Become a Paralegal in North Carolina

As of May 2020, there were 10,940 paralegal jobs in North Carolina, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). During this time, paralegals here earned an average salary of $49,540, or $23.82 per hour. But for those who have climbed the professional ladder and assumed top positions in law firms or in the law departments of major corporations, salaries here can go much higher. In fact, the top 10% in North Carolina earned about $73,740 as of May 2020.

Search Paralegal Programs

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.

Sponsored Listings

As of 2020, North Carolina was home to no less than 13 Fortune 500 companies, including major names like Walmart, Amazon, Exxon Mobil, Apple, and CVS Health. These big businesses and others need people with paralegal skills, as do legal firms throughout the state.

Paralegal Certification

Paralegal certification is a voluntary program offered through the North Carolina State Bar. A plan for certifying paralegals was approved by the state bar and adopted by the state supreme court in 2004.

Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in North Carolina

Paralegal Certificates

  • Central Piedmont Community College

    Located in Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College offers a paralegal technology diploma program for students who already have an undergraduate degree and want to expand their knowledge and increase their practical skills. Courses are comprised of lecture and lab hours, and students take part in a co-op work experience. Students study basic law, research, legal writing, public speaking and numerous areas of specialty law, and can complete the program through day or evening courses.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $2,932 for state residents; $10,804 for out-of-state students (based on fall 2013 per credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: high school diploma or equivalent; bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or hybrid (on campus and online)

    Sample required courses:

    • Introduction to Paralegal Study
    • Legal Research/Writing I & II
    • Civil Litigation I & II
    • Commercial Law
    • Real Property
  • Charlotte School of Law

    Charlotte School of Law’s Paralegal Certificate Program is a flexible program that students can complete in six months or less on-site in the traditional classroom format in Charlotte, NC or online in a real-time (live) simultaneous broadcast format, from any geographic location with high-speed internet. Charlotte School of Law is one of only two Paralegal programs that offer this modality in the state of North Carolina. Some of the benefits of choosing this program include, but are not limited to a law library that holds the largest, most comprehensive law collection in western North Carolina, supporting our practice-ready curriculum; Internships in the legal community such as the District Attorney’s Office, small to large law firms, nonprofits, corporations, etc.; career and professional development counseling and assistance (with one-on-one meetings, resume workshop and mock interview sessions); and an Alumni network.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,500 for tuition [tuition does not include the cost of books, parking, and possibly exams proctored during class (online students only)]
    • Prerequisites: associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree
    • NC State Bar Designated: Yes
    • Format: On campus or online (live)

    Sample required courses:

    • Legal Research
    • Fundamental Skills (Legal Writing and Professionalism)
    • Civil Litigation
    • Immigration
    • Real Estate
    • Criminal Law
    • Internship (elective)
    • And many more
  • Meredith College

    Meredith College, located in Raleigh, offers a flexible, graduate paralegal certificate program that’s approved North Carolina State Bar and that can be completed in two semesters of three-day-a-week evening classes. Students choose from three areas of concentration: civil litigation, business organizations and real estate. The average class size is 20 students, allowing students to build relationships with both peers and professors. Meredith offers job placement assistance during and after the program.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,786 (based on 2013-2014 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Legal Survey
    • Legal Research
    • Law Office Management & Professional Responsibility

Paralegal Associate Degrees

  • Pitt Community College

    Pitt Community College‘s Associate in Applied Science in paralegal technology is a flexible program that students can complete through day or evening classes; some courses are also available online. Students are prepared to join the work force as they learn the skills vital to supporting attorneys and working in paralegal positions in corporations and government entities.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,363 for state residents; $19,763 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus or hybrid (on campus and online)

    Sample required courses:

    • Argument Based Research
    • Critical Thinking
    • Civil Injuries
    • Legal Research & Writing
    • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Carteret Community College

    Located in Morehead City, on the beautiful east coast of North Carolina, Carteret Community College (CCC) offers an Associate in Applied Science in paralegal technology. Students gain a thorough knowledge of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, and commercial law, preparing them for entry-level positions in legal settings.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $5,148 for state residents; $18,972 for out-of-state students (based on 2013-2014 per-credit tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or 18 years of age or older
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Commercial Law
    • Criminal Law
    • Civil Litigation I
    • Real Property I
    • Expository Writing
    • Prof Research & Reporting

Paralegal Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Post University Online

    Post University‘s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies explores how the law intersects with society, business and government. Classes are interactive, offered in eight-week modules six times a year, and faculty members have advanced degrees and real-world legal experience. Technical assistance for this online program is available by phone, chat and email 24 hours a day.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $66,000 (based on 2013 full-program tuition)
    • Prerequisites: 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:

    • Introduction to Communications
    • Introduction to Computing
    • Introduction to Law
    • Environmental Law & Practice
    • E-Commerce: The Legal Context
    • Legal Research
  • South College – Asheville

    South College – Asheville strives to provide students with the professional and technical knowledge and skills necessary to enter today’s job market. This school’s Bachelor of Science in legal studies program is approved by both the North Carolina State Bar and the American Bar Association. Students acquire skills and knowledge in critical thinking, public speaking, research, writing, substantive law, specialized areas of the law and more.

    • Estimated Program Cost: $68,400 (based on 2013-2014 per-quarter tuition)
    • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent; satisfactory ACT, SAT or entrance exam score
    • ABA Approved: Yes
    • Format: On campus

    Sample required courses:

    • Contract Law
    • Ethics for Paralegals
    • Evidence Law
    • Business Organizations
    • Law and Technology

Additional Paralegal Educational Programs

Methodist University

Fayetteville, NC

Degrees Offered: Legal Studies


Professional Organizations

    • The North Carolina State Bar (NCSB) is an agency of the North Carolina Supreme Court that regulates attorneys and has a voluntary certification program for paralegals.
    • The Metrolina Paralegal Association is based in Charlotte and provides opportunities for paralegal education and networking. Members can attend monthly lunch meetings as well as semiannual continuing education conferences, and have access to a job bank.
    • The North Carolina Paralegal Association maintains a job bank and is active in facilitating continuing legal education. They also publish a quarterly magazine, “NCPA Forum” and a periodic newsletter, “The Amicus.”

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.