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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Paralegal: Legal Assistant

Majors Overview December 20, 2013

Those interested in legal and law systems may want to look into a career as a paralegal. An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree can qualify individuals for a legal assistant or paralegal job at the courthouse, a private corporation, or law firm.

A.A. Programs in Paralegal: Legal Assistant

Students enrolled in a paralegal associate’s degree program are imparted fundamental knowledge on how to research cases, prepare legal documents and maintain communications with clients. Those who graduate from this two-year program are trained to seek entry-level jobs in the legal field. Legal assistant and paralegal students are taught about drafting and filing documents, helping lawyers prepare for trial and maintaining documentation. After they complete an associate degree program, students can expect to gain familiarity with court procedures, ethical issues, various laws and legal terminology. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Completion of program coursework is augmented through hands-on training on how to prepare legal documents. Students may also be expected to participate in seminars, internships or work-based learning experiences with local legal firms. Coursework may typically include topic areas such as:

•Criminal law
•Tort law procedures
•Legal terminology
•Bankruptcy procedures
•Civil litigation

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 28% has been predicted for the paralegal field during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In 2010, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $46,680 (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Although it is not insisted on by hirers, certification could prove beneficial to paralegals when they seek jobs or promotions. Those whom complete paralegal programs can acquire certifications from various organizations; to qualify for certification, they would have to pass an exam and satisfy experience and education norms. For instance, the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and Certified Paralegal (CP) credentials are offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) to professionals who have formal education in paralegal studies and who pass a five-part exam.

Paralegals can also continue to seek education options at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels by enrolling into programs in legal or paralegal studies. By earning a bachelor’s degree, a legal assistant could obtain additional certification, including the Registered Paralegal credential offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

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1 Program(s) Found
South University , Glen Allen
  • Available programs include B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Legal Studies, and A.S. in Paralegal Studies.
  • Accreditation for the Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs by the American Bar Association (ABA) at select campuses.
  • Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
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  • Bachelor’s programs options include Law & National Security, Paralegal Studies, and Government.
  • Regent University School of Law’s faculty was recognized among the Top 10 Faculty in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Law & legal studies programs are fully approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
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  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
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Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor’s programs options include Law & National Security, Paralegal Studies, and Government.
  • Regent University School of Law’s faculty was recognized among the Top 10 Faculty in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Law & legal studies programs are fully approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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