Online Paralegal Degree: Super Convenient Or Waste Of Money?

Online Paralegal Degree: Super Convenient Or Waste Of Money?

When it comes to earning a paralegal degree, you have the option to study online or in a traditional classroom setting. There are some advantages and disadvantages of an online paralegal degree that need to be carefully considered before deciding which one is best.

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Scheduling Concerns

Perhaps the biggest reason to consider an online paralegal degree is flexibility in scheduling. Online paralegal associate degree programs allow you to log in at your own convenience, so you can fit them in around work and other obligations. This can be ideal if you have a fluctuating work schedule or would need to arrange for childcare while attending classes.

Legal Research

While studying for a paralegal bachelor’s degree online, you will likely need to perform legal research at a local law library. If you’ve never researched at a law library before, you could find this process rather cumbersome to perform. You’re likely to get an assignment via email, and be left to your own devices as to how to complete it. When taking in-person classes, you’ll have the guidance of your instructor as you navigate this new territory, which is an advantage you won’t have when pursuing an online paralegal degree.

An alternative could be to take an on-ground legal research class near the beginning of your studies , and then take the remainder of your classes online. That way, you will be able to build good legal research skills early on, and should then be able to continue online classes with no problem.


Receiving a diploma from an ABA-accredited university can give you an advantage over other candidates when it comes to finding employment after graduation. The American Bar Association recognizes very few online paralegal degree programs, as there are very strict standards as far as course material goes. If you’re looking for ABA-accreditation, it could be best to attend in-person classes rather than taking them online. Even programs that are ABA-accredited usually require foundations courses such an introduction to law, legal research and writing, and civil litigation to be completed on campus before taking any other classes via the Internet.

online paralegal degreeIf you are a quick learner and are self-motivated, an online paralegal degree could help you achieve your educational goals.  On the other hand, if you require structured learning and one-on-one interaction, traditional classes may be better for you. Either option will adequately prepare you for the challenging work that is ahead of you once you become a paralegal.

Paralegals may not get paid as much as lawyers, but they are very important in the overall structure of the lawn firm. Without the paralegal, the lawyer will not be able to do what he needs to do. However a paralegal arrives at their position, their input is important and valued when they are on the job!

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