It was in the late 1960's that the concept of having a paralegal was born. It started when lawyers were looking for ways on how to better serve their clients without increasing the overall cost of their legal services.
How to distinguish paralegals from lawyers?
The tasks of the lawyers are regulated by laws and policies of each state in the US. Although laws vary from state to state, each state prohibits paralegals from practicing law.
Paralegals cannot perform the following:
• Presenting cases in a court of law
• Accepting or refusing a case
• Providing legal advice
However, paralegals can carry out the following functions:
• Updating clients about their case
• Researching legal documents to assist lawyers in handling their legal cases
• Drafting legal documents
Paralegal education costs
Unlike the educational costs related to becoming a lawyer, the cost of earning a paralegal education does not involve a heavy price tag. Although paralegal careers are not as lucrative as the careers of a lawyer, paralegals can earn decent salary. In addition to that, they do not have to spend thousands of dollars each year for their paralegal education yet they can still land a high-paying career within the legal industry.
Nowadays, finding a paralegal school is no longer as frustrating as it was before. With the birth of online schools and colleges, you can earn a legal education right at the comfort of your own home.
What are the various paralegal educational options available?
• Associate's degree in paralegal studies - This educational degree is offered by community colleges, technical schools, and other institutions of higher learning. To obtain an associate degree in paralegal studies, you need to spend two to three years studying paralegal courses.
• Bachelor's degree in paralegal studies - This paralegal education option enables you to earn a bachelor's degree and obtain more detailed necessary training that can prepare you to become a legal assistant. In here, you will learn the proper ways to communicate with clients, lawyers and other individuals that work in the legal field. Having this educational degree opens your door to more job opportunities in the paralegal world.
• Paralegal certificate - This option requires completing a bachelor's degree in a certain field of study before you can obtain a paralegal certificate. It takes a few months of intense study about the existing laws. To obtain paralegal certificate without actually going to a certain school, you may opt to earn online paralegal degrees from any of the online paralegal accredited schools.
Caution when opting for online paralegal degrees
When you choose to become a paralegal and obtain relevant degrees over the Internet, be sure to study your options. The reason for this is that some of these schools are nothing but hoax. Thus, you need to make sure that the one you choose is one of the paralegal accredited schools approved by the American Bar Association.
Paralegal education does not have a heavy price tag. It may not carry a high-paying salary but legal assistant's careers do offer reasonable salaries and huge bonuses. To become a paralegal, you are required to obtain any of the paralegal courses from one of the paralegal accredited schools. If you opt to earn online paralegal degrees, be sure that the school you wish to attend to is approved by the American Bar Association. Else, you will only end up spending your hard-earned money for nothing.