Obtaining your paralegal certificate typically requires that students obtain an associates in paralegal degree. Below are reviews of the best online paralegal certificate programs. Request free enrollment and tuition information from these paralegal certificate schools by using the “Click Here” buttons below:
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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Certified Paralegal
Thank you for visiting Paralegal Certificate, your single resource for everything you need to know about becoming a paralegal. On this site you’ll find information on:
- Paralegal Certificate Programs
- Online Paralegal Certificate Programs
- Paralegal Certificate Online
- Paralegal Certification Online
- Becoming a Certified Paralegal
- Certificate in Paralegal
Online Paralegal Certification Programs
According to the United States Department of Labor, employment in paralegal is projected to grow much faster than average, as employers try to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform jobs once done by lawyers. However, competition for jobs continues and formally trained paralegals have the best employment opportunities.
Fortunately, for those looking to gain an edge in the paralegal department, numerous online schools now offer certificate, associates and bachelor’s degree programs. Which program you choose is up to you and it can be based on the amount of time you want spend on your education and your future goals.
Degrees Required to become a Certified Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Not unlike most careers, there are numerous paths to take in becoming a certified paralegal. If you have bachelor’s degree and are interested in this field, you can enroll in an online program to earn a certificate in paralegal studies. These programs provide an intensive paralegal training that prepares students for their future career. In addition, paralegal graduates must take a two day exam established by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
One of the most common routes, however, is to earn an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. If you currently don’t have a college degree and have very little experience in this industry, one of these programs may be the best option for you. The only thing you need to consider is the amount of time you want to spend in school. The associate’s degree takes about two years to finish and the bachelor’s degree takes about four years to complete. To qualify for both of these programs, applicants must have graduated from a regionally accredited high school or have completed the General Educational Development (GED) exam.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Online Paralegal Certificate Program
Probably the most important factor you need to consider in choosing an online program is your financial situation and the availability of financial aid available in the school you’re thinking about attending. Some online schools have work study available which allows you to work while you attend school. Most offer scholarships, grants, and loans. To determine if you qualify, apply for financial aid through the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition, hands on experience gained from an internships is a tremendous asset that will set you apart from other applicants when it’s time for you to find a job. Verify with the online program you’re considering if they offer internships in private law firms, government agencies, or corporate legal departments.
Career as Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Employment in the paralegal field is experiencing a faster than average growth. Law firms and government agencies are now looking into paralegals to accomplish tasks typically done by lawyers, at a lower cost. Their cost effectiveness has increased the demand for paralegals and those with certificates have had no difficulties in finding work.
Paralegals can look forward to an average earning of $40,000 per year. But with the increase in demand, salaries have been increasing within the past few years. Like most occupations, paralegals employed in large firms in urban areas earn more than those working in smaller firms in rural areas. Both, however, can earn bonuses on top of their salaries for certain accomplishments.
Top Online Paralegal Certificate Programs
University of Maryland University College: Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal StudiesThis paralegal studies certificate program focuses on the legal concepts, procedures, and skills used in a wide variety of legal environments. This certificate requires 60 semester hours to complete and it may be doe while pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Financial aid packages are available to cover tuition and fees.
Post University Online: Paralegal CertificatePost University graduates of the this certificate program will be qualified to fill positions in private law offices, corporate law offices, local, state, and federal government legal departments. Thirty credit hours are required to receive this certificate. A variety of financial aid options are offered at this school.
Boston University: Paralegal CertificateThis program is ideal for recent college graduates considering law school, legal secretaries who want to become paralegals, and professionals wanting to change their careers. This is a fourteen week online program that includes seven courses. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
Penn Foster College: Associate Degree in Paralegal StudiesThis program lead students towards a challenging career by teaching valuable skills in courses such as legal writing, civil and criminal litigation, family law, real estate law, wills and estates. Finance advisors are available to ensure students receive all of the financial aid they maybe eligible for.
Rasmuseen College: Associate of Applied Science-ParalegalIn this program, students will learn to provide services in all phases of the legal system including courts, law firms, and government agencies. Students also have the opportunity to examine specialty courses, such as legal research and writing. This school accepts federal financial aid, transfers and gives scholarships.
Bryant and Stratton College: Paralegal Studies DegreeThis paralegal studies program emphasizes practical hands-on applications and prepares students to analyze cases and to prepare legal forms and documents required in litigating law suits, prosecuting crimes and closing real estate transactions. The program also emphasizes the ethical considerations for legal professionals. Multiple financial options are available at this school.
Hodges University: Associate of Science in Paralegal StudiesThe Hodges University program provides training beneficial to those already working in law offices, as well as those just getting started in the field. Students are given the option to concentrate in a chosen legal specialty, such as real estate law, bankruptcy, family law, and litigation.
Ellis University: Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal StudiesThis degree program offers a substantive and practical exposure to the law and it’s designed for working professionals who seek a degree that will enhance their current career paths while broadening and deepening their existing legal strengths. Students must complete 120 hours to obtain this degree.
Paralegal Certificate Student Resources
- American Bar Association: This association develops and promotes policies relating to the education, employment, training and effective use of paralegals. More information about a career in paralegal can be found on this site.
- International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA): IPMA plays an essential role in law firm and legal department management. It provides a rich resource of information including current and up to date topics in the area of legal assistant management.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out the significant features of a career as a paralegal or legal assistant, including nature of the work, training and qualifications, advancement, and job outlook.
- Career Overview-Paralegal: Career Overview thoroughly clarifies the aspect of a career as a paralegal. Information on job opportunities and potential earnings are listed on this site.
- Wikipedia Paralegal Page:This is a generalized information site on a career in Paralegal by Wikipedia. To ensure accuracy, verify information on this site with reputable sources.