Paralegal Schools in Wisconsin
The colleges and universities in Wisconsin offer a wide array of programs for earning a paralegal degree or certificate. This overview of paralegal schools in Wisconsin is designed to provide you with information to help you make an informed choice on where to pursue an education that is in line with your personal interests and career goals. In addition, online paralegal programs can be a suitable alternative to traditional on-campus programs, which some students may find to be a more flexible option. Be sure to take a look at our paralegal careers in Wisconsin page to find out more about employment options for paralegal graduates.
- There are 10 colleges and universities that offer paralegal/legal assistant degree programs in Wisconsin.1
- 7 schools offer a certificate program for paralegals/legal assistants.1
- 8 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
- No schools offer a master’s or advanced 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
- 6 ABA-approved paralegal degree programs are in Wisconsin.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 Wisconsin
- Select Schools in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin based on various factors. The table includes paralegal program-specific information such as the programs offered and whether there are any online options. It also includes general school information to help you compare the colleges and universities that host these programs, including overall acceptance rate, graduation rate for first-time bachelor’s degree seekers, median debt for graduates, and net tuition per year for full-time undergraduate study. 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|
|Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire)||Yes||Diploma-Paralegal;|
|Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton)||—||AAS-Legal Studies/Paralegal||100%||55%||Yes||$5,500||$10,417|
|Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland)||Yes||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Madison Area Technical College (Madison)||Yes||Diploma-Legal Studies/Paralegal;|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee)||Yes||Certificate-Legal Studies/Paralegal;|
|Moraine Park Technical College (Fond Du Lac)||—||AAS-Legal Studies/Paralegal||100%||57%||Yes||$5,500||$8,489|
|Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Green Bay)||Yes||Certificate-Law Office Administration;|
AAS-Legal Studies/ Paralegal
|University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison)||—||BA-Legal Studies;|
|University of Wisconsin-Superior (Superior)||—||Certificate-Paralegal;|
|Western Technical College (La Crosse)||Yes||Certificate-Legal Studies/Paralegal;|
- — 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 Wisconsin-Madison (#29 tie)
US News & World Report’s Best Legal Writing Programs 2022
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (#100 tie)
Select Schools in Wisconsin with Paralegal Degrees
The ABA-approved Paralegal Associate of Science (AS) degree program at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) requires 63 credit hours taken over the course of two years to complete. The curriculum adopts a liberal arts philosophy, incorporating psychology, economics, and English courses with legal specialty courses such as Family Law, Employment Law, and Administration of Estates. Students are required to participate in a capstone program, selecting either an outside paralegal internship or paralegal field study to apply skills and knowledge developed in the program. The Paralegal program gives students the opportunity to hone paralegal skills and develop valuable networking connections within the field. To complete the program, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates of this program are able to work with clients, investigate facts of cases, draft documents, and prepare legal briefs. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree can apply to CVTC’s Paralegal Post-Baccalaureate Diploma program, which can be completed within one year.
The ABA-approved Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies/Paralegal at Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) will help graduates gain the legal and technical skills needed to find work as court clerks, paralegals, legal secretaries, and other positions in the legal field. Some courses are available through online, accelerated, or hybrid formats. At least 10 credits must be taken through traditional classroom instruction or synchronous online formats. The 61-credit program will help students develop skills in legal writing, legal research, and witness preparation. Legal specialty courses such as Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, and Family Law will help students understand various aspects of the legal system. Students will learn how to develop a portfolio, write a career plan, and build a resume in the Personal Branding-Paralegal course. They will also gain professional experience by working under a practicing attorney during a 144-hour Paralegal Internship. For students with a bachelor’s degree seeking to enter the paralegal field, LTC offers an ABA-approved Paralegal Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies that can be taken as either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA). To enter the Legal Studies program, students must complete three prerequisite courses with a “C” grade or higher: a math course, a communication course, and a gateway course from the Legal Studies curriculum. The Legal Studies curriculum is divided into five theme groups, including Legal Institutions; Processes of Legal Order and Disorder; Law and Social Forces; Law and Culture: and Law and Theory. In addition to the legal coursework, students must take courses in research such as Research Methods in Political Science and Methods of Social Inquiry, as well as two classes in non-US law such as Human Rights in Law and Society and the History of Punishment. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all courses in the program. SuccessWorks, the career services program in UW-Madison’s College of Letters & Sciences, offers students career assistance such as resume help, career advising, and networking opportunities.
