Paralegal Studies Bachelor's Degree Overview
The University of Toledo offers one of the premier paralegal studies programs in the country. Our program has been designated a national demonstration program and serves as a model for others. It also is one of the few programs approved by the ABA.
Paralegals support attorneys in their work. They research cases, prepare legal briefs and even interview clients and witnesses. Paralegals work in private law firms, corporate law departments, nonprofits and government agencies.
Paralegal studies offers a pathway to a legal career and is an outstanding pre-law track.
Paralegal Studies Bachelor's Degree Highlights
- One of the nation’s best paralegal programs. UT’s program is ABA-approved. Only about 20% of U.S. paralegal programs earn that distinction, which employers prefer. We also have been designated a national demonstration program.
- Outstanding pre-law track. 93% of UToledo paralegal studies graduates who go to law school pass the bar exam on their first attempts — a considerably higher rate than the state average. Students do better in law school if they have an understanding of the legal system and good communication, logic and analytical skills. UT’s paralegal studies program helps students master all of these skills.
- Law school guarantee. Graduates of UToledo’s paralegal studies bachelor’s degree program who have GPAs of 3.5 or better and score in the top 50 percent on the LSAT are guaranteed admission to The University of Toledo College of Law.
- A one-of-a-kind courtroom/classroom. UToledo is one of the only paralegal programs in the country with its own teaching courtroom. This state-of-the-art facility offers hands-on training in courtroom technology and includes:
- Laptops loaded with litigation, law practice management and other software
- Flat-screen monitors in the jury box, counsel tables, witness stand and bench
- Two recording cameras
- Portable camera in the judge’s chambers for remote witnesses
- Experiential learning
- Unique criminal forensics and trial practice class. This popular, hands-on course is the first of its kind in the country. The class is a collaboration between paralegal studies and UT’s criminal justice program. Students are placed on prosecution and defense teams and assigned as crime scene investigators, paralegals and attorneys. They investigate a homicide and conduct a jury trial.
- Nationally-recognized mock trial team. Join this competitive, prestigious team that sets UT’s paralegal studies program apart. The mock trial team has been national champion 10 times and qualified for the finals 13 times.
- Expert faculty. UToledo paralegal studies courses combine legal theory and practical "how-to" techniques. They are taught by lawyers and judges who specialize and publish in the areas they teach.
- Options. UT students interested in paralegal studies also have these options:
Paralegal jobs are growing faster than the national average for other careers. UToledo paralegal studies students learn the strong technology and database management skills employers seek.
Nearly all of our students go on to professional or graduate schools, or take jobs in private law firms, corporations, nonprofits and government agencies.
Paralegal studies graduates also are well prepared for alternate careers that include law enforcement, politics, compliance, human resources and others.
"I am currently working as a tax paralegal at a large corporation in Findlay, Ohio. I have also worked in a small, private firm and in a government agency. I believe that graduating from an ABA (American Bar Association)-approved program has really given me a leg up on the competition. In every new position where I have been placed, I find myself taking different pieces that I learned at UT and applying them to my day-to-day duties."
Megan E. Parsson
"When I graduated from high school, I wasn’t sure college was the right option for me. I was undeclared my first semester at UT when I picked up a paralegal studies brochure. I did not realize the lifelong benefit that graduating from such an elite program would have on my professional career. Upon graduation, I was able to obtain a paralegal job at a leading global law firm. After seven years in that position, I took a position at an S&P 500 company headquartered in Toledo. I am thankful to UT and the paralegal studies program for making me a stronger employee and job candidate."
Kristen L. Bussell
"If you are planning on attending law school, I cannot brag enough about how great the paralegal studies program is at preparing its students for both the application process and for law school itself. I was accepted, with scholarships, to every single law school to which I applied, and I can confidently say that I have the paralegal studies program to thank for that."
Brandi M. Dobbs, student at the University of Michigan College of Law
"As the previous captain of the mock trial team, I will tell you to participate in mock trial. First, it's fun. Second, it takes you through the entire trial process of a civil case (one year) and a criminal case (the next year). I can't tell you how much civil procedure makes sense to me because I went through the entire trial procedure in mock trial. In law school, we have to take an evidence class to learn the federal rules of evidence. You will learn the federal rules of evidence if you are an attorney on the mock trial team."
Sarah Phipps, Jackson Kelly PLLC in Charleston, W.Va.
BS ’13, JD ’16
Paralegal Studies Bachelor's Degree Curriculum
The UToledo paralegal studies program provides students with practical experience and a broad understanding of legal and ethical concepts. Students are introduced to legal technology, including trial presentation and litigation support programs.
Paralegal Studies Bachelor’s Degree Sample Classes
- Legal Research, Writing and Case Analysis
- Civil Procedure
- Advocacy: Mock Trial
- Mediation: Topics and Techniques
- Criminal Forensics and Trial Practice
Internship Opportunities for Paralegal Studies Bachelor's Degree
All UToledo paralegal studies students complete 180-hour internships in local law firms, government agencies or private businesses. Students learn on-the-job skills and make connections. Many receive job offers from their internship employers.