Learn What Your Paralegal Studies Degree Options Are
Here are different levels of paralegal studies to suit every career goal.
Enter a Growing Field
Paralegal studies are your key to success in one of the fastest-growing careers in the nation. The paralegal profession offers excellent job growth and there are many training options to get you started.
Paralegals can perform many of the same legal tasks that lawyers can, such as preparing briefs, researching cases, assisting at trials, and drafting agreements. However, they cannot present cases in court or give legal advice.
Paralegal studies usually include courses that introduce students to law and legal research methods. Some private employers prefer paralegals who have studied in a specialized legal area, like contract law or real estate, since their firm may focus on a specialized field.
Your Degree Options
The most common types of paralegal studies include the following programs:
- Paralegal Certificates are available at community colleges, 4-year colleges and business schools. Longer programs usually include both general education and paralegal courses, similar to associate degree programs. Certificate programs are usually designed for students who already hold an associate's or bachelor's degree.
- Paralegal Associate's degrees are available at 2-year community colleges, some 4-year colleges and universities, and some business schools. You'll gain paralegal skills in addition to a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences in this intermediary level of paralegal studies. . This degree may be even more appealing because your associate's degree credits could transfer to a 4-year college for a future bachelor's degree.
- Paralegal Bachelor's degrees are available at 4-year colleges and universities which have a paralegal studies major, minor, or concentration within a major. Bachelor's degree programs provide in-depth training for students who want to find entry-level positions in law firms, or who would like to increase their likelihood of promotion. Students who have completed their associate's degrees can begin a bachelor's program to expand their career opportunities. In addition, bachelor's degrees can prepare students for master's programs in paralegal studies.
- The quality of paralegal studies varies widely, so check with people you know in the legal field for information about the programs that interest you.
- Be sure to ask about the job placement and job satisfaction rates for graduates of the paralegal studies programs you're considering.
- School accreditation is important, so be sure that your paralegal program has regional accreditation. The American Bar Association (ABA) specifically accredits paralegal studies and legal assistant training programs that meet its guidelines.
- Facts About Paralegal Education
- Choosing a Paralegal Program
- Which Degree Is Right for You?
- Paralegal Certificates
- Paralegal Studies
- Paralegal Courses
- Paralegal Degree Online
- Top 10 Reasons for Online Training
- Compare Traditional and Online Degrees
- Paralegal Accreditation