Paralegal Schools in West Virginia
This overview of paralegal schools in West Virginia contains key information about the paralegal certificate and degree programs available in the state. The colleges and universities in West Virginia offer a variety of paralegal programs, from general paralegal studies to specialty topics like landwork, which may be a good fit for your career aspirations. You may also find that online paralegal programs are a good fit since they often offer more flexible class schedules. To find out more about paralegal and legal assistant careers in the state, please visit our guide to paralegal careers in West Virginia.
- There are 7 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in West Virginia.1
- 1 school offers a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 5 schools offer an associate’s degree program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 2 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
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools in 2022.3
- 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs in 2022.4
- 1 ABA-approved paralegal degree program is in West Virginia.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 West Virginia
- Select Schools in West Virginia with Paralegal Degrees
Comparison of Paralegal Programs
The table below will help you compare not-for-profit paralegal and legal studies programs in West Virginia 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|
|Alderson Broaddus University (Philippi)||—||BA-Legal Studies;|
|Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (Martinsburg)||—||Certificate-Legal Office Assistant;|
|BridgeValley Community and Technical College (South Charleston)||—||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||21%||—||N.Av.||$6,361|
|Mountwest Community and Technical College (Huntington)||Yes||AAS-Paralegal||100%||27%||—||N.Av.||$8,178|
|New River Community and Technical College (Beaver)||—||AAS-Legal Assisting||100%||13%||—||N.Av.||$3,155|
|Pierpont Community and Technical College (Fairmont)||—||AAS-Paralegal Studies||100%||29%||—||N.Av.||$6,659|
|West Virginia University (Morgantown)||—||BA-Political Science: Pre-law and Legal Studies;|
Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Paralegal Programs
US News & World Report’s Best Law Schools 2022
- West Virginia University (#116 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- West Virginia University (#138 tie)
Select Schools in West Virginia with Paralegal Degrees
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies at Alderson Broaddus University (AB) is a four-year degree developed to prepare graduates for careers in the legal field or for further study in law school. The program requires 120 credit hours to complete and combines a liberal arts education with legal history and skills courses. Students must take a minimum of 45 credits towards the Legal Studies major, including classes such as American Legal History; Constitutional Law; and Civil Rights and Liberties. Through courses like Legal Research and Writing; Argumentation and Persuasion, and Applied Logic, students will have the opportunity to develop the practical skills necessary to perform legal work. The Field Practicum course allows students to gain experience working eight hours per week in a professional setting. Students transferring to AB with some college classes or an associate’s degree can pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Legal Studies as a completion degree. Graduation from both programs requires a GPA of 2.0 or above in all major coursework.
Blue Ridge Technical and Community College offers a 60-credit hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies and a Legal Office Assistant Certificate. The Paralegal Studies program is designed for students interested in careers as paralegals and legal assistants in law offices, corporations, and government agencies. Graduates of the AAS program will be able to draft and analyze legal documents; demonstrate critical thinking skills; and communicate effectively with other legal professionals. In addition to covering substantive legal issues in business, domestic relations, and criminal law, the curriculum offers classes in skills development such as Legal Research and Writing; Legal Office Technology; and Business Etiquette and Image. Students will gain hands-on experience through the Field Experience course with at least 100 hours of work in a professional environment. The 30-credit hour Legal Office Assistant Certificate curriculum consists of the same coursework as the first year of the AAS program.
At BridgeValley Community & Technical College (BVCTC), students can pursue a 60-credit hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that offers instruction in practical paralegal skills and legal theory. Graduates of the program will be able to apply their knowledge of ethics, legal documentation, and legal research to positions in government agencies, corporate legal departments, law firms, or various other fields. The paralegal curriculum was developed under the advisement of a practicing lawyer and includes courses such as Civil Litigation; Criminal Law; Property, Wills, and Estates; and Evidence and Litigation. In the final semester of the program, students must take a Paralegal Internship course to gain professional experience in a real-world setting. Prior to graduation, students will take the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE), which will allow passing students to become registered with the NFPA. BVCTC has a transfer agreement with the University of Charleston (UC) Political Science program for graduates seeking further education as part of a 2+2 program.
The ABA-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal at Mountwest Community & Technical College (MCTC) will help students gain the skills and knowledge needed to assist attorneys in legal tasks. The program focuses on the practical application of professional skills and substantive knowledge of basic legal fields. Over the course of the 61-credit curriculum, classes such as Law Office Technology; Legal Research and Writing; and Oral Communication will help students develop practical skills. Students will build a working knowledge of the law through courses such as Criminal Litigation, General Law, and Civil Litigation. The program culminates in a mandatory paralegal internship that allows Paralegal students to gain valuable work experience and develop professional contacts within the legal workplace prior to graduation. Admission to the program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Graduates will be prepared for paralegal positions in law firms, legal departments, or government agencies. MCTC designed the program with the assistance of the West Virginia State Bar and an advisory committee of attorneys and paralegals.
Pierpont Community College hosts an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies that can help students develop skills in critical thinking, project management, and interpersonal communications. Students may pursue the standard curriculum or choose the optional Landwork Concentration in order to focus on paralegal topics specific to the energy, utility, and property industries. Both tracks require 60 credit hours, including general education courses and paralegal coursework. Required legal courses include Property and Probate; Negotiating Essentials; Legal Research and Writing; and Computer Applications for Legal Professionals. The curriculum concludes with a three-class capstone that covers the ethical responsibilities of a paralegal, the creation of a professional portfolio, and a 135-hour paralegal work experience completed under the supervision of a legal professional. Graduation from the program requires a Senior Evaluation, a GPA of at least 2.0, and a grade of “C” or better in specific classes. Graduates will be prepared for employment as paralegals in private firms, businesses, government, or legal aid organizations.
Hybrid and Online Programs
West Virginia University (WVU) offers a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree program that can be completed entirely online. The 18-month program is typically completed in five semesters and is designed for working professionals in private and public organizations who wish to become more effective in their current careers. Students can follow a general curriculum or choose from three different areas of emphasis: Health Care, Justice Systems, or Homeland Security. All students must complete 21 required credit hours in foundational classes such as Law and the Legal System; Researching the Law; Dispute Resolution; and Administrative Ethics and nine hours of electives. Graduates will be able to conduct research and analyze legal literature; communicate information about current legal doctrines; and evaluate legal policy and procedure. In order to graduate, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 with a minimum grade of a “C” in all MLS coursework and a “B” in any non-legal courses. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above.
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/