Choosing the right paralegal course is a crucial step toward a rewarding career in the legal field. With so many options available, it’s important to understand how to select the best program that suits your needs and aspirations. In this article, we’ll guide you through the key factors to consider when evaluating paralegal courses, ensuring you make an informed decision on your educational journey. Start a search today to find the top paralegal courses.
How to Become a Paralegal Online?
Many schools offer online associate degree programs in paralegal studies, typically required for entry-level paralegal roles. Some programs hold American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation, indicating their high quality. Alternatively, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in fields like business, criminal justice, or social science while earning a paralegal studies certificate from an ABA-approved program.
This combination can fulfill the preference for bachelor-level qualifications among certain employers. Some employers even provide on-the-job training or credits to students still pursuing their degrees. Professional certification through organizations like the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) can further boost your qualifications and career opportunities.
What to Look for in an Online Paralegal Bachelor Degree
When searching for an online paralegal bachelor’s degree program, it’s crucial to consider several key factors.
- Time Commitment: Assess your time commitment and availability to determine the right program format for you. Online paralegal degrees offer flexible scheduling options, such as asynchronous, part-time, or evening and weekend classes, catering to various needs.
- Accreditation Status: Ensure the course meets recognized standards for quality education. Accreditation from the American Bar Association can indicate high industry standards.
- Consider Career Goals: Align your program choice with your future goals. Whether you plan to pursue professional certifications or continue your education, there are programs designed to suit your career aspirations.
Keep these factors in mind as you explore the best online paralegal degree programs to ensure a successful educational journey.
Top Online Paralegal Courses
Paralegal Studies (BA/BS) – Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC)
What sets TAMUC apart is its American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal program, the sole one in the state. This online paralegal degree offers a comprehensive curriculum, including essential courses in legal research, civil procedure, and injury law.
Moreover, students can opt for either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) track, the latter incorporating foreign language studies. Most online classes at TAMUC run asynchronously, offering flexibility, and come with a reasonable online course fee of $50 per credit.
Online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies – William Woods University (WWU)
WWU offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in paralegal studies program renowned for its comprehensive curriculum. Students delve into subjects like legal interviewing, investigation, and substantive and procedural law, gaining practical experience in the school’s virtual law office during the practicum component.
WWU is proudly affiliated with the American Association for Paralegal Education. The online courses, conducted in flexible eight-week sessions, cater to the needs of busy learners. Keep in mind that online students at WWU are subject to an additional fee of $125 per course.
BA in Legal Studies, Paralegal Profession – University of Massachusetts
This program equips graduates with the qualifications needed to excel in the Paralegal Core Competencies Exam and the Certified Paralegal Exam. Beyond the core legal studies curriculum, students delve into paralegal-specific subjects such as law practice management and electronic discovery.
UMass Global’s online courses, conveniently formatted in eight-week sessions, come with a modest technology fee of $125 per session, making it an accessible choice for aspiring paralegals.
Paralegal Power Breaks – Udemy (Free)
This free tutorial offers a wealth of knowledge in a short amount of time, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced paralegals. Created by Agility Academy, this course covers a range of essential topics, from understanding the evolution of the paralegal role to delving into legal research principles and practice.
You’ll also gain insights into intellectual property basics, civil litigation principles, and the latest legal technology programs. With short, concise sessions filled with actionable information, “Paralegal Power Breaks” are designed to enhance your skills and foster career development.
Pay and Job Outlook for Paralegals
As of May 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $56,230 for paralegals and legal assistants. Those in federal government positions earned even higher, with a median salary of $69,680. Exceptional paralegals, in the top 10%, earned nearly $89,000 during the same period.
What’s more, the job outlook for paralegals is quite favorable. The BLS projects a robust 12% job growth from 2020 to 2030, particularly for paralegals with strong multitasking skills.
Start Searching Today!
Embarking on a journey to become a paralegal is an exciting step toward a fulfilling career in the legal field. To dive deeper into the world of online paralegal courses, discover which schools to consider, and understand how to select the best program that suits your aspirations, continue your search online.
Your future in the legal profession starts with the right education. Don’t hesitate to explore the numerous resources available to guide you on this rewarding journey!