- Median Annual National Salary
- 2009 – 2018 Job Growth
- Education/Training Required
- 35% 2 Years
There are now several paralegal schools to choose from both on campuses near you or through online paralegal programs. Many schools now offer a choice of an associates, bachelor’s, or paralegal certificate program. You will learn about torts, litigation, legal research and writing as well as a variety of legal documents, contracts, subpoenas, and more.
Campus vs. Online Paralegal Schools
Deciding whether to attend a campus or pursue an online paralegal degree will depend on your individual preferences. Are you looking for optimum flexibility in your schedule? Do you need to work while completing your paralegal degree? Are you able to keep yourself engaged and on task in an online learning environment or do you prefer classroom style learning? These are all factors to consider when determining the best course of action.
Is an online paralegal school considered reputable?
Online schools have become a reputable form of education in the past ten years as professionals increasingly rely on the flexibility of online schools to further and enhance their careers without disrupting valuable and necessary work experience. The definition and assumptions surrounding higher education have been reformulated with the advent of the internet age and employers no longer expect standard brick and mortar educations. There will always be a small percentage of employers who prefer brick and mortar educations on a resume; however, the general attitude is one of acceptance for those who have attended online paralegal schools.
ABA Accredited Paralegal Schools
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 1000 colleges and universities, law schools, and vocational schools offering paralegal programs. Of these schools, only 260 are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). A large percentage of current paralegals did not graduate from an ABA approved program, which indicates that it is not necessary for employment in the general workforce. However, showing that you have graduated from an ABA approved paralegal school can strengthen you resume and make you a more competitive job candidate.
Are there prerequisites for attending paralegal schools?
Prerequisites can vary from school to school; however, there are some common prerequisites that are found across many of these paralegal programs. For associates and bachelor’s degrees, a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent is generally an acceptable prerequisite. While having relevant experience in a legal office or legal setting can be helpful, it is generally not a requirement for admission into paralegal schools.
What about paralegal schools offering certificates?
For those seeking paralegal certificate programs, a bachelor’s or associates degree may be required. It depends on the type of certificate offered, but many are designed for the individual who has already obtained a degree and wants to supplement it with an intensive, shorter program to ready them for employment as a paralegal.