The legal industry has been constantly expanding and is set to rise further in the coming years. On top of that, Paralegals are also being demanded more and more across the country.
Let us take a look at what Paralegal studies are.
What is Paralegal Studies?
Paralegals are an essential part of any legal firm, as they play a key role in assisting attorneys in their daily tasks and responsibilities. Additionally, Paralegals are often seen conducting client interviews, assisting in preparing documents, etc.
It’s crucial to know that they aren’t part of the legal team, but they contribute greatly through their assistance.
There are three main ways you can complete your Paralegal training; let’s take a deeper look at each of them.
Getting an Associate’s Degree
The most reliable and traditional method is to get an associate’s paralegal degree from a technical university, which can be completed in 2 years. Associate’s degrees are more comprehensive in comparison to other alternatives, as it allows for more detailed foundation building.
Although getting an associate’s degree is the most reliable, there is a major con that affects many students: High costs.
Getting a Diploma from Community College
A few community colleges and universities also give you the option to complete your paralegal program in 6 to 12 months. However, these programs expect you to have an undergraduate degree as well.
Some of these courses are ABA approved while others are not, but it’s important to note that this does not affect the quality of the Paralegal Program or the opportunities you’ll receive after completion.
A point to also be noted is that when you graduate, the approvals from ABA won’t depict that you’re ABA certified, and there isn’t any such thing as ABA certification.
Getting Paralegal Online Certificate (Highly Recommended)
Online paralegal programs are the most recommended, as they come with several benefits when compared to their alternatives. These programs allow you to learn at your own pace and time schedule, cost significantly lesser than other programs, and help you gain your certificate much faster (in as little as 6 months).
However, before opting for a Paralegal Online Certificate, you will need to ensure that it is accredited by a renowned university or authority.
Additional Read: How Long Does it Take to Become a Paralegal
Next Steps After Getting Certified as a Paralegal
After completing your Paralegal program, although it is not necessary, obtaining a paralegal certification will be beneficial when you start applying for jobs.
NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations) is one authority that offers a CORE competency exam that tests paralegal graduates based on their knowledge.
Some other certification exams that you can also opt for are offered by NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants) and NALS.
You can also go for an externship to get some hands-on experience of working as a paralegal.
It is recommended that you research more about these certifying exams. You can also consider attaining specializations to become:-
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