Skip to main content

Paralegal / Legal Assisting
Online Degree Program

Earn a paralegal degree online in less than 2 years.

Your first step to becoming a paralegal / legal assistant is getting educated. Herzing University exists to help you get the education you need to earn the career you’ve always wanted.

The Herzing University Associate of Science in Legal Studies online program is built for students looking to become a paralegal, outlining foundational concepts in pre-law to support continued growth in the field of law.

  • Learn online in Herzing’s Everywhere Classroom: on your own schedule, at your own pace
  • Class topics include introductory concepts in legal assisting, legal writing, torts, law office procedures, civil litigation and ethics and paralegal professionalism
  • Small class sizes & access to accomplished faculty

With Herzing University earning an associate degree online to help you best qualify for your first job as a paralegal IS possible. We exist to help you follow the educational path of your choosing to pursue the career you’ve always wanted.

Classes Start November 1st

Learn More Today

Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

By selecting this button you agree to receive updates and alerts from Herzing University. Text HELP to 42459 for help, Text STOP to 42459 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. By leaving this box unchecked you will not be opted in for SMS messages. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Paralegal program classes & curriculum details

In this program, you will learn about different types of law as well as gain the skills needed to conduct legal research and prepare legal documents.

Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Legal Assisting and Certified Paralegal exams through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). You will be ready for a professional role in any area of law.

All classes are delivered online with a capstone or internship (if available in your state).

Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Legal Studies2062
i. Average number of months for students to complete program

Required Courses

All courses, 30.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Open Elective Courses

A minimum of 6.00 semester credit hours is required. Students may take any accounting (AC), business management (BU), information systems (IS), or paralegal (PL) course. At least 3.00 semester credit hours must be paralegal (PL) courses.

General Education Requirements

Students enrolled in this associate degree must complete a minimum of 24.00 semester credit hours in general education distributed among the following disciplines. Refer to the General Education section of the catalog for specific information about courses within each discipline. 9.00 Semester Credit Hours in Communications 6.00 Semester Credit Hours in Humanities (must include 3 semester credit hours of cultural diversity) 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Mathematics 3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Science  3.00 Semester Credit Hours in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Personal and Professional Development Courses

2.00 semester credit hours are required.

An alternative: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Designed to provide students with a more advanced understanding of law, this program also incorporates a selection of core business courses to provide a solid background in management and administration. Graduates are prepared for careers in legal assistance, legal administration, business and management training. This degree is also ideal for those wishing to continue on to law school. Learn more about our online legal studies bachelor's degree program.

Tuition & Cost

20 months | 62 credits

$441 per credit

after scholarship*

You are worth it.

Request Info

*When student accepts awarded scholarship.

Tuition & Cost

With Herzing University, an affordable, career-focused paralegal/legal assisting education is within your reach. We are always striving to make college more affordable for everyone.

Opportunities for financial aid include:



Legal assisting/paralegal program enrollment prerequisites

Enrollment requirements for the online legal studies associate degree program at Herzing University include:

  • A high school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • Meet and interview with a Herzing University admissions advisor
  • Fill out an enrollment application


What can I do with a paralegal degree?

Paralegals work in all sorts of different environments and may specialize in many different categories of law. Law firms of all specialties require clerical work, research, dictation and other administrative tasks needed to keep things running smoothly.

Paralegals may work in many different capacities:

  • Private sector
  • Public sector: government & military
  • Freelance / contract

By earning your associate degree online and getting certified, you’ll be qualified for many different types of legal assisting roles and can determine what works best for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

A career in legal assisting might be right for you if you exhibit these desirable qualities:

  • Are comfortable in a highly structured environment
  • Are precise and pay attention to details
  • Enjoy research
  • Have excellent written and oral communications skills
  • Have strong computer skills
  • Wish to continually expand your capabilities
  • Work well alone or as part of a team
  • Handle on-the-job pressure
  • Are inquisitive and like to find answers to questions
  • Bilingual capability not required—but can be valuable

Yes. Herzing University offers online associate and bachelor’s degree options for students seeking requisite education to earn their first entry-level job as a paralegal / legal assistant.

Keep in mind some law firms and employers may require the completion of an ABA approved program for new hires – and the fully online program is not ABA approved (but programs at our Atlanta and New Orleans campuses are).

