Raleigh Paralegal Schools
Paralegals are legal professionals who conduct research and help prepare documents for lawyers. This article focuses on the training it takes to prepare for a career in this field. Specifically, it covers the focus areas and coursework required in programs at three institutions in the Raleigh area. It also includes a table of statistics that allows for a quick comparison of the schools.
- Meredith College offers aspiring paralegals in Raleigh the opportunity to explore one of three available focused concentrations. The school, located downtown, offers a certificate program in the field.
- Durham Technical Community College (DTCC), which is located around 15 miles from central Raleigh in the town of Durham, offers an associate's degree program in paralegal technology with flexible learning options that include online classes.
- Students seeking alternative programs may want to consider Johnston Community College (JCC), which is located in Smithfield, NC, roughly 30 miles from Raleigh's downtown area. Paralegal programs at JCC include a 2-year associate's degree as well as a diploma with flexible class options that include Web-based courses.
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Comparison of Schools
Issues like cost and campus location can make a difference when deciding on one college over another. This table has many facts and figures on the profiled schools, including details on tuition, student enrollment and retention rates, that can help you make an informed choice.
|Meredith College||Durham Technical Community College||Johnston Community College|
|School Type||4-year; private not-for-profit*||2-year; public*||2-year; public*|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||1,980*||5,415*||4,152*|
|Campus Setting||Large city*||Large city*||Rural fringe*|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$35,916*||$1,958 in-state; $6,566 out-of-state*||$2,657 in-state; $8,801 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)||100%*||80%*||60%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||69%*||N/A Open admissions*||N/A Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||80% for full-time students*||61%* for full-time students*||62% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate||63% (for those who began their studies in 2011)*||15% (for those who began their studies in 2014)*||37% (for those who began their studies in 2014)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Meredith College's paralegal program offers three available concentrations: business organization, civil litigation and real estate. Students seeking enrollment within the school's paralegal program are considered on a rolling admissions basis, and they are required to have a bachelor's degree prior to seeking admission.
The paralegal certificate program requires students to complete five courses, which includes four mandatory classes and one specialty elective class. The program includes an optional internship, which provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working within an actual law office under supervised guidance.
Durham Technical Community College
Durham Technical Community College provides working adults with the skills, knowledge and training needed to work within specific industries. The college offers a paralegal technology program qualified by the North Carolina State Bar.
Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Technology
The associate's degree program can be completed in five semesters, training students to execute supervised legal work under the guidance of a practicing lawyer or attorney. Courses include civil litigation, case analysis and reasoning, legal research and writing, and family law. After graduation, individuals are qualified to take the Paralegal Certification Exam that is administered by the North Carolina State Bar. The format of classes includes daytime as well as evening classes and Web-based, online studies.
Johnston Community College
Johnston Community College provides students with several program options in paralegal technology, all of which are considered qualified by the North Carolina State Bar relative to certification.
General Law Office Certificate
The general law office certificate program requires 18 credits and may be a good choice for those students who have already acquired some experience working in the field. The courses are flexible and provide practical training. Studies include coursework in research and writing as well as classes focusing on various aspects of law and litigation.
Paralegal Technology Associate Degree
Students in this 2-year paralegal technology degree program learn the legal knowledge needed to aid attorneys. Coursework within the program includes business communication, administrative law, investigation and trial preparation, as well as classes in word processing, and law office technology.