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 actively 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 or degree may be necessary in some states in order to work as a paralegal. In any state, earning formal training in this field can increase your attractiveness as a job applicant by preparing you for the tasks that you will be performing.
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 are highly focused on legal topics and typically include 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 them be effective in the legal field. The paralegal degree certificate can be earned through an on-campus program or an online program. 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 employment is expected to grow 8% through 2024 as firms try to cut costs by having paralegals perform work that was previously completed by attorneys.1 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for paralegals is $48,810, but this can vary significantly by industry.1 Paralegals working for the federal government earn the highest median salary, at $63,720 as of 2015.1
Online Paralegal Certificates, Schools, Courses & Programs
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm