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What Are ABA Approved Paralegal Programs?

In Education
September 15, 2021
What Are ABA Approved Paralegal Programs?

Trying to find the most relevant degree program can be an exhaustive game. Even with all of the information available on the internet, there are still loads of degree programs that don’t seem worth your time or money. One way to ensure that you’re not wasting your time is by checking out ABA-approved paralegal programs. 

This article will discuss what it means to be ABA-approved, what being an ABA-approved paralegal program entails, and explain why this is a good idea.

What Are ABA Approved Paralegal Programs?

1.Paralegal Certificate Program

American National University’s Certificate In Paralegal Studies Program is a professional-level program that offers students the opportunity to become fully trained and licensed paralegals. There are only a few ABA-approved paralegal programs, and ANU is one of them.

ANU’s paralegal certificate program is unique because it is offered full-time. The program is also designed to be flexible according to your schedule. One advantage of this program has to do with the fact that it gives you access to state-of-the-art technology. 

Students can strengthen their skills through learning how to use modern technology tools, such as the internet. Exercises performed can be done from anywhere at any time. When you enroll in the program, you will have access to several powerful learning tools, such as a Learning Management System, a Q&A Forum, and an Online Library. These tools allow you to study anytime and anywhere.

2. Paralegal Degree Programs

The ABA-approved designation means that the program is designed to give students a more realistic view of what it really takes to be a paralegal. It is possible to go through an ABA-approved paralegal program and graduate without ever taking a final exam. It is also possible that the program will not offer any academic credit for internships or hands-on experience.

ABA approved paralegal programs are designed to give students a more realistic view of what it takes to be a paralegal. It is possible to go through an ABA-approved paralegal program and graduate without ever taking a final exam. It is also possible that the program will not offer any academic credit for internships or hands-on experience.

The ABA-approved program seeks to compensate students for authentic things that are not always covered in school. The ABA-approved designation means that the academy is working with state licensing boards to ensure that paralegals are hired in ways that the lawyers are comfortable with.

The ABA Approval Process

1. The ABA Evaluates Programs

The American Bar Association is a leading national source for information about the legal profession. Although the ABA is not a regulatory body, it does take an active role in providing accreditation to law schools. It oversees several different accreditation programs to ensure that there are uniform sets of requirements and guidelines for degree programs. 

Concerning the specific ABA-approved paralegal programs, the American Bar Association evaluates several different factors. These include accreditation standards, faculty qualifications, student admission requirements, and participation in meaningful learning experiences.

2. The ABA Approves Programs

Once the ABA has evaluated a program, it will set out standards for accredited programs. These standards include criteria such as sufficient faculty, sufficient course hours, and adequate curriculum. Having achieved these standards implies that the program can provide a student with a credential that can be valued in several different industries. If a program meets these standards, the ABA will approve the program and award it its official accreditation status.

How Important Is It To Get Educated Through An ABA-approved Program?

It is important to get ABA-approved paralegal programs in certain situations. For example, most employers would require that a new employee completed an ABA-approved program to work in the field of paralegal studies. It is also often required that education programs meet ABA accreditation standards for people who wish to take the ABA licensure exam for paralegals. 

On top of that, there is often more of an incentive to get an ABA accreditation for paralegal programs because of the networking opportunities it provides.

Advantages to an ABA-Approved Paralegal Program

1. Employment Opportunities

With an ABA-approved paralegal program, students can make themselves more attractive to potential employers. For example, many employers will require that a candidate has completed an ABA-approved program.

2. Receive ABA Certification

Another reason why employers prefer ABA-accredited paralegal programs is that such schools will also award students with ABA certification. This certification allows students to demonstrate their competency in paralegal studies, and it can give them a greater edge over other candidates for certain jobs.

3. ABA Licensing

For some people, it may be worth the extra effort to get an education through an ABA-approved program because it can make them eligible to take the ABA licensure exam. The ABA-licensure exam is the most important opportunity for paralegal certification, and passing it means that a student is granted their certification in paralegal studies.

3. Networking Opportunities

Another advantage to ABA-accredited programs is that they allow students to connect with other paralegals and legal assistants. This connection can give them a great advantage over other candidates for jobs. This network of professionals can also help students get interviews with employers and paralegal firms.

What kinds of schools offer ABA-approved programs?

1. Public Schools

Many public schools offer ABA-approved law programs. One example is California Coast University, a public, independent university with its main campus in downtown San Diego. On top of its Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program, the university also offers an online paralegal certificate program. 

Other public universities with ABA-approved programs include Auburn University at Montgomery, The City University of New York, and the University of Michigan–Dearborn.

2. Private Schools

Another way to pursue ABA-accredited programs is through private schools. Several private law schools also offer ABA-accredited programs.

3. Public/Private Partnerships

There are public and private partnerships formed between public universities and businesses, including the University of Wisconsin Law School at Marquette University, founded by the University of Wisconsin System. This partnership allows students to get an education tailored to help them get professional jobs in their field of study.

How can you find schools with ABA-accredited programs?

There are many ways to learn about schools with ABA-accredited programs. One effective way is to search for them online, especially popular sites like ParalegalEDU.org, although it may be important to compare the information on more than one website.


Getting an education through an ABA-approved program is something that many people consider to be worthwhile. These programs can help them get jobs in their fields of study, including paralegals who wish to get the most out of their profession. Such programs can also help students get licensing or certification. Getting ABA accreditation also provides students with more networking opportunities, making it easier for them to find employment.