It is quite a common misconception that paralegals are simply secretaries or administrative assistants, but in actuality there is a lot more to being a Paralegal than the obvious. Their research and duties can be absolutely fundamental to an attorney’s success, and the important role that they play (you can red more on what paralegals do here) means that a paralegals’ education is imperative.
It is technically not essential for a paralegal to have a paralegal diploma or certificate, although it will obviously give any potential paralegal candidate an advantage to have such a qualification. It is, however, a requirement for potential paralegals to have a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree.
Online Paralegal Education Programs – Can They Help You Upgrade Career To A Lawyer?
Anyone hoping to begin his or her career in Law should know that it can be a very competitive career choice, and therefore experience in the legal field is vital. There are many different aspects to working in the paralegal field which will give any hopeful lawyer first hand experience in how legal processes work and offer an unrivalled view of a functioning law practice.
It is worth noting that units obtained from a paralegal education program aren’t transferable to law school, and that a completed paralegal education program alone doesn’t qualify one to take the bar exam.
Experience working as a paralegal will be undoubtedly helpful to anyone choosing to continue their education in law school, and an online paralegal education is simply the first of many stepping stones that can be taken on your journey.
Paralegal Program Types
In the USA, there are many different institutions that can offer paralegal training courses. Options include the programs below:
* An Associate’s Degree
* 4-year degree in paralegal studies, usually a Bachelor’s
* Certificate (duration varies from months to a year, which is more often)
* Advanced (Master’s) program – will allow to get a credential, leading to more and better job opportunities, like leading a team of paralegals in larger organization.
How To Choose The Best School
There are more options now than ever before for a person hoping to embark upon a paralegal career, and the opportunities for obtaining an educational program for such are becoming increasingly vast. Online schools are giving people more access and flexibility in their paralegal education, which will help them along the way with their ambitions.
While more options can bring greater flexibility, it can sometimes seem difficult to know which institution to choose and what to consider for application. It is highly recommended that you choose a program certified by the American Bar Association – this is a good indicator of curriculum quality and therefore, better chances to get a job.
The ABA’s endorsement is only given to online schools that has been in the industry for at least two years and met all of their recommendations and requirements, which set a high educational standard.
Skills to focus on while getting a degree:
The aim of paralegal education curriculum is to develop skills and abilities in the areas below:
* Analytical viewpoints – This can be important to your work when you are appointed to analyse and research details of a case.
* Organizational & Communication skills – It is vitally important to understand how to effectively collaborate with judges, lawyers, clients, court workers, etc.
* Relevant computer skills
* Knowledge of ethical considerations in the paralegal field.