Our associate degree program takes an average of 20 months to complete; the bachelor’s degree program, 36 months. After earning your degree, you will be eligible to take the Certified Paralegal Examination offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Educational requirements to become a paralegal vary by state and employer. Given the broad scope of potential roles in legal assisting, different jobs require different levels of education.

Types of paralegal programs to choose from:

  • Certificate / diploma programs*. Basic certificate programs (sometimes called a “diploma”) are designed to provide minimum training & education. Some are designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.
  • Degree program. Associate & bachelor’s degree programs help you become highly qualified for an entry-level paralegal job and often provide a strong foundation to grow into other careers in law.

* Herzing University does not offer a certificate program.

It’s important to understand the difference between the two types of “certificate” programs. A basic certificate/diploma program will typically offer a fast track to getting started as a paralegal, but none of them are ABA approved and they will fall short of the comprehensiveness of a degree or post-baccalaureate certificate program.

Which should I choose?

That depends on your prior education and career goals. For students without a degree interested in becoming a paralegal, our associate and bachelor’s degree programs are a perfect starting point.

These titles are sometimes used interchangeably, but the general difference between legal assistants vs. paralegals breaks down like this:

  • Legal assistants (alternatively named administrative assistant, legal secretary) handle a broad variety of office tasks, including scheduling, data entry, answering phones or other clerical duties.
  • Paralegals often handle more technical legal tasks, including preparing documentation or performing research, and often requires more experience in law.

However, duties vary widely by firm and there are certainly employees titled “Legal Assistant” who perform paralegal duties—and vice-versa.

Herzing’s paralegal / legal assisting degree programs prepare you to thrive no matter the title!

Paralegals may work in many different environments with unique specialties in law, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Family law / divorce
  • Business law
  • Criminal law
  • Government & military: Air Force, Army, etc.
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real estate
  • Civil litigation
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual property (IP)
  • Estate planning / probate

…among many others. With enough experience in your specialty you may regard yourself as an “Immigration Paralegal,” “Litigation Paralegal,” “Corporate Paralegal,” etc.

Yes! Legal assisting is not only an excellent job if you’ve got the right skillset—but it can also act as a springboard into many different types of careers in law as you get more experience and further your education.

Your first step is getting educated. Our goal is to help you take the first step, discover your true capabilities and thrive in your new career.

No. Currently, fully online paralegal / legal assisting programs are not approved by the ABA. There are cases where the ABA may approve individual online classes – but there are no 100% online ABA approved programs. 

Not all employers will require completion of an ABA approved program. However, earning your degree through an ABA approved program can give you an edge on the job market and open doors to more opportunities.

Herzing University offers ABA approved paralegal programs at our New Orleans and Atlanta ground campuses.

Paralegals assist lawyers with the creation of legal documents and conduct research on laws, court cases and contracts—but duties will vary depending on the employer. Those entering the field with little or no prior experience will typically perform routine clerical tasks, taking on the additional responsibility of more varied tasks after gaining the appropriate experience.

The duties of a legal assistant/paralegal include assisting the lawyer with research, brief preparation, and other legal office administration, but do not include practicing law, advising clients, or setting fees since paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Paralegals can work in-house with a law firm in the private sector, in the public sector with a government agency, or in a freelance/contract role. Discover more about what paralegals are and what they do.

According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paralegals earn an average salary of $56,610 per year ($27.22 per hour).* Keep in mind this is not an estimate for starting pay in an entry-level position—average pay will vary based on your experience, level of education and the state in which you work. Find the average paralegal salary by state.

The BLS reports a positive outlook for jobs over the next ten years, projecting a 12% increase in employment for paralegals and legal assistants from 2020-2030—well above the expected increase across all occupations.*


Accreditation & Disclosures

Note: Only the Herzing University paralegal programs in New Orleans and Atlanta are approved by the American Bar Association. The online legal studies program is not ABA approved.

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

Request Information
Ready to get started?

Contact us to request more information

Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

By selecting this button you agree to receive updates and alerts from Herzing University. Text HELP to 42459 for help, Text STOP to 42459 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. By leaving this box unchecked you will not be opted in for SMS messages. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.