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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.

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.

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.

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.

Paralegal Schools and Programs in Ohio

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

Capital University Law School (Columbus)*
Master of Laws | Business
Master of Laws | Taxation
Master of Laws | Business and Taxation
Certificate | Post-Baccalaureate Paralegal
Certificate | Legal Nurse Consulting

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati)
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assistant
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assistant (online)
Certificate | Paralegal

College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati)
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Legal Studies

Columbus State Community College (Columbus; Delaware)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal

Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland)*
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Studies
Professional Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Edison Community College (Piqua)*
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Studies
Post-baccelaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Fortis College (Centerville)*
Associate Degree | Paralegal

Kent State University (Kent)*
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Associate of Applied Science | Legal Assisting Technology
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Nurse Paralegal

Lakeland Community College (Kirtland)*
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Mount St. Joseph University (Cincinnati)*
Associate of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

National College (Dayton; Kettering)*
Associate Degree | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal

North Central State College (Mansfield)
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Studies

Northwest State Community College (Archbold)
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal

Rhodes State College (Lima)*
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal/Legal Assisting

Sinclair Community College (Dayton)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal

University of Akron (Akron)
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Master of Laws | Intellectual Property
Minor | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Post Baccalaureate Certificate | Divorce Mediation
Post Baccalaureate Certificate | Health Law
Post Baccalaureate Certificate | Litigation
Graduate Program | Advocacy, Trial and Moot
Graduate Program | Criminal Law
Graduate Program | Business Law
Graduate Program | Family Law
Graduate Program | International Law
Graduate Program | Constitutional Law
Graduate Program | Wealth Management Law

University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati)*
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studiens
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Pre-Professional Program | Pre-Law

University of Cincinnati Clermont College (Batavia)*
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal Technology
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

University of Northwestern Ohio (Lima)
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assisting
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assisting (online)

University of Toledo (Toledo)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Honors | Legal Specialties
Minor | Legal Specialties
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal Studies
Undergraduate Certificate | Nurse Paralegal

Ursuline College (Pepper Pike)*
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Studies
Post-Degree Certificate | Legal Studies
Program | Pre-Law

Zane State College (Zanesville)
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

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