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Associate Degree Program in Paralegal Studies

Majors Overview December 15, 2013

Those interested in assisting attorneys in fact checking, writing, research and document preparation may want to look into the paralegal professional career. To find a job in this legal field, an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in paralegal studies is recommended.

A.A.S. Programs in Paralegal Studies

Students enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Program in Paralegal Studies are taught about the job requirements to be satisfied by paralegals who have been trained to provide legal assistance in the form of support services to clients and attorneys, and what it takes to work in law office settings as paralegals, who are legal assistants trained to provide support services to attorneys and clients. Coursework in paralegal studies associate’s degree programs is devised to make students adept at assisting lawyers with tasks such as filing motions, interviewing witnesses, conducting background research and writing briefs. Paralegals are usually employed in various settings such as government agencies, insurance companies, court systems and writing briefs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework is usually a combination of classroom lectures and internships wherein students gain practical training in real-life cases. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Legal writing
•Administrative laws
•Criminal law system
•Civil litigation procedures
•Financial accounting
•Computer-assisted legal research

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth of 28% has been predicted for paralegals and legal assistants during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2010, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $46,680.

Certification Information and Continuing Education

Paralegals and legal assistants can seek voluntary certification to enhance job opportunities and showcase their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and Certified Paralegal (CP) credentials that can be earned by qualified applicants through the passage of a 2-day certification examination.

There are other organizations also that offer Certifications such as the American Alliance Certified Paralegal (AACP) credential offered by the Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. This credential is valid for two years and is required to be maintained via continuing education.

Schools also offer Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in paralegal and legal studies. The Registered Paralegal (RP) certification exam offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) can be taken by paralegals holding bachelor’s degrees augmented with two years of work experience in the field. This certification, valid for two years, can be renewed through 12 hours of continuing education. The Professional Paralegal (PP) certification offered by the National Association of Legal Secretaries can also be earned by paralegals.

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3 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Find Online Criminal Justice Courses
  • Get Matched to Criminal Justice Programs In A Few Clicks!
  • Study at Your Own Pace, 100% Online Criminal Justice Courses
  • Accredited and Affordable Schools that offer Criminal Justice and Legal studies programs
  • Online Courses

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