The need for trained legal professionals and paralegals is expected to grow faster than the national average for job growth within the next five years. Stiff competition is expected, making your decision to enter the legal profession a critical one. The online program you choose will be a crucial decision affecting the level of success you enjoy.
While paralegals and legal assistants once were trained on the job, employers today are increasingly depending upon employees who have already completed some type of formal legal education or training. That’s why a legal or paralegal certification, degree or online degree is so important to your future success in the legal profession.
One of a paralegal’s most important tasks is helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Your classes and online programs will teach you to investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. Colleges and online schools also will teach you critical skills such as preparing the legal arguments, drafting pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtaining affidavits, and assisting attorneys during trials.
Once you have earned your legal certification via an online legal degree, you will be able to find work in all types of organizations, but most are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government offices. Your degree program or online courses will prepare you for work in all areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate.
Because computer use and technical knowledge has become essential to paralegal work, a well-rounded degree program or online program is critical.There are several ways to become a paralegal. Increasingly, employers prefer graduates of four-year paralegal programs or college graduates who have completed paralegal certificate or online paralegal training programs.
Over 800 formal paralegal training programs are offered by 4-year colleges and universities, law schools, community and junior colleges, business schools, and proprietary schools.
Paralegal programs include 2-year associate’s degree programs, 4-year bachelor’s degree programs, and certificate programs that take only a few months to complete. Many certificate programs only require a high school diploma or GED for admission, but they usually are designed for students who already hold an associate or baccalaureate degree.Your legal or paralegal education will prepare you for a rewarding and relaxed life. According to the National Association of Legal Assistants, paralegals had an average salary of $38,000 in 2000.