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New Jersey Paralegal Schools

The 11th most populous state in the US, New Jersey employed 6,190 paralegals in the state in 2014.1 In fact, the New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York and New Jersey metropolitan area has the highest concentration of paralegals in the entire country.1 Top pharmaceutical firms in New Jersey like Sanofi Aventis and Merck are examples of corporations that need paralegals in the Garden State to aid them with compliance and regulatory issues. It’s just one facet of the job market that New Jersey paralegal schools target, affording aspiring paralegals with the chance to assist lawyers without actively practicing law. With targeted paralegal degree programs, becoming a paralegal in New Jersey can offer financial gains and career advancement near two of the nation’s largest cities.

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How to Become a Paralegal in New Jersey

While there are no requirements that New Jersey paralegal applicants be trained prior to employment, most law firms and corporate legal departments prefer applicants with some prior education. New Jersey paralegal schools offer coursework in legal research and document preparation as well as ethical legal practices. Paralegal aspirants also focus on various aspects of law such as trial advocacy and civil litigation before moving onto personal injury and real estate as well as other topics.

New Jersey Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Paralegals in New Jersey earned an average of $57,600 in 2014, coming in at number four in the highest-paying states in the country for the occupation.1 In the areas of Trenton and Newark, paralegals earned $60K to over $64K per year, which are among the top ten highest-paying areas for the profession.1 Paralegal jobs in New Jersey are expected to grow by 16.4% by 2022, which is around average for the profession as a whole.2 Also, in the area of professional and business services, in which legal services is included, New Jersey saw a 4.6% increase between 2012 and 2013, which is higher than the national average of 3.5% during that same period.3 With its high salaries and excellent prospects for the future, New Jersey seems like a perfect place to start your journey to become a paralegal.

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ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in New Jersey

There are 11 New Jersey paralegal schools that have an American Bar Association certification. They include:

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Profiles of Well-Known Schools in New Jersey

Montclair State University: The Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University has an American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies certificate. This 21-hour course of study is designed for individuals who already possess a bachelors degree and students can choose from three different emphases: Legal Information and Technology; Hispanic Perspectives; and Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law. For the Group III courses, students choose between Paralegal Seminar and Internship or Cooperative Education: Paralegal Studies, the latter of which integrates paid employment in a legal office. Fourteen professors and instructors teach for the Justice Studies Department and have worked within various sectors of the legal arena.

Middlesex County College: Middlesex County College has available an Associate of Applied Science in paralegal studies and a paralegal studies certificate, both approved by the American Bar Association. The AAS is a 63-66 hour course of study, while the certificate is 31 hours and is normally completed within one academic year. The associate degree program is designed for students wishing to transfer to a four year degree program or gain employment after graduation while the certificate can be pursued by applicants with at least a two- or four-year degree. The core major courses for both curriculums include Introduction to the Paralegal Profession, Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Advanced Legal Research.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in New Jersey

Norris McLaughlin & Marcus represents clients in commercial law and personal legal matters in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Its offices in Bridgewater were recently named among “The Best Places to Work in New Jersey.” The firm recognizes the importance of work-life balance and professional development to its staff, and welcomes interested paralegal graduates to apply to openings. Winston & Strawn LLP has an office in Newark at the well known Legal Center. An international firm, Winston & Strawn offers staff the opportunity to work on diverse issues with a wide range of clients. Winston & Strawn stays on the cutting edge of technology, maintaining a proprietary communications system and company newsletters, while emphasizing a personal touch, offering staff the opportunity to participate in sports teams as well as summer and holiday gatherings. The firm consistently hires for paralegals. Archer & Greiner, P.C. is a full service firm and one of the largest in New Jersey, where it maintains its principal office in Haddonfield. Archer & Greiner believes that cultural fit is as important as knowledge and experience, and welcomes resumes from qualified paralegal applicants.

Online and New Jersey Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in New Jersey

Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Science | Paralegal

Bergen Community College (Paramus, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Berkeley College (West Paterson, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Paralegal

Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Burlington County College (Pemberton, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Paralegal

Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Cumberland County College (Vineland, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies- In Spanish

Essex County College (Newark, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Secretary
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Mercer County Community College (Trenton, NJ; West Windsor, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Middlesex County College (Edison, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Ocean County College (Toms River, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Nurse Paralegal

Ocean County College (Toms River, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Nurse Paralegal

Raritan Valley Community College (North Branch, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Sussex County Community College (Newton, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Union County College (Cranford, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Warren County Community College (Washington, NJ)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Additional Resources:

The Paralegal Association of New Jersey – Promotes uniform educational standards and practice guidelines for paralegals and legal assistants in New Jersey.

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
3. Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/