How Can I Determine if a Paralegal Degree Program Is Accredited?
Studying in an accredited paralegal degree program enhances a graduate's ability to find the best jobs with the highest wages. Read on to learn about the accreditation process and universities accredited by the American Bar Association.
Determining Accreditation for Paralegal Programs
The American Bar Association (ABA) is involved in the accreditation of paralegal degree programs through its Standing Committee on Paralegal Studies. This committee works through the ABA Approval Commission to develop and promote the policies that are used to evaluate paralegal education and training programs.
Important Facts About Paralegals
|Entry-level Education||Associate's degree|
|Work Environment||Legal offices, Law libraries|
|Median Salary (2020)||$52,920 (for paralegals and legal assistants)*|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||10% (for paralegals and legal assistants)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The ABA reviews and evaluates all programs that it approves. Its goal is to find programs that meet the ABA guidelines and help students find high-quality paralegal education and training. The approval process is accomplished by extensively investigating documents that are prepared by the paralegal program, but first, the program must apply for ABA approval. They then submit a self-evaluation report and pertinent exhibits to the Standing Committee on Paralegal Studies. After reviewing the evaluation report and conducting an on-site visit, the reports of the site visit team are submitted to the Approval Commission for review. If the program complies with the guidelines of the Standing Committee on Paralegal Studies, the program is approved. Programs must submit interim reports to ensure that they continue to comply.
Map of Schools
Finding accredited schools is as easy as going to the Directory of ABA Approved Paralegal Education Programs (www.abanet.org). On this website, students will find an interactive map that lists all programs approved by the American Bar Association. Contact information for each program is provided.