School and Ranking Information
Only three schools within 50 miles of Columbus offer paralegal programs. Based on location, graduation and tuition rates and programs available, the top Columbus schools with paralegal studies programs include the following:
- Winner: Columbus State Community College offers a certificate and an associate's degree in paralegal studies and had the most degrees conferred in 2011-2012.
- Runner-Up #1: Marion Technical College features an associate's degree program for paralegal studies and has the highest graduation rate of the three schools.
- Runner-Up #2: Clark State Community College, though the furthest away from Columbus, has the lowest tuition of these three schools.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Columbus State Community College||Marion Technical College||Clark State Community College|
|Location||Columbus, OH||Marion, OH (48.6 mi. from downtown Columbus)||Springfield, OH (47 mi. from downtown Columbus)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)||$3,400 (undergraduate, in-state)
$6,800 (undergraduate, out-of-state)*
|$4,016 (undergraduate, in-state)
$5,936 (undergraduate, out-of-state)*
|$3,196 (undergraduate, in-state)
$5,950 (undergraduate, out-of-state)*
|Paralegal Studies Levels Offered||Certificate; associate's degree||Associate's degree||Associate's degree|
|Paralegal Studies Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||82*||4*||N/A|
|Most Popular Paralegal Studies Program (2011-2012)||Associate's in Legal Assistant/Paralegal (58 awarded)*||Associate's in Legal Assistant/Paralegal (4 awarded)*||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2009 Entering Class||9%*||32%*||13%*|
|Noteworthy||The college also has a Delaware Campus in Delaware, Ohio, and nine off-campus centers in surrounding towns||The Marion Technical College Foundation, Inc. has raised over $1.5 million as well as over 2,500 scholarships**||The first technical college to be founded in Ohio|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, Marion Technical College.
Winner: Columbus State Community College
- The college has over 40 clubs and organizations active on-campus, including the Pre-Law Association and Student Paralegal Association
- 20:1 student-faculty ratio, according to NCES
- Program is approved by the American Bar Association
The associate's degree program in paralegal studies provides training for aspiring paralegals in the intricacies of the work, along with a well-rounded general education. Course topics include dispute resolution and legal writing, as well as the various types of law, such as criminal, family, business and real estate. In addition to a legal practicum, students also have the opportunity to complete an internship.
The post-bachelor's certificate program is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree or advanced degree and want to make a career change in favor of legal assisting. This program is focused solely on legal courses and includes a legal practicum. Coursework provides a foundation of knowledge in the legal system and legal writing.
Runner-Up #1: Marion Technical College
- 17:1 student-faculty ratio, according to NCES
- 91% of full-time beginning undergraduates received some form of financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
The Associate of Applied Business in Office Information Technology - Paralegal program is a 2-year curriculum that prepares students for careers as a legal assistant, title clerk, court officer, probate clerk and bankruptcy assistant. The 84-credit program includes instruction on bookkeeping, business software applications, accounts payable, title exams, Web page design and banking. The program also includes coursework in legal environments, probate administration, real estate law, ethics and debtor relations. In the final semester of the program, students will complete a capstone course and cooperative education experience.
Runner-Up #2: Clark State Community College
- Full-time beginning undergraduate students in 2011-2012 were awarded an average of $3,824 in grant or scholarship aid at Clark State based on data by NCES
- The student-faculty ratio was 17:1, according to NCES
Students who attend Clark State Community College have the opportunity to pursue an associate's degree in paralegal technology in conjunction with Sinclair Community College. Students will complete non-paralegal courses at Clark and paralegal courses at Sinclair; however, Sinclair has limited enrollment. Within the 73-credit program, students complete courses in office productivity tools, paralegal principles, legal technology, litigation, legal research and family law. Prior to completion of the program, students must take part in an internship.