Certificate in Legal Paralegal
Who is a Paralegal?
Paralegals are also sometimes referred to as legal advisors. Their job mainly is to assist lawyers with legal tasks such as conducting research, interpreting statutes and case judgments, preparing legal documents, and drafting contracts. If you want to work with the law, then a paralegal certificate will definitely benefit you.
The program focuses on developing certain skills that are essential in becoming a paralegal. Oral and written communication is the foundation of a good paralegal so the course works to develop both of these skills. It will teach you to analyze case law as well as statute and teach you to apply it to pending cases. In addition to this, the certificate program will also build up your technology skills so that you can keep updating yourself with new technologies and its use in legal research. The course will also work to develop your work ethic as you will be taught the responsibilities of professional conduct and the duties of a paralegal as well as polish your personality in a way that will surely help you succeed in the legal field. By the end of the program, you will have acquired crucial critical thinking skills and will be able to work though volumes of work in no time.
Universities all over America offer paralegal certificates and most of the courses are taught by instructors and professionals who are experts in their respective legal fields. The areas that the courses deal with include, criminal law, family law, bankruptcy laws, real estate and property laws, immigration laws, intellectual property law, business law, environmental and water laws to name a few. Furthermore, there are also courses that aim to develop a basic grasp over legal terminology. You can also apply to an online program and complete it on your own time as they are quite flexible in this respect.
Requirements and Duration of the Course
Entry into a paralegal certificate program will be different for different institutions. Some online certificate programs will only ask for a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED. However, if you are already enrolled in a university and wish to pursue a paralegal certificate then your requirement will be that which is required by the university. The duration of the course is the same. Some universities will let you complete it within five years of starting it whereas some online courses allow you to complete it in the short span of four months. If you intend on taking the NALA exam (National Association of Legal Assistants), then in addition to a certificate degree you must also have a bachelor’s degree.
Paralegals play a vital role in the legal market as many solicitors and lawyers depend on them to complete their work. Studies show that a certified paralegal is in high demand in private law firms within legal departments. Paralegals have been noted to work in well-known fields like insurance, export, financial services banking and even the retail sector. Management jobs, such as the local authorities and the social services, in the public sector also offer invaluable experience.