Online Paralegal Degree

 Did you know that you can earn your paralegal degree right online without ever leaving your home or office? The online paralegal degree is really nothing new at all, in fact, people have trained to become paralegals by correspondence for decades. The Internet has merely taken hold of an old concept and moved it up to the next level—and just in a nick of time.

There is an explosive and ever-growing need for qualified paralegals and legal assistants and there seems to be no end in sight. Opportunities for well qualified paralegals will continue to grow, but the key phrase to focus on is “well qualified.” The question is, can online paralegal degree holders really be classified as “well qualified” professionals? The answer in my opinion is a resounding YES! But, not all paralegal degree programs are alike, so you’ll want to work diligently select a school that’s right for you.

The days when a young man or woman could walk into a law firm and start an on-the-job training program are long gone. Even those of you lucky enough to find such a position will soon find that you’ll need to supplement on-the-job training with some formal education. Failing to do so will surely short circuit any dreams you may have of rapid promotions and sweet pay raises.

The reality is that law and a paralegal career, while quite interesting and financially rewarding, can be down right difficult. Bottom line: those with paralegal degrees (and certificates) hold a distinct advantage. But what if you cannot quit your job or move to another city to attend an on-campus program? That’s simple, enroll in an online paralegal degree program, but just make sure it’s a good one.

A good online paralegal degree program should do more than just offer you the flexibility of studying when and where you wish. You need a program that is both challenging and one that replicates the traditional classroom experience. You see, you need to be able to engage in a bit of academic discourse with your professors and peers if you really want to master the law. A good online paralegal degree program will offer student chat rooms where you can work together with your classmates and professors.


You should have the opportunity take a wide variety of legal subjects but also the flexibility to specialize in a particular area of law that suits and interests you such a real estate, criminal law, immigration, etc. Nowadays, paralegals (just like lawyers) are quickly becoming specialists—and specialists can and should expect to be paid higher salaries. I would not recommend an online paralegal degree program that doesn’t offer you both a well-rounded legal education and the opportunity to major in a particular area of law.

While more is generally better, you don’t need to obtain a four-year online paralegal degree to be successful; many paralegals get their start with certificate programs and associate degrees in paralegal studies. The point is you need a good legal education to succeed as a paralegal. Why not start off with a certificate program and then gradually build up to a two or four-year online paralegal degree.

About the Author

Peter J. Loughlin, J.D., LL.M. achieved his dream of becoming an attorney using only distance learning and online resources. Now he helps others achieve their online college degree dreams at and how to become a lawyer at You're closer than you think to a online paralegal degree.