Paralegal Diploma Programs in Seattle, WA with Course Summaries

Sep 28, 2018

The Seattle, WA, area has three colleges that offer training options for aspiring paralegals. To make an informed education decision, learn about the program and admission requirements at these schools located within 30 miles of the city's center.

Seattle Paralegal Schools

Although not licensed to practice law, paralegals assist attorneys with legal research and preparation. Students in the Seattle, WA, area wishing to become paralegals can find American Bar Association (ABA)-approved programs at a few nearby institutions. None of the schools below have paralegal diploma programs, but certificate and degree options are available. Take some time to compare the colleges in a few key areas like tuition costs and campus settings and read about the required coursework at these schools.

  • Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood is about 16 miles from downtown Seattle and offers a paralegal associate's degree, in addition to medical paralegal and advanced paralegal certificates.
  • Located about 13 miles from central Seattle, Highline College in Des Moines has certificate and associate's degree programs in the field.
  • Tacoma Community College, situated about 27 miles from Seattle's downtown area, also offers ABA-approved certificate and associate's degree paralegal programs options.

Comparison of Schools

If you'd like to know more about the profiled schools, check out this table to find out about costs, student enrollment numbers, graduation figures and more.

Edmonds Community College Highline College Tacoma Community College
School Type 4-year, primarily associate's; public 4-year, primarily associate's; public 4-year, primarily associate's; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 8,100* 6,824* 6,496*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb Midsize city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $3,822 in-state; $9,177 out-of-state* $3,936 in-state; $4,358 out-of-state* $4,146 in-state; $9,564 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 56%* 47%* 44%*
Acceptance Rate (2015) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Graduation Rate (students who began in 2011) 28%* 30%* 25%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Edmonds Community College

Located in Lynnwood, Edmonds Community College provides career training programs and prepares students for continuing education opportunities. According to the college website in 2018, this school has degree and certificate programs in about 25 areas of study, including business, construction management, culinary arts, allied health and paralegal studies. In addition to a minimum 90-credit paralegal associate of technical arts, this school also offers the following certificates.

Medical Paralegal Certificate

The 34-credit medical paralegal certificate is open to individuals who have earned a bachelor's or an associate's degree and who hold registered nursing credentials. The program is designed for medical professionals who want legal training in order to expand their career. Topics covered include civil procedure, legal research and basic medical paralegal law. Students also have the opportunity to explore advanced subjects such as torts, personal injury and liability, litigation and interviewing.

Advanced Paralegal Certificate

The advanced paralegal certificate is designed for students who have already earned or are pursuing a bachelor's degree. The program is comprised of 25 credits of mandatory courses in civil procedure, legal research and contracts. Students then round out the curriculum with 15 credits of electives, which cover topics like estate planning, torts, law office procedures, dispute resolution and law specialties. Paralegal seminars and internships are also available.

Highline College

Highline College's main campus faces the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound. According to the college's website in 2018, the school offers 100 educational and career training programs at the certificate and associate's degree levels. Students can pursue a paralegal associate's degree as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate. Other programs available at the school include law, journalism, communication studies, criminal justice administration, business and accounting.

Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal

The 2-year associate's degree is earned after successful completion of all paralegal and general education requirements. Students must complete a total of 98-102 credits. Students must also complete a cooperative work experience and seminars. Courses teach students how to perform legal research, communicate with legal professionals and use legal software. Students also choose further credit options from related fields, such as accounting, human relations, communication and composition.

Paralegal Plus Certificate

The paralegal certificate program at Highline is the option for aspiring paralegals who already possess a bachelor's degree. Requiring 55-57 credits, this program instructs students in legal fundamentals like civil procedure, legal research and writing for law. A variety of supporting courses give students the chance to learn about torts, contracts, estate planning and probate, criminal law and investigations. A cooperative work opportunity is included as part of the core curriculum.

Tacoma Community College

Tacoma Community College holds classes at two main locations and offers almost 100 degrees and certificates, according to the school website in 2018. Career training is available in business and accounting, allied health, human services and paralegal studies. Students can pursue paralegal certificate or associate's degree programs.

Associate in Applied Sciences in Paralegal

Students in the paralegal associate's degree program learn about the basic principles of legal analysis and how to work in a legal environment. The program is 101 credits and consists of core requirements, electives and general education courses. The curriculum covers topics in family law, bankruptcy law, contract and commercial transactions, estate planning and administrative law. An introductory internship is a core requirement, while an advanced internship is an optional elective.

Paralegal Preferred Pro-Certificate

The paralegal certificate program offered at Tacoma Community College is for students who already have an associate's or bachelor's degree. Students are required to complete 56 credits and earn at least a 'C' grade in all paralegal courses. Core requirements include legal research, civil procedure and legal research and writing. An internship is part of the curriculum. In addition, this school also offers a 45-credit Limited License Legal Technician certificate for those who already have a degree.

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