Here are some tips for selecting schools, based on an analysis comparing each school to all others across dozens of factors:
Schools Concentrating On Paralegals And Legal Assistants
- Focus: For schools with a focus on this career area, look at Wilbur Wright College, College of DuPage, Harper College, and College of Lake County.
Fastest Response From Schools
- Request Info: For the fastest information for prospective students, look at the Spotlight schools on this page.
- Part-Time: For schools emphasizing part-time studies, consider Midstate College, Roosevelt University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Lewis.
- Female: For schools particularly welcoming to female students, consider MacCormac and Midstate College.
- Diverse: For a diverse student body, consider South Suburban College, Wilbur Wright College, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University.
- Adult Learners: For lots of adult learners, consider South Suburban College, Midstate College, College of Lake County, and College of DuPage.
- Out of State: For geographic diversity, take note of Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, and Roosevelt University.
- Dorms: For a residential campus environment, take note of Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Loyola University, and Lewis.
- SAT: For students with high SAT scores, look at Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Loyola University.
- % Accepted: For selective institutions, look at Northwestern University.
- Class Size: For small class sizes, look at Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Loyola University.
Student/Alumnus Reviews of Schools for This Career and StateSort Reviews By:
University Of Illinois At Springfield • Springfield, IL
Studying Paralegal Studies (completion in 2008)
"I got the degree and learned a lot to help in my current career. It helped me to gain experience and got my the promotion I needed. I am now making more money and taking on larger tasks."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||I think it fits well into people's schedules. Also, I think what I learned is invaluable to someone in the legal field assisting attorneys. It was helpful and provided me with a good foundation.|
|Program Reputation||5||The school I attended was mostly local and does not have a reputation beyond Springfield. Most people think it is an extension school of the University of Illinois and it is not.|
|Program Quality||7||I thought the teachings and classes were good and I learned quite a bit about what the legal field entailed. However, most of my day-to-day activities were learned on the job and the program didn't really prepare me for them.|
|Instruction||7||The teachers were very good and had valuable experiences to share. Most of the teachers were in a legal field different from my own, so their teaching didn't transfer to what I do now.|
|How Difficult||3||The classes were challenging with the workload, but the bulk of the material was not very challenging. It was time-consuming, but not overwhelming.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||I think they offered valuable experience of what the job would be like. I had a job in the legal field while at school, so I could apply what I learned fairly easily.|
|Schedule Flexibility||6||They offer classes that could accommodate a working person. I completed the program easily with the ability to take classes all year round.|
|Academic Facilities||5||It is a small school with not a lot of options or facilities. It served its purpose, but did not offer much beyond that.|
|Social Life||2||That is really no sports programs or school spirit. People attend class and leave, major commuter school.|
|Placement Services||5||I already had a job and just got the training to be promoted and to raise my pay. From what I have heard, they have a pretty solid placement system.|
|Alumni Network||1||I went to a very small school without a large alumni connection. Most of the alumnus of my school do not engage in school activities past graduation.|
William Rainey Harper College • Chicago, IL
Studying Paralegal (completion in 2007)
"The social experiences, with both students and faculty, were outstanding and life-changing. I could only have wished for a bit more, and deeper, direction and help in transitioning within the professional work field."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||Students are well taken care of and prepared to work in a rewarding field, and for very little tuition cost. Not only is the subject given careful handling, but the students who come to it are dealt with in an honorable manner as well.|
|Program Reputation||5||I do not think the school is showcased nationally, or even locally. However, in comparison with training received by other paralegals, I would say that it is at the top in terms of professional preparation and development.|
|Program Quality||8||I am not sure how it ranks against other programs, but I felt it was not only rigorous but novel and inventive as well. Instead of graduating students with rote knowledge, they developed each student through exercises that prepared them for professional performance.|
|Instruction||9||Most of the instructors were gifted in managing many individuals within the larger group of students. Though raw ambition was given its due, those of us who were less aggressive were also given the highest quality and quantity of educational attention.|
|How Difficult||7||Because of the incredible support and attention of the instructors, the workload seemed manageable. Though an intense course in a dense subject, we were challenged only to use the tools readily provided to us to craft our work.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||The school offers perhaps the best-case mixture of book and hands-on learning, in which one led to the other and fueled a return back to the source. Book learning led the way to performing hands-on work, and that hands-on work created new questions answered within the books.|
|Schedule Flexibility||8||Both day and night course offerings are available. Unfortunately, none of the courses are offered on-line.|
|Academic Facilities||7||The facilities are adequate and then some, and where they are lacking only mirrors the conditions one will find in the working world. So, in that sense, they prepare students to find external resources that will be similarly needed on-the-job. There is little interaction with advising by director or instructors, but when it is initiated, it does result in especially well-designed direction for the student.|
