There are numerous paralegal schools in Ohio to choose from. Whether you choose one of the many ABA-approved online paralegal programs in Ohio or choose to attend a traditional classroom setting, the goal will be the same. You want to receive the best education possible that will allow you to achieve your goals, as well as provide you with the necessary skills and abilities to adequately perform all of the duties that are required of a paralegal. Ohio paralegal schools all strive to offer the information and resources a graduate will need when they first set out on establishing their career.
For individuals who have been employed as a paralegal, choosing from several paralegal degree programs in Ohio can be challenging. It’s important to find one that offers skills you can add to what you already know. Continuing education programs that are offered online by many Ohio universities and colleges allow the student to return to school without having to give up their current job. Learning and earning at the same time is a win/win situation for both the graduate and their employer.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Paralegal Programs in Ohio
For the Online Paralegal Programs ranking of the top paralegal programs in Ohio, OPP editors searched for online and on-campus certificates and degrees from accredited institutions. From there, we ranked them according to variety of options, reputation, and salary potential.
1. Kent State University
Kent State University offers several paralegal programs that are considered among the best paralegal programs in Ohio and in the country. These paralegal courses are offered at several levels – associate’s, bachelor’s, and certificate programs. The American Bar Association has approved the paralegal programs offered by Kent State University. Students graduate from Kent State University’s paralegal programs to find work in the court system, a corporate legal office, or a private lawyer’s firm, to name a few.
Kent State University (KSU) was founded in 1910. The university’s main campus is home to more than 26,500 students, with the total student enrollment of 35,400 students. Kent State University is a member school of the University of Ohio system. Kent State University operates several campuses in northeast Ohio as well in New York and Italy.
Program: BA, AAS, or Certificate
2. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services offers two of the best paralegal programs in Ohio. These paralegal program from UC are campus-delivered and include a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal Studies or an undergraduate certificate in Paralegal Studies. The University of Cincinnati offers a transfer credit policy for those students in the middle of their studies. The University of Cincinnati requires students to complete at least 30 semester credits at the University of Cincinnati. Coursework for these paralegal programs includes legal research, family law, civil litigation, real estate law, and estate planning, to name a few.
The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819 and operates four campuses throughout Ohio, with the main campus in Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati’s campuses serve more than 46,100 students. The student enrollment of UC makes it the 2nd largest institution of higher learning in the state.
Program: BS or Certificate
3. University of Toledo
The University of Toledo (UToledo) offers two of the best paralegal programs in Ohio with its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Paralegal studies and its two-year associate degree (AS) in Paralegal Studies. Additionally, the University of Toledo offers a certificate paralegal program. The University of Toledo’s baccalaureate paralegal degree requires a 180-hour internship in a government agency or local law firm, for example. Coursework for these paralegal degrees and certificate include civil procedure, mediation, and criminal forensics, to name a few.
The University of Toledo (UToledo) is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1872. UT began as a trade school but now operates as a full-fledged university, including the University of Toledo Medical Center. Nearly 20,000 students attend classes on UT’s campuses in Toledo. The University of Toledo was the first state university that allowed for health insurance coverage of domestic partners.
Program: AAS, BS, or Certificate
4. Ursuline College
Ursuline College offers a BA in Paralegal Studies that is considered among the best paralegal programs in Ohio. Ursuline College’s paralegal programs are available on-campus and approved by the ABA – the American Bar Association. Students can opt for Ursuline College’s Bachelor of Arts degree or certificate program in paralegal studies that have been ranked nationally by the Bachelor’s Degree Center. Students graduate from Ursuline College’s program and enter the job market working in hospitals, banks, title companies, law firms, or government agencies, among others.
Ursuline College was established in 1871 as a private institution of higher education. The college’s campus is located about 15 minutes from Cleveland’s downtown in Pepper Pike serves more than 1,000 students studying for the more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Ursuline College holds the distinction of being the first Catholic college dedicated exclusively to women in the state.
Program: BA or Certificate
5. Mount St. Joseph University
Mount St. Joseph University (MSJU) offers several options for students interested in completing their paralegal studies at Mount St. Joseph University. These include an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, and a certificate in paralegal studies that are campus-based programs. Coursework for Mount St. Joseph University’s best paralegal programs in Ohio includes litigation, legal research, estates and trusts, legal environment, family law, communications, and real estate law, to name a few. Transfer credits are permitted if earned by a regionally accredited program with an ABA approval.
Mount St. Joseph University was established as a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning in 1920. The university’s campus covers more than 90 suburban acres and serves more than 1,700 students. The Sisters of Charity, related to Elizabeth Ann Seton, established Mount St. Joseph University.
Program: AA, BA, Certificate
6. Shawnee State University
Shawnee State University offers two of the best paralegal programs in Ohio with its Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree program and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Paralegal Studies. Shawnee State University’s campus-based degree programs in paralegal studies include classes like business law, legal assisting, legal assistant ethics, civil litigation, wills, and estates, plus a paralegal advanced placement practicum. Students graduating from Shawnee State University’s paralegal programs enter the workforce working in health care, insurance, estate planning, domestic relations, or litigations.
Shawnee State University was established in 1984 as an ‘opens admission’ institution of higher learning. Shawnee State University’s campus in Portsmouth covers more than 50 acres and serves more than 3,500 students. Shawnee State University’s humble beginnings began when the school was first a satellite center for Ohio University.
