Online Paralegal Associate Degree Programs – An online paralegal degree can prepare you for a career in the legal field. The legal field largely offers challenges and rewards. It’s serious work that requires time, dedication, and often more specific qualifications than other fields, but experienced, hard-working professionals are always in demand, and their salaries reflect that. The paralegal is indispensable in a field that continues to shape the economy, politics, and society in general.
In general, individuals seeking to earn a paralegal degree online must be organized, pay attention to detail, and have an outstanding ability to multi-task.
Online Paralegal Associate Degree Programs
Also, those who earn paralegal degrees online must be team players. Paralegals are part of your organization’s larger legal team, which may include associates, partners, paralegals, law clerks, and others.
Online Paralegal Degree Programs
In addition, there are a number of other qualities and skills that law firms and legal teams look for when evaluating potential employees and job candidates. Some of these traits and skills may include:
If you possess or are interested in acquiring these skills, then an online paralegal degree may be ideal for you.
According to a 2011 O*Net survey, 44 percent of paralegals who responded with an online paralegal degree have a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies can be an excellent option for those hoping to work in a regular office and/or advance to roles where a general education is valued. Completion of a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies is also a requirement for anyone wishing to pursue graduate school, law school, or advanced paralegal studies.
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However, most often, paralegals have an associate degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor’s degree with a paralegal certificate. Other types of certification include the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP) certifications, for which a qualified candidate must pass a two-day exam. Although some employers do not require such certification, and are often willing to train unlicensed paralegals on the job, it can increase an applicant’s job opportunities.
For those interested in earning an associate paralegal degree online, you can expect to earn your degree in 3-4 years if you take 1-2 courses at a time. Full-time students taking 3-4 courses concurrently can claim to earn their associate degree online in about 2 years.
Not all programs are completely online. It’s important to talk to your college or university and find out if they require you to take any courses on a traditional campus.
Two professions designed to support the legal process, such as paralegal professionals, law clerks, and court reporters, are vital to the field and well-paying, especially in a corporate setting or for the federal government. Although these jobs require less formal training than lawyers.
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The duties of paralegals are wide and varied, but they primarily provide direct assistance to attorneys. This includes assisting in the preparation of legal cases by researching and compiling relevant documents and data, after which paralegals are often asked to write reports analyzing the material they have gathered. At the end of the day, it is the paralegal who organizes all the legal documents for a permanent file. This is usually done in electronic databases. A paralegal’s job is to make sure everything in the file is available and accessible to the attorneys.
While the job of an entry-level paralegal may involve a lot of paperwork, an experienced and/or talented paralegal may have more serious responsibilities. Such responsibilities include tasks such as drafting legal arguments, managing motions to be submitted, or even managing plans. For estates and trusts. They can also prepare tax returns.
Depending on the size and culture of the office, paralegals may work at an administrative level, organizing company events or maintaining the office’s financial records. In large law firms and corporations, it is more common for paralegals to do less administrative work and focus more on specific or specialized tasks.
Compensation and salaries for paralegals vary widely and depend primarily on individual experience and level of responsibility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals and paralegals earned a median salary of $48,350 per year in 2014.
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Take a look at the sponsored programs on this page and find the one that’s perfect for you. In short, paralegal work includes all legal tasks that do not require a lawyer. Paralegals, sometimes called paralegals, are supervised by one or more attorneys. Paralegals can work in-house or on a contract basis and need at least an associate’s degree or relevant certification along with a bachelor’s degree.
This college ranking article focuses on online degrees in paralegal studies and related subjects at the associate level. Some designated programs may also prepare students for professional certification exams. If you’re interested in bachelor’s degree programs, check out our university rankings article on the 15 most affordable bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies.
The following list shows some of the jobs and organizations/industries where there are career opportunities for associate degree graduates in paralegal studies and closely related subjects. The information is collected from the websites of the 15 universities classified in this article. (Note: Some organizations use the term paralegal for functions that are not, in fact, the same as paralegal.)
Marshalltown Community College (MCC) is a public community college founded in 1927. MCC is part of the Iowa Valley Community College District and its main campus is located in Marshalltown, Iowa.
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MCC offers two online paralegal programs, both of which are associate degrees. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal requires 64 credit hours for approximately 31 program requirements, including practicum. This degree provides students with the legal knowledge and research, writing, and technology skills necessary to become a successful paralegal or paralegal. Parallels can find work:
Students who wish to pursue a paralegal degree must take MCC’s degree transfer option: 64 credit hours with an Associate of Arts (AA) emphasis:
Students who wish to pursue a paralegal degree must take MCC’s degree transfer option: a 64-hour Associate in Arts (AA) with an emphasis in paralegal.
Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) is a public community college established in 1958. The college’s main campus is located in Largo, Maryland. PGCC offers two online paralegal programs: an associate degree and a certificate. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal/Paralegal requires a minimum of 60 credits, with approximately 30 electives and paralegal and criminal justice courses. It includes:
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Co-op education options and internships/internships. This AAS prepares students to become paralegals or paralegals, to work: in corporations, government agencies, law firms, or self-employed. Students with this degree will be able to continue their bachelor’s degree. PGCC’s other online paralegal program is their 30-credit paralegal/paralegal certificate (which can then be applied to the AAS). Sample Courses: Contracts; criminal law; Evidence and Criminal Procedures; legal ethics; legal drafting; legal investigation techniques; Damage degree: 9%. Transfer rate: 24%. In-State Tuition: $5,762 Out-of-State: $8,090 Average Annual Net Price: $7,986 Student Population: 13,678 # College Students: 13,678 # Graduates: 0 Campus Setting: Suburban: Large. Availability of on-campus housing: No. Areavibes.com Cost of Living Score: D.
13: Colorado Mountain College Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is a public, multi-campus community college founded in 1967. Its main campus is located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
CMC offers two online paralegal programs: associate degree, certificate. An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal requires 63-64 credit hours. Includes up to 45 electives and paralegal and criminal justice courses, including major and cooperative education options. The program complies with American Bar Association/ABA guidelines. Students will learn a number of key legal skills, including:
Ability to interview witnesses, draft legal documents, conduct legal research and assist in trial preparation. Students who already have a degree in another subject but want to become a paralegal/paralegal can earn CMC’s 36-hour paralegal certificate. Sample Courses: Civil Procedure; contracts; family law; Juvenile Law and Procedures; Property law; substantive criminal law; Damage rate: 24%. Transfer rate: 40%. In-State Tuition: $2,756 Out-of-State: $9,140 Average Annual Net Price: $7,938 Student Population: 5,705 # College Students: 5,705 # Graduates: 0 Campus Setting: City: Remote . Availability of On-Campus Housing: Yes Areavibes.com Cost of Living Score: F.
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12: Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson Community College (HCC) is a public community college founded in 1928. HCC’s main campus is located in Hutchinson, Kansas, about 55 miles northwest of Wichita and about 210 miles north and west of Oklahoma City. . Oklahoma. Original name: Hutchinson Junior College. HCC offers two online paralegal programs: an associate degree and a certificate. The AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Paralegal requires 64 credit hours, approximately 36 for electives and paralegal courses (including an internship option) and 6 for other law-related courses. This program prepares students for various voluntary certification exams and will help them become paralegals or paralegals, performing substantive legal work under attorney supervision for corporations, governments, attorneys.
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