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New York Paralegal Schools

21,400 paralegals were employed in New York as of 2015, the fourth highest employment level of paralegals for any state.1 The New York metropolitan area also has the highest level of employment for the profession out of all metro areas in the US.1 Aspiring paralegals who choose to attend New York paralegal schools can earn a paralegal degree that equips them with the skills necessary to enter a fast-growing profession. Paralegals perform a variety of tasks including conducting research, interviewing witnesses for trials, assisting with depositions, and preparing a variety of documents.

How to Become a Paralegal in New York

There are currently no licensing requirements to work as a paralegal in New York. Employers typically look for a combination of education and experience when hiring for a paralegal position. New York paralegals generally specialize in a particular legal field such as trusts and estates, business organization, real estate, or contracts. While the state does not mandate any minimum education requirement for paralegals, groups such as the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations strongly advocate for the education of New York paralegals. Many professional groups support legislation that would implement an education requirement for paralegals; along with this trend, employers are showing preference towards candidates who have a paralegal degree.

New York Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

New York state has one of the highest levels of employment for paralegals as well as one of the highest average salaries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paralegals in the state earned an average of $57,920 as of May 2015, with salaries in New York City averaging $61,150.1 The outlook for paralegals in New York is also promising. The profession is expected to grow by 10.8% in the state through the year 2024, which is above the national average projection of 8% jobs growth during the same time frame.2 This makes New York an attractive state in which to earn a paralegal degree and start a career in the legal field.

Paralegal Quote: “Never stop learning. I worked as a commercial real estate paralegal at Blank Rome LLP for over eight years. On January 9, 2012, I will start as a commercial real estate paralegal at Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Sounds the same, doesn’t it? However, the group I am joining assists with energy projects and this is something that I never did before. People who don’t know the subject matter will say that ‘real estate’ is always ‘real estate’. But it is not true. There is a huge difference between residential and commercial real estate, between representation of a lender and a borrower, a buyer and a seller, selling of a multifamily project and shopping mall, or buying an office building and a hotel chain.” -Mariana Fradman, President of the New York City Paralegal Association Inc.

New York Paralegal Career Interviews

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in New York

St. John’s University: The Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at St. John’s University has three American Bar Association-approved Legal Studies programs: a Bachelor of Science, an Associate of Science, and a certificate. The BS is a four-year, 126-credit hour program while the AS and certificate are 60 credit hours and 21 credit hours respectively. The Legal Society and Lambda Epsilon Chi are two student organizations through which Legal Studies majors can develop their social and professional networks. Four members of the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies faculty teach the different legal studies programs.

Mercy College – Dobbs Ferry: Mercy College’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences houses two bachelor of science programs that can prepare students for paralegal careers, the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies: Paralegal Studies. The legal studies major focuses on fundamentals in law, particularly negotiation and mediation, and can be preparation for law school or postgraduate study. The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies: Paralegal Studies offers more specific preparation for paralegal careers and holds approval from the American Bar Association. The Paralegal Studies program, which requires 120 credit hours to complete, includes courses in legal research and writing, litigation, and constitutional law and policy.

Herkimer County Community College – Herkimer: Herkimer County Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal that can be completed online or on campus. In this 62-credit hour program, students learn how to assist attorneys with legal research, preparing legal documents, and other support tasks. The degree program is highly focused on major courses such as Legal Research and Writing, Civil Litigation and Procedure, and Administration of Estates. The online paralegal program uses semester-based course schedules, and students are not required to log in at specific times to attend classes. The online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. The Herkimer County Community College AAS Paralegal program also has transfer agreements with four-year schools that can make it easier for graduates to transfer credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in New York

The Lanier Law Firm is one of the top-rated law firms not just in New York, but in the entire US, with the National Law Journal calling the firm’s founder Mark Lanier “one of the decade’s most influential lawyers.” The Lanier Law Firm specializes in complex litigation and provides legal and trial counsel services. Hurwitz & Fine, PC is a top-ranked mid-size firm and provides services in most areas of the law. Hurwitz & Fine takes pride in its staff and invites qualified applicants to contact the firm for opportunities. Harris Beach PLLC provides full-service representation and legal advice backed by its deep experience in narrow areas of the law, such as nanotechnology and energy. Harris Beach seeks well-rounded professionals to work in a supportive environment with abundant training and mentoring for career growth.


Paralegal Schools and Programs in New York

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

CUNY-Bronx Community College (Bronx)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Lay Advocate
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

CUNY-LaGuardia Community College (Long Island City)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

CUNY-New York City College of Technology (Brooklyn)*
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assistant Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Assistant Studies

CUNY-Queens College (Flushing)*
Bachelor of Arts | Political Science: Law and Politics Track
Certificate of Completion | Paralegal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

Finger Lakes Community College (Canandaigua)*
Associate of Applied Science | Natural Resource Conservation: Law Enforcement
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Genesee Community College (Batavia)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Herkimer County Community College (Herkimer)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)

Hilbert College (Hamburg)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Business/Corporate Concentration
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Child and Family Law Concentration
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Litigation Concentration
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies: Research and Writing Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Conflict Studies & Dispute Resolution
Bachelor of Science | Human Services: Law and Human Services Specialty
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Business/Corporate Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Child and Family Law Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Litigation Concentration
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies: Research and Writing Concentration

Hofstra University (Hempstead)*
Bachelor of Business Administration | Legal Studies
Minor | Legal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

Marist College (Poughkeepsie)*
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Program | Pre-Law
Pathway | Legal Studies

Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry)*
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies: Paralegal Studies

Monroe Community College (Rochester)*
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Nassau Community College (Garden City)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

St. John’s University (Jamaica)*
Associate of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies/ Sociology
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies/ Government and Politics
Master of Arts | Legal Studies/ Sociology
Master of Arts | Legal Studies/ Government and Politics
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies (online)
Program | Pre-Law Advisement

SUNY-Broome Community College (Binghamton)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

SUNY-Dutchess Community College (Poughkeepsie)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

SUNY-Erie Community College (Buffalo)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

SUNY-Jefferson Community College (Watertown)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

SUNY-Rockland Community College (Suffern)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

SUNY-Schenectady County Community College (Schenectady)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

SUNY-Suffolk County Community College (Selden)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

SUNY-Westchester Community College (Valhalla)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Tompkins Cortland Community College (Dryden)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal (online)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies (online)

*Approved by the American Bar Association

Additional Resources

References:
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://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: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm