What is an Online Paralegal Degree?
A paralegal degree is one option future paralegals have to obtain the education required to work in the profession. An online paralegal degree offers a prospective paralegal the ability to learn how to write legal briefs, research lengthy court documents and how to properly conduct interviews with potential clients or witnesses.
These functions, which are required to assume the role as a paralegal and fulfill the required responsibilities the job demands, can be obtained through various online paralegal degree programs.
The American Bar Association has approved paralegal education programs and online paralegal degree programs to assist students and prospective paralegals in finding quality paralegal education. The America Bar Association; however, has prohibited obtaining a paralegal degree solely through use of online paralegal degree programs.
That being said, numerous programs offer one or more required paralegal certificate classes online and a few schools throughout the nation will offer completion through distance learning through the use of webcam or television technology.
Rules Regarding an Online Paralegal Degree:
According to the American bar Association for Paralegal Education training, paralegal degree programs are typically designed for students who already earned a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree. The American Bar Association implemented various guidelines in 2008, which formally addressed online components to paralegal degree programs. To meet these ABA requirements, institutions now offer and require students to complete the equivalent of ten semester credits in a traditional classroom environments; classes offered online must in turn, meet certain requirements, instituted by the particular university in accordance with the ABA’s requirements.
How do I obtain an Online Paralegal Degree?
The American Bar Association maintains a list of all approved paralegal programs in the United States; the list, which also includes an additional 148 paralegal certification programs, may be found on the ABA’s website.
Various institutions throughout the United States offer online paralegal degree programs as components of the traditional, classroom paralegal certification offerings. For example, the University of California at Irvine states that at least half of its course requirements, 15 units, must be completed in a traditional setting to earn a paralegal degree.
That being said, other institutions, such as the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, will allow students to complete their paralegal degree in ten months through use of its Online Interactive Instruction System. Classes in this setting will use live teaching via a webcam; students in these online programs will interact with instructors and other students in satellite locations.
As a result of the rules and requirements delivered by the ABA, an online paralegal degree may only be earned if the student satisfies both his or her online degree requirements and his or her traditional classroom requirements. The online paralegal degree, is thus a hybrid of sorts; students must partake in both the traditional classroom aspect and the webcam portion to earn an online paralegal degree.