What Degree Do You Need to Be a Paralegal?


Paralegals are always in high demand, and you can find a career in many places besides a law firm – although there are plenty of those positions available as well. Paralegals provide assistance to lawyers in dealing with everyday tasks. They may prepare legal documents, gather information related to a case, or research legal precedent. They may also provide a wide variety of legal assistance to government agencies, real estate offices, NGOs and more. Given their importance in the legal world, paralegals enjoy a healthy job market and competitive salary.

That said, in order to become a successful paralegal, you likely need the appropriate degree. What degree do you need to become a paralegal?

Paralegal Degree Options

There are a few different paralegal degree options to consider. National American University offers both the Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies and the Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. The program that you choose will depend on a number of different factors, so let’s examine both paralegal degree programs just a little more closely to give you a better understanding of which program might be better for you.

Paralegal Associate Degree

The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies is a two-year degree program that provides students with the legal background and understanding of law office applications to successfully complete the responsibilities of a paralegal. In most cases, law offices and other hiring organizations will require that a candidate has at least an Associate degree in order to apply.

Paralegal Bachelor Degree

The Bachelor of Science degree program includes similar courses as the Associate degree program, but it is a four-year program and consists of more advanced and comprehensive coursework.

Which Paralegal Program Is Right for Me?

There are many different considerations you’ll need to make in order to decide which program is right for you?  Do you have the time needed to complete a four-year program? Are you planning on getting into management or eventually going to law school to become a lawyer? Can you afford to be in school longer, or are you looking to make a career change as soon as possible? These are all questions that will help you determine which paralegal degree program makes the most sense for you.


If you need additional help, please speak to an admissions representative at a National American University campus near you. Our admissions team can provide additional information on each program and show you figures on graduation rate, career placement, and more. Contact us today at 855-448-2318 to get started.


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