253-235-9172 for an advisor

Menu

logo

Florida Paralegal Schools

Florida has the fifth-highest statewide employment level in the United States for paralegals, with over 21,000 paralegals working in the state.1 The state also has one of the highest concentrations of paralegals per capita in the US.1 For these reasons it makes good sense for an aspiring paralegal to consider enrolling in a Florida paralegal degree or certificate program, as earning a paralegal degree can help you qualify to work in this growing field. Florida paralegal schools offer students a variety of options for earning a degree or certificate. Two-year or four-year programs as well as certificate programs are offered online and on campuses across the state. Several Florida paralegal programs are approved by the American Bar Association.

How to Become a Paralegal in Florida

There are currently no state-level requirements to become a paralegal in Florida, though the Florida Bar offers professional registration for paralegals who are qualified through education, work experience, and/ or national certification. Whether or not a paralegal is registered, he or she must work under the direct supervision of a member of the Florida Bar Association. Paralegals in Florida may not dispense legal advice, accept clients, or represent clients in court.

Florida Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The legal services sector is a growing industry. Projections Central estimates that jobs growth for paralegals and legal assistants in Florida will reach 18.1% through 2024, which is faster than the national average growth rate of 8%.2,3 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for paralegals in Florida was $50,300 as of 2015.1 Well-qualified paralegals, particularly those working in areas where demand is high, have the potential to earn more than the average.

Paralegal Quote “There is definitely demand for experienced paralegals who are bilingual (sometimes). The big deal is experience and then if you have a Certified paralegal (CP) or RP or FRP designation as well – that ups your chances and salary range.” -Karen R. George, President of the South Florida Paralegal Association

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Florida

South University, West Palm Beach: The West Palm Beach campus of South University offers an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies. This program is approved by the American Bar Association and involves foundational paralegal courses as well as a supervised externship that enables students to gain valuable professional experience. The paralegal associate’s degree at South University is a 92-credit hour program, with 52 hours dedicated to major courses. This program typically takes three years to complete, but can be finished within a shorter timeframe if students enroll in summer courses.

Florida State College at Jacksonville: Students at Florida State College at Jacksonville can pursue an American Bar Association-approved Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies (legal assisting). This two-year degree consists of 64 total credit hours, with 31 hours geared towards paralegal studies courses and 15 hours reserved for professional core and elective courses. Students may gain practical experience through an internship in a legal office approved by supervising faculty. Florida State College at Jacksonville has an extensive law-related elective course inventory, allowing paralegal students to pursue the specializations of their choice.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Florida

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. has been ranked within the top 25 law firms in Florida by Florida Trend and has also been recognized as a top firm by the South Florida Legal Guide. Its comprehensive practice area list covers client needs in all areas of law. QPWB hires qualified candidates who want to work in a fast-paced environment in any of its offices. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC is a highly ranked Florida law firm; its attorneys and practice are regularly included in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers. Staff at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney enjoy support for family commitments and wellness, a diverse workplace that supports community involvement, and a team-oriented workplace. Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. is consistently ranked by the Wall Street Journal, The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, and others as one of the top law firms in Florida. The firm needs dedicated paralegal graduates to support the work of its attorneys in multiple practice areas.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Florida

An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Broward College (Pembroke Pines)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting)

City College (Casselberry; Gainesville)
Associate of Science | Legal Assisting/Paralegal

College of Central Florida, Ocala Campus (Ocala)
Associate of Science | Paralegal

Daytona State College (Daytona Beach)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Eastern Florida State College (Cocoa)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Office Specialist

Florida SouthWestern State College (Fort Myers)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Florida State College at Jacksonville (Jacksonville)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Advanced Technical Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Gulf Coast State College (Panama City)
Associate of Science | Legal Assisting/Paralegal

Hillsborough Community College (Ybor)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting)
Advanced Technical Certificate | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting)

Hodges University (Naples)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (online)
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Real Estate Law Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Bankruptcy Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Family Law Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Litigation Concentration
Master of Legal Studies | General Legal Studies Track
Master of Legal Studies | General Legal Studies Track (online)
Master of Legal Studies | Conflict Resolution Track
Master of Legal Studies | Conflict Resolution Track (online)
Certificate | eDiscovery/eLitigation (online)
Certificate | eDiscovery/eLitigation Accelerated Program (online)

Indian River State College (Fort Pierce)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Miami Dade College (Miami)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale)*
Master of Science | Conflict Analysis & Resolution
Master of Science | Conflict Analysis & Resolution (online)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Minor | International Law
Minor | Legal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Advanced Conflict Resolution Practice
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Advanced Conflict Resolution Practice (online)

Palm Beach State College (Lake Worth)
Associate of Science | Paralegal

Pasco-Hernando Community College (New Port Richey)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) (online)

Pensacola State College (Pensacola)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting)
Associate of Arts | Pre-Law/Pre-Legal Administration

Seminole State College of Florida (Sanford)*
Associate of Science | Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Sheridan Technical College (Hollywood)
Certificate | Court Reporting (online)
Certificate | Legal Administrative Specialist (online)

South University – West Palm Beach (Palm Beach)*
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Associate of Science | Legal Studies

St. Petersburg College (Clearwater)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies

State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota (Bradenton)
Associate of Science | Paralegal/Legal Assisting
Advanced Technical Certificate | Paralegal/Legal Assisting
Associate of Arts | Paralegal/Legal Assisting

Valencia College (Orlando)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

  • Florida Paralegal Association – Provides educational and networking opportunities, professional certification, and community outreach.
  • The Florida Bar – Serves as an in-depth resource for members and the public regarding Florida Bar services and programs.

References:
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm