Being a paralegal is a career that is quickly gaining popularity across the world. Many people aspire to be lawyers but never get the chance to practice law. But the good news is that working as a paralegal is almost the same as working as a lawyer. In any case, the requirements of becoming a lawyer are just the same as those of becoming a paralegal.
Just like purchasing a product in a store, choosing a paralegal program from places like ParalegalEDU.org requires that you take into account several things. For example, you will have to consider things such as the depth and breadth of courses, structure of the class, graduate success among other factors.
Here are 10 considerations for choosing your paralegal certification:
Most people today appreciate the importance of specialization. In the past, specialization was only common in fields like medicine but things have drastically changed in the past few years.
Most law firms today have started taking specialization seriously than ever before. They have realized how important it is to focus on a particular area in order to gain better knowledge, ability, and success.
- Program accreditation
This is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a paralegal certification program. You should try to find out if the paralegal program is accredited by the American Bar Association or other regional bodies before enrolling.
- Duration of study
Paralegal programs usually range from anywhere between three months and three years. If you already have a degree or previous experience, then you can just opt for shorter paralegal certification programs.
- Curriculum and faculty
Find out if the philosophy and focus of the paralegal program meet your needs and interests. You should also try see determine if the faculty is composed of former and practicing lawyers or not. All these are important factors to consider.
Paralegal programs have several options designed to suit the needs of every student. For instance, you can choose a paralegal program that allows you to complete your coursework while working. This can involve attending evening or part-time classes.
- Location of the school
Every state has its own laws. It is highly recommended to attend a paralegal school in a place that you intend to work. This is because you get the benefit of familiarizing yourself with state and local laws.
- Tuition fee
It is also important to consider how much a paralegal program will cost you. Different institutions offer paralegal courses at different costs.
- Paralegal internships
You should also find out if the paralegal program has a wide range of internships. Internships are designed to offer you a chance to gain real work experience.
- Career services
Ensure you choose a paralegal school where the faculty and staff are more than committed to assisting you in finding a job while teaching you.
If you are planning to attend an on-campus or online paralegal program, then it will be good to research the technology used by the institution to facilitate learning.
In general, there are many factors one should consider before choosing a paralegal program. Some of them include specialization duration of the study, career services among others.