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New Jersey Paralegal Schools

New Jersey is one of the most populous states in the US, where about 7,090 paralegals were employed as of 2015.1 The New York-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. This is just one facet of the job market that New Jersey paralegal schools can offer preparation for, 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 career advancement near some of the nation’s largest cities.

How to Become a Paralegal in New Jersey

While there are no requirements set by law for New Jersey paralegals, most law firms and corporate legal departments prefer applicants with a formal education. New Jersey paralegal schools offer coursework in legal research and document preparation as well as ethical legal practices. Following graduation, it is strongly recommended that aspiring paralegals pursue certification. In addition to national certification programs offered by associations like the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), the South Jersey Paralegal Association offers the New Jersey Certified Paralegal credential.

New Jersey Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Paralegals in New Jersey earned an average annual salary of $57,220 as of 2015, making it one of the highest-paying states in the country for the occupation.1 In the areas of Trenton and Newark, paralegals earned averages between $60,000 to over $64,000 per year.1 Paralegal jobs in New Jersey are expected to grow by 5.7% by 2024.2 With its high salaries and excellent prospects for the future, New Jersey can be a fitting place to start your journey to becoming a paralegal.

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-credit hour course of study is designed for individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree. Students can choose from three different emphases: Legal Information and Technology; Hispanic Perspectives; or Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law. As part of their upper-level courses, students choose between Paralegal Seminar and Internship or Cooperative Education: Paralegal Studies, the latter of which integrates paid employment in a legal office. Over a dozen professors and instructors teach for the Justice Studies Department.

Middlesex County College: Middlesex County College has available an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies and a paralegal studies certificate, both approved by the American Bar Association. The AAS is a 63 to 66 credit hour course of study, while the certificate is 31 credit 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. The certificate is for applicants with a two- or four-year degree in another subject. The core major courses for both curricula include Introduction to the Paralegal Profession, Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Advanced Legal Research.

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. The firm consistently hires for paralegals. Archer & Greiner, PC 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.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in New Jersey

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

Atlantic Cape Community College (Mays Landing)*
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Bergen Community College (Paramus)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Nurse Consultant

Brookdale Community College (Lincroft)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Studies Academic Credit

Burlington County College (Pemberton)
Associate of Applied Science degree.

Camden County College (Blackwood)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Cumberland County College (Vineland)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies- In Spanish

Essex County College (Newark)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Completion | Paralegal
Certificate of Completion | Nurse Paralegal
Certificate of Completion | Legal Secretary

Fairleigh Dickinson University (Madison)*
Minor | Pre-Law
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Administrative Law Specialty
Certificate | Advanced Contracts Specialty
Certificate | Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialty
Certificate | Bankruptcy Law Specialty
Certificate | Elder Care Law Specialty
Certificate | Employment Law Specialty
Certificate | Environmental Law Specialty
Certificate | Federal Practice and Procedure Specialty
Certificate | Franchise Law Specialty
Certificate | Immigration Law Specialty
Certificate | Intellectual Property Specialty
Certificate | Landlord/Tenant Practice Specialty
Certificate | NJ Land Use Practice Specialty
Certificate | NY Practice and Procedure Specialty
Certificate | Torts (Personal Injury) Specialty
Certificate | Workers’ Compensation Specialty

Mercer County Community College (Trenton; West Windsor)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate of Proficiency | Paralegal

Middlesex County College (Edison)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Achievement | Paralegal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

Montclair State University (Montclair)*
Bachelor of Arts | Jurisprudence, Law and Society
Bachelor of Arts | Justice Studies: Paralegal
Master of Arts | Law and Governance
Master of Arts | Law and Governance, Governance, Compliance, and Regulation
Master of Arts | Law and Governance, Intellectual Property
Master of Arts | Law and Governance, Legal Management
Minor | Pre-Law Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Ocean County College (Toms River)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Proficiency | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Completion | Legal Secretary

Raritan Valley Community College (North Branch)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Rowan College (Pemberton, Gloucester)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Sussex County Community College (Newton)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Arts| Liberal Arts: Pre-Law Option
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Elder Law Specialist

Union County College (Cranford)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Achievement | Paralegal Studies

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

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