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Master in Paralegal Studies

You could prepare yourself for a career in the legal field without having to become a lawyer or an attorney. Becoming a paralegal is one of the most popular jobs nowadays where individuals who have a passion for law may pursue a rewarding career working alongside lawyers and attorneys. This career focuses on providing administrative services, helping senior legal professionals in the management and preparation of cases, and conducting legal researches. According to the US News & World Report, paralegals have been ranked among the leading professions. Attorneys and lawyers often require assistants who are able to help them manage office related tasks. This career is growing fast, which is increasing the demand for more competent and skilled assistants.

There are all kinds of educational programs and certifications available for individual preparing for this career. These usually include an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, and a master’s degree in paralegal studies. Among all these programs, the master’s degree holds the most value as it is the only graduate degree available in the field of paralegal education.



Master’s in Paralegal

A person may choose to enroll in this type of program at any ABA accredited law school. The duration of the program will depend upon the school offering the program. However, the usual time period that most master’s degree programs take to complete is two years. The nature of the program is advanced and focuses on career oriented knowledge. Students must have a bachelor’s degree in hand in order to qualify for enrollment in a master’s in paralegal.

In a master’s in paralegal studies program, students are required to complete a set of courses and subjects. Each of these subjects focuses on a specific element of the legal industry. Paralegals must have a though understanding of how the justice system operates, and what different levels of government agencies make up the entire network. Along with theoretical knowledge, a master’s degree will also help develop professional skills needed in the industry. As the field of law is becoming more complex and diverse, paralegals must have a broad skill set to match the growing demand.

Subjects that are usually covered in a master’s degree program are:

  • Communication and Ethics
  • Legal Technology
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Legal Research Methods
  • Corporate Law and Tort Law
  • Justice Administration
  • Trial Procedures

However, the curriculum is dependent upon the school offering the program. Some schools may offer specialization courses while others may not. You will have to check in with the institute you wish to enroll in to find out what kind of coursework they are offering. Apart from this, it is important to remember that the institute you enroll in should be accredited by the American Bar Association.

Career Opportunities

With a paralegal master’s degree, you could qualify for top level assistant jobs. Employers are willing to pay more to paralegals with graduate degrees as compared to only have an undergraduate degree. You will be required to perform a number of administrative tasks. These will depend upon which law firm or agency you join. The income level will be affected by factors such as training, certification, experience, and employer. However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median income of paralegals to be around $46,000.

 

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