Online Paralegal Studies Degree
If you have a passion for legal studies and thrive in a fast-paced and analytical environment, becoming a paralegal is a smart career choice. Paralegals are responsible for accomplishing numerous tasks around a law firm, such as reading transcripts, obtaining affidavits, and researching case logistics alongside lawyers and other legal assistants. For the majority of law firms, employers will require that paralegals have obtained a two-year degree and ABA-approved paralegal certificate as a minimum requirement. For those with busier schedules that may already be working in the legal field, pursuing paralegal studies online is a welcomed option.
In this article we’ll explore some of the online paralegal degree options available for young professionals looking to excel in the legal field, as well as how paralegals can apply their education in their personal career efforts.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Paralegal Studies Degree?
The time it takes to earn a paralegal degree can widely vary depending on the aspiring paralegal’s degree preferences and career location. In some cases, getting enough hands-on experience can result in individuals becoming paralegals without certification, but in higher density areas such as large towns or cities paralegals are required to earn a certain level of education prior to beginning. Typically, a paralegal studies degree can be completed in four to six years. For part-time learners that may prefer to take fewer credits per semester, this could take a bit longer, but luckily there are also express degree options for those trying to complete a program in a quick and streamlined manner.
Paralegal studies degrees are designed to prepare students with the working knowledge and technical skills necessary to competently enter the legal field. Curriculums will include courses that cover core legal competencies such as law, legal writing, litigation, and legal research. Working with dedicated faculty and legal professionals within an online curriculum is a valuable way to earn a degree while gaining experience in the field at the same time.
Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies
Many law students begin their bachelor’s degree unsure of where they will eventually dedicate their career efforts, with many later choosing a paralegal studies degree to pursue that specific path. Online bachelor degrees in paralegal studies are becoming more common as the industry continues to grow in popularity, with a flexible course schedule that many working professionals can appreciate. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies takes around four years to complete, potentially longer for part-time online learners that prefer to take less credits per semester.
An online paralegal studies bachelor program worth checking out is the program at Liberty University. Most of Liberty University’s programs are available online, with flexible degree options as well for those looking for either an expedited or flexible education experience. The paralegal studies program has a strong focus on developing a complex working knowledge of government, law, and politics in order to positively impact communities through the court system. This accredited and faith-based university offers a faculty of professors with extensive experience within the criminal justice system that provide endless support for student’s legal aspirations.
Paralegal Certificate Degree
In addition to earning a degree in paralegal studies online, it’s also an intelligent career choice to obtain a paralegal certificate. A paralegal studies certificate is a document stating that an individual has successfully completed a paralegal education program, and is typically obtained after someone has earned their associates or bachelors in paralegal studies. With 18 to 45 required credit hours, paralegal certification programs are usually set up to embrace student flexibility as professionals further their careers outside of class. Online paralegal studies certification are becoming even more common, with many ABA-accredited online programs available for someone who prefers a remote learning experience. Earning a paralegal certificate opens the door to an abundance of additional legal career opportunities, and is an excellent way to strengthen a resume and stay competitive within the legal field.
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Potential Careers with Accounting
Many who pursue a paralegal studies degree do so with the intentions of one day becoming a paralegal, but that doesn’t mean that their career options are limited. There are numerous legal spaces that provide opportunities for young legal professionals that can lead to prosperous legal positions in the field. Some common careers that paralegals may thrive within include:
Real Estate Paralegal
Average Salary with Paralegal Studies Degree
The salary expectations will vary widely depending on the area of law the paralegal pursues, the area in the country in which they pursue those opportunities, as well as the level of experience gained within the field. Having a paralegal certificate also affects these numbers, as those with a certificate earn on average an extra $4,000 annually. On average, a paralegal earns around $48,000, but those working in rural areas can expect to earn slightly more. To get a better idea, let’s explore some examples of paralegal positions and their respective annual salaries.
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