegal at a large law firm in Dallas (i.e. drafting). A lot of the assignments we did during class I brought with me to one of my job interviews and the attorney I interviewed with loved that I had work to showcase; I believe that helped me get the job. I loved that a lot of the teachers were current attorneys. I also really loved that the program went through various types of law: criminal, torts/contracts, and bankruptcy. While the program was very informative, a lot of the tasks I do on a daily basis I learned on the job and did not learn in the program. For example, there was not a section of the program that went through family law. I currently am a paralegal working in family law so a lot of the things I do during the day I learned through the attorneys I work for and not through the SMU program. Overall, the SMU paralegal program was a great program and I have recommended it to many people who are interested in pursuing a career in the legal field.” -Student at Southern Methodist University
Tarrant County College
1500 Houston St
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Student Review: “The staff at TCC are knowledgeable of the curriculum and thorough in their techniques. I was given the tools necessary to be competitive in the legal support field by legal professionals. The paralegal co-op internship which I took during my course of study was invaluable to my successes later and helped gear me towards the correct specialty area of law where I would feel most comfortable. The courses are set up where you work individually and in groups to give you an idea of what working for a solo attorney and in a larger multi-attorney office with other paralegals will be like. The course work is also very affordable, as it is priced less than that of a 4-year institution, yet has the same level of classes needed to succeed when going into the workforce.” -Student at Tarrant County College
University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Dr
Austin, TX 78705
Student Review: “The University of Texas paralegal program is extremely difficult, but that’s expected from a top 25 public university in the world. One of the major draws to attending the university is the prestige of the degree that is provided upon completion. Austin is the capital of Texas, so there is a cornucopia of internship opportunities for state senators and representatives. Although the classes can be difficult, professors have flexible office hours and are easy to communicate with. The professors encourage students to get internships with state officials, and one of my favorite professors even recommended me to my current employer. In order to get a job, having the qualifications is the minimum requirement, but having connections and experience is usually what puts a candidate over the top. The University of Texas paralegal program strives to not only educate their students but also to provide them with the experience and connections to succeed post-graduation.” -William C., Student at University of Texas at Austin
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/