The state of Michigan is home to many schools offering programs in paralegal studies and related areas. What’s most important to mention is that these aren’t just mere programs; they are programs that have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), which is vital to you being able to find jobs in the field once you have completed your education.
What this means for you is that you have a wide variety of different educational opportunities in the state. This is a good thing, of course, but it can also be overwhelming. The best way to keep from getting overwhelmed and to find the right choice for you specifically is to take it one step at a time.
The first thing you will want to decide is just how you want to go about your education. Once you know that, your choices will limit themselves, which should help you significantly. The vast majority of professionals working in the field in the state will simply hold an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or general legal studies.
These degrees can be earned in only around two years on average. However, in an effort to stand out above the competition, more and more students are choosing to take the next step and to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field. This is a wise choice, but it will usually require you to undergo about four years of schooling.
Another option that you have is to obtain a certificate in paralegal studies or legal studies. Bear in mind, though, that this option is only available to those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a different area.
The main reason people choose this option is because they attended school earlier in life, before they knew they wanted to be paralegals, and now wish to enter into the career field without having to go through a degree program once again. Some people will also choose it if they earned a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from a program not approved by the ABA.
No matter which of these options is the right choice for you, you will be able to find an appropriate program in a Michigan school. One good school that has worked for many prospective paralegals is Baker College of Auburn Hills, which actually has two convenient locations, one in Auburn Hills and one in Clinton Township. Students of this school can only earn an associate’s degree, however.
You also have Davenport University, based in Grand Rapids, which is an area ripe with employment and internship opportunities for paralegals. This school has a bachelor’s degree program. Then, there is Eastern Michigan University of Ypsilanti, which also has only a bachelor’s degree program.
Ferris State University, located in Big Rapids, is another excellent choice. It is a great fit for anyone seeking an associate’s degree. Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids, is an affordable option for those who have residency status and features an excellent undergraduate degree program in legal studies. Even more affordable is Henry Ford Community College, located in Dearborn, which has an associate’s degree program.
This school also makes it possible for students to earn an associate’s degree and then transfer their credits to a bachelor’s degree program. Another good community college is Kellogg Community College, in Battle Creek, which has both an associate’s degree program and a certification program.
One other excellent community college is Lansing Community College, which also has an associate’s degree program and a certification program. Yet another community college is Macomb Community College of Warren, which offers a very prestigious associate’s degree program.
Don’t forget either about Madonna University, which is located in Livonia. It has a standard bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies, as well as a rare program in nurse paralegal studies. Northwestern Michigan College, in Farmington Hills, is a good option as well, and offers both an associate’s degree program and a bachelor’s degree program in legal studies.
Then, there’s Oakland Community College, also in Farmington Hills, and Oakland University in Rochester, with its certification program. Any of these choices would serve you well in the field, as would any accredited and approved online schools.