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Georgia Paralegal Schools

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area and the South Georgia non-metropolitan areas have some of the highest employment levels for paralegals in the country, and the neighboring state of Florida also boasts some of the highest employment levels of paralegals in the US.1 For this reason, it makes good sense for an aspiring paralegal to enter the job market well-prepared from a paralegal degree or certificate program. Georgia has several programs from which to choose. There are courses offered on college campuses and online, and there are two-year degrees, four-year degrees, and certificates available. Having the necessary skills and knowledge from a paralegal degree can lead to lucrative and fulfilling job prospects in Georgia and surrounding areas.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Georgia

There are no specific educational requirements to become a paralegal in Georgia, however, the Georgia Association of Paralegals recommends that new paralegal candidates possess at least and associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Regardless of which degree or certificate a student chooses, the program should be approved by the American Bar Association or from an accredited institution. Additionally, many Georgia paralegal schools have internships attached to the program. Internships can be beneficial for the student in that they provide real-world experience, allowing the intern to network and explore potential job prospects. Paralegals in Georgia must work under the supervision of a lawyer, and are not permitted to provide legal advice directly to the public.

Georgia Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The prospects for a well-qualified paralegal in Georgia look very good. The state employs over 8,000 paralegals, who enjoy an average annual income of $55,210.1 The Bureau of Economic Analysis measured gross domestic product for each state, but more specifically it analyzed the growth in the professional and business services sector, which includes legal services. From 2012 to 2013 Georgia saw this field increase by 4%.2 This is higher than the national average of 3.5% for the same time period. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the legal services sector will grow 17% by 2022.1 This is faster than average growth.

Generally Speaking, Georgia’s unemployment rate was 6.3% in February of 2015.3 The state ranked 38th out of the 50 states and D.C.3 While this ranking does not sound great, the state has seen a decent decline since 2014.3

ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Georgia

There are several Georgia paralegal schools that have American Bar Association certification. They include:

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Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Georgia

Herzing University, Atlanta: Herzing University in Atlanta has two American Bar Association-approved programs for paralegal students, an Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. The AS is 63 credit hours while the BS is 126 hours, both taking 20 and 36 months to complete respectively. All students are required to complete introductory legal courses such as Introduction to Legal Assisting and Legal Research, and must earn three credit hours through an internship. Graduates from Herzing University Atlanta are eligible for four different legal assisting/paralegal certification opportunities.

South University, Savannah: South University has five locations where students can pursue an American Bar Association-approved Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies, one of which is in Savannah, Georgia. The Savannah campus is the only program that offers ABA approved online courses, which is useful for students wanting to dedicate their day time hours to an internship or a full time job. Students enrolled partially online are required to complete Legal Research and Writing I as well as three electives in the face-to-face mode of instruction. This 92-hour associate degree most often takes students two to three years to finish, with online courses offering them the chance to shorten the time to graduation.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Georgia

Stites & Harbison PLLC is a prestigious firm that does business across the Southeast. The firm traces its foundation back to 1832, and its attorneys and staff are nationally recognized as being among the top lawyers in their fields. Stites & Harbison continually seeks out accomplished paralegals to join its firm. Oliver Maner LLP has over 100 years of history, and is committed to professional, ethical service. Based in Savannah, Oliver Maner is now one of the largest law firms in Southeast Georgia. Its attorneys have been recognized by such publications as Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyer. Jones, Cork & Miller, LLP is a forward looking law firm that continually adapts to meet client needs. It recognizes the contribution of paralegals to its practice and rewards its paralegal staff with an excellent benefits package.

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Paralegal Schools and Programs in Georgia

Athens Technical College (Athens, GA)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Atlanta Technical College (Atlanta, GA)
Associate of Applied Technology | Paralegal Studies

Augusta Technical College (Augusta, GA)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Brown Mackie College (Atlanta, GA)
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal
Diploma | Paralegal Assistant

Clayton State University (Morrow, GA)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Darton College (Albany, GA)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Associates
Certificate | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Dekalb Technical College (Clarkston, GA)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Administrative Assistant

Gainesville State College (Oakwood, GA)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Herzing University (Atlanta, GA)
Associate Degree | Paralegal (online program)
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assisting/Paralegal
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies

Iverson Business School (Atlanta, GA)
Certificate | Court Reporting
Certificate | Legal Assistant

Middle Georgia Technical College (Warner Robins, GA)
Associate of Applied Technology | Paralegal Studies
Technical Certificate | Advanced Legal Assistant
Technical Certificate | Legal Assistant
Technical Certificate | Paralegal Fundamentals

Savannah Technical College (Savannah, GA)
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies

South University (Savannah, GA)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Southern Crescent Technical College (Griffin, GA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies

Additional Resources:

Georgia Association of Paralegals – Endeavors to advance the paralegal profession and the expertise of its members through networking, continuing education opportunities, and strong relationships with business partners.

State Bar of Georgia – Exists to foster the principles of duty, serve the public, improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of law.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#ind
2. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment Rates for States: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm