Over a period of time, the paralegal profession has experienced rapid growth. Paralegals and legal assistants provide essential support services to the criminal justice system. They:
Help collect evidence and evaluate the facts and figures of cases
Conduct research on the relevant regulatory framework and find out about the legal precedent
Maintain files related to court cases and legal proceedings
Prepare legal documents such as wills, contracts, appeals, briefs, and real estate closing statements
During the trial, they take notes and review transcripts
They act as middlemen and deal with third parties like clients, and witnesses. They also schedule interviews and meetings to discuss cases
What Paralegal Degrees can you pursue?
Paralegal courses are available at different levels including masters, bachelors, and associates. The degrees vary in duration. A master’s degree takes around 1 to 2 years to complete whereas a bachelors degree can be earned in 3 to 4 years. On the other hand a paralegal associate’s degree usually takes around 1 to 2 years to complete.
What will you study in an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies?
Students who pursue this program are:
Provided knowledge of the fundamentals of law
Trained how to identify, evaluate and effectively handle ethical concerns connected with legal cases
Develop an understanding of contemporary legal issues
Equipped with legal industry specific knowledge, use of legal jargon, and specialized software
Are able to develop critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for formulating legal cases
After successfully completing the associate’s degree, many students go on to pursue bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a relevant discipline like criminal justice.
The name, range, and types of courses will vary from one institute to another. However, in order to get a general idea of the curriculum, you should look through the details of following courses:
Introduction to Paralegal Studies
Legal Research and Writing
Estate and Trust Administration
Criminal Law and Procedures
Paralegal professionals should acquire certification from a professional body such as National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). It’s a good way of enhancing job prospects and indicating your commitment to employers.
In order to become eligible to take the exam, you’ll be required to hold a degree from an institute that is recognized by American Bar Association and have one or two year’s professional experience.
What is the Employment Outlook like for Paralegals?
As reported by US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual wage of $48,350.
The employment outlook is quite favorable, with an estimated growth rate of 15-21% from 2012 to 2022. This is much faster than the average growth rate.
Paralegals may seek opportunities in industries such as legal service, local governments, federal executive branch, and state government and other companies. Those with an associate degree in paralegal studies may also seek positions like legal assistants, law clerk, title examiner or researcher, claims adjuster, and occupational health and safety specialist.
Frequently Asked Question(s)
Q:Can I know the course work of Associate degree in Paralegal Studies in Houston TX?
A:A number of universities and colleges are offering Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies in Houston TX. The course work is extensive, and some of the topics that you will come across include introduction to paralegal studies, drafting legal documents, law office technology, legal ethics & law office organization, introduction to legal research and writing and criminal law and procedure.
Q:What core subjects will I be studying in an aa paralegal program?
A:Paralegal associate degree programs are basic pre-bachelor degree programs. This level of education is designed to help students attain fundamental knowledge in an academic field. The program takes at least two years to complete and will comprise of major subjects such as criminal law, contracts and tort law, legal research, litigation and trial practice, and legal analysis.
Q:How long is a Paralegal Associates Degree?
A:An associate's degree is an undergraduate degree that requires the completion of a high school diploma or an equivalent GED diploma in order to pursue. A paralegal associates degree will typically be a two year study program. However, talking the program online may help shorten or lengthen the course of the program according to your needs.
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