|Social Life||9||The interactive and intensive nature of the classes encourages social interaction. For a less-social person like myself, I found it exceedingly easy to strike up amenable acquaintance-ships.|
|Placement Services||6||Though there is no formal placement service, the director of the program keeps a very active jobs board near the classrooms. Updated frequently, it is a great source for those who are not already working in the field.|
|Alumni Network||8||There is a very active alumni support system maintained electronically. This means that educational ties are maintained over time and even over great distances.|
Robert Morris College (Now University) • Chicago, IL
Studying Legal Office Assistant/Paralegal (completion in 1995)
"I got what I went for, and was happy. I succeeded so nothing more was needed as far as I was concerned."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||Its was small, professional, and there was no nonsense.|
|Program Reputation||7||Robert Morris has always been ranked as one of the best private schools in Chicago. However, now that it is an university, I am not quite sure how it stands against other universities in the state. It was an outstanding school for its time back in 1995. Sports weren't great, but the curriculum was on target and produced graduates who went on to become professionals in their fields of choice.|
|Program Quality||7||The school had small classes which made it feel personal, and we were made to dress casual which got us prepared for the professional world. I believe the classes were relevant and prepared me for what was ahead.|
|Instruction||8||The classes prepared me for the profession and for various aspects of the law including real estate, crime, divorce, etc. I felt prepared and positive about the program.|
|How Difficult||4||The instruction was more on the level of being at a city college, nothing too heavy or too fast, and I remember being graded on a curve quite a bit. There was not much work to do at home, and we were able to use a computer lab to complete papers.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||Other than going to the computer lab, I do not remember any hands on work. We had a mock trial, but most of the learning was by book.|
|Schedule Flexibility||10||This was their marketing ace. You were able to schedule classes at your convenience. There were classes held on weekends as well.|
|Academic Facilities||4||The school was downtown in an office building. It wasn't small but odd in its make up. We did have a computer lab which we could use as well as a library. There were all the things a university would have, i.e. a university store, career offices, etc. It was just in a weird setting.|
|Social Life||6||The sports teams were not well known, and they were not all that great. The volleyball team was OK, but basketball was bad at the time. Later, they would gain a little fame on the college front. I got to know people because the school was small, but there were no parties. The school was a bit too tightly wrapped.|
|Placement Services||5||I received job assistance. I was given appointments to come down to the office and speak with a career advisor. I did get a job after finishing. They also do a great job of preparing you by not allowing jeans to be worn in school.|
|Alumni Network||3||The school is now considered a University. I was able to get job assistance when I was done, but I never really reached out to anyone from the school in later years. Nor do I receive mail regarding events from the alumni.|
Robert Morris University • Chicago, IL
Studying Legal Studies-Paralegal (completion in 2004)
"Overall, I think the program was excellent for preparing students for the job market. The teachers were well-prepared and approachable. And it was an affordable option."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||I think Robert Morris is a great option for people who are interested in becoming paralegals in Chicago. It's affordable, and the job prospects are relatively good--at least based on my own experience.|
|Program Reputation||7||My school has a reasonably good reputation, at least in the City of Chicago. I didn't find it too difficult to find a job.|
|Program Quality||10||The teachers in the paralegal program were great. It was a relatively inexpensive option for education.|
|Instruction||9||The teachers at Robert Morris taught me all the job skills that I need for my work. They were very approachable.|
|How Difficult||4||I didn't find the program terribly difficult. A lot of it is not very intellectually challenging, but consists of things you just need to know.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||I'd say the curriculum was largely driven by the textbooks. But the program was nonetheless very hands-on, so that's not to say that the skills we learned weren't practical.|
|Schedule Flexibility||8||I attended the evening classes while I worked as a waiter. I found that to be very helpful to keep earning money while in school.|
|Academic Facilities||7||For the paralegal program, there wasn't that much need for library resources. Most of the information was contained within the required textbooks. So, I didn't take advantage of many of those resources.|
|Social Life||9||Robert Morris is largely a commuter school. But the student body is still quite close-knit.|
|Placement Services||8||I found my job on my own. I didn't rely on the career placement people, but some of my friends did, and they thought found the career office to be very helpful.|
|Alumni Network||5||I haven't really taken much advantage of the alumni network. So I can't speak to that.|
Roosevelt University • Chicago, IL
Studying Paralegal Studies (completion in 2007)
"I enjoyed the challenge of the mix of hands on and book learning. I enjoyed the professors and the knowledge they shared with me."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||The school is ABA approved and is in a great location.|
|Program Reputation||10||When searching for jobs, attorneys that I interviewed with were happy to see the school I attended. It is ABA approved.|
|Program Quality||10||My school provided me with even more skills than I use as a paralegal. They taught me to do very precise legal research, taught me internet skills, and the instructors were very educated.|
|Instruction||10||Professors were working as attorneys and brought in real cases. The books were up to date. I was taken to the court house to see things first hand.|
