Paralegal training programs will enable you to become a paralegal with a high level of expertise. The training needed is relatively brief, mainly focusing on practical skills as well as the most essential background knowledge. Compared to a lawyer whose work requires clear-cut knowledge upon getting into the profession, a paralegal is usually given the flexibility to learn while practicing the profession. After all, on-the-job training is where you can pick up the more detailed aspects of the practice of law.
Degree programs to be a paralegal are available in several forms. You may get a degree from a career college, a university, or a specialized institution. Just like any other job, the more training and education you get, the better your chances of being employed and the faster you will grow professionally.
The most well-known paralegal degrees are the following:
- Certificate – This paralegal training program can take one year or less and typically complements a degree in another field, like a bachelor’s degree in accounting or an associate degree in English.
- Associate degree – This is one of the paralegal training programs that may take a number of months up to two years to finish. It covers the fundamental skills needed to get an entry-level job as a paralegal. You can usually take this at a junior college, career school, or a specialized school.
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree – This is a more comprehensive education that will not just prepare you for an entry-level paralegal job, but will also give you a strong background that you may expand upon if you plan to advance further in this field.
Areas of Application
After your paralegal training program, there are many legal specialties that you may choose to concentrate on as a professional paralegal. If you’re interested to take a certain specialization, you must inquire from a school representative if the program you are considering provides classes in that area. Some well-known jobs in the field of paralegal are:
- Bankruptcy Paralegal – Focuses in the rules of bankruptcy and the filing procedures for bankruptcy.
- Corporate Paralegal – Focuses in business law such as intellectual property, stockholder relationships, and financial reportin
- Employment Paralegal – Concentrates in the laws on employment such as employing and firing, human resources, labor unions, harassment, as well as discrimination.
- Government Paralegal – This job entails working for federal, county and city governments. Paralegal training programs will help you prepare for this demanding job.
- Immigration Paralegal – This type of paralegal focuses on laws that govern foreigners who are immigrating in the country such as the laws that govern a persons eligibility for a visa or green card.
- Nurse Paralegal – This is generally a former registered nurse who finished a paralegal training program. He or she makes use of the medical knowledge to help lawyers understand medical procedures and terminologies.