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Become a Paralegal in Nebraska

The outlook for the paralegal profession as a whole is promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 18 percent increase in paralegal and legal assistant positions from 2010 through 2020; in addition, their 2012 report showed 1,070 paralegals employed in Nebraska, with a healthy hourly mean wage of $21.00. The annual mean wage was $43,680, with paralegals in the 90th percentile earning as much as $60,670 per year. Online job search sites such as Indeed and Simply Hired show that paralegal positions are available not only within law firms, but also within a range of businesses, providing a variety of opportunities for those with paralegal skills.

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Featured Programs

*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:

Paralegal Certification

At this time, there is no mandatory licensing or certification for paralegals in Nebraska. However, having the education that qualifies you to take national certification exams is a step toward attracting the attention of prospective employers and helps to put you at the top of their lists of candidates who show initiative and professionalism.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in Nebraska

Paralegal Certificates

  • College of St. Mary

    Located in Omaha, College of St. Mary is a four-year, private Catholic women’s college offering a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate that can be completed through classes held every other weekend. All legal courses are taught by attorneys, and small classes allow for individual attention. Graduates of this program are working as paralegals for law firms, contract analysts, quality assurance officers, software compliance managers, legal brief reviewers and corrections officers. As of 2011. St. Mary’s had a 100 percent job placement rate for paralegal certificate program graduates.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $13,340 (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor Degree from an accredited institution
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus
  • Metropolitan Community College (MCC)

    Metropolitan Community College (MCC) offers a legal studies certificate of achievement on its South Omaha campus. This program requires that students have a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university. More in-depth than some certificate programs, this course of study requires 39.5 credit hours of major requirements and another 27 credit hours of elective requirements. This gives graduates a solid knowledge of basic legal concepts, business law, research, document preparation and specialty fields. In addition, MCC offers one of the most cost-effective legal studies programs in the country.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $3,525 for state residents; $5,287 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition; discounts available for seniors.
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus; select courses offered online

    Sample required courses:

    • Business Law I & II
    • Litigation
    • Introduction to Law
    • Legal Research & Writing I & II

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical institute offers an Associate of Applied Science in paralegal studies that covers legal ethics, legal research, document preparation, law office technology, criminal law and civil law, along with specialty areas of law. It also helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $40,896 (based on 2013 per-credit hours tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

    Sample required courses:

    • Criminal Law
    • Constitutional Law
    • American Government
    • Civil Litigation
  • Metropolitan Community College

    Metropolitan Community College‘s legal studies Associate in Applied Science requires 99 to 102.5 credit hours. Students not only complete a core program in legal studies, but also gain a well-rounded general education that emphasizes critical reasoning. This program prepares graduates to enter the workforce or to transfer to pre-law programs.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,247 for state residents; $7,871 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: At least a high school junior; at least 16 years old
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus; select courses offered online

    Sample required courses:

    • Business Law
    • Legal Research & Writing I & II
    • American National Government
    • Public Speaking
    • Criminal Law & Procedures

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • College of St. Mary

    College of St. Mary’s, a four-year, private Catholic women’s college, offers a Bachelor of Arts in paralegal studies and pre-law. This program emphasizes legal research and writing, as well as communication and ethics. All faculty are licensed attorneys.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $107,736 (based on 2013 per-semester tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; admission is based on high school record, class rank and ACT/SAT scores
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On Campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paralegal
    • The Legal Environment
    • Legal Research & Writing I & II
    • Contracts
    • Legal Seminar
    • Litigation I & II
    • Law Office Administration
  • Donane College

    Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, Donane College has been offering educational programs since the 1870s. Its baccalaureate degree in paralegal studies familiarizes students with the American legal system, criminal and civil laws, interviewing and investigation, in addition to areas of legal specialties. Students gain an understanding of the nature of legal research and learn to navigate standard law libraries.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $32,208 (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; ACT/SAT scores
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Legal Writing & Drafting
    • The American Legal System
    • Introduction to Legal Research
    • Litigation, Pleadings & Arbitration
  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University‘s Bachelor of Science in legal studies is an online, four-year program with a solid foundation in legal theory and practice. The curriculum is continuously evaluated to ensure that it is up-to-date and allows students to learn practical application of legal knowledge and skills. Multiple starts dates allow students to begin the program as soon as possible while juggling their studies with work and home responsibilities. Students can opt to pursue the school’s fast track to a master’s degree program, which allows them to begin to take graduate classes as undergraduates. Kaplan offers reduced tuition rates for active-duty military, their spouses and retired military members.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $66,780 (based on 2013 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

    Sample required courses:

    • Constitutional Law
    • Law and Society
    • Legal Philosophy
    • Introduction to Torts
    • Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing

Paralegal Master’s Degrees

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University‘s Master of Science in legal studies is for working individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to enhance their legal knowledge so that they can advance in the workplace or change careers. This interactive, supportive online program was developed by professionals in law, social science and teaching. Students can choose from four intensive study options (education and the legal system, health care delivery, legal system and the media or state and local government) or pursue a more generalized course of study.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $20,240 (based on 2013 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Format: Online

    Sample required courses:

    • Jurisprudence and Legal History
    • Academic and Professional Writing for Graduate Students
    • Applied Research in Legal Studies

Professional Organizations

  • The Nebraska Paralegal Association (NePA) was founded in 1976 to promote the paralegal profession. Members are supported through social events, continuing legal education, scholarships and job postings. Student members are welcome and the NePA offers resources for those deciding whether the paralegal profession is right for them.
  • The Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association (RMPA) serves paralegals in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. It promotes continuing legal education, training and support for paralegals, encourages pro bono work and community service and promotes communication and collaboration with other paralegal associations and related organizations.
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