No. In our opinion, there is no need to seek the approval of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) for any paralegal course of study. Our opinion is apparently shared by the vast majority of paralegal programs since most paralegal programs are not ABA approved. The ABA is a voluntary association of lawyers, and recognizing this, only about half of all practicing lawyers are members of the ABA. Not even all law schools have sought ABA approval.
In our three decades of experience in training and educating paralegals, we have never had one of our graduates contact us and tell us that he or she was not interviewed, or employed as a paralegal by a lawyer or law firm because he or she graduated from our course as opposed to an ABA approved course. Our course is sponsored by well-known academic institutions, which are held in high national esteem, so most students actually prefer a Paralegal Certificate from a nationally known and respected school like the University of Arizona or Auburn University rather than a private, proprietary “Paralegal Institute” which may have paid a large sum of money to receive ABA approval. We have found that our lack of ABA approval has not impacted the job opportunities of our graduates.