One way to begin a career in law is to get a paralegal degree online. As a lawyer prepares himself to defend his client in court, a paralegal organizes the information the attorney will use. She also assists with writing legal documents, contracts, and trusts. With a paralegal degree, you can work in a lawyer's office, courthouse, government office, insurance company, or corporation.
Online Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies
Most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies. An associate's degree program typically lasts two years, making it the shortest option for becoming a paralegal. After getting your associate's degree, you are qualified to work as a paralegal in a law firm. Some programs only offer a degree while others provide you with the necessary coursework to receive an ABA-approved paralegal certificate.
- The Paralegal Institute allows students to set their own schedules and course of study when completing an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies (ADPS). The program requires 2700 clock hours, and students have up to two years to complete it.
- Rasmussen College has degree and certificate programs for those interested in becoming a paralegal. Those who complete the program are prepared to sit for the NCLA exam.
- National Paralegal College offers an associate's degree in 15 months. You receive a two-week free trial of the program when you apply.
- Hodges University has a program to earn an AAS degree in paralegal studies. Students may apply credits from the program toward earning a Bachelors from the school while working as a paralegal.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Paralegal Studies
Most Bachelor's degree programs take four years to complete. With a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies, you are qualified to work as a paralegal in a court or serve in a higher level position at a law firm. Many paralegals choose to obtain a bachelor's degree after receiving an associate's degree and working as a paralegal.
- Kaplan University offers a BS in paralegal studies. They also have an advanced start program that you can begin if you've already earned your associate's degree, which means you only need to study for two additional years to receive your bachelor's. The program has three emphasis areas: alternative dispute resolution, office management, and personal injury.
- Virginia College's BS in paralegal studies offers courses focused on legal office procedures, legal service delivery, general education, technical competency, legal research, and writing. The program is designed to be completed in 24 months, but less than 50% of students complete it in that timeframe.
- Post University will allow you to obtain a BS in legal studies with a choice of several concentrations: environmental law, corporate law, general legal studies, law and technology, law office, or administration trial.
- Everest University has a bachelors degree program in paralegal/legal assistance. The school's online courses emphasize three areas of law: family law, criminal law, and contract law.
Online Master's Degree in Legal Studies
Most master's degree programs are only open to current professionals in the legal field. You may pursue this type of degree to advance in your paralegal career or obtain a position as an expert with a law firm or other legal organization.
- Kaplan University's Master of Science in Legal Studies is designed for working adults and offers an outcomes-oriented curriculum that incorporates real-world applications of the material.
- California Southern University offers a Master of Science in Law which features a rigorous curriculum that imparts the same legal knowledge that many individuals get in law school.
- George Washington University's Master of Professional Studies in Paralegal Studies prepares students to get hired by some of the top legal organizations and companies in the United States through its high quality curriculum and distinguished faculty.
- Champlain College's Master of Science in Law program is designed for working professionals, including paralegals who want to advance in their field. It offers practical skills related to the field of law.
- American Military University features of Master of Arts program in Legal Studies. The program is designed for individuals who want to understand how law relates to their current field.
How to Choose an Online Program for Paralegal Education
Before you proceed with the admissions process for an online paralegal program, compare the program to others available to you. Check on the length of time it normally takes to complete the legal studies program and if it will allow you to turn life experience into course credit. Consider the cost of each program as well. You may be able to apply for financial aid at some schools, but not all opportunities are similar.
Your chances of having a satisfying and fulfilling academic experience depend on the considerations you make about the online school you choose to obtain an online paralegal degree. By taking your time in choosing an online degree program, you'll be able to get the paralegal education you need to excel in your chosen career.