How to Select a Paralegal Certificate Program near Clarkston Georgia
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Clarkston GA and start your journey that will lead to a fulfilling profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will receive the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you probably know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more academic options are being offered, both on campus and online. But with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? Many prospective students start by searching for paralegal schools within driving distance of their Clarkston residences. Of those choices, they search for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only factors you need to take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the school ought to be taken into account as well. Later on in this article we will cover a list of questions that you ought to ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare each one before making your selection. But first, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the instructional alternatives that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants essentially both hold comparable job positions and functions, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and belong to a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Clarkston GA with a wide variety of job duties, such as legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are relevant to the type of legal firm where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice may help with trial logistics or transporting files to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is normally billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And just like attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high level of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be diverse in support of the practices where they are employed, but a few of their day-to-day activities may involve:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Researching relevant laws and cases
- Preparing correspondence and legal papers
- Filing legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and preserving legal files, documents and other records
With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Clarkston GA paralegal can be complex and quite demanding. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is provide legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not confined to clerical or administrative functions more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers have the ability to manage a much larger number of clients or cases than they could on their own.
Paralegal Programs and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to start your career in Clarkston GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can involve just 6 months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more expansive education and may be obtained at numerous community colleges in two years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option as well. When you have obtained either a certificate or degree, you may want to proceed and receive a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help improve your employment opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. A few of the highly regarded certifying agencies in the field are:
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations
- American Alliance of Paralegals
- National Association of Legal Assistants
- National Association for Legal Professionals
By graduating with a degree or certificate from an accredited program (we will discuss the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 important first steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Clarkston GA.
Paralegal Online Certificates
Online paralegal programs have become more popular and may be an excellent alternative for individuals in Clarkston GA searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be especially appealing to students who keep working while earning a certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, online schools can sometimes be less expensive than on campus options. Even secondary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a respected organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less supervised and conventional setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs
Since you now you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what educational options are offered, you can begin the process of assessing Clarkston GA area schools. But considering that there are so many programs accessible at community and junior colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools, you must find out what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is especially true if you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs also. If you are like most prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other significant aspects to consider as well, for instance accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you should be asking the programs you are researching so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final decision.
Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select need to be accredited by a reputable accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online training. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the training you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Clarkston GA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Also, financial aid and student loans are often offered only for accredited programs.
What’s the Program’s Reputation? Learn what the rankings and reputations are for the Clarkston GA paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of specific importance if you are entering the field with no previous work history, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Verifying that the school you select is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, such as those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call some law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask what schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even though a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the School Offer Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to begin developing contacts within the Clarkston GA legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing upon graduation.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Because laws differ from one state to another, it might be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to work after graduating. In addition, it will be important to build relationships in the local legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to obtain your education in the area where you wish to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may wish to first consider those colleges that are within your Clarkston GA local region.
How Much is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential earned and the amount of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your training. Remember to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid might be available to help offset some of the expense, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid department to see what is available in Clarkston GA. Naturally if you choose to attend an online program, some of these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while obtaining their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can just attend night or weekend classes near Clarkston GA, make certain classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers that option. Last, inquire what the procedure is for making-up missed classes due to sickness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Clarkston GA?
Clarkston is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 12,742 as of 2016. The Clarkston Campus of Georgia State University's Perimeter College is just south of the city limits.
The city is noted for its ethnic diversity, and is often referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America" and "the Ellis Island of the South." In the 1990s refugee resettlement programs identified Clarkston as a good fit for displaced persons of many backgrounds. The rental market was open, residents were moving farther out from the Atlanta urban core, and Clarkston was the last stop on a transit line into the city. By the 2000s the local high school had students from more than 50 countries; a local mosque had 800 worshipers; and by some estimates, half the population was from outside the U.S.
A post office called Clarkston has been in operation since 1876. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1882 as the "Town of Clarkston", with municipal corporate limits extending in a one-half mile radius from the Georgia Railroad depot. The community was named after W. W. Clark, a railroad official.
