Ohio Options for Paralegal Careers

Paralegal Education in Ohio

With the largest concentration of paralegals employed in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio claimed almost 6,500 legal assistants in 2011 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As with most other states, there are no specified educational requirements for joining the ranks of those paraprofessionals already in the field (and the field should increase steadily until 2018 to offer over 250,000 new jobs) and no encompassing authority to institute such requirements, but employers have their own list of wants and needs. Aside from the hiring firms and agencies, the local bar association has its preferences, too.

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In USD as of Feb 28, 2013 (source: indeed.com) 30k 60k 90k
Paralegal in Ohio $45,000

State and Nationally Certified

As many states have recently started to offer, the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), established in 1880, has set has its own test for a paralegal to pass and call herself an Ohio State Bar Certified Paralegal. It is purely voluntary but possessing the title showcases abilities to potential employers and proves experience, knowledge and competency. There are requirements one must have before sitting for the state exam. They are: 1) a high school diploma or GED and at least seven years full-time work (usually consecutively and under the same attorney), or 14,000 hours experience as a practicing paralegal and an attorney to attest to the facts. 2) an associate degree (AA) in Paralegal Studies or equivalent with a minimum of sixty semester hours and paralegal work experience of at least five years full-time or 10,000 hours and an attorney to swear to the fact. 3) a bachelor’s degree (BA) (doesn’t matter in what), a minimum of twenty semester hours of substantial paralegal coursework, and meet the minimum paralegal work experience, which is 2,000 hours or one year full-time (this would be considered the Post-Baccalaureate certification). 4) or a BA in Paralegal Studies, which consists of at least 124 semester hours along with paralegal work experience of at least 2,000 hours or one year full-time. In other words, the exam is not for those straight out of school, but with some time in the field.

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To become a nationally Certified Paralegal, three national paralegal associations offer four different exams, each with their own requirements and costs. These exams are:

Like the label of Ohio State Bar Certified Paralegal, receiving the title of Certified Paralegal brings with it a host of expectations, skills and abilities. It is not to be confused with certification which is a diploma or degree received from the completion of an ABA approved paralegals study course.

Institutes of Higher Learning

It is strongly recommended that the aspiring legal assistant seek education at an ABA approved school. This means the American Bar Association has given a school or its paralegal studies their stamp of approval, indicating to students and employers alike that the course load is substantive, quality, and designed to encourage the best from paralegals. All parties can rest assured the highest education and skills sets are being taught and learned. There are a number of ABA approved schools in Ohio:

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Capital University Law School in Columbus offers both a Paralegal Studies and a Consulting Post-Bacc certification. There’s an intensive 3-month summer program and a 1 year part time program. The Legal Nurse Consulting program lasts about 10 months. Internships are elective.

College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati extends both an AS and a BS in Paralegal Studies with a Post-Bacc certification.

Columbus State Community College In Columbus is a 2-year school offering an AS in Paralegal Studies and a Post-Bacc certification.

Cuyahoga Community College in Parma is public, 2-year school offering an Associate Degree of Applied Business or a Post-Bacc certification in Paralegal Studies or Legal Nurse Consulting. Internships are mandatory.

Edison Community College in Piqua offers an Associate of Applied Business degree or certification in Paralegal Studies. It is a 2-year, public school.

Fortis College (fka RETS College fka RETS Tech) in Centerville offers an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies.

Kent State University in Kent extends a BA in Paralegal Studies, Baccalaureate degrees with Paralegal Studies minor, and Post-Bacc Certification. Internships are mandatory.

Lake Erie College in Painesville is a private, 4-year school offering a BS in Paralegal Studies.

Lakeland Community College in Kirtland is a public 2-year school offering an Associates in Applied Business which takes 4 semesters to complete or a Post-Bacc certification which takes 2 semesters to complete. Mandatory internships.

National College (Dayton Area Campus) in Kettering is a private, 2-year institute offering an AAS in Paralegal Studies.

Rhodes State College (formerly Lima Technical College) is a public 2-year school offering an AA degree, an AAS degree and Post-Bacc certification where internships are mandatory.

Sinclair Community College in Dayton is a public 2-year school that offers an AAS with mandatory internship.

University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati is a public 4-year school offering an AS degree, A BS, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. Internships are required. Includes placement service and flexible classes.

University of Cincinnati Clermont in Batavia is a public 2-year school where internships are mandatory and extending an Associate of Applied Business degree in Paralegal Technology, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.

The University of Toledo in Toledo is a 4-year institute offering an AS, a BS, a Post-Bacc certificate and a Nurse Paralegal Certificate. Internships are required for graduation.

Ursuline College in Pepper Pike is a 4-year private college offering a BA in Paralegal Studies and a Post-Bacc certificate in Legal Studies. Both programs are accelerated ones offered in evenings or Saturdays once a week.

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Law Firms of Interest

Law firms are obvious places of employment where paralegals are often hired for entry-level positions. While not the only places to send a resume, they are highly visible and plainly in need of legal assistants. Below is a truncated list of some of the biggest in the Ohio metropolitan areas:

Dinsmore and Shohl
255 E. Fifth St., Suite 1900
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T: 13) 977-8200
F:513) 977-8141191

W. Nationwide Blvd., Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215
T:614) 628-6880
F:14) 628-6890

Squire, Sanders and Dempsey
4900 Key Tower 127 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114
T: 216 479 8500
F: 216 479 8780

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease
52 East Gay Street
Columbus, OH 43215
T: 614.464.6400
F: 614.464.6350

301 East Fourth Street
Suite 3500
Great American Tower
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T: 513.723.4000
F: 513.723.4056

Frost Brown Todd
3300 Great American Tower
301 East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
T: 513.651.6800
F: 513.651.6981

One Columbus, Suite 2300
10 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3467
T: 614.464.1211
F: 614.464.1737

9277 Centre Pointe Drive
Suite 300
West Chester, Ohio 45069-4866
T: 513.870.8200
F: 513.870.0999

Roetzel and Andress
310 Chiquita Center
250 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T: 513.361.0200
F: 513.361.0335

1375 East Ninth Street
One Cleveland Center, 9th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
T: 216.623.0150
F: 216.623.0134

155 East Broad Street
PNC Plaza, 12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
T: 614.463.9770
F: 614.463.9792

One SeaGate, Suite 1700
Toledo, OH 43604
T: 419.242.7985
F: 419.242.0316

Paralegal Schools in Ohio

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