The ABA-approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies/Paralegal offered by Western Technical College helps train students in the technical skills and legal theory necessary to assist attorneys and law offices with legal responsibilities. Classes in the 63-credit curriculum are offered in person during the day, online, or through a hybrid format. The four-semester program begins with introductory courses in software applications and paralegal ethics. Then, in later semesters, students can take legal specialty courses such as Criminal Procedures, Family Law, and Civil Litigation. Paralegal skills are emphasized in specialized paralegal courses, including Legal Writing, Legal Research, and Legal Aspects of Business Organization. The mandatory paralegal internship helps develop work skills and gives students an opportunity to form professional connections within the field. Applicants to Western must take the ACCUPLACER assessment test to determine whether additional general studies courses are needed. Western also offers a 27-credit Certificate in Legal Studies/Paralegal for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree.
Hybrid and Online Programs
At Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC), students can earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Legal Studies/Paralegal entirely online. For students looking for a hybrid option, this 62-credit program is also available at the Appleton campus, and general education courses may be offered at other locations. Synchronous, in-person courses are available during the daytime and in the evening. Coursework covers theoretical and practical knowledge in the legal field, including technical skills such as legal research, legal technology, and law office management. The required core curriculum includes classes such as Civil Litigation Procedures, Family Law, and Paralegal Technical Skills, in addition to nine credits of electives. Through hands-on coursework, students learn applicable skills like drafting legal documents and investigation techniques. Students are required to complete a three-credit internship as part of the program, providing at least 144 hours of real-world experience before they graduate. Admission to the program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Students without at least a 2.75 high school GPA, previous degree, or sufficient exam scores will need to complete an academic skills assessment.
Madison Area Technical College (Madison College) offers a two-year ABA-approved Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Legal Studies/Paralegal and a Post-Baccalaureate diploma that will help prepare graduates to enter the paralegal profession. Coursework in the program can be pursued entirely online or through a mixture of online and in-person formats. To accommodate different scheduling needs, courses are scheduled during weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Both the 30-credit post-baccalaureate diploma and the 66-credit associate degree include mandatory courses in paralegal skills and legal topics through courses such as Legal Writing; E-Discovery and Digital Tools; and Immigration Law. Students must take two required classes focused on helping support paralegal job searches. The two-credit Career-Building Techniques-Paralegal course focuses on resume preparation, interview techniques, and technical skills, while the three-credit Paralegal Clinic Internship course consists of a 140-hour internship placement in a paralegal working environment. Admission to the AAS program requires a high school diploma. For students seeking further education, Madison College has transfer agreements with several schools throughout the state.
1701 Wright St
Madison, WI 53704
Student Review: “Overall I had a positive experience in my paralegal program. The curriculum was geared towards future paralegals and legal assistants that would be working within the state and I learned a great deal about Wisconsin state law. I, however, had personal goals in federal patent law and my one and only patent and trademark law class plus the required intern position at a patent group was able to land me a job at a major intellectual property firm in Chicago. I know that some of my classmates struggled to find work in Wisconsin after the program so I felt that the program could have helped out graduates more with job placement. But I thought the instruction was excellent. All the teachers were former paralegals or attorneys so the content of the courses was practical and relevant to the real-life workplace. I would suggest my program to someone who is looking for a paralegal program. I was able to get through it quickly while working full time and it taught me what I needed and gave me the degree I needed to start a career.” -Student at Madison College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Student Review: “I liked the amount of information I learned at Milwaukee Area Technical College. I felt the instructors really knew what they were talking about and the program is ABA approved which is a good thing when going into a paralegal course. However, I am going for an associate’s degree which includes Gen Eds and some of the classes are a waste of time. I like that they do offer a ton of evening classes which is great because I work during the day. I wish they offered more online classes and more locations but this is a good start.” -Student at Milwaukee Area Technical College
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/