Paralegal Schools in Virginia
The paralegal schools in Virginia offer a wide array of programs from the certificate to the advanced degree level. This overview of paralegal schools in Virginia will provide you with the high-level information you need to make an informed decision on where to study. You may also find that online paralegal degree programs are a good match for your career goals.
Paralegal Program Stats
- There are 36 colleges and universities that offer a paralegal/legal assistant degree program in Virginia.
- 16 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.
- 24 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 3 not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs in Virginia.
- Highest graduation rate: University of Richmond 83%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate: Marymount University 20%.1
- Highest net price per year: Marymount University $25,529.2
- Lowest net price per year: Wytheville Community College $1,978.1
- Highest student population: Liberty University 64,096.1
- Lowest student population: Paul D. Camp Community College 1,473.1
- Annual tuition range for paralegal programs at community colleges and career schools in Virginia: $7,275-$45,628.2
- 5 schools in the US News Best Law Schools Rankings of 2013 (top 100): University of Virginia #7, Washington and Lee University #26, College of William and Mary #33, George Mason University #41, University of Richmond #53
Discover more about paralegal schools in Virginia and potential career tracks for graduates by reading below.
Paralegal Degree Programs in Virginia
The Associate of Applied Science at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is designed to train students to perform a variety of law-related tasks in virtually all legal workplaces. The liberal arts curriculum includes general education elective courses across a variety of topics meant to ensure and equal level of proficiency in a range of academic and professional fields. Introductory legal specialty courses are taken within the first semester of the program, becoming more specialized throughout the curriculum progression. Upper-level legal courses tend to have a more narrow focus, particularly on in-state issues such as Virginia and Federal Procedure, or Information Systems for the Paralegal. Technology skills are emphasized throughout the course sequence, many classes requiring and teaching online research and presentation skills. This program includes a coordinated internship requirement taken during the final semester of the degree course and encompassing the knowledge and skill emphasized throughout the curriculum. The J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College paralegal program provides a practical and application-based introduction to the paralegal profession and has been approved by the American Bar Association.
Join a local paralegal association. Most local paralegal associations are member associations of a state and national paralegal association; so once you become a member of a local paralegal association, you are automatically a member of a state and national paralegal association. This widens your paralegal network, gives you exposure as a paralegal, and gives you an opportunity to get involved in your profession.” –Kathi P. Ingram, RP, President and Co-Founder of the Paralegal Association of Northern Virginia.
Northern Virginia Community College
The two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies program at Northern Virginia Community College prepares students for professional employment in law offices, government agencies, insurance groups, and corporations. The program imparts a general understanding of American and Virginia procedural law, as well as proficiency in task-specific skills associated with the paralegal and legal assistant profession. Students are required to complete 65 credit hours over the course of four complete semesters, general education courses, elective courses, and mandatory legal courses are all included in this course sequence. This program meets or exceeds the standards set by the American Bar Association and provides valuable legal knowledge for students interested in becoming career paralegals or pursuing other law-related careers.
