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American Bar Association - ABA Approved Paralegal Program

Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) continuously for more than 40 years, our Paralegal program provides a practical educational experience to students new to the legal profession and to those with years of experience working in law.

The JCCC program provides students with real world assignments and experiences to develop the skills needed to begin, continue, and move ahead in careers at private law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

What Is the Paralegal's Role in the Legal Profession?

What Will I Learn?

The JCCC Paralegal program will prepare you for a successful career as a paralegal. You will learn how to investigate, interview, research legal precedent, and draft legal documents under the direction and supervision of an attorney. You will also develop skills in legal technology, litigation preparation, legal analysis, and communication. The JCCC Paralegal curriculum requires all students to build an online portfolio to showcase their work in the program and use in the job search process.

Because we are an ABA approved program, you must have earned a qualifying degree before you can be awarded the Paralegal Certificate from JCCC.

If you have an associate of arts, associate of science, bachelor’s, or graduate degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, then you may apply to the Paralegal program to earn the Paralegal Certificate, which requires successful completion of 32 semester credit hours.

If you do not yet have a qualifying degree, you can still apply to the Paralegal program to earn the Paralegal Certificate, but you must simultaneously enroll in the Liberal Arts, AA degree program. You will be required to successfully complete 60 semester credit hours, which are a combination of general education courses and paralegal courses.

Visit the following catalog links to learn more about the LAW courses offered and the Paralegal program curriculum. You may take any number of credit hours each semester, so long as you do not miss more than one year without taking any credit courses at JCCC. The most common approaches to completing the Paralegal Certificate are:

  • Complete the Liberal Arts, AA degree and the Paralegal Certificate in two years (full-time student)
  • Complete the Paralegal Certificate in one year (full-time student who already has a degree)
  • Take one or more courses each semester toward the Paralegal Certificate and/or Liberal Arts, AA degree (part-time student)

[Catalog] Law Courses

[Catalog] Paralegal Certificate

[Catalog] Liberal Arts, AA

What is the Difference Between a Paralegal Certificate and Certification?

Read more about earning paralegal credentials in this article from the American Bar Association (ABA).


JCCC is dedicated to providing our Paralegal students with the highest quality education. Students will find many advantages to pursuing an education in JCCC’s Paralegal program.

Flexibility: Courses with live meetings provide options for meeting on campus or live online, and options for meeting in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate our students who are working professionals. These options allow you to plan your Paralegal courses around your busy schedule. Visit our Remote/Online Coursework page for more information about completing courses away from the campus.

Qualified Instructors: All of our instructors have experience working as paralegals or as attorneys with paralegals. Our full-time professors have juris doctor degrees, and our adjunct professors are practicing paralegals or attorneys. Visit our Faculty page for more information.

Engaging and Relevant Events: You will have the opportunity to watch the legal process at work when the Kansas Court of Appeals hears oral arguments at JCCC. You may talk with legal experts such as representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or attorneys in specific areas of law like bankruptcy, immigration, or estate planning, depending on which elective courses you take. A great way to further network is by completing a paralegal internship or joining one of the local paralegal professional organizations.

Career Development: You will have access to JCCC’s Career Development Center. The center helps you build résumés, prepare for interviews, and even negotiate salaries and other employment benefits. The Paralegal program also maintains an electronic job posting system so that our students and graduates can be notified when interested employers are seeking to hire paralegals or other law-related positions.

Advisory Board: The Paralegal program’s advisory board is made up of paralegals, attorneys, and other professionals from local government and private sectors, as well as educators and administrators from area high schools and colleges. The board monitors the program and provides insight on emerging trends and opportunities in the field, helping to ensure the program is current, well-designed, and student-focused.

JCCC Paralegal Program Goals

Our graduates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Competency in the fundamental principles and procedures relating to the major areas of law in the United States; 
  • An understanding of the ethical standards of the legal profession; 
  • Effective general and legal technology skills; 
  • Effective communication skills used in a legal setting; 
  • The ability to collaborate effectively in a legal setting; and
  • The ability to retrieve, evaluate, and apply legal authority.
This is a selective admission program. See how to apply

Paralegals work in law firms, banks, real estate agencies, government, life insurance companies, and nonprofit organizations. Employment opportunities for paralegals are expected to grow 15.6 percent in Kansas by 2030, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center. Paralegal positions are expected to increase as law firms seek to provide more cost-effective legal services.

A degree combined with a paralegal certificate, especially from an ABA-approved program, is vital for paralegals. Many employers require at least an associate’s degree combined with either a paralegal certificate or substantial experience in the field. JCCC’s program has been educating paralegals in the Kansas City market for more than 40 years. Our reputation for producing graduates prepared to work in the field on day one will help you achieve your career goals.

The U.S. Department of Labor compiles statistics on paralegal careers. You'll find information specifically related to careers in Kansas, including salary information and job prospects.

Find employment projections and salary information at the Power BI Post Graduate Report.

Need help with career decisions? Visit the Career Development Center.

The cost of going to college can drastically impact your ability to succeed. At Johnson County Community College, we want our students to be able to afford a program that they love. That’s why we’re constantly working to make tuition more affordable for you.

Here’s what JCCC has to offer:

Textbook and other supply costs vary depending on your courses.

There are several things to consider when budgeting for college. Visit our Cost of Attendance page for detailed information.

There are no additional costs to apply specifically to the Paralegal program or for paralegal courses. Some courses require purchase of a subscription service to access educational resources, but these costs are instead of purchasing a textbook for that course. 

Resources and Tools at JCCC

Being a student at JCCC means you have access to a range of services and resources to help you succeed. We offer professional tutoring and small, personalized class sizes. When you attend Johnson County Community College, your education truly matters.

The cost of going to school can be daunting. Fortunately, our Financial Aid office is here to help you through the process. Our counselors can help you find ways to fund your schooling, including scholarships and student loans, both of which can help to reduce the cost of your tuition every semester.

If you need help discovering what your passion will be post-graduation, our Career Development Center and Academic Counseling services are great support tools.

You can also further your education by transferring to a four-year school. JCCC is here to help make the transition to another college program easy and stress-free.