How To Pursue Paralegal Programs in the US

Law is a very interesting field. You get to deal with issues and concerns from different angles depending on how you are looking at it. Getting a degree in law is rather taxing not only on the brain but also in the pocket, but let this not discourage you to be involved in the legal world. In our legal world we have judges, lawyers, court stenographers, policemen and people who are does not have the legal capacity to perform like lawyers and judges but who are capable of doing other legal works. These people are called paralegals. Paralegals are non-lawyers who assist lawyers in their legal work. Paralegals are not allowed to perform legal services like presenting cases in a court, giving legal advice, setting fees and accepting cases.

Here are things that paralegals can do:

  • They do research works on legal documents.
  • They do drafts of contracts, mortgages, separation agreements and trust instruments.
  • They help in the preparation of legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions.
  • They help in the investigation of cases.
  • They help locate and find witnesses.
  • They help get affidavits.
  • They help in trial proceedings.
  • They organize and keep track of legal files for legal cases.

Those who would like to be paralegals could enroll in a certification program for paralegals after high school. Some of the options they could consider include a paralegal certificate which can be completed in a few months; a two-year paralegal studies degree; and a more post-graduate type of program, which requires a Bachelor's degree before applying. The programs will train interested applicants who want to be paralegals in areas like research and writing on legal topics, such as criminal and civil procedures.

When choosing schools to attend, you should be cautious and aware that the ABA or American Bar Association has not endorsed all paralegal programs. Obtaining an education for paralegals does not end with earning a certificate or degree and finding a job. Being updated with the current legal environment is a plus factor in getting a good paralegal employment. It would help to subscribe to business magazines and attend seminars.

Here are some of the schools where people interested in becoming paralegals can enroll:

  • Kaplan University, located in Iowa and Nebraska. They offer a paralegal studies program online enabling one to earn his degree quickly and in the comfort of his home.
  • Everest Institute, located in California, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and some other states. They offer flexible classes and hands-on learning in their paralegal studies program. They also offer students excellent academic programs that are reasonable under the supervision of a faculty of dedicated experts. Their aim is to provide firm foundation in the knowledge and skills that will help their graduates to land on a good job.
  • Westwood College, located in California, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, and Colorado. Their program offers fundamental knowledge of legal terminologies, legal procedures, laws and skills in drafting legal documents and researches on legal matters.

In pursuing a paralegal career, one has to really be interested and knowledgeable with all legal aspects. Some law firms are willing to train interested applicants in paralegal works. Determination and diligence are the keys to become a success in any endeavor. Your mind and heart should be where you want to be.


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