How to Become A Paralegal
If you have always wanted to be part of the legal profession but are not able to commit yourself to a law school degree, then you should consider pursuing a paralegal degree program.
Paralegals are highly trained individuals whose primary job is to assist attorneys in their daily legal proceedings. A paralegal is not allowed to appear in court of law or accept legal cases; however, they are allowed to help attorneys by researching cases, drafting legal documents, and preparing affidavits.
Paralegals are highly trained individuals whose primary job is to assist attorneys in their daily legal proceedings. A Paralegal is not allowed to appear in court of law or accept legal cases, but they are critical in helping their team of attorneys research cases, draft legal documents, and prepare affidavits. For those who want to become a paralegal, there are three degree options available that will help you get into this field of work. You must have a high school diploma to enter into any of these degree options. They include certificate and training programs, which may be a good first step into a career as a paralegal or maybe an option for those with bachelor’s degree in a non-related subject. Associate degrees would usually require two years of full time attendance to complete, or bachelors and master’s degree which have become more attractive to employers in a competitive job market. These degrees will help you reach higher levels and management jobs throughout your career. In addition to those degree programs, you can also work towards an industry recognized certification such as a certified legal assistant or certified paralegal. Getting a job as a paralegal is competitive. Most paralegal programs require an internship so don’t overlook this as a valuable way to make the transition from student to employee easier. If there’s an area of law you’d like to specialize in seek an internship with an attorney who practices in that area, and like many industries, it’s important for you to network, because a lot opportunities to get your foot in the door comes down to who you know. If you want to become a paralegal start by getting the right education click to request more information
Southern New Hampshire University
Liberty University Online
Routes to Become a Paralegal:
Even though some employers still give on job training to prospective paralegals, with the passage of time this practice has diminished as ever increasing number of students enroll in colleges to train as paralegals.
For fresh students straight out of the high school, there are several options available including associate degrees and certificates in paralegal studies. Associate degrees usually require two years of full-time attendance to complete, whereas the length of certificates varies from three months to twenty-four months.
In recent years, ever-increasing numbers of institutions have started offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in paralegal studies. An associate degree might be deemed adequate for an entry-level position in this field, but in order to get top industry jobs, prospective paralegals are expected to take one of the higher level courses or industry approved certifications.
For individuals already having a bachelor’s degree in a non-related subject, there are several specialist training courses on offer to provide them with an alternative route to becoming a paralegal.
In addition to the above mentioned routes, one can also work towards an industry recognized certification which may allow prospective paralegals with an alternative way into their desired field of work. Almost all of these certifications are recognized by various legal bodies in the U.S.
Some of these certifications are listed below:
- Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)
- Certified Paralegal (CP)
- Registered Paralegal (PACE)
Eligibility requirements vary from one certification to another and are set by professional bodies that are responsible for conducting and awarding these certifications.
Generally, an associate degree in paralegal studies is considered sufficient to sit for one of these certifications. For students who don’t have an associate degree or any prior qualifications in paralegal studies may qualify to sit for these certifications, if they have a three year high school diploma or can prove that they have worked as a legal assistant for at least seven years under supervision of a bar member.
There are several online schools that offer paralegal education through distance learning method. If you cannot bear the financial cost or take out enough time to study for an on-campus course in paralegal studies, then there is always the option to enroll in one of the online schools which offer flexibility to finish your studies at your own pace.
In case you opt to study online, please make sure that you check your chosen school’s accreditation, job placement record and possibility of transferring your credits in case you wish to embark upon a higher degree in future.
Paralegals are paraprofessionals in the United States jurisdiction that assist qualified lawyers in their legal work. In the United States, paralegals are not approved by the government or other similar bureau to offer the legal services in the same way as a lawyer. They are not typically subject to the government court-sanctioned rules of conduct. As to how to become a paralegal in Georgia, there are various institutes that can help you become one. First off, you should know about the Georgia Association of Paralegals (GAP). This organization aims to spread the practice of paralegal services and also guides interested individuals on how to become a paralegal in Georgia. You should look for an institute that is renowned in offering paralegal education, and Georgia does not lag in that. Institutes such as Strayer University are some of the prime education centers in Georgia for Paralegal studies. And there are also numerous online schools that teach this subject, so getting quality paralegal training in your city shouldn’t be a problem.