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Massachusetts Paralegal Schools

Employing 6,700 paralegals in 2014, Massachusetts employed the greatest number in the metropolitan area of Boston-Cambridge-Quincy.1 It only takes two years at many Massachusetts paralegal schools to earn a paralegal degree and start assisting legal service providers. In spite of the recession leading to stagnant job growth in other sectors, becoming a paralegal in Massachusetts means joining one of the fastest growing career paths in the state.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Massachusetts

There are a variety of programs available at Massachusetts paralegal schools, including two-year associate degrees and four-year bachelor’s degrees and certificate programs. The state prohibits paralegals from giving legal advice to clients, and mandates that they work under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Prospective paralegals in Maryland may choose to pursue a paralegal degree or receive on-the-job training as a paralegal.

Paralegal Quote: “I was told to find an area of the law that I enjoyed and stick with it. Do not try and be a jack of all trades and master of none. Find something, do it, get great at it.” -Shawn Hartman, Chair of Probates/Estate at the Massachusetts Paralegal Association

Massachusetts Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Massachusetts paralegals earn higher-than-average salaries, averaging $54,540 per year or $26.22 per year.1 The metropolitan area of Boston-Cambridge-Quincy boasts the ninth-highest employment level for paralegals.1 The job prospects for paralegals in the state of Massachusetts is good as well, with an increase of 15.4% in paralegal jobs expected through 2022.2 Job opportunities are available at nonprofits and corporate legal departments in addition to the numerous law firms.

ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Massachusetts

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

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Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Massachusetts

Boston University: Boston University’s online Certificate in Paralegal Studies program allows students to benefit from BU’s high standards of academic quality without ever coming to campus. Designed to present an affordable, flexible path towards working as a paralegal, the program’s curriculum focuses on the skills employers expect, offering hands-on practice working with the technologies and databases paralegals use on a regular basis. Through specialized modules, real-world case studies, and practical exercises, students can prepare to excel in the field with the help of expert BU faculty members. The program also includes access to the WestLawNext database, an essential case research tool, to help give students direct experience navigating one of the paralegal’s most fundamental job functions. Students can complete the program in just 14 weeks, making it a perfect option for career changers looking to make a quick transition and explore new opportunities.

Suffolk University: Suffolk University’s Government Department has a bachelors degree in applied legal studies, an associate degree in applied legal studies, and a certificate in paralegal; all of which are certified by the American Bar Association. Applied legal studies students can choose from four different academic tracks (Public Interest, Litigation, Corporate/Business, and Family Law), all of which consist of their own specialized courses. Students have access to top libraries and legal research facilities with Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis, and the department assists with dozens of internship placements each semester. The courses are taught by licensed and practicing attorneys that have extensive professional networks in the Boston area.

Northern Essex Community College: Northern Essex Community College offers an American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies certificate and two unique associates degrees with either the career option or the transfer option. The career option is designed for students who wish to become professional paralegals upon graduation and the transfer option is suited for those who wish to transfer to a four-year university. In addition to being ABA-approved, Northern Essex Community College is an institutional member of both the American Association for Paralegal Studies and the Massachusetts Paralegal Association, through which students can be alerted of internship and employment opportunities. Seven faculty members teach for the paralegal studies division and all have extensive experience as attorneys and other legal professionals.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Massachusetts

The McLane Law Firm is a diverse and progressive practice that uses unique hiring strategies, training, and technology to assist its clients in navigating the legal landscape in specific terms. The firm has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, and has the highest legal ability rating awarded by Martindale-Hubbell. At McLane, family comes first, leading to add-on benefits few other firms offer, such as an annual Children’s Holiday Party and Ice Cream Socials. Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP is a leading law firm with a focus on top quality service. It accepts resumes from recent paralegal graduates interested in contributing to its practice. Goodwin Procter began its practice in Boston in 1912, and is now an internationally known and recognized law firm. Few other firms can claim the history that Goodwin Procter can, as the firm has taken part in historic high profile cases involving the Titanic and the Nuremberg trials, among others. It offers paralegals career tracks to higher levels of responsibility while earning the types of compensation only top firms can offer.

Online and Massachusetts Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools and Programs in Massachusetts

Anna Maria College (Paxton, MA)
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Assumption College (Worcester, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Bay Path College (Longmeadow, MA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies

Boston University (Boston, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal (online program)

Bunker Hill Community College (Boston, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal

Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal

Elms College (Chicopee, MA)
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Fisher College (Boston, MA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies

Marian Court College (Swampscott, MA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies

Massachusetts Bay Community College (Wellesley Hills, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Middlesex Community College (Bedford, MA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Mildred Elley (Pittsfield, MA)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Mount Wachusett Community College (Gardner, MA)
Associate Degree | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Newbury College (Brookline, MA)
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

North Shore Community College (Danvers, MA)
Associate of Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill, MA)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal

Quincy College (Quincy, MA)
Associate in Science | Legal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Suffolk University (Boston, MA)
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

The Salter School (Malden, MA)
Certificate | Paralegal Training

Additional Resources:

Massachusetts Paralegal Association – MPA has approximately 500 paralegal members in the Massachusetts area, and is dedicated to improving the profession.

Western Massachusetts Paralegal Association – Non-profit organization that promotes the development and continuing education of paralegals in the area.

Central Massachusetts Paralegal Association – CMPA desires to grow and advance the paralegal profession in central Massachusetts.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm#ind
2. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm