A paralegal certificate can help you get hired as a paralegal in the growing field of legal assisting. Paralegals assist lawyers by performing important legal tasks that are outside the scope of “practicing law” such as conducting research and preparing reports. While many states do not require paralegals to have a specific level of education, a paralegal certificate can increase your attractiveness as a job prospect as well as prepare you for the tasks that you will be performing on the job.
Paralegal Certificate Degree Program
A certificate program is shorter than an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, so courses can be completed within months instead of years. The courses focus on legal topics, rather than unrelated general electives that are required for many associate’s or bachelor’s programs. The certificate program is typically a blend of legal theory and practical instruction. While gaining a strong understanding of the main concepts of law and an introduction to various areas of law such as family law, students also develop skills in research and writing that will help new paralegals be effective in the legal field. The paralegal degree certificate can be earned through an on-campus program or an online program that can be completed from home such as the Paralegal Certificate program at Boston University. The flexibility of an online program can be very convenient and a great option for individuals who have busy work schedules or live too far from a university or college.
Career Outlook for Paralegal Certificate Program Graduates
Paralegal jobs are expected to grow 28 percent in the decade from 2008-2018 as firms try to cut costs by having paralegals perform work that was previously completed by attorneys according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the BLS, the middle 50 percent of paralegals earn between $36,080 and $59,310.