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Paralegal Trade Schools

Since paralegals and legal assistants help conduct legal research on relevant laws and regulations, draft documents, organize and maintain files, investigate facts of a case, take notes in trial and much more, it's clear that they play a vital role in the legal process. There are various areas a paralegal may specialize in, such as litigation and corporate law. Corporate paralegals, for example, help lawyers prepare everything from employee contracts to shareholder agreements. Paralegal school, or a program in paralegal studies at a vocational school or technical school, may be an important step in entering this sustainable, growing field.

Paralegal specializations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) lists several specializations paralegals can enter, going more in-depth on a few, such as:

  • Litigation -- conduct research for lawyers, maintain client documents and organize and retrieve evidence for use in trials and depositions.
  • Personal injury
  • Employee benefits
  • Intellectual property
  • Corporate -- help lawyers prepare everything from employee contracts to stock-option plans and review and monitor government regulations.

Paralegal certifications and degrees

Most paralegals and legal assistants, according to the BLS, have an associate degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in another field paired with a certificate in paralegal studies (since very few schools offer a bachelor's or master's in paralegal studies). Sometimes people with a bachelor's degree and no legal experience or education may be hired and then trained on the job.

You may expect to take courses in legal research and the legal applications of computers in associate's and bachelor's degree programs, the BLS states, and receive intensive paralegal training in certificate programs (which sometimes only take a few months to complete). Certificate programs are often geared to people who already hold college degrees in something else.

Certifications aren't required by most employers, according to the BLS, but could give a job applicant an edge sometimes in landing a job. Certifications usually consist of an exam. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers Certified Paralegal credentialing and continuing education opportunities.

Paralegal salary and career outlook

A paralegal career definitely has the potential to be sustainable. According to the BLS, the national mean annual wage of paralegals and legal assistants in the United States as of May 2013 was $51,170, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning an annual wage of $29,740 and the highest-paid 10 percent earning an annual wage of $76,960.

Employment prospects are looking good for paralegals, according to the BLS. Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average of all occupations. And the states with the highest expected growth, percentage-wise, between 2012 and 2022, according to Projections Central, are:

  • Tennessee: 48.7 percent
  • Washington: 32.6 percent
  • Florida: 32.1 percent
  • Utah: 30.9 percent
  • Colorado: 29.9 percent

The paralegal field is one with many specializations, each of which the data suggests is sustainable and growing. After heading off to college, technical school or vocational school and earning a degree or certificate in paralegal studies, you can begin applying to join this vital profession.

Sources:

Certification, National Association of Legal Assistants, Accessed September 25, 2014, http://www.nala.org/Certification.aspx

Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, paralegal and legal assistants, 2012-2022, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Paralegal and legal assistant, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm

Paralegal and legal assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm

Paralegal Trade Schools
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Get hands-on training with Remington College.

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Flexible career learning to fit your busy lifestyle - National American University.

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Rapid City: 5301 South Highway 16 Rapid City, SD 57701

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At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

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Dayton: 555 E. Alex-Bell Road Dayton, OH 45459

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

For over 110 years, Northwestern College has been proud to help students like you succeed.

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Chicago: 4839 N. Milwaukee Ave.- Admissions Office 4811 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60630

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Legal Assistant/Paralegal, and more..

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As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

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Cleveland: 4743 Richmond Road Cleveland, OH 44128

Columbia: 9 Science Court Columbia, SC 29203

Novi: 41555 Twelve Mile Road Novi, MI 48377

High Point: 3975 Premier Center Drive High Point, NC 27265

Savannah: 709 Mall Road Savannah, GA 31406

Montgomery: 5355 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36116

Virginia Beach: 301 Bendix Road, Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Glen Allen: 2200 Old Brick Rd. Glen Allen, VA 23060

West Palm Beach: University Centre, 9801 Belvedere Road West Palm Beach, FL 33411

Tampa: 4401 North Himes Ave., Suite 175 Tampa, FL 33614

Austin: 7700 W Parmer Ln, Building A, Suite A100 Austin, TX 78729

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

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Fort Lauderdale: 6301 Kaplan University Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

A career to support yourself starts with a supportive, experienced faculty. IBMC delivers a wide range of professional life changing opportunities to promote personal, social, and career development.

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Longmont: 2315 N. Main Street Longmont, CO 80501

Fort Collins: 3842 S. Mason Street Fort Collins, CO 80525

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You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College.

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