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Paralegal Schools in Washington DC

Various schools in Washington DC can provide a high-quality education in paralegal studies. This overview of paralegal schools in Washington DC contains key information so that you can make the right decision on where to go to school to support your personal interests and career goals. As an alternative to traditional on-campus schools, you may also wish to consider an online paralegal program, which may offer a more flexible schedule for working or busy students.

Quick Facts

  • There are 6 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Washington DC.1
  • No schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 1 school offers an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No schools offer a bachelor’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree for paralegals/legal assistants.1
  • No 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
  • 5 schools ranked in US News Best Law Schools in 2019.5
  • No not-for-profit ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Washington DC.6

Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs

US News Best Law Schools 2019

  • Georgetown University (#14)
  • George Washington University (#24 tie)
  • American University (#80 tie)
  • Catholic University of America (#110 tie)
  • Howard University (#128 tie)

Paralegal Degree Programs in Washington DC

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University of the District of Columbia Community College

Students at the University of the District of Columbia Community College can complete an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Assistant. This 62-credit hour program covers fundamental legal concepts in the American legal system. Students first start with general education courses in liberal arts, writing, and communication before starting the specialized legal curriculum. Then, through courses such as Legal Process, Investigative Techniques and Evidence, and Law Office Administration, students earn a broad foundation in legal research, case management, legal writing, and court procedure. The curriculum focuses on real-world skills needed in legal offices such as analyzing legal documents and conducting research and interviews. The program also emphasizes the role of legal ethics and common challenges that arise in the field. Graduates are prepared to find positions as legal assistants or paralegals in a variety of legal, business, and government office settings.

Online Paralegal Programs

George Washington University

George Washington University offers a hybrid online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Paralegal Studies. Designed for professionals working in law, corporations, healthcare, or government, this program focuses on legal fundamentals and practical knowledge about the law. Working professionals and other nontraditional students can take advantage of the flexible program schedule that includes evening classes and online formats. This degree program can be completed at the Graduate Education Center in Alexandria, Virginia, the Foggy Bottom Campus in DC, or completely online. Through 12 courses totaling 32 credit hours, students learn about the American legal system and different legal subspecialties. Required courses include American Jurisprudence, Legal Research and Writing, Litigation, and Government Contracts. On-campus students must begin this program in the fall, but online students have the option to enroll in the fall, spring, or summer semester.

American University

Students can earn an online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) through the American University Washington College of Law. The degree program is designed for professionals who have law-related responsibilities in their work. Students gain an understanding of the US legal system as well as tangible skills they can use in their careers. With tracks such as General MLS, Business, Health Care Compliance, and Technology, students have the opportunity to grow their legal training as well as develop industry-specific skills to address legal challenges common in their fields. This 30-credit hour program can be completed entirely online through live classes that are supplemented with self-paced coursework. Students can choose a full-time schedule and complete the program in as few as 15 months or choose a part-time format. Required courses include Introduction to Courts and Law, Introduction to Regulation and Compliance, and Drafting Policies, Procedures, and Contracts. With a graduate-level legal studies background, those who complete this program may find new career advancement or leadership opportunities.

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/