Looking inside a law firm people can see more than just lawyers working on a case. Lawyers need help with the overwhelming amount of paperwork and research that needs to be completed for every case. Essential knowledge earned through online programs for legal and paralegal studies supply students with the ability to work alongside lawyers and their clients.
Paralegals and legal assistants handle basic legal services and provide help to clients. The main focus of an individual in this profession is to help lawyers research cases and organize documents. It is standard for a person in this career to be working on multiple cases at a time. Functions inside the workplace include interviewing clients, providing depositions, writing letters, gathering information, assisting attorneys, and preparing briefs. A student may find their place in this field of study if they don’t want to become a lawyer or don’t have the time to devote to law school. Education in this area will train students to become an indispensable member of the legal community.
Degree training can be acquired with an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree. Continuing education can be earned with a post-associate’s or post-bachelor’s degree certificate. Graduate degree training is extremely rare, however, some graduate degrees like human resources management include a concentration in legal studies. This degree uses legal studies to further a person’s management skill and doesn’t focus on traditional legal work. Most employers require a legal assistant or paralegal to have at least an associate’s degree. Large and corporate law firms usually require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in a specialized area to be considered for employment.
An associate’s degree program in paralegal studies trains students in civil litigation, criminal law, and legal research. On average most programs require a student to finish around 90 credit hours to graduate. A central course that may be included in a program will cover eight essential skills to become an effective legal studies professional. These skills are reading, writing, researching, planning, thinking, organizing, interviewing, and communicating. Students study these educational fundamentals in direct connection with practicing legal professionals. Students will also learn about the civil law processes, procedures, and rights inside a civil litigation course. Topics in this type of course include investigation, case management, strategy, and jurisdiction. A degree at this level enables students to step into the workplace as a paralegal or legal assistant.
A bachelor’s degree program provides students with a broad liberal arts degree interlocked with specific skills for a career as a paralegal. A student should expect to finish schooling after four years, or when approximately 120 credit hours are completed. Some online colleges have a set time frame for completion; others allow students to work through programs at their own pace. Courses will include introduction to law, algebra, finance, legal research, legal writing, and business law. A legal writing course will teach a student techniques related to their role as a legal assistant. Topics incorporate case briefs, motions, pleadings, and discovery documents. Employers prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree because it shows them the person they are hiring is dedicated and has been exposed to more legal training. Training in this field provides students with the accepted amount of education to enter this professional industry.