Legal assistants need either a community college associate's degree in a paralegal program or a certificate in paralegal studies if they already have a bachelor's degree in another subject. Some employers also train bachelor degree holders who don't have additional schooling for entry-level positions.
A few schools even offer bachelor's and master's degrees in paralegal studies. Many degree and certificate programs combine training in legal research and legal applications of computers with other academic subjects.
A lot of programs include internships in private law firms, legal aid organizations, public defender offices or corporate legal departments. These enhance students' newly acquired skills and their job prospects.