In Georgia, paralegal programs are commonly offered through undergraduate certificate programs, ranging from 12-30 credit hours, and associate degree programs. A few schools also offer bachelor's degree in paralegal studies or legal assisting, and one school listed below offers a 38-credit diploma program. Courses cover legal research and writing as well as law office management. Students can also learn about specialized legal areas, including family, civil, intellectual property, bankruptcy, tort, and employment law. Several programs integrate one or more internship experiences to allow students to develop practical skills in the field.
Athens Technical College
An American Bar Association (ABA)-approved associate's degree program in paralegal studies is offered at the Athens campus of this community college. Students complete courses in law and ethics, legal research, family law, tort law, and real estate law, as well as two paralegal internships. In addition to general education and paralegal studies core courses, students choose one elective course from bankruptcy/debtor-creditor relations, healthcare or administrative law.
Atlanta Technical College
A 69-credit associate's degree program in paralegal studies is offered by Atlanta Technical College (ATC) in Atlanta. ATC offers an elective in constitutional law, but it does not offer an administrative law course, as many other paralegal programs do. Paralegal internships are required before the degree is conferred. Applicants to this program must be 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.
Augusta Technical College
Augusta Technical College is situated in Augusta and offers an associate's degree in paralegal studies. In addition to general education classes in composition, math, and literature, students complete paralegal courses in law office management, contracts, and ethics. They also must complete a paralegal internship and choose 2-3 electives, including a second internship or technical communications or legal research course.
Central Georgia Technical College
Located in Macon, Central Georgia Technical College's (CGT) paralegal associate's degree program is ABA-approved. Offered as part of the public services division, this 69-credit program includes an administrative law course as part of the core specialty curriculum, as well as two internships. CGT accepts transfer credits from ABA-approved institutions on a case-by-case basis.
Clayton State University
Clayton State University in Morrow is part of the University System of Georgia. Clayton State offers two ABA-approved paralegal programs: an associate's degree program and a certificate program offered to applicants with a bachelor's degree or qualifying associate's degree. The 30-hour paralegal certificate program covers core legal studies courses. Qualifying paralegal certificate students have an opportunity to be awarded a HOPE grant to assist with their education expenses. Clayton State's elective courses include intellectual property law and employment law.
Darton State College
Another college that is part of the University System of Georgia, Darton State College in Albany offers an associate's degree in paralegal studies and a paralegal studies certificate program. Darton's 61- to 64-credit associate's program includes introductory law courses for paralegals, along with electives. The certificate program is 30 credit hours and covers basic law coursework. Students can transfer these credits to the associate's degree program. Georgia residents might qualify to have the paralegal certificate program funded through a HOPE grant, and students have access to the Paralegal Students Association.
Savannah Technical College
Savannah Technical College in Savannah offers an associate's degree program in paralegal studies to applicants who are at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Students complete 15 credits of general education core requirements in four areas, including language arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The 42-credit occupational core covers computers, ethics, research and writing, civil litigation and office management in a legal setting, as well as including a paralegal internship. To round out the 69-credit program, students complete nine credits of electives.
Southern Crescent Technical College
Southern Crescent Technical College offers three paralegal programs at its campus in Griffin. The 12-credit-hour paralegal fundamentals certificate program introduces students to the paralegal profession, offering courses in law and ethics, criminal law and procedure, family law and computers. The 38-credit-hour paralegal studies diploma program explores legal research and writing, law office management and some specialty law courses. In addition to the general and specialty law courses provided in most associate's degree programs, Southern Crescent offers electives in constitutional law, advanced legal research and writing, and technical communications.
University of North Georgia
Three paralegal programs are offered at the university in North Georgia in Gainsville. North Georgia offers an associate's degree program in paralegal studies, as well as a bachelor's degree program for students who already hold an associate's degree in paralegal studies from an ABA-approved program at an accredited institution. The bachelor's degree program examines subjects like business law, paralegal professional responsibility and interviewing techniques.
Valdosta State University
Located in Valdosta, this university's Department of Political Science offers a 120-credit bachelor's degree program in legal assistant studies, which qualified students for positions as paralegals. In addition to general education courses, coursework in the legal assistant major includes legal research, legal writing, paralegalism, judicial process, logic, and argumentation. In addition to completing the required coursework, students complete an internship in legal studies.
Georgia does not require paralegals to be certified or licensed to practice; however, paralegals are prohibited from providing legal services directly to the public. Paralegals generally work under the supervision of an attorney, conducting legal research, writing legal documents and assisting with trial preparation.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Paralegal Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Athens Technical College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $2,798 in-state;
|Atlanta Technical College||Two-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $2,820 in-state;
|Augusta Technical College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $2,794 in-state;
|Central Georgia Technical College||Two-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Technology in Paralegal Studies|| $2,778 in-state;
|Clayton State University||Four-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies,
| $5,419 in-state;
|Darton State College||Four-year public; small city|| Certificate in Paralegal Studies,
Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
| $5,735 in-state;
|Savannah Technical College||Two-year, public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Technology in Paralegal Studies|| $2,744 in-state;
|Southern Crescent Technical College||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Technical Certificate of Credit in Paralegal Fundamentals,
Paralegal Studies Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
| $2,842 in-state;
|University of North Georgia||Four-year, public; fringe town|| Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies,
Paralegal Studies Certificate,
Bachelor of Applied Science Paralegal Studies Concentration
| $4,692 in-state;
|Valdosta State University||Four-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Legal Assistant Studies|| $6,410 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator