Paralegal Education And Certification Options

Paralegal Education And Certification Options

Paralegal is​ a​ distinguishable group of​ people whose function is​ to​ assist the attorney in​ order to​ deliver the legal services. They are also known as​ legal assistants. They get qualified for the practice through formal education, paralegal training and experience. There are many paralegal schools that offer certificate courses and other research programs in​ paralegal studies.

A significant limitation of​ paralegal professionals is​ that they cannot give legal assistance to​ the consumers directly. All the legal services have to​ be regulated through the lawyers (attorney). Law offices, corporation and government agencies (entities that perform specific legal works) are some of​ the organizations that employ paralegals. a​ paralegal professional can practice law but not without a​ license. He or​ she cannot represent a​ client in​ the court, decide upon a​ fee or​ take on any case.

A paralegal professional should meet certain minimum qualifications in​ order to​ practice law under a​ lawyer.

 Completion of​ the Certified Legal Assistant certifying (CLA) examination held by the National Association of​ Legal Assistants
 Completion of​ graduation from a​ course of​ study of​ legal assistants that is​ either ABA approved or​ institutionally accredited.
 an​ in-house paralegal training for not less than six months is​ preferred.
 it​ is​ mandatory to​ have at​ least three years of​ paralegal experience (law-related training) under the supervision of​ an​ attorney
 You can have two years of​ in-house training as​ legal assistant as​ well.

Educational programs

Paralegal educational programs in​ the United States are on significant growth. There are estimated 600 paralegal education programs with a​ variety of​ formats and combinations (regarding course subjects and specializations). Several public and private institutions are offering paralegal education. Some of​ them include community colleges, four-year College and universities, Business College and other proprietary institutions. You can apply for the courses regardless of​ your educational background. The course structure are constructed in​ such a​ way that anyone can apply for the programs. The most common types of​ programs are:

 Associate degree programs. Two-year community colleges, four-year colleges, universities and business schools offer these programs. After completing 60-70 sessions, you can earn an​ associate degree. Half of​ the course constitutes paralegal course while other half deals with general education. The transfer facility of​ the courses is​ also available (do check about this before joining any institution).

 Bachelor degree programs. Various public and private institutions offers paralegal studies major, minor or​ concentration within a​ major. The length of​ these programs is​ about 120-130 sessions that includes 30-60 sessions in​ related topics. You will be awarded with a​ bachelor degree after completing the program.

 Paralegal certificate programs You can opt for certificate programs after you have successfully completed your bachelor program. You will earn a​ certificate after completing 18-60 sessions (various institutions have different structure).

 Master’s degree programs. This program is​ an​ advanced degree in​ paralegal studies. The same colleges and universities that offer bachelor degrees have started offering masters degree. This is​ a​ specialized program that will enable you to​ learn paralegal studies in​ detail.

Apart from these, you have an​ opportunity to​ get paralegal training under any lawyer. However, if​ you are interested to​ go further into a​ research in​ paralegal studies then there are many specialized research institutes that offer such curriculum.

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