As of 2010 Clarkston had a population of 7,554. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 13.6% white (13.1% non-Hispanic white), 58.4% black or African American (57.9% non-Hispanic black), 0.2% Native American, 4.8% Vietnamese, 16.8% other Asian, 2.1% from some other race and 4.1% from two or more races. 2.8% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Paralegal Degree Program near Clarkston GA
Selecting the ideal paralegal degree program is a crucial first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have covered in this article, you have the choice of attending classes on-campus or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Clarkston residence. Paralegal training programs are offered in many formats and lengths. Different types of public and private institutions provide paralegal education, including community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Since there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to be successful in this exciting profession. But regardless of how you decide to receive your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will have the ability to evaluate each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training you can achieve your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Clarkston GA.
Other Cool Cities in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 189
Bing: Georgia Paralegal Certificate Schools Search results
Paralegal Salary and Outlook by State
As you plan your paralegal career, you should consider the following areas that may contribute to your earning potential.. Education. Paralegal salary can be influenced by their education level. According to O*NET OnLine, 34% of job incumbents and subject matter experts reported that a bachelor’s degree is needed for paralegals; 50% reported that paralegals should have an associate’s ...
Accreditation - Ashworth College
Ashworth College accreditation. You want to be confident your school is legitimate. Celebrating over 300,000 students and alumni, Ashworth College is nationally accredited, so you can be confident in the fact that an education with Ashworth will result in a nationally recognized degree or certificate.
Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in Georgia – 2022
Accreditation: CAAHEP Program Type: Undergraduate Certificate Grady Health System to meet the growing demand for ultrasound technicians in the state of Georgia, started the School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography in 1991. The DMS school equipped with interactive classrooms and laboratories with state-of-the-art imaging equipment offers an 18 ...
How to Become a Paralegal | Paralegal Requirements
Step 3. Earn Paralegal Professional Certification. Although there’s been discussion in the legal community in recent years about some kind of formal registration, certification, or licensing for paralegals, to date no state has implemented any regulatory requirements.A lack of legislation in the profession has led to a number of voluntary credentials, all of which require completing a formal ...
CLS by BARBRI
Paralegal Certificate Course is $1895. The most affordable, flexible and effective legal education courses. Course Finder Quiz. Find a course. The next online session begins June 27, 2022. Enroll Now! Our partner schools. We work with over 150 accredited colleges and universities across the country to issue our certificates. ... to issue our ...
Online Paralegal Degree Center
Online paralegal schools are becoming the norm. Law firms and corporations look favorably on accredited paralegal schools online. Programs vary in scope and degree offerings. Potential paralegal students may choose among certification programs, associate, bachelor, and master degrees, or post-baccalaureate credentials.
ABA Approved Paralegal Programs by State and School
Paralegal Certificate Accelerated Program (post-bac) Paralegal Certificate Part-Time Program (post-associate) 9500 Gilman Drive, #0170P La Jolla, CA 92093-0172 Director: Julia M. Dunlap Telephone: 858.534.8164 Fax: 858.534.8130 paralegal.ucsd.edu. University of California, Santa Barbara Extension. Paralegal Certificate Program (post-associate)
Academic Program Finder - Webster University
Georgia. Fort Gordon; Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield; Illinois. Scott Air Force Base ... Studies Nonprofit Management Nurse Anesthesia Practice Nursing Online Teaching and Learning Organizational Development Paralegal Studies Philosophy Political Science Procurement and Acquisitions Management ... All Certificate Programs. Search . Search ...
Paralegal Certificate Online - Ashworth College
When you earn your Paralegal Studies certificate online, you will be introduced to the most important aspects of the field, including the U.S. legal system, litigation, legal analysis, and more. Enroll in our affordable online paralegal program to study at your own pace, gain practical skills you can apply immediately, and take your first steps ...
How to Become a Paralegal: A Guide to Paralegal Education | Best ...
Debra R. Geiger, president of the American Association for Paralegal Education and head of the paralegal studies department at Savannah Technical College in Georgia, notes increasing demand for ...