Become a Paralegal in Arizona

Find Paralegal Programs

If you answer a few quick questions, we'll show you paralegal programs that are actively recruiting students with your educational background and location.

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Mountains and deserts, urban and rural environments, Arizona has it all. No matter which you prefer, there are opportunities for paralegals to have successful professional lives along with satisfying personal lives. By far, the Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale area has the most jobs of any area in the state: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 3,920 paralegals and legal assistants were employed there as of May 2012; these paralegals made the highest hourly mean wage in the state, bringing in $23.75 per hour. The artistic community in and surrounding Tucson also had a healthy need for paralegals, with 820 working there in 2012.

*Whether you’re looking to earn an undergraduate degree in preparation for the Certified Paralegal Exam, or ready to advance your career with a master's degree in legal studies, accredited online programs make it easier than ever to get the education you need:

Washington University School of Law offers an online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program. This 12-month master's degree allows paralegals to gain in-depth knowledge of US Law. The program can be completed without relocating or leaving your job. No GRE or LSAT scores required.

Arizona company Pet Smart, based in Phoenix, moved up in the Fortune 500 ranks in 2013, with $6.8 billion dollars in revenue. Republic Services, US Airways, Freeport-McMoRan Coppery & Gold and Avenet also made the list of Fortune 500 companies in the state. Thriving businesses like these need legal counsel, whether in-house, through law firms or both. Paralegals are considered a cost-effective asset in gaining legal support even when tough economic times call for cutbacks.

Whether a paralegal is just entering the workplace or is looking to advance, a paralegal education is a definite asset in competing for better, higher-paying positions. It’s also beneficial when looking for the personal satisfaction of choosing a specialty area of the law.

Paralegal Certification

There is no mandatory certification for paralegals or legal assistants who work under the supervision of an attorney in Arizona; however, as of July 2003, Legal Document Preparers who do not work under the supervision of an attorney must be certified. In addition, Legal Document Preparers must complete at least 10 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) each year.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Arizona

Paralegal Certificates

  • Arizona Western College

    Arizona Western College (AWC) is a community college based in Yuma. It offers an occupational certificate for paralegals that gives students the practical legal skills to needed work under the supervision of an attorney. They learn to prepare legal documents, become familiar with substantive areas of the law and come to understand legal theory as it relates to daily legal practices.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $2,072 for Arizona and California residents age 59 and under; $1,820 for Arizona and California residents age 60 & over; $1,652 for Arizona and California residents age 17 and under; $2,352 for non-Arizona and non-California residents age 59 & under; $2,100 for non-Arizona and non-California residents age 60 and over; $1932 for non-Arizona and non-California residents age 17 and under (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition; California residents need to fill out the Colorado River Educational Compact Program Application)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED or age 18 or above; those under 18 may be admitted if they meet certain criteria
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paraleglism
    • Introduction to Law
    • Legal Procedures
    • Legal Writing
    • Business Law for Paralegals
    • Legal Research
    • Insurance and Tort Law
  • Phoenix College

    Phoenix College‘s Paralegal Certificate Program emphasizes effective written and oral communication, as well as critical thinking, teamwork, computer proficiency and legal research techniques. Students become skilled in document preparation and organization, learn the basics of substantiative areas of law and are equipped to navigate the ethical issues often faced by paralegals. They can also choose to participate in an internship to gain real-world experience.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $2,673 for residents in Maricopa County; $11,022 for out-of-county state residents; $10,626 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition; students should consult Phoenix College’s tuition information for residency definitions and other classifications)
    • Prerequisites: Associate degree or higher; satisfactory placement test scores, completion of college composition and writing courses or permission of the Department Chair or Program Director
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Law
    • Civil Procedures I & II
    • Contract Law
    • Legal Research
    • Tort Law
    • Litigation Technologies

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • Everest College Phoenix

    Everest College Phoenix offers an Associate in Applied Science for paralegals in both Phoenix and Mesa. This program is designed to produce graduates who are skilled in legal document preparation, legal research, interviewing clients and preparing pleadings, and who are knowledgeable in contracts, estate planning, wills, trusts, estate taxes, estate sales and joint tenancy. And, the college’s Career Services Department assists students before and after graduation.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $33,120 (based on 2013-2015 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED or bachelor’s or associate degree with 2.0 GPA or higher
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Computer Applications
    • Introduction to Paralegal
    • Legal Research & Writing I & II
    • Contract Law
    • Law Office Management
    • Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
  • Pima Community College

    Pima Community College offers a paralegal associate of Applied Science program at its Downtown Campus in Tuscon via day, evening and weekend classes for the convenience of students who work, or who wish to advance more quickly in their studies. Students learn to draft legal documents, investigate legal cases and perform legal research under the supervision of an attorney, and take part in an internship.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $4,323 for state residents; $21,714 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paralegal Careers
    • Civil Litigation Procedures I & II
    • Legal Writing
    • Computer Assisted Legal Research
    • Paralegal Ethics

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Post University – Online

    Post University was founded in 1890. Although it’s based in Connecticut, online programs have allowed it to offer quality education to students around the country who are looking to learn on their own schedules. This school’s online Bachelor of Science in legal studies program has a strong focus on innovation, creativity and leadership; it’s highly interactive, offering a practice-based learning environment. Student can also take advantage of the University Writing Center and one-to-one online tutoring services at no additional charge, and technical help is available 24 hours a day.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $66,000 (based on 2013 per-credit tuition cost)
    • Requirements: High school diploma, GED or completion of home-school program; enrolled in or have successfully completed at least 16 credits in a college preparatory program
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

    Sample required courses:

    • Elements of Organizations
    • Introduction to Law Civil Litigation Practice
    • Legal Writing
    • Liberal Arts classes
    • Math

Paralegal Master’s Degrees

  • University of Arizona

    The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) offered by the University of Arizona is a 30-credit program for professionals who desire to increase their legal skills; it’s suited for paralegals or anyone who works with attorneys and the law. This course of study provides a solid foundation in laws, regulations and negotiations. Students gain knowledge specific to their areas of interest and learn how contemporary legal and world issues relate to those areas. Full-time students can complete the program in a year; those who study on a part-time basis can take up to four years to complete the program. In addition to pursuing a self-designed concentration or a general course of study, students can earn specialized certificates in a number of areas, including:

    • Legal Compliance and Legal Risk Management
    • Mining Law and Policy
    • Environmental Law and Policy
    • International Trade and Business Law
    • Criminal Law and Police
    • Family Law
    • Estimated Program Cost: $18,000 (based 2013-2014 full-program tuition; prorated for part-time study)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum 3.0 GPA
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus

Additional Paralegal Educational Programs

Professional Organizations

  • The Arizona Paralegal Association (APA) is the largest paralegal association in the state. It offers its membership Continuing Legal Education (CLE) opportunities through monthly lunch seminars and other programs, as well as provides networking opportunities. Its monthly publication, “The Digest,” includes articles on trends in the legal field, insight into legal briefs and other news; members can also take advantage of a job bank.
  • The Maricopa County Association of Paralegals (MCAP) provides quality Continuing Legal Education for its membership. This non-profit organization is the only paralegal organization in the state to offer CLE at no cost in addition to membership dues. It also cooperates with bar associations, provides forums for members to exchange information and ideas and support the aims of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
  • The Tucson Paralegal Association (TPA) subscribes to the Code of Professional Responsibility for Legal Assistants as set forth by the NALA. They offer support for paralegals, as well as networking and CLE opportunities and a mentoring program.
  • Arizona State Bar (ASB) is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court to regulate attorneys, provide education and protect the public.
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