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Paralegal Online Degree

Will earning a paralegal certificate online help students get a job in the industry?

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Paralegal Online Degree: Accredited Certification or Not?
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Will earning a paralegal certificate online help students get a job in the industry? I will write my essay about online paralegal certification and employment.


Paralegals, also called legal assistants, work closely with attorneys, performing substantive legal work under their guidance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020-21 Occupational Handbook, the average salary of a United States legal assistant employed in 2008 was $46,120, and the average starting salary was $28,000.


Distance learning as a way to teach legal assistants has become increasingly popular in the last 20 years. Online programs, courses and colleges generally offer three levels of education in the profession: a certification, a 2-year degree (Associate's Degree or A.D.) or a 4-year degree (Bachelor's Degree).


Paralegal certification is often a key component to becoming employed in the industry, but it’s important to have a practical understanding of what an online paralegal certification will mean to the graduate who is trying to get a job.


The ABA has not Approved any Online Certification Programs

The American Bar Association, or ABA, has a Standing Committee on Paralegals that provides a list of all the paralegal certificate programs in the country that have achieved “approved” status in the eyes of the Bar. To get on the approved list, paralegal programs must submit extensive self-evaluation reports and undergo on-site examinations.


The Bar deems certification programs and schools that are on this list to offer “superior paralegal education.” Once received, "approved" status lasts for seven years, at which point, the program must request re-approval. The ABA recognizes these courses of study as the best paralegal training available.


The Bar itself does not approve or certify paralegals, only educational programs. As of 2020, no online paralegal certification programs are on the ABA’s approved list. This news might sound discouraging to those interested in earning a paralegal certificate online, but it shouldn’t be.


States Don’t Require Specific Education to Work as a Paralegal

No state requires that a paralegal have any specified level of education to work for a lawyer. College is not required and neither is certification. Additionally, no state has a regulatory board that oversees the profession as a whole. Such oversight rests strictly with the paralegal's employer.


According to the Writemyessay's experts research, “the supervising attorney remains responsible for the paralegal's work product and conduct.” So working paralegals are not governed by anyone other than the attorneys they serve, and plenty of attorneys are willing to hire a paralegal who has received certification via an online program.


While some individual law firms may have internal educational requirements – including paralegal certification from an ABA-approved program – that govern legal assistant hiring, not all firms or lawyers have such stringent policies.


Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in this field should not allow the ABA’s “approved” list to dissuade them from investigating all potential educational options. Completion of an online paralegal program results in a certification that is recognized by hiring attorneys across the country. As with any program of learning, potential students should research all their educational options and choose the one that is best for them.


Sources:


The America Bar Association: Standing Committee on Paralegals


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook Paralegals


For more information concerning paralegal and other legal careers, please read Become a Certificated or Certified Paralegal, Five Essential Skills That Will Help Write My Paper for Me Cheap

4min 3s
Published Jun 16, 2021 at 2:16pm