Get information about a Bachelor of Paralegal degree program and its coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and professional certification choices.
Bachelor of Paralegal Programs
While paralegals are not allowed to practice law, they perform a vital function in the legal system by providing assistance to lawyers. They help lawyers prepare for trials, hearings, and meetings. Coursework related to bachelor’s degree programs is devised to hone the oral communication and interpersonal skills, in addition to the administrative skills necessary for managing law offices. They gain a firm grasp of the ethical issues related to law practice.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
Coursework in paralegal programs involves the examination of litigation, constitutional law, and interviewing and negotiation tactics. Participation in a paralegal internship helps students gain practical training while working in a legal office. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:
•Real estate law
Job and Wage Outlook
A job growth rate of 17% has been predicted for paralegals over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This growth is expected to be driven by a burgeoning population and the need for employers to reduce costs. In May 2012, paralegals brought home an average annual wage of $46,990 (BLS). Most paralegals found employment in legal services; however, software publishing was their most lucrative field in terms of earnings.
Continuing Education and Professional Certification Options
Paralegal students are allowed to seek membership in numerous professional organizations, such as the NALA and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Professionals who seek additional credentials may take certifying exams offered by these organizations. Individuals can maintain their professional certification by completing continuing education courses. Those that wish to pursue continuing education in the field of law can enter law school.