The paralegal professions are being counted as one of the most lucrative starting professions in the US today. The job allows people to get acquainted with the legal field because they work under the surveillance of a certified attorney or lawyer, which enables them to come up, close and personal with the legal profession and at the same time not get too much involved in it. Paralegals themselves do not need any license to provide their services and that is one of the reasons there is great demand for this profession. The other reason is that the pay is good, considering this is a starting out profession. A paralegal with the right degree stands to earn $16,000 to $20,000 in his or her early twenties itself. This definitely makes the profession quite lucrative.
So what degrees must a person acquire to become a paralegal? There are three kinds of progressive degrees actually; an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. There is no PhD course. The subject that the paralegal has to study is the Science in Paralegal Studies. The associate’s degree takes two years to complete while the bachelor’s degree takes the standard four years. Most paralegals start out with a bachelor’s degree and then go for continuing education while they are working to acquire a master’s degree. For this reason, online schools for master’s paralegal degrees are the most popular.
If you are seeking a paralegal degree from an online school, it can be a good idea if you take care of some points. One of the most important points that you have to look into is the accreditation of the paralegal school. It is absolutely vital that the institute must be accepted by the ABA (American Bar Association). Make it a point to look at the website thoroughly. Look at the history of the school, and try to contact a few of its past students. You can even ask for references by calling them at the number displayed on their website. Since you are going to invest money and, more significantly, time into this exercise, you need to make sure that the school you are selecting is genuine.
Take a look at the subjects included in their course material too. Generally there must be subjects involving English, Finance and Social Studies in addition to Law. However, different schools come up with different syllabuses.
Paralegal degrees are enough if you want to begin with this career, you will not need added certification. But if you have some certification, it might reflect better on your standing as a professional. You can get certificates through attending examinations such as the Certified Legal Assistance (CLA) and the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE). Both these exams are formulated according to the guidelines established by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
Getting into the legal profession is simplified through these paralegal degrees. Once you get the degree and get a hang of the profession, you can plan the direction your career will take ahead. The paralegal degree is a good way to begin and make contacts which will be important to you if you want to become successful in the legal world.