What is a Paralegal Degree?
Although certification is not required to obtain a paralegal job, it is highly recommended as a result of the competition found in the industry. In addition, the obtainment of a paralegal degree will establish the candidate’s commitment to the particular profession.
A paralegal degree signifies that the respective individual is well-versed in the various roles required of a paralegal; a paralegal degree denotes that the individual in possession is able to conduct thorough legal research, write formal legal briefs or reports, organize a lawyer’s day to day activities and interview clients or witnesses with a pertinent focus on the subject matter of the underlying legal matter.
As a result of this denotation, a paralegal degree will inform a prospective employer as to the candidate’s particular skill-set; in a general sense, those who obtain paralegal degrees have a far better chance of landing a job as a paralegal than those who are not in possession.
Paralegal degrees do not technically signify certification; however, several legal associations will offer certification programs, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants, the national Association for Legal Professionals, the American Alliance of Paralegals and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
How do I obtain a Paralegal Degree?
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal you should obtain a paralegal degree or certificate. The ability to obtain a paralegal degree or certificate will portray to respective clients or legal professionals that you possess the necessary skill set to satisfy the many responsibilities required of the job. As a certified paralegal, you will be required to interview clients, organize schedules and information, and prepare comprehensive reports regarding the legal matters at hand, as well as, constructing motions, complaints, letters and pleadings.
To obtain a paralegal degree you must possess excellent verbal, written and analytical skills. Depending on your targeted employer, you will most likely need to obtain an associate’s degree with a focus on paralegal studies. The majority of associate degree programs take roughly 7 months to complete.
To obtain a paralegal degree you must explore all available paralegal certificate programs; there are a number of reputable institutions that will offer both online and offline programs in the United States. In addition to accredited universities, many local community colleges will offer both paralegal degree programs and certification courses.
When evaluating which paralegal program to pursue, you should consider the reputation of the institution, the price needed to obtain the paralegal degree and the job placement success rate attached to the school and respective program.
When you choose your paralegal degree program you should evaluate the curriculum and ensure that is accredited by the American Bar Association as well as other reputable agencies. The majority of legitimate paralegal degree programs will require 30 credits and 300 hours of study with a grade of “C” or above to earn a paralegal degree or certificate.
Once you have ensured the reputability, you must apply to the program; in most instances, the application procedure will entail filling out an online application, sending recommendation letters and completing a personal statement or written examination.