Those interested in paralegal studies may want to look into an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program. These programs will teach the necessary knowledge needed to become a legal assistant or paralegal secretary.
A.A. Programs in Paralegal Studies
Students enrolled in Associate’s Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies are imparted instruction in the basics of legal discovery, research and training. Students can also expect to learn how to identify regulations, laws and judicial decisions and garner experience in legal proceedings through training received in the preparation of cases and maintenance of files to provide assistance to attorneys. Students may also gain familiarity with various aspects of law, including real-estate law, personal injury law and family law.
Students of paralegal studies programs are provided with the opportunity to gain knowledge about legal terminology and practice document drafting or litigation, even as they gain hands-on experience in using legal technologies relevant to offices and court systems. By participating in an internship, students may also expect to become adept in client contact, finance management, time management, writing, organization and computer literacy.
Before they are allowed to apply to an associate’s degree program, students are expected to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
By completing an associate’s degree program in the field, students can expect to receive instruction on ethics and legal issues. Coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Intellectual property law
•Personal injury law
Those who graduate from Associate’s Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies can seek entry-level jobs in legal offices wherein they would have to work under attorneys. Graduates can expect to begin careers with insurance companies, corporations, government agencies, legal departments and law firms, with work that involves aspects of family law, personal injury law or litigation. Graduates can choose from various positions such as:
Continuing Education Choices
Those who opt for continued education could choose to transfer credits to four-year bachelor’s degree programs in the field. Students enrolled in Bachelor’s degree programs in paralegal or legal studies are offered the opportunity of further developing the skills they would need to accomplish success in the field. Continued education through a bachelor’s degree would help students imbibe additional knowledge about procedures, systems, writing and legal research. A bachelor’s degree in any of these fields could result in administrative occupations in the field.