Paralegal studies is a career field that prepares graduates for careers assisting attorneys in the delivery of legal services. It’s also one of the fastest growing career specializations in the country. Paralegals are responsible for preparing legal documents, conducting research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
If you want to work as a paralegal, you’ll need the proper credentials to qualify for employment. Thankfully there are many degree options available. You can choose to enroll in an associate or a bachelor’s degree program. Certificate programs are also available. These programs cover a variety of topics, some of which may include:
- Legal Research & Writing
- Civil Procedure
- Legal Ethics
- Contract Law
- Litigation & Trial Practice
- Legal Technology
- Corporate Law
If you’re interested in becoming a paralegal, now is a great time to earn the credentials to do so. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for paralegals is projected to grow much faster than average, as employers try to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers. This is great news for aspiring paralegals, given the current state of our economy. Private law firms are the largest employers of paralegals, but many other organizations are beginning to hire paralegals, which only improves your chances of finding a job after graduation. If you’re just starting out in the field, you’ll likely need an associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree to qualify.
The more education you have, the better your chances will be of securing employment. Certificate programs allow students to concentrate their studies in the specific content areas relevant to paralegal studies. These programs are can be completed in a shorter period of time and at a significantly lower cost. However, if you have the time to commit to an associate degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program, you’ll have the opportunity to take additional courses and apply for an internship – both of which will greatly improve your chances of getting hired.
Paralegal Studies Degree Programs
- Paralegal Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Purdue University
- AA in Paralegal Studies from Liberty University
- MPS in Paralegal Studies from The George Washington University