Program: AAB or BS
7. University of Northwestern Ohio
The University of Northwestern Ohio College of Occupational Professions offers an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree program in Paralegal Studies that is recognized among the best paralegal programs in Ohio. The University of Northwestern Ohio’s paralegal program is available on-campus or through the distance-learning platform offered by the University of Northwestern Ohio . Degree candidates must complete classes in juvenile law, real estate, ethics, criminal law, legal research, and litigation, among others. UNOH’s paralegal program requires the completion of 108 semester credits.
The University of Northwestern Ohio was established in 1920 as a school of commerce and business. The university follows an ‘opens admission’ policy and is home to more than 4,400 students. The University of Northwestern Ohio holds the distinction of being the first school in Lima and the first to offer a Microsoft IT and an accelerated bachelor’s degree program.
8. Cuyahoga Community College
Cuyahoga Community College offers two of the best paralegal programs in Ohio with its Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree program in Paralegal Studies or a certificate in paralegal studies. These campus-based programs prepare degree candidates to enter many sectors of the workforce, including insurance, the federal government, title insurance companies, and law firms, among others. Each of Cuyahoga Community College’s paralegal programs has received approval from the American Bar Association. Cuyahoga Community College’s paralegal AAB program requires two years of study.
Cuyahoga Community College was established in 1963. The college’s campus in Cleveland serves more than 25,000 students. The school’s distance learning program, Cable College is offered through Cleveland’s commercial cable systems. Cuyahoga Community College holds the distinction of being the largest and the oldest community college in the state of Ohio.
Program: AAB or Certificate
9. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (CSTCC) offers an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree program in Paralegal Studies and certificate paralegal program that are both considered among the best paralegal programs in Ohio. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College’s programs are available on-campus or online through the school’s distance learning platform. Coursework for these paralegal programs includes business law, estate planning, legal writing and research, litigation, plus a capstone and an advanced paralegal placement and internship. Students graduate from Cincinnati State with the skills necessary to assist judges, lawyers, and a host of other legal professionals.
Cincinnati State Technical & Community College (Cincinnati State) was established in 1969 as a technical school. The college’s urban campus in Cincinnati, Ohio serves nearly 10,000 students on an annual basis. CSTCC operates several local campuses in Evendale, Middletown, and Harrison. The Midwest Culinary Institute is a part of the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College campus.
Program: Associates or Certificate
10. Clark State Community College
Clark State Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Technology that is available on campus only. Among the best paralegal programs in Ohio, Clark State Community College requires the completion of 65 credit units to meet the paralegal program’s requirements. Classes included in Clark State Commnity College’s paralegal programs are family law, probate, legal research, paralegal principles, business communication, real estate, litigation, legal technology, plus an advanced placement internship.
Clark State Community College (Clark State) was established as a vocational school in 1962. The college’s campus in Springfield is home to more than 6,100 students studying for the more than 100 programs offered by the community college. Clark State Community College operates several campuses in Exenia, Beavercreek, Bellefontaine, and Springfield, Ohio.
Program: AAS – Paralegal Technology
Will a Certification Help My Paralegal Career?
The state of Ohio does not require paralegals to obtain a certification in order to find employment. Instead, paralegal graduates, as well as individuals who have worked in the field for several years to become certified voluntarily. They can do this be signing up for the certification program offered by the Ohio State Bar Association. By becoming a Certified Paralegal, graduates who receive a paralegal certification in Ohio can expect to earn higher wages as well as have the skills they will need to take positions that offer more responsibility and management status.
Ohio paralegal certification exams that are offered by the Ohio State Bar Association make it possible for paralegals to continue to advance in their field. Through continuing education programs that lead to Ohio paralegal certification, graduates are able to stay up to date on what’s new in the legal field and can also find new ways to provide more advanced services to their employers. This also allows them to consider management opportunities as a way of moving forward on their chosen career path. Paralegals can play many different roles in a law firm or other legal setting. The key is finding the role that best suits your professional goals.
How is the Job Market for Paralegals in Ohio?
The market for paralegal jobs in Cleveland Ohio, as well as many other communities throughout the state, is very lucrative. Attorneys are always looking for paralegal graduates who are ready to expand their horizons. Graduates who are looking for paralegal jobs in Columbus Ohio or any other community in the state have to look closely at their own goals. This allows them to find law firms and legal offices that are heading in the same direction. Whether you choose to work in a corporate law firm or one that deals with family and other types of civil law, you need to do your research to find similar like-minded firms that would benefit from having your skills.
Ohio paralegal jobs are always available for candidates who are willing to go the extra mile for their employer. Attorneys look for paralegal candidates who are self-starters and able to work on their own if the need arises. They also look for reliability and a strong work ethic that isn’t swayed if the going gets tough. Not everyone has what it takes to be a top-notch paralegal. Those who do, seek out the paralegal jobs that will provide them with the challenges and rewards they need to succeed in such a fast-past, goal-oriented field.
How Much Do Paralegals Make in Ohio?
The starting paralegal salary in Ohio will first depend on what level you are hired at. An entry-level position, even when the candidate has earned a degree in paralegal studies, will be rather modest compared to the salary of a paralegal who has worked their way up to a higher-level management position. Depending on what type of employment site you look at, the range for Ohio graduates with a paralegal degree or certification can range anywhere from $32,000 to $70,000 per year. Although several factors are used to come up with these numbers, having a quality education from one of Ohio’s best paralegal schools is always a plus.
Work experience will play a major role in determining an Ohio paralegal salary. Many students who are interested in the legal field will pursue a legal degree of some kind right out of high school Some may change their major in their Freshman or Sophomore year of college. Others may have started working as a paralegal while having a business or other type of degree. Choosing to return to school to earn a paralegal degree may be just what they need to go above and beyond their employer’s expectations, earning them a promotion and higher wage.