dcsimg
RWM Site Logo

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
Matching School Ads

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs : CERT: Paralegal Studies, and more..

Campus Locations :

Lynchburg: 1971 University Boulevard Lynchburg, VA 24502

Get a quality technical education and prepare for a better job at TCI College of Technology in New York City.

Programs : Paralegal Studies, and more..

Campus Locations :

New York: 320 West 31st St. New York, NY 10001

Further your education and strengthen your skill set at Rasmussen College

Programs : Paralegal Certificate, Paralegal Associates Degree, and more..

Campus Locations :

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Minneapolis: 4400 West 78th Street 6th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55435

Saint Cloud: 226 Park Avenue South Saint Cloud, MN 56301

Lake Elmo: 8565 Eagle Point Circle Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

Circle Pines: 3629 95th Avenue Northeast Circle Pines, MN 55014

Get a professional education designed with your future in mind at Kaplan College.

Programs : Associate of Applied Science: Paralegal Studies, and more..

Campus Locations :

Nashville: 750 Envious Lane Nashville, TN 37217

Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

Programs : Paralegal - Associate of Applied Science, and more..

Campus Locations :

Raleigh: 3901 Capital Boulevard Raleigh, NC 27604

Fayetteville: 3725 Ramsey Street Fayetteville, NC 28311

Wilmington: 5000 Market St Wilmington, NC 28405

Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.  

Programs : Certificate: Paralegal (Legal Studies), A.S. in Legal Studies, B.S. in Legal Studies, and more..

Campus Locations :

Waterbury: 800 Country Club Rd. Waterbury, CT 06723

Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

Programs : Paralegal, and more..

Campus Locations :

Scranton: Scranton, PA 18515

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

Programs : Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate, BS in Paralegal Studies, AAS in Paralegal Studies, and more..

Campus Locations :

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

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Legal Assistant/Paralegal, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA 94404

Prepare for a productive career with education training from New York Career Institute.

Programs : Paralegal Studies - Associate Degree, Law Office Assistant - Certificate, and more..

Campus Locations :

New York: 11 Park Place New York, NY 10007

Matching School Ads
Related Law & Criminal Justice Vocational Programs
Law & Criminal Justice Vocational & Trade Schools by Canadian Province

Related Articles