Paralegal professionals have been ranked among the top jobs in the US according to US News. This area of legal education is gradually gaining popularity all across the country. Most often, legal careers are considered limited only to lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and attorneys. But a lot of work goes on backstage where the role of paralegals and assistants is highlighted. These are basically skilled individuals who help lawyers and other legal professionals with day to day tasks. From preparing trial documents to conducting legal research, paralegals provide a range of support services to lawyers.
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Paralegal education has acquired a distinct position in academics. Students can pursue this area as a specialization and acquire a certification. There are a number of campus-based and online paralegal schools in the country that provide high quality paralegal education. From basic associate paralegal degrees to professional certificate programs, there are a number of course options one can choose from.
The main aim of a paralegal educational program is to provide students with the skill and necessary legal knowledge needed to become an assistant. There is more than one academic route towards becoming a paralegal. The coursework will depend upon which paralegal course you enroll in. However, the general objective of paralegal programs is the same. In the program, you will learn how to prepare trial papers, conduct legal researches, conduct office tasks, and also acquire familiarity with legal terminology. Some of the subjects that you may find in the curriculum have been listed below:
Paralegal contract law
Paralegal family law
State law procedures
Research and writing
You can pick a specific field of law to specialize in, depending upon your area of interest. Those looking forward to working in corporate law firms can opt for contract law/business law. On the other hand, those wanting to work in family law firms can pick family law as their main specialty area. Some of the leading law specialty areas that have gained popularity in recent years include intellectual property law, international business law, employment benefits law, real estate law, and accident law.
The curriculum will vary slightly from program to program and will also depend upon the institute offering the program. Before you enroll in any program, make sure you check the accreditation status of the institute. There are a number of accrediting agencies and associations that approve paralegal courses and paralegal schools online such as the American Bar Association. Apart from this, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) is also a leading organization that provides paralegal certification programs and professional development programs.
With the skill and qualification, you can seek work in a law firm. You can start off with on-the-job training programs. Gaining familiarity with office settings will help you boost your professional skill set and income level. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median income of paralegals in 2010 has been reported to be $46,680. This career is expected to grow at a fast rate in the next few years.
Questions / Answers
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Q:How are paralegal schools different from regular law schools?
A:Paralegal education has evolved as a separate discipline of studies in law. These schools are dedicated to providing paralegal; degree programs. The main focus of paralegal education is upon legal terminology, administration, and research. Students can prepare for a legal assistant career with this degree. On the other hand, law schools offer law degrees and help prepare students for careers as lawyers and attorneys.
Q:How much is paralegal school?
A:The cost of paralegal schools will vary from college to college. You can find out what the exact costs are by visiting the school you are interested in joining. If you are looking for a more cost efficient mode of study, it is recommended that you enroll in an online program. Paralegal schools are growing in demand as many students are seeking careers as legal assistants.
Q:How do I know which online paralegal schools are suitable for me?
A:Enrolling in a school is one of the most important decisions you make in life. Therefore it is important that you pick the right school for yourself. Some factors you need to check and keep in mind before enrolling in any school are: accreditation, admission requirements, rankings, faculty, student reviews, and educational facilities.
Q:Are paralegal online schools providing practical training courses?
A:If you enroll in an online paralegal school, much of the coursework is covered online through online conferencing, online lectures, and online videos. You can study from you home without having to go to campus based classes. Training courses that focus on practical skill development are typically covered at the campus based institute.
Q:Can you tell me a little about paralegal schooling?
A:Paralegal schooling is geared towards preparing students for legal assistant careers ahead. Individuals who wish to join the legal industry as a paralegal must have a degree in this field. There are many renowned institutes offering accredited paralegal programs and certifications to aspiring individuals. For more information, browse through our page.
Q:Are schools for paralegal accredited by an agency?
A:Yes, schools for paralegal education are usually accredited by a relevant authority or federal body. However, it is always recommended that you check the accreditation status of the institute before enrolling in a paralegal program. Accreditation will reflect the institute's compliance to rules and regulations set by the Higher Education Commission.
Q:I want to enroll in Paralegal Schools but Im not sure about the admission requirements. Can you give me some information about this?
A:The admission requirements of paralegal programs will depend upon which institute you choose to enroll in, and the level of program. For undergraduate paralegal programs and certifications, you must have a high school diploma. On the other hand, graduate level paralegal programs can only be pursued after completing a bachelor degree.
Q:What Paralegal Law Schools should I go to?
A:There are a number of popular paralegal schools in the nation that are offering paralegal courses and degrees. Before you enroll in any school, make sure you check the following factors: accreditation status of the school, faculty and educational resources, location, tuition costs, and student reviews. There are also a number of online paralegal schools.
Q:Should I go for paralegal schools online if I am working?
A:Yes, online programs are more convenient to pursue if you employed and working full time. You can easily manage your education and work without compromising on either. Online programs can be studied anytime from any location. You do not have to worry about missing classes. On the other hand, online programs are also cost efficient.
Q:What are the paralegal schools online teaching? How are the courses covered in this mode of education?
A:Online paralegal schools are aimed towards prepping students for careers as legal assistants. These schools offer a wide range of paralegal programs at certificate level, undergraduate level, and graduate level. The coursework is covered online through videos and presentations, classroom conferencing, and slideshows. Browse through our page for more information.
Q:What is the paperwork for admission in online schools for paralegal studies?
A:The admission requirements will depend upon which school you have chosen to enroll in. In most schools, you will be required to fill out an admission form, pay the admission fee, submit a few letters of recommendation, and submit a copy of your high school transcript. The exact requirements and paperwork will vary slightly from school to school.
Q:Are paralegal schools accredited? Why is accreditation important?
A:Accreditation is an important factor to consider before enrolling in any school. The Council of Higher Education has authorized a number of agencies to oversee the quality of educational services being offered by schools. Institutes that have been approved and accredited by an agency can guarantee quality services and updated curriculums.