Which Schools Offer Paralegal Degree Programs in Washington, DC?

Learn about paralegal studies degrees in Washington, DC. Get information about programs available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Paralegal degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you considering taking courses to become a paralegal in the DC area? Depending on how much postsecondary education you already have, you can find programs at the certificate, associate's and post-graduate levels. Based on your needs and schedule, find the program that works best for you.

What You Need to Know

You could earn an entry-level paralegal certificate in about four months, which covers topics in litigation and how a legal office works. Another path you could consider is earning an associate's degree in about two years. These programs combine general education requirements and paralegal courses.

Graduate paralegal certificates are also available. They take about a year and a half to complete, and you usually must have a bachelor's degree before enrolling.

Undergraduate Certificate Programs in Paralegal Studies in Washington, DC

Howard University School of Law

Howard University is a private doctoral and research university with a 258-acre urban campus on the northwest side of Washington, DC, and a separate West Campus for the School of Law. The paralegal studies program simulates an actual law office experience and includes courses in the stages of litigation, forms of evidence, law office investigations and legal analysis. You also learn how to prepare a variety of legal documents, become familiar with Washington, DC court structures and procedures and conduct yourself in a law office. While instructors for the on-campus program includes judges and lawyers, as a student in the online program, you will be assigned your own facilitator and have the opportunity to work at your own pace.

  • Program: Paralegal Certificate
  • Program Length: 272 hours; two evenings or one Saturday per week for four months
  • Tuition and Fees: $23,970 per year (undergraduate rates 2015-2016); specific program costs unavailable
  • Admission Requirements: Health clearance forms
  • School Type: 4-year, private (not-for-profit); approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 3,300 graduate students

Associate's Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies in Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia Community College

As part of the only accredited public college in Washington, DC, the University of the District of Columbia Community College is a relatively new part of the institution and now administers the school's associate's, certificate and workforce development programs. Through the Associate of Applied Science curriculum, you can acquire a background in general and liberal studies while taking classes in legal research and writing, introductory paralegalism, investigative techniques and law office administration. In your third and fourth semesters, you also take electives in business, law and legal assistantship. This program can help you acquire the skills you need for an early job placement in the field.

  • Program: Associate of Applied Science in Legal Assistant
  • Program Length: 62-63 credit hours or two years of full-time study
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,251 per year for in-state students; $11,233 per year for out-of-state students (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Computerized ACCUPLACER placement test; immunization records for students 26 and younger
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 4,500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students

Graduate Certificate Programs in Paralegal Studies in Washington, DC

Georgetown University

Georgetown University law center is located in the same area of the city as Congress and the Supreme Court. The university's paralegal studies program is the only one approved by the American Bar Association in the nation's capital and can prepare you for a career as an assistant to a United States attorney, counsel to a congressional committee, law clerk or paralegal.

Coursework for both the general legal and the litigation technology and legal project management tracks includes topics in legal research and writing, litigation and trial practice, civil procedure, contract law, corporate law, legal ethics and legal technology. The general legal concentration gives you the chance to take additional classes in advanced legal writing, tort law and legal specialties. If you decide to focus on litigation technology, the curriculum includes classes in advanced litigation and trial technology, eDiscovery and legal project management.

  • Program: Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Specialization Areas: General legal or litigation technology and legal project management
  • Program Length: Three semesters of part-time study for the evening program; 14 weeks of full-time study for the summer intensive program
  • Tuition: $44,712 per year (graduate tuition 2015-2016); specific program fee unavailalble
  • Admission Requirements: Undergraduate degree, resume or CV, two letters of recommendation and personal essay; English proficiency for non-native speakers
  • School Type: 4-year, private (not-for-profit); nearly 7,600 undergraduates and approximately 10,300 graduate students

The George Washington University

Tailored to serve the needs of busy adults, The George Washington University's off-campus programs are offered both online and at seven locations in Washington, DC, and nearby Virginia. The graduate certificate in paralegal studies is a combination of traditional classroom and online instruction and requires 18 credits to complete. Core coursework for all areas of specialization includes classes in legal research and writing, corporate and contracts law, American jurisprudence and litigation. Each concentration consists of two six-credit courses, and depending on which one you choose, you may be able to pursue an in-depth study of administrative or government contracts law, prosecution and litigation in intellectual property law or international trade and finance. This program can help you acquire the skills you need to work in a corporation, government agency or law firm; the credits you earn are fully transferable to the school's graduate degree in paralegal studies.

  • Program: Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Specialization Areas: Government law, intellectual property law and international law
  • Program Length: 18 credit hours or eight months of study
  • Tuition: $27,810 per year (graduate tuition 2015-2016); specific program costs unavailable
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admission Requirements: Statement of purpose, current resume and two academic or professional references
  • School Type: 4-year, private (not-for-profit); approximately 10,800 undergraduates and 14,900 graduate students

Master's Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies in Washington, DC

The George Washington University

This graduate program, available through The George Washington University's off-campus programs for professional adults, is a 32-credit course of study that builds upon the 18-credit graduate certificate curriculum. If you haven't earned your certificate at the university, the following may help you qualify for advanced standing: completion of the George Washington Legal Assistant Program and two years of substantial law experience or completion of a post-graduate certificate in paralegal studies from an accredited college or an ABA-approved program and a passing score on a school-designated competency exam.

In addition to fulfilling the core and legal specialties curriculum requirements, you complete a 2-credit independent research project and a non-credit internship. Both the graduate certificate and the degree programs emphasize ethics, professional responsibility and proficiency in the legal technologies associated with specific areas of study.

  • Program: Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies
  • Specialization Areas: Government, intellectual property and international law
  • Program Length: 32 credit hours or 15 months of study
  • Tuition: $27,810 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admission Requirements: Statement of purpose, current resume and two academic or professional references
  • School Type: 4-year, private (not-for-profit); approximately 10,800 undergraduates and 14,900 graduate students

For paralegal studies at the undergraduate certificate level, you can find a program at Howard University; at the associate's level, you can go to the University of the District of Columbia; at the graduate certificate level, programs are available through Georgetown University and The George Washington University; and at the master's level, you will find a program through The George Washington University.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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