Ohio Paralegal Schools

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 9,150 paralegals were working in Ohio as of 2018, with the highest concentrations in the Cincinnati-Middletown, Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, and Columbus metro areas.1 With strong employment numbers for paralegals and legal assistants and over a dozen American Bar Association-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.

How to Become a Paralegal in Ohio

The state of Ohio has not legislated minimum education requirements to become a paralegal. However, the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) does offer voluntary certification to qualified applicants interested in becoming an OSBA Certified Paralegal. Applicants must pass an examination and demonstrate specific education and experience to qualify.

Ohio Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

Ohio paralegals with specialized training have the advantage of specific skills and training 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 was $49,200 as of 2018.1 The outlook for Ohio paralegals is also positive, with a projected jobs growth rate of 5.6% through 2026.2 With such strong salaries and potential for growth, Ohio paralegals with a solid education and experience can expect good prospects for jobs in the coming years.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Ohio

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

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-credit hour program, while the certificate is 30 credit 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 helps students gain real-world professional experience in preparation for employment.

Columbus State Community College: Columbus State Community College maintains two paralegal programs that can prepare students for legal assisting careers, an Associate in Legal Assisting and a post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies. Students in the paralegal associate's degree program learn how to draft wills, trusts, and other legal documentation; draft court pleadings, motions, and related documents; and perform high-level legal research. The program requires 63 to 64 credit hours to complete and includes an array of electives that allow students to begin building legal specialties, such as Criminal Law & Procedure, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. The certificate program requires 33 to 35 credit hours to complete, includes only the major courses in the paralegal studies technical curriculum, and is open to students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree.

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 and banking, and Ohio shale resources. The firm 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

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland)
Master of Law | US & Global Legal Studies

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

Clark State Community College (Springfield)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Technology

Cleveland State University (Cleveland)
Master of Legal Studies

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

Eastern Gateway Community College (Steubenville)
Associate of Applied Business | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

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

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

Lake Erie College (Painesville)
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies

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

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

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

Ohio State University (Columbus)
Master in the Study of Law

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

Shawnee State University (Portsmouth)
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assisting Technology
Bachelor of Science | Business Administration, Legal Assisting Concentration

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

Stark State College (North Canton)
Associate of Applied Business | Legal Assisting

University of Akron (Akron)
Master of Studies in Law

University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati)*
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Minor | Paralegal Studies
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 May 2018 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