School and Ranking Information
About 13 institutions within 25 miles of Cleveland offer paralegal programs. Based on graduation rates and rankings, the top schools in the area are Ursuline College, Lakeland Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College.
- Winner: Ursuline College tops the list, offering the only bachelor's degree program in the Cleveland area that complies with American Bar Association guidelines. It also offers a post-graduate certificate.
- Runner-Up #1: Lakeland Community College features the second highest graduation rate of schools on the list. It offers an associate degree and certificate program.
- Runner-Up #2: Cuyahoga Community College is located in Cleveland and it offers certificates and associate's degrees.
School Comparison Table
|Category||Ursuline College||Lakeland Community College||Cuyahoga Community College|
|Ranking||60th among Midwest regional universities (2013)*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Pepper Pike, Ohio (11 miles from Cleveland)||Kirtland, Ohio (16 miles from Cleveland)||Cleveland, Ohio|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)||$25,790**|| $3,116 (in-district),
| $2,936 (in-district),
|Legal Assisting Programs Offered||Bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate||Associate degree; postgraduate certificate||Associate degree; postgraduate certificate|
|Legal Assisting Degrees/Certificates Awarded (2011-2012)||12**||41**||50**|
|Most Popular Legal Assisting Program (2011-2012)||Bachelor's degree (12 awarded)**||Postgraduate certificate (22 awarded)**||Postgraduate certificate (32 awarded)**|
|Graduation Rate (150% of Normal Program Time)||53% (2006 Entering Class)**||8% (2009 Entering Class)**||4% (2009 Entering Class)**|
|Noteworthy||Accelerated program available||Paralegal Club available to students||N/A|
Sources: *US News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: Ursuline College
- ABA approved bachelor's program
- Law school preparatory program
- 9:1 student-faculty ratio, according to NCES
In 1871, Ursuline College was founded as the first women's college in Ohio. Today, this private coeducational institution features a 9% male enrollment, according to NCES. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, the only ABA-approved bachelor's program in the Greater Cleveland area. The program is offered as an accelerated program geared to meet the eligibility requirements for paralegal certification or as a preparatory program for law school. Program courses include legal ethics, document creation, legal research, and civil procedure. Prior to graduation students must complete a professional paralegal seminar.
Elective topics cover specialized areas of law, including contract law, probate law, and real property. The coursework also examines juvenile law, corporate law, and medical-legal research. Students may also choose to pursue the 36-credit Post-Degree Certificate in Legal Studies, designed to be completed in two years.
1st Runner-Up: Lakeland Community College
- ABA-approved program
- Full- and part-time faculty members are practicing or former practicing attorneys
- Program available through online, weekend, day and even courses
- 18:1 student-faculty ratio, according to NCES reports
The paralegal program is offered through the business division. Students can pursue an Associate in Applied Business in Paralegal Studies, with program courses covering legal research, criminal law, employment law, and civil practice. Students also complete support courses in public speaking and computer applications, as well as a required legal internship.
Students that have completed 54 credit hours and six credits of English composition may pursue the 27-credit Certificate in Paralegal Studies. Prospective professionals may participate in the Paralegal Club, a student organization promoting awareness and interest in the profession.
2nd Runner-Up: Cuyahoga Community College
- School offers four campuses, as well as several corporate college locations
- ABA approved program
Cuyahoga Community College opened in 1963, becoming Ohio's first public community college. Students can pursue an Associate in Applied Business in Paralegal Studies by completing 62-63 credits of coursework in areas like legal writing, computer-assisted research, constitutional law, and environmental law. The associate degree program also features a required capstone project and practicum experience. Bachelor's or associate degree holders can pursue the 29-30 credit hours required to complete the post-degree professional certificate in paralegal studies.