Although paralegal training programs are common and widely offered, New Jersey students will have a difficult time finding diploma programs in the field. However, several community and county colleges offer associate degree programs in paralegal, legal studies or legal assisting. Participants study legal research and writing, litigation processes and legal transactions. They may also learn about family, criminal and property law. In addition, many programs integrate an internship experience to help students gain hands-on skills in the field.
Read overviews of ten of the largest of these schools, and compare their programs and tuition information in the table below.
Atlantic Cape Community College
Students in the Mays Landing area will find paralegal training opportunities at Atlantic Cape Community College. This school offers two associate degree programs designed for aspiring paralegals. The school's Associate in Science program is engineered to help students both prepare for a paralegal career and enhance their proficiency in legal research, legal writing and real estate transactions. The Associate in Applied Science degree is specifically designed for students who want to begin work as soon as they complete the degree. Both degree programs include a 3-credit cooperative education program that provides students with professional experience.
Bergen Community College
Located in Paramus, Bergen Community College offers a paralegal associate degree curriculum through its legal studies program. Students are required to take courses in legal fundamentals, wills and administration, property transactions and legal accounting. In order to obtain the degree, students must complete 65-66 credits, including a cooperative work experience.
Brookdale Community College
Students who live near Lincroft will find a paralegal studies program at this college that offers students a comprehensive overview of the profession and the skills they may need in the field. For example, students are trained in criminal procedure, litigation assistance, family law and legal writing. The program also includes an internship.
Rowan College at Burlington County
Pemberton's Rowan College at Burlington County offers students a chance to train for a paralegal career. The college's associate degree program for aspiring paralegals is designed to prepare individuals to communicate with legal clients, draft legal documents, manage cases and perform legal research. This program also includes a skills and practices course, as well as an opportunity to work as an intern at a legal office.
Camden County College
Students attending this Blackwood college can earn an associate degree in paralegal studies. The program trains students to use legal terminology, discuss legal concepts, think critically about legal issues and conduct legal research. The program can help prepare students for paralegal or legal assistant work at a law firm, a state prosecutor's office or the government. Students interested in a paralegal internship are offered that opportunity during their final semester in the program.
Essex County College
Essex County College can be found in Newark, and students interested in paralegal studies will find an associate degree program that can help them prepare for their career. Courses include legal writing, administrative law and litigation processes. This program will also prepare students to continue their studies at a 4-year institution, if they're interested in completing a bachelor's degree.
Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College, located in Jersey City, offers a legal assistant degree program that may be of interest to prospective paralegals. This program includes courses like computers for paralegals, legal assistant roles and legal research. Additionally, students take classes in business management, business math, family law, civil litigation and trusts. The program also offers students the opportunity to complete an externship in the field.
Middlesex County College
Through this Edison college's Department of Accounting, Business and Legal Studies, individuals can find an associate degree program in paralegal studies that can help them meet their career goals. The program includes classes that cover research, legal writing, the paralegal profession, property transactions and estate administration.
Raritan Valley Community College
Aspiring paralegals will also find a training opportunity in Branchburg at Raritan Valley Community College. This program is approved by the American Bar Association and can help prepare students for work at a law firm or prosecutor's office. Students take courses in business law, torts and litigation procedure. Additionally, the program includes an opportunity to complete a cooperative education course that provides students with professional experience.
Union County College
The associate degree program in paralegal studies at this public college in Cranford trains students in legal writing, legal document preparation and law office management. Students in this program are also afforded the opportunity to participate in a paralegal internship.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that individuals typically need an associate degree in paralegal studies to work as paralegals.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Paralegal Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Atlantic Cape Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural|| Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies,
Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies
| $4,818 (in-district)*
|Bergen Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Legal Studies - Paralegals|| $4,500 (in-district)*
|Brookdale Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $4,869 (in-district)*
|Rowan College at Burlington County||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal|| $4,725 (in-district)*
|Camden County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $4,320 (in-district)*
|Essex County College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies|| $4,995 (in-district)*
|Hudson County Community College||2-year, public; midsize cty||Legal Assistant Associate in Applied Science|| $5,718 (in-district)*
|Middlesex County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Legal Studies|| $3,516 (in-district)*
|Raritan Valley Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $4,612 (in-district)*
|Union County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies|| $5,140 (in-district)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator.