Online Paralegal Degree
If you are thinking of getting an online paralegal degree, then, it is a must that you understand the true essence of a paralegal and what they do in the legal field. When you say paralegal, you usually interpret it as the legal assistant of a lawyer or attorney. According to the American Bar Association, paralegal refers to the individual who is eligible through work experience, education, and training. The main responsibility of a paralegal is to assist the lawyers so that their works will be performed faster and with less time consumed.
What is the Job Scope of Online Paralegal Degree Holders?
Online paralegal degree holders are most likely able to obtain a rewarding career in paralegal studies. If you are a degree holder in paralegal studies, then, you are commonly known as legal assistant who works closely with lawyers particularly when it comes to estate planning, criminal trials, preparation of legal documents and other legal paperwork needed by the lawyer in a certain case or meeting. To be exact, the paralegal or legal assistant is one who is hired by law firms or companies to assist in the supervision of significant and technical legal concerns. By means of online paralegal degree students are able to take up education and go through practical training and on the job work experience before they get certification as licensed paralegal after obtaining an online paralegal degree.
There are numerous employment opportunities for paralegal degree holders. Even those who have taken up online paralegal degree courses also have greater career potentials in this complex paralegal industry. As a matter of fact, the job opportunities in the paralegal fields were identified as at 14th rank among the top 20 jobs across the United States. The majority of the law firms and business companies in the country are implementing some cost-cutting measures. Because of this, most of the administrative and office works of attorneys or lawyers are being done by paralegals to cut the expenses of the firm or company.
In view of that, they are looking for people who have obtained paralegal degree online. It is even projected that the demand for paralegal persons will further increase. And the simplest and most economical means to become eligible for this demand is to acquire adequate paralegal training and experience through online paralegal degree programs. Most of the large firms hire legal assistants or paralegals to handle some of the company’s legal affairs. These firms include insurance companies, corporate business giants, criminal law, and others. There are also great demands for expert paralegals with online paralegal degree in the fields of real estate, medical claims, mortgages, and other fields of business.
The paralegal vocation is not only an exciting job, but a very rewarding career as well. This is very true in the case of those who have obtained online paralegal degree. You can work as a legal assistant if you are the type of person who is fond of doing research and also interested in analytical thinking and studying laws. In fact, based on statistics there is about 7 out of 10 individuals with online paralegal degree who works in a law office or legal firm; while others were employed in various government agencies and organizations. No wonder, there has been a very tight competition in the job market for the paralegal profession. It is therefore important for one to obtain a degree in paralegal studies to gain greater advantage in the job market.
The growing demand for online paralegal degree holders in this profession is definitely making it hard for others to get a job. So, only those who are trained and experienced will stand out in the competition. It is therefore important to get an online paralegal degree if you want to have better chances of landing a job.
Each year, there are several laws which are passed. This is the reason why large companies and legal firms need paralegals who can work with various cases in any specific area of law. By having a degree in paralegal studies, you are more equipped with the sufficient knowledge and skills on how to deal with different issues which are earlier managed by the attorneys or lawyers.
The Responsibilities of a Paralegal
Earning a degree in paralegal studies makes you at the front row of the competition. There are several responsibilities of a legal assistant or paralegal. When you obtained an online paralegal degree, you have to consider all these responsibilities to make sure you are heading to the right path of your career. Here are the usual tasks and responsibilities of a paralegal expert:
- Look for legal articles and information relevant to the case at hand
- Help the lawyers in preparing legal documents needed for the trial and drafting the minutes of the meetings or legal proceedings
- Study case facts and all the pertinent details about the case
- Create reports which will be used by the attorney to devise a strategy for the case proceedings
- Plan some motions or legal arguments that will be filed in the trial court
- Outline separation agreements and contract, and even mortgages
- Collect legal materials
- Arrange some vital documents with reference to the case handled by the lawyer
- Compute the fees to be charged to the client for the legal services done
- Do tax computations for large firms and corporations and select the right strategy to cut the expenses
In view of that, there are many different ways to practice and advance your profession as a paralegal expert. One of which is to earn an online paralegal degree. For those who are undergraduates, the best way to get a degree is to enroll in universities or colleges that offer online paralegal degree courses. In the case of the graduates, the best means to become a paralegal professional is by getting a certificate course in paralegal studies. Usually, the certificate course can be finished within a few months. But it may vary from one school to another. There are almost 250 colleges that offer online paralegal degree who were accredited and approved by the American Bar Association. But, you must be careful in choosing which college to enroll in. Make sure that you opt for the college with the best national reputation and standing. Aside from that, it is also necessary that a paralegal expert has undergone some kind of internship program in reputable law firms, large companies, and well-regarded legal firms. Work experience is crucial in getting better chances of work or employment.
When you have obtained online paralegal degree, it would be helpful if you also become a certified legal assistant. How to become one? Basically, you will need to pass the CLA examination conducted by the National Association of Legal Assistants or NALA for short. To qualify for the exam, it is required that you fulfill all the criteria set by the organization. The good news is that NALA also provides advanced paralegal certification courses to those who would want to become certified paralegal professional aside from the online paralegal degree courses. But there is also another institution that provides certification program for online paralegal degree, and that is the American Alliance of Paralegals. To qualify for the certification program of AAP, you should fulfill at least one of the three educational standards set by the organization plus at least 5 years of experience.