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Ohio Paralegal Schools

According to a 2014 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of Ohio employed 7,480 paralegals, with the highest concentration in the Cincinnati-Middletown, Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, and Columbus-metro areas.1 With a healthy number of paralegals and legal assistants already employed in the 7th most populous state, and with over a dozen ABA-approved paralegal schools, Ohio is a good place to become a paralegal. In a competitive market like Ohio, it is a huge advantage for aspiring paralegals to earn a paralegal degree and join a well-paying field.

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How to Become a Paralegal in Ohio

The state of Ohio does not have any minimum educational requirements to become a paralegal. The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) does offer a certification to qualified applicants interested in becoming a OSBA Certified Paralegal. Applicants must pass an examination and demonstrate a combination of education and experience that has been established by the OSBA Paralegal Certification Board, the education requirement for which ranges from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. The Board also recognizes continuing education and paralegal education credits from accredited programs, and requires three references from previous (attorney) employers. To qualify, the OSBA members must submit a $150 application fee and $100 examination fee; non-members pay $200 and $150, respectively.

Ohio Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Ohio paralegal aspirants who graduate with specialized training have the advantage of specific job skills experience that can help them succeed in job searches for positions at law firms, corporate finance departments and legal departments or government agencies. The average annual wage for paralegals in the state of Ohio is $45,960, or $22.10 an hour.2 The outlook for Ohio paralegals is also positive, with the state expecting a growth of around 17.4% in the profession through 2022.3 With such strong salaries and potential for growth, Ohio paralegals with a solid education or substantial experience can expect pretty good prospects for jobs in the coming years.

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ABA-Approved Paralegal Schools in Ohio

There are more than a dozen Ohio-based paralegal schools with an American Bar Association certification. Ohio paralegal schools that have this certification include:

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Ohio

University of Cincinnati: The University of Cincinnati’s School of Criminal Justice offers an American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies and legal assistant certificate. The BS is a standard four year undergraduate degree while the legal assistant certificate is designed for those who have completed a degree program. The Practicum (or internship) is required of both types of students, and the city of Cincinnati has many law firms, organizations, banks, and courthouses through which to gain the necessary professional experience. The School of Criminal Justice faculty are top- rated experts in their fields, and this extends to the Paralegal Studies instructors.

Kent State University: The College of Arts and Sciences at Kent University offers a Bachelor of Arts in paralegal studies, a paralegal studies minor, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies; all of which have been approved by the American Bar Association. The BA is a 121-hour program, while the certificate is 30 hours and designed for individuals who have already completed a degree program. All paralegal studies students are required to complete and pass Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research and Writing, Principles and Practice of Litigation, and Internship in Paralegal Studies. The mandatory internship is how students are guaranteed to obtain the real world, professional experience that makes them suitable for employment.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Ohio

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP has been recognized one of the top law firms in Ohio by Best Lawyers of America. Vorys was founded in Ohio in 1909 and has since grown into its current position as a national firm, even as it continues to expand. Vorys recognizes that its size is not unique, but that what it offers its staff can be, and as a result supports its paralegals and other professionals with training programs and continuing career development. Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP is a highly respected firm, with locations in Akron, Canton, and Cleveland. As one of the largest full service firms in Ohio, it offers its paralegal staff opportunities to work on challenging cases with competitive compensation and benefits. Day Ketterer Ltd. has been recognized by US News as one of the Best Law Firms in Ohio. The firm is more selective in choosing practice areas, and among its core areas of focus are education, financial services & banking, and Ohio shale resources, and it is consistently hiring.

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Online and Ohio Paralegal Schools

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Paralegal Schools in Ohio

Academy of Court Reporting (Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Legal Assistant/Secretary
Certificate | Paralegal

Beckfield College (Springdale, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Bradford School (Columbus, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Legal Office Assistant
Certificate | Legal Office Assistant
Certificate | Paralegal

Brown Mackie College (Canton, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Findlay, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal
Diploma | Assistant Paralegal

Chancellor University (Cleveland, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Legal Assistant
Certificate | Paralegal

College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Arts | Paralegal
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Columbus State Community College (Columbus, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Studies
Professional Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Daymar College (Lancaster, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Diploma | Paralegal
Diploma | Paralegal (online program)

Edison Community College (Piqua, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Office Systems Management: Legal Office Support
Associate Degree | Office Systems Management: Legal Office Support (online program)
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies

Herzing University (Toledo, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Legal Assisting/Paralegal

Kent State University (Kent, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assisting
Certificate | Nurse Paralegal

Lakeland Community College (Kirtland, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)

Lincoln College of Technology (Cincinnati, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate of Achievement | Legal Interpretation
Certificate of Achievement | Legal Interpretation and Translation
Certificate of Achievement | Paralegal Studies

Marion Technical College (Marion, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies

Miami Jacobs Career College (Columbus, OH; Dayton, OH; Springboro, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Office Assistant

National College (Kettering, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies

North Central State College (Mansfield, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

Northwest State Community College (Archbold, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal

RETS College (Centerville, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Rhodes State College (Lima, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal/Legal Assisting

Sinclair Community College (Dayton, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

Stautzenberger College (Maumee, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Secretary
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal

The University of Toledo (Toledo, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Law and Social Thought
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies

University of Akron (Akron, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies

University of Cincinnati-Clermont College (Batavia, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology

University of Northwestern Ohio (Lima, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Diploma | Paralegal

Zane State College (Zanesville, OH)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Assisting Technology

Additional Resources:

Paralegal Association of Central Ohio (PACO) – Organization devoted to promoting the best interests of area-paralegals, including through continuing education and networking events.

Cleveland Association of Paralegals (CAP) – A Cleveland-based organization striving to keep paralegals up-to-date in the legal services field.

Paralegal Association of Northwest Ohio (PANO) – Exists to promote and support paralegals through continuing education and mentoring opportunities.

Ohio State Bar Association – Provides general information for those considering the paralegal profession in Ohio, and specifically information about Ohio’s paralegal certification program.

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