Career changes come at any time, and deciding to pursue a career as a paralegal after obtaining a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree is a simple and easy process. Many colleges offer courses of study for students looking to obtain a certificate and quickly enter the market.
A certificate is not limited to students who already have a previous degree, but supplementing an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree with a certificate makes a paralegal professional more marketable to potential employers.
Depending on how quickly you would like to enter the job market, a certificate can the perfect way to
With an expedited program a paralegal certificate can be earned within a matter of seven months. How quickly the student goes through the program depends largely on how many classes that student can take at a time. For the National Paralegal College program, in order to graduate in seven months, the student must take three courses at a time. However, a student can take two courses at a time and graduate in just two months longer, at nine months. For those who are not able to take on a full course schedule, a certificate can be obtained in 17 months taking one course at a time. It is completely possible to work full-time while completing paralegal studies and enter the job market in under 18 months, compared to the amount of time involved in obtaining a legal degree through a three program on top of a four year undergraduate program.
Under this program, a student must earn a total of 24 credits. A total of four credits must come from four core courses, including tort and personal injury law, contracts, professional responsibility and legal ethics, and legal research and writing. Taking both personal injury and contract knowledge helps a student who is undecided on what path to take if pursuing a private firm position. Having skills in legal research and writing comes into great use regardless of what career direction chosen. Any position in the legal field, because of the nature of the work done, requires the utmost professionalism and knowledge of ethics not only for the protection of the attorney but for any of the legal staff in the event of any malpractice claim.
Additional courses can be picked by the student depending on his or her interest. If a specific area of the law interests the student or a specific firm, courses are available, including criminal, property, and environmental law. If the student wants to test out various areas of the law to find out what interests him or her specifically, the options are endless.
In terms of smaller, more rural communities, the majority of law firms are general practice, meaning the attorney practices in every area of the law, not limited to one specialty. For students looking to work in a smaller community or work for a general practice attorney, the more common legal subjects would be recommended, including contracts, property law, family law, basic litigation, and bankruptcy. Anything above those courses would add more to the professional’s resume’.
It ultimately depends on the student and how quickly he or she wishes to enter the job market, but it can be done. A certificate in paralegal studies can be completed with hard work in less than one year.
National Paralegal College: http://nationalparalegal.edu/Certificate.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1