Is It Expensive To Gain A Paralegal Education?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

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.

Paralegal schools

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.

10 Reasons Lawyers Should Not Create Online Videos to Market Themselves

1. They think it's another place to put it cheesy lawyer TV commercial, 2. They love hearing their own voice, 3. They think that creating online video is all about how great they are, 4. They think that online viewers really want to know about their credentials and where they went to law school, 5. They think they are exciting, lively and are want to-be talk show hosts like Jay Leno or Jon Stewart, 6. They don't know what else to do with their web cams sitting on top of their computer, 7. They have nothing useful to say, 8. They have a face made for radio, 9. Their office and their desk looks like a nightmare, 10. "Video Schmideo," who needs video when there is a yellow pages?

There are still lawyers out there who believe that they should not advertise in order to get new clients. They believe in the maximum "If you build it they will come." The reality is that most traditional forms of attorney advertising are becoming less and less relevant for consumers looking to hire attorneys. More and more, consumers are going online to look for useful information to make an educated decision about how to hire an attorney to help solve their particular legal problem.

Lawyers who truly understand that concept have begun creating educational messages to inform and educate online viewers. How do you stand out from all your other competitors? How can a consumer tell the difference between you and thousands of other lawyers who are all competing in the same market?

It's okay if you don't believe that video is right for you to help create educational messages to help your online viewers make smart decisions. I'm talking about giving viewers information that helps them understand how the legal process works. The best way to do that is with video.

Identifying the Right Criminal Lawyer

The U.S. Bill of Rights guarantees you the right to an attorney in the event that you're accused of a crime. However, this doesn't mean that you can simply choose the first criminal attorney you come across and assume that you'll get equal treatment. Having the right attorney can affect not only the outcome of the case, but your experience during the criminal proceedings. In order to choose the best criminal lawyer, you'll need to carefully consider a few things.

Firstly you need to choose an attorney which has experience with cases which are similar to yours. If you are accused of armed robbery then you will want a different lawyer to if you were accused of battery. Some lawyers only specialize in divorce cases and these would not be able to help you with Criminal cases.

There are many lawyers who do have the educational background to handle your case type but there is a lot to say about education and real life learning experiences; education can only go so far but real life experiences gives you the knowledge for more alike situations down the road. Make sure that your criminal defense lawyer has dealt with similar cases like yours so they can use their education smarts and real life smarts in the courtroom to win your case. They'll understand how they should proceed and not proceed. They know what results you're going to want and the obstacles to avoid.

When you find an attorney who seems to have the background you're looking for, discuss with them the basics of your case. During this process, pay attention to two things. First, consider how comfortable you are with the attorney. Do they listen carefully to what you have to say, or cut you off as though they've heard it a hundred times before? Remember that part of the job of a criminal lawyer is handle your legal issues, and part of their job is to help you through the process. Choose a lawyer that you feel comfortable working with.

You also need to pay attention to the criminal defense plan. There are some lawyers out there who will take on every single case they possibly can which will mean they don't have enough time to devote to your case. Some lawyers might propose a plea bargain to reduce your plea down to a lower charge. This might be suitable in some cases however it's not suitable for every single case. Make sure that your criminal defense lawyer will actually take your case to trial if needed.

Whenever you are trying to find an attorney for your case, you need to know their success rate. While no lawyer has a perfect case record, you need to look for a positive/negative ratio. See what the attorney has learned from their previous cases and how they may use that knowledge and lessons to give you the best possible criminal defense.

The bottom line is that when it comes to hiring the best criminal lawyer, you want to choose an attorney with specific experience in the field, with whom you feel comfortable and who is willing to take your case to trial, if need be.