Accreditation is just as pertinent to a paralegal education as it is to an education leading up to a law degree. Not all paralegal programs are accredited but participating in an accredited program is strongly recommended. Accreditation means more job opportunities as the education is considered valuable by law professionals. Additionally, it provides students with confidence in knowing that the education is reliable and of quality.
The primary accrediting body for law programs is the American Bar Association (ABA). Approximately 600 educational intuitions offer paralegal programs, 250 of which are ABA approved. Graduating from an ABA approved paralegal program means that it was evaluated and met the standards of the leading authority on law; however, ABA approval is not a requirement.
Six regional accrediting bodies that evaluate paralegal programs in the United States:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Other resources related to paralegal accreditation include:
- American Association for Paralegal Education
- The National Federation of Paralegal Associations
- American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc.
- The Association for Legal Professionals
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