|How Difficult||8||There was a lot of research. There was a lot of writing assignments. Very time consuming.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||The school took us to the court house to complete assignments. Textbooks were used for learning definitions and writing examples.|
|Schedule Flexibility||1||The program was set in stone. There was no flexibility.|
|Academic Facilities||10||Library was fully stacked with books that I could use for my research. Computers labs were usually full so I had to use my home computer.|
|Social Life||5||I was not in any activities. I met a lot of people I could network and study with.|
|Placement Services||5||The school gave you some tools to find a job, but much was done on your own. The school gave you sample resumes and cover letters.|
|Alumni Network||10||Professors always answered your questions in a timely fashion. Professors would give you links to find jobs.|
Illinois State University • Normal, IL
Studying Political Science (completion in 2004)
"I love my school. It provided me friends and a career."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||Absolutely. For each of the reasons provided above.|
|Program Reputation||7||There is a high placement rate for the program. The internship program is very effective.|
|Program Quality||8||I was able to learn about many areas of the law. The first year of the program was designed to simulate the first year of law school.|
|Instruction||6||The curriculum provided great opportunities for research. However, most of the classes were directed towards litigation. I don't work in litigation now.|
|How Difficult||7||As stated above, the program simulated law school. It was fairly difficult.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||There was no difference. Book learning and hands-on learning were intertwined.|
|Schedule Flexibility||2||There is no flexibility. The classes are only provided in the evenings.|
|Academic Facilities||8||The library is amazing. tutors were provided in every class, if needed.|
|Social Life||9||My social experience was incredible. I made life-long friends.|
|Placement Services||9||I spoke about this earlier. The placement rate is great.|
|Alumni Network||5||I can't comment on this. I've never participated in the alumni network.|
National-Louis University • Elgin, IL
Studying Business Management (completion in 2007)
"I got my degree in 18 months, met great people, learned a lot, and have lifetime bonds. The campus was near to home and my company provides education assistance. One of the best things I could have done in my life."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||yes||It is convenient. It works with your schedule. It can be completed in a short period of time. You build friendships and contacts.|
|Program Reputation||7||It is not known as being the most difficult school, but it is certainly a reputable one. It is more known for teaching degrees, but I went on the advice of a colleague and am grateful.|
|Program Quality||8||The school's cohort program was GREAT. I went to a satellite campus for adults and wish it had a more collegiate atmosphere.|
|Instruction||8||I found it a little disconcerting that some of the teachers were younger than I was, when I was in the program at age 27. Some of the teachers were very rigorous, whereas others were not.|
|How Difficult||1||With the exception of the accounting class, I barely had to study at all. But this is the norm for me, and I am not sure others in my cohort would have said the same.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||There was, of course, required reading. But our classes consisted mostly of discussion of the readings and real-life situations we encounter at work. Oftentimes, people related their situations and we worked our way through those situations, which has been a great benefit for my career.|
|Schedule Flexibility||10||I went to an evening program that had internet requirements as well. There were options to take classes and seminars on the weekends.|
|Academic Facilities||8||In terms of resources, I only really dealt with teacher accessibility and the library at the satellite campus. The accessibility of the teachers was great; they often provided us with their cell phone numbers, in case we needed their help.|
|Social Life||8||My social experience was great. I was in a cohort for 18 months, and only the teachers changed; not the students. It gave us ample time to create a bond that many of us maintain today. Campus activities were limited, so I cannot comment on that.|
|Placement Services||I am sure that there was career placement, but I didn't pay much attention. I am working for the same company that I was working for when I went to school.|
|Alumni Network||5||I went to a satellite campus and there weren't any activities held there. I do keep in contact with some of my classmates via social networks, as opposed to an alumni network.|
University Of Illinois At Chicago • Chicago, IL
Studying Political Science (completion in 2007)
"UIC prepared me for the real world. The community is very diverse (race, gender and age)."
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale
|Would Recommend?||maybe||Political science is probably not the best choice if you want to become a legal assistant. There are probably better programs for the position.|
|Program Reputation||5||UIC is not known for its political science program. However, it does have strong teachers.|
|Program Quality||7||I liked my program and the teachers. Political science was interesting but not applicable to my current job.|
|Instruction||3||My degree and my position have no correlation with each other, so I wish I would not have gone to school for political science. Political science was not the right major for me.|
|How Difficult||4||Political science was fairly easy. The teachers gave a lot of leeway and the classes were not very challenging.|
|Hands-On vs. Bookish||UIC is a typical university, mostly hands on. Hands on programs were left for the sciences.|
|Schedule Flexibility||10||UIC was very flexible. Many of the students were night students and had families.|
|Academic Facilities||10||UIC is a pretty huge school in Chicago. Their library and computer resources are extensive.|
|Social Life||4||UIC is a commuter campus, so social events are not first on students' lists of priorities. UIC does not have much of a sorority or fraternity life.|
|Placement Services||2||From my knowledge, career services was nonexistent. They had no job placement help for my major.|
|Alumni Network||6||The Linked In group for alumni is very active. UIC has a very active alumni and are always trying to network their alumni.|
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