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Paralegal Studies Program

The award winning Paralegal Studies Program , approved by the American Bar Association since 1982, offers students a balanced and varied background in theoretical and practical aspects of law, which are necessary for work as a paralegal. Over 50% of our graduates are working as paralegals.  Paralegals (sometimes referred to as legal assistants or legal analysts) work under the supervision of an attorney, in a variety of areas ranging from real estate, litigation and family law to patent, trademark and estate practice.

The program develops intellectual and analytical skills, educates students for direct employment opportunities in the paralegal field, and provides additional career possibilities in combination with other majors. The Montclair State University Paralegal Studies Program was the first program at a New Jersey state college or university to receive American Bar Association approval.

With the exception of giving legal advice, making court appearances and setting fees, a paralegal may carry out many tasks. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.*

Specific objectives of the program are to:

  • communicate an understanding of the overall role of the paralegal, including ethical considerations, professional responsibility and limitations upon the practice of law by legal personnel in the delivery of legal services.
  • provide focused paralegal education in areas such as legal interviewing, research, writing, administrative advocacy, investigation and litigation, which are applicable in a broad range of legally related situations.
  • provide substantive legal knowledge and related practical training in a wide range of legal specialty subject areas, including but not limited to: Administrative Law; Corporations and Partnerships; Employment Law; Entertainment Law; Personal Injury Law; Wills, Trusts and Probate Law; Elder Law; Family Law; Immigration Law; Real Estate Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Contract Law; Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law; Evidence; Bankruptcy Law; Consumer Law and Dispute Resolution.
  • provide students with an understanding of legal technology, including knowledge of subject-specific computer software and computer-assisted legal research via the Internet, Westlaw and LexisNexis.
  • provide an internship experience whereby each student in the Paralegal Studies Program applies his or her paralegal education and skills to a direct fieldwork experience in the public or private sector.
  • provide students with the opportunity and the flexibility to enroll in courses in the Paralegal Studies Program during the day or evening.
  • provide well-rounded education emphasizing a proper balance between general education, law-related courses and legal specialty education.
  • acquire knowledge about the broad spectrum of justice issues and be able to view issues of justice through an interdisciplinary lens.
  • demonstrate their social scientific knowledge of research methods.
  • demonstrate their knowledge of legal research and writing.
  • demonstrate knowledge in an applied setting.


The program offers courses in-person and online.  It should be noted that students must take at least nine (9) semester credits of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.*

Concentration in Paralegal Studies (Major) Minor Post-BA Paralegal Certificate

A Certificate of Completion is awarded to all students who meet program standards. For undergraduate students, this is an academic minor or a concentration within the Justice Studies major. For Post-Baccalaureate students, it is a certificate program.

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2022 Awards

MSU’s ABA Approved Paralegal Studies Program is now ranked #2 in the top 25 BEST Bachelor’s Degree Programs for 2020 by Bachelors Degree Center.


Montclair State Ranked Among Top 10 Best Bachelor’s in Paralegal Degree Programs.

Montclair State University has been ranked among the top 10 best bachelor’s in paralegal degree programs for 2022 by CollegeRank. Montclair State University was ranked #2.

This ranking was created using the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database, sites including, and each school’s official website. The top 10 schools were selected and ranked based on potential salary after graduation, individual program accreditation, and overall affordability.

CollegeRank offers students a variety of helpful resources that will help them make the college selection process as simple and effective as possible. The fundamental mission of the site is to provide students with useful information to help them make an informed decision regarding which college to attend. To accomplish this objective, the site is filled with helpful guides, rankings, articles, and several other forms of media.  Read the full article at the following link:

Editor's Choice College Rank Best Bachelor's in Paralegal

2020 Awards

MSU’s ABA Approved Paralegal Studies Program ranked #3 in the top 25 BEST Bachelor’s Degree Programs for 2020 by Bachelors Degree Center.

Bachelor’s Degree Center (BDC) has been providing advice, resources, and rankings on the best traditional and online bachelor’s degree programs since 2014. Completely independent and unbiased, BDC is working to be the ultimate resource for high school graduates, adults learners, and an variety of non-traditional students.

To rank the best traditional legal studies degree program, Bachelor’s Degree Center went to the source – the American Bar Association. Programs are judged on five (5) criteria: Cost, Graduation Rate, Job Placement Rate, Salary Potential and Student Reviews.

This respected industry association selected the Justice Studies Major with a Concentration in Paralegal Studies at Montclair State University as their #3 pick for 2020!

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25 BEST Bachelor’s Degree Programs for 2020 by Bachelors Degree Center

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2018 Awards

Montclair State University’s ABA Approved Paralegal Studies Program named BEST in New Jersey by

This respected industry association reviewed more than 200 post-associate and post-baccalaureate programs and selected the Post-BA Certificate in Paralegal Studies at Montclair State University as their favorite in New Jersey for 2018! They also did a state-by-state analysis of the top bachelor’s programs for paralegals and Montclair State University’s BA in Justice Studies with a concentration in Paralegal Studies was selected as the best of the best in New Jersey!

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Top Post-Degree Certificate Programs in Paralegal Studies and Top Bachelor’s Programs in Paralegal Studies.

Congratulations to the Paralegal Studies Program, the Justice Studies Department and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences!

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*These statements are required per the American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines.