Paralegal Schools & Courses

Paralegal Training Courses

iStock_000003118029XSmallStudying for a certificate or an associate degree in paralegal studies can lead to a promising job prospect as the demand for paralegals has been increasing. Most paralegals work in law firms or large corporations. Their main job duty is to assist attorneys in preparing for court hearing and trials. As they gain more experience, paralegals will be granted with more responsibilities, such as overseeing a team of people in the legal department.

Paralegal Schools By State

Alabama Alaska
Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan
Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana
Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota
Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia
Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

How to Become a Paralegal?

To become a professional paralegal, one will need to complete accredited training from a reputable program. For those who prefer a flexible schedule or have difficulty getting to campus, they can choose to enroll in an online paralegal studies program. A program that will lead to an associate’s degree usually takes about two years, while one that will grant a certificate in paralegal studies will only take one year. Although not common, some schools also offer a bachelor’s degree program in legal studies.

Students enrolled in an online paralegal studies program will be expected to complete assignments online, and to participate in web-based discussion boards. Reading materials may be web-based, but students should still expect to purchase hard copy books. For students who do not have constant Internet access or lack self-discipline, an online paralegal studies class may not be the right choice. However, rest assured that students enrolled in an online program will still receive plenty of attention from their instructors through e-mails and discussion board posts.

A paralegal studies student should be expected to learn about rules of civil procedures, legal research and writing, criminal law and procedures, family laws and ethics, trusts and estates, and wills. Some programs will also require their paralegal studies students to take classes in communications, business, and English to develop transferable skills. In addition to formal classroom training, some online paralegal studies programs will also offer internship opportunities for their students. Students should cherish this opportunity as it will help them significantly in getting a job. Before enrolling in an online program, one should also consider whether that school offers any job placement service for its graduates as that will significantly help enhance one’s career advancement.

Paralegal and Legal Assistants Salary

Working in law as a paralegal or legal assistant you can expect to make around $46,680 each year, or about $22.44 each hour.* With over 250,000 jobs throughout the United States it shouldn’t be too difficult finding a job. The employment of paralegals and legal assistants is estimated to grow by 18 percent between 2010 and 2020. If you don’t have any experience it shouldn’t be difficult finding an employer that would allow on the job training. Paralegals do a variety of different tasks: supporting lawyers, organizing files, using computers to draft documents, and research.

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/