Become a Paralegal in Colorado

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 5,520 paralegal jobs in Colorado. The average salary for these legal support professionals in Colorado was $62,950, or $30.26 per hour during this time. Colorado is ranked fourth in the nation for its average pay of paralegals.

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It takes a specialized education to become a paralegal. Find out more about the options in your area and how you can get the training you need through a flexible online program that fits your schedule.

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But work in one of Colorado’s bigger cities and earn significant experience, particularly in one or more law specialties, and you’ll earn a salary that more closely reflects the top 10%, which was $95,520, or $45.92 per hour during this time.

Paralegal Certification

There is no state regulation regarding certification for paralegals in the state of Colorado. However, the Colorado Bar Association Paralegal Committee developed Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegals, which provide a general framework of potential tasks that can or should be performed by a paralegal and serve as a guide for the efficient delivery of legal services.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree

Paralegal Certificates

  • The Community College of Aurora

    The Community College of Aurora is an affordable two-year community college, with campuses in Aurora and Denver. Its paralegal certificate course of study provides an excellent opportunity for individuals already in the workplace to expand their career knowledge for better job placement, and allows those just starting their education to lay the groundwork for a bachelor’s degree program.

    This certificate program requires 30 credit hours in paralegal coursework, plus an additional 30 credit hours of academic course work, including 18 hours of general education. Student who have have already completed an approved associate degree program only need to complete the 30 hours in paralegal courses to earn their certificate.

    • Estimated Tuition: $3,385 ($6,765 with additional 30 credit hours) for state residents; $14,987 ($29,895 with 30 additional credit hours) for non-residents (based on 2013-14 per credit hour fees after the College Opportunity Fund stipend)
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Requirements: Assessment tests, scores from ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER exams taken with the past five years, evidence of an Associate of Arts degree or higher OR evidence of a C or higher in prior college-level English and math courses.
    • Format: On-campus or hybrid (only select online courses are ABA approved)

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Law
    • Torts
    • Criminal Law
    • Contracts
    • Civil Litigation
    • Legal Research and Writing
  • Arapahoe Community College

    Arapahoe Community College is a two-year community college. The Paralegal Certificate, offered at its Littleton campus, requires 30 credit hours of major courses in the legal field; an additional six elective credit hours are also required.

    • Estimated Tuition: $5,345 for state residents; $18,694 for non-residents (based on the per credit fees for fall 2013). Because tuition costs are subject to change, it is suggested that you consult the fee schedule on the Arapahoe Community College website.
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Requirements: A college degree from a regionally accredited college or university OR chair approval based on at least five years of law-related work experience.
    • Format: On-campus or hybrid

    Sample required courses:

    • Legal Analysis
    • Computers and the Law
    • Introduction to Law
    • Torts
    • Legal Research
    • Cooperative Education
  • Front Range Community College

    Front Range Community College offers a 30-credit hour Legal Assistant Certificate program at its Larimer and Westminster campuses with some courses offered online. Designed for individuals seeking a more rewarding career, this program allows students to develop the technical skills needed to assist attorneys in an increasingly competitive workplace.

    • Estimated Tuition: $3,585 for state residents; $14,709 for non-residents (based on the per credit fees for 2013-2014)
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Requirements: Open admissions policy. Assessment testing is required
    • Format: Hybrid

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Law
    • Civil Litigation
    • Legal Research
    • E-Discovery and Litigation Technology
  • Pikes Peak Community College

    Since it first opened its doors as El Paso Community College 45 years ago, Pikes Peak Community College has grown in size, expanded its programs and achieved a reputation for providing a quality affordable education, making it an excellent institution for those returning to school for more skills or to use as a stepping stone to a four-year degree. This institution’s paralegal certificate can be completed in only 39 credit hours.

    • Estimated Tuition: $4,661 for state residents; $19,122 for non-residents (based on per credit fees for on campus classes for 2013-2014, factoring in College Opportunity Fund stipend)
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Requirements: Open to anyone 17 years and older. Students are required to take a computer science course prior to paralegal courses, or if proficient, to get a waiver. College preparatory courses are also required.
    • Format: On-campus or online

    Sample required courses:

    • Computers and the Law
    • Introduction to Law
    • Torts
    • Legal Research
    • Legal Ethics

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • The Community College of Aurora

    The Community College of Aurora offers two associate degrees for aspiring paralegals: an Associate of General Studies and Associate of Applied Science. Each requires 30 hours of paralegal courses and an additional 30 semester hours in general education courses.

    • Estimated Tuition: $6,765 for state residents; $29,895 for non-residents (based on 2013-14 per credit hour fees after the College Opportunity Fund stipend). Because tuition costs are subject to change, it is suggested that you consult the fee schedule on the Arapahoe Community College website.
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Requirements: Assessment tests, scores from ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER exams taken with the past five years, evidence of an Associate of Arts Degree or higher OR evidence of a C or higher in prior college-level English and math courses.
    • Format:On-campus or hybrid (only select online courses are ABA approved)

    Sample required courses:

    • Intro to Law
    • Torts
    • Contracts
    • Civil Litigation
    • Legal Research & Writing I
  • Arapahoe Community College

    The Associate of Applied Science Degree at Arapahoe Community College provides students with a solid foundation of basic legal knowledge, and allows them to develop the practical skills needed to assist licensed attorneys.

    • Estimated Tuition: $8,908 for state residents; $31,156 for non-residents (based on per credit fees for fall 2013). Because fees are subject to change, it is suggested that you consult the more detailed fee schedule on the Arapahoe Community College website.
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Requirements: Open admissions policy for those age 17 and older. Admission to the program also requires qualifying ACCUPLACER sentence skills and reading scores or completion of a college-level English course with a grade of “C” or better.
    • Format: On-Campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Legal Analysis
    • Torts
    • Contracts
    • Property Law
    • Civil Litigation
    • Legal Research
  • Front Range Community College

    Front Range Community College‘s Associate of Applied Science in paralegal studies program is offered at its Larimer and Westminster campuses with some courses offered online. This course of study stresses preparing the student for real-world situations, whether they’re just entering the competitive paralegal field, or are already assisting attorneys in the workplace and looking to upgrade their skills.

    • Estimated Tuition: $7,170 for state residents; $29,418 for non-residents (based on the per credit fees for 2013-2014)
    • ABA Approved: No
    • Requirements: Open admissions policy. Assessment testing is required: students who place into ENG 121 (or above), MAT 090 (or above), and REA 090 (or above) may begin this program of study.
    • Format: Hybrid

    Sample of required courses:

    • Introduction to Law
    • Torts
    • Contracts
    • Property Law
    • Legal Ethics
    • E-Discovery and Litigation Technology
    • Business Organizations

Professional Organizations

  • The Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association is a charter member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and is headquartered in Denver. It represents paralegals throughout the Rocky Mountain region, serving those in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. In addition to being employed by law firms, corporations and government agencies, its members volunteer and provide pro bono legal assistance in the community.
  • Pike’s Peak Paralegals is an affiliate of NALA. This non-partisan, non-profit association advances legal education, cooperates with organized bar associations to help formulate programs for legal assistants and works to establish good fellowship within the legal community.
  • The Colorado Bar Association works to improve the quality of legal practice, to support and improve the justice system and to support the community through volunteer work and education. Associate memberships are open to paralegals.

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary data and job market trends for paralegals reflect state and national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2022.

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