Schools with Legal Administration Programs: How to Choose

Legal administration programs provide certificates as well as associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees that prepare students for a variety of jobs that support the legal process. Students can choose from programs that expand upon their own existing experience and training, or prepare them for a new career in legal administration.

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Legal administration associate and bachelor's degree programs can be found at many 2- and 4-year colleges. Master's degree programs are generally offered by universities with a law school or professional studies department.

Schools Offering Legal Administrative Assistant Programs

Legal administration programs are offered at the institutions listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Blackhawk Technical College Janesville, WI 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $4,045; Out-of-state $5,971
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $10,190; Out-of-state $14,660
Jefferson College Hillsboro, MO 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $2,400; In-state $3,576; Out-of-state $4,728
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $4,360; Out-of-state $6,286
North Iowa Area Community College Mason City, IA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $4,793; Out-of-state $6,799
Olympic College Bremerton, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,837
St Philip's College San Antonio, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $2,088; In-state $5,550; Out-of-state $10,740
Yuba College Marysville, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,144; Out-of-state $6,475
College of Western Idaho Nampa, ID 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $3,264; In-state $4,264; Out-of-state $7,200
Lake Land College Mattoon, IL 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $3,459; In-state $7,282; Out-of-state $13,084

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Court Reporting
  • Legal Administrative Assistant or Secretary
  • Legal Assistant or Paralegal

School Selection Criteria

There are many things to consider when selecting a program in this discipline.

  • Schools that offer internship opportunities allow students to gain practical experience at a law firm, court, corporate legal department, bank or government agency, and may make graduates stronger job candidates or provide the opportunity to parlay the internship into a full time position.
  • Schools that offer job placement assistance and have relationships with local law firms or corporations can be a valuable service to graduates, and programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) may help candidates secure better positions upon graduation.
  • Working students may prefer schools that offer live classes during evenings and weekends to make obtaining a degree more feasible.
  • Students should be sure that their chosen program complies with requirements for the state in which they want to work. Program curricula might also prepare graduates to earn certification from such professional associations as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the American Alliance of Paralegals.

Legal Assistant Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are geared towards students who already hold an associate or bachelor's degree and are either already working in the field or would like to shift their career focus. Programs range from 18-60 credits and many include a semester for an internship.

Associate Degree in Legal Administration

Typically two years long, associate degree programs include general education classes to complement courses in legal administration. Proven competency in English and computers is also a requirement for most programs. Students aspiring to become paralegals may elect specializations in general law or litigation.

Bachelor's Degree in Legal Administration

In these 4-year programs, students hone their legal research and analytical skills. In several programs students will get exposure to accounting and billing procedures for a law office. Some programs include paralegal certification and many students earning a bachelor's degree go on to apply to law school.

Master's Degree in Legal Administration

Students in a master's degree program are normally preparing for a career managing legal organizations, courts or law firms. Typically around 30 credits, these programs can include specializations in law firm administration, court administration or international court administration. These programs are normally open to candidates with a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent and usually require GMAT, LSAT or GRE scores.

Legal administration programs are available at several institutions at the undergraduate and graduate level. Certificate and associate's degrees in legal administration are common, and some schools also offer bachelor's or master's degree programs.

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