American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Programs in Virginia (Not-for-Profit)
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (Richmond)
- Marymount University (Arlington)
- Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria)
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Student Review: “I was very satisfied with my experience at Liberty University. First, they gave me a discount on tuition, because my husband is a military member. Which is good, because they are not as cheap as a community college. Secondly, the information included in the courses was informative and usually interesting. The courses taught paralegal skills, and more importantly how to interpret issues in the legal field with a Christian viewpoint. I attended Liberty University Online, and it was very convenient for me. Actually, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree while being a stay at home mom, not to mention all the times I moved while completing my degree. The tuition and services provided didn’t change once due to the moves either. Lastly I’ll say, that some of the reading material was so interesting that I could not put it down, like a good book. I even kept one of the texts to read again.” -Student at Liberty University
1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Student Review: “Regent University is a small, faith-based school that has a main campus located in the Virginia Beach area of Hampton Roads. They offer paralegal studies program as part of their continuing education curriculum. I enjoyed my time at Regent mainly because of the convenience of the campus, the quality of the staff including Dean Gantt at the Law School, the small class sizes allowing for more one on one interaction with professors, and the convenience of class start/end times. As I was a very busy adult pursuing work and career endeavors during the day, having the ability to schedule my classes either online or around my work schedule was very convenient. The professors were very understanding during the few occasions I had to miss a class such as Legal Writing and allowed me to make up the work that I had missed on my own time and receive the necessary credit. I found the Christian theme of the school to be a bit overbearing and confusing at times as biblical laws and teachings can sometimes conflict with the legal profession of today. The school has a weekly prayer service at the chapel on campus as well as daily devotions held about 5-15 minutes before the actual start of classes in each room. Most of my professors seemed like wonderful people full of life experience. Some worked as attorneys for the Right to Work Foundation. The facilities seemed adequate with a wonderful to scale recreation of a court room setting in the main law school building. Over all, I was pleased with my experience at Regent and would recommend the school to anyone interested in the paralegal/legal studies field.” -Student at Regent University
Thomas Nelson Community College
99 Thomas Nelson Dr
Hampton, VA 23666
Student Review: “The Paralegal Studies Program at TNCC is a rigorous program and on the way to becoming more so. TNCC could easily become the go-to institution for anyone seeking a well-educated professional paralegal in Hampton Roads. From day one I have had support and encouragement from professors. Each class coincides with the other so the class flow is easy. Incorporating practical discussions about the day-to-day practice of law, whether regarding marketing, client interaction, ethics, business operations, networking, community involvement, or stress management, is an important part of every course. We are emailed about jobs that become available in Hampton Roads in our student accounts, I will use this resource as I get closer to completing course. There is also a Facebook page for the TNCC paralegal studies group.” -Student at Thomas Nelson Community College
Tidewater Technical College
5301 E Princess Anne Rd
Norfolk, VA 23502
Student Review: “I chose enroll in online classes since I would physically be in another state. Because they were entry level classes, I was able to self study and still actually understand and retain the information, and that was mainly because of how the information was presented. Instead of them throwing information at you and expecting you to understand it in raw form, the courses we well coordinated so that I was pretty much studying the same sections or focuses at the same time in all my classes. That helped the information blend together, and it made it easier to learn, as opposed to trying to remember 4 different abstract concepts that were totally unrelated. The coursework was rigorous. I often had 2-3 hours of homework to complete each day, and that was on top of 20 or more pages of reading and note taking. But the subjects were often tied in with real life scenarios and applications, so the work was actually interesting and was more about exploration and comprehension rather that regurgitation of text book terms that mean nothing in real life application on a job. All of the professors where responsive and helpful, which was particularly important to me since I would not get the benefit of attending lectures and having interaction in classroom discussions. I was able to get feedback just as quickly as I could if I had been an in-class student. The program has statewide recognition, and before I finished the program, I was already educated enough and well qualified to work as a paralegal. I was employed at one of the most prestigious real estate law firms in the area during my fall semester, and while I am sure the decision was based on my individual competence, I believe the program had a lot of influence in that decision since I was not even finished with the program and they hired me eagerly.” -Student at Tidewater Technical College
Virginia Commonwealth University
907 Floyd Ave
Richmond, VA 23284
Student Review: “Earning my certificate of paralegal studies from Virginia Commonwealth University was definitely a positive experience for me. I really enjoyed the convenience and structure of the program. A lot of the classes were available as online courses and this was something that I loved. Having to work full-time a full-time job while taking classes, the online courses definitely made my life a lot easier. I was also very pleased with the university’s placement services. My career counselor helped me to get an internship while in the program and I was offered a permanent position after graduating. The one thing that I would improve upon is the size of the classes. Most of my classes consisted of about 50 people. This was not an impairment for me but I had classmates that felt that the large classes took away from their learning experience.” -Student at Virginia Commonwealth 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/