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Paralegal Associates Degree

There are a number of situations in legal proceedings where we come across legal experts such as lawyers, judges, attorneys, and paralegals. While most of these professionals play a key role in presenting cases through the justice system, a few of these experts are found working in the background, providing supportive services to lawyers. These professionals are known as paralegals or legal assistants.

Paralegals are integral in the administrative function of legal firms. Their services are diverse in nature. Paralegals perform a variety of duties ranging from preparing information for trials to helping in investigation of evidence. Although these assistants are not allowed to represent a client in court, their input and help is crucial in the running of a law firm or an attorney office.

Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies

An associate’s degree in paralegal studies is a popular undergraduate degree. It may be earned after getting a high school diploma. In most cases, an associate’s degree may be transferable to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. However, this will depend upon the institute offering the program.

The main purpose of an associate’s degree in paralegal education is to train students for entry level jobs in the legal field. The coursework is basic in nature and highlights all the key elements of the legal industry. Students spend a great deal of time learning about the functions of the justice system and the numerous agencies that work within it. During the first phase of the program, introductory subjects such as trial procedures and research methodology are covered. Later in the program, more advanced level subjects are covered that focus on skill development and industry oriented knowledge. By the end of the associate in paralegal program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of legal terminology
  • Distinguish between different branches of the legal field
  • Prepare and compose reports and other legal documents
  • Demonstrate analytical, problem solving, and research skills
  • Communicate effectively with different legal personnel

You must make sure that you enroll in institute school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. For those who are unable to attend on-campus programs due to financial reasons or other responsibilities, online associate’s degree in paralegal programs are now available. Individuals may study from their home or any other convenient location where they are able to get onto the internet and access course material. Online paralegal programs are more convenient and flexible in many ways as compared to campus-based programs.

Paralegal Career

You could work in all kinds of legal settings with a paralegal degree. Attorneys, multinational law firms, and legal government agencies require the services of paralegal professionals. You may also choose a specific branch in the field of law, and work in that particular segment. Some paralegals prefer working in family law firms, while others wish to provide services in corporate law firms. A number of specialized areas have emerged over the recent years such as intellectual property law, agricultural law, real estate law, and employment benefits law. The median income level of paralegals has been estimated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to be approximately $46,000.


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