Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Concord GA 30206

How to Select a Paralegal Degree Program near Concord Georgia

Concord GA paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Concord GA and start your journey that will lead to a fulfilling career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you need to succeed. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational options are being offered, both on campus and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students begin by looking for paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Concord residences. Of those choices, they search for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are prime considerations when picking a college, they are not the only factors you should take into consideration. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program need to be taken into consideration too. Later in this article we will review a list of concerns that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one prior to making your choice. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Concord GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both hold comparable job roles and responsibilities, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Concord GA with a wide range of job duties, including legal research, maintaining client files, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might assist with the logistics of a trial or transporting files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is usually billed by the hour as are the lawyer’s. And the same as lawyers, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and adhere to a strict standard of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but a few of their daily tasks can involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Researching applicable laws and cases
  • Preparing correspondence and legal documents
  • Filing legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
  • Helping lawyers prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and managing legal documents, files and additional records

With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Concord GA paralegal can be complicated and rather challenging. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is provide legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But paralegals are not restricted to clerical or administrative functions more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And because they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, lawyers have the ability to take on a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Programs and Certification

law books and Concord GA judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The quickest means to start your career in Concord GA as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which may involve just six months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more extensive education and may be earned at many community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. Once you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you may choose to proceed and obtain a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help boost your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. A few of the highly respected certifying organizations 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 cover the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 crucial initial steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Concord GA.

Online Paralegal Programs

attending paralegal school online in Concord GAParalegal online programs have become more available and can be a good alternative for individuals in Concord GA searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to individuals who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an additional advantage, online classes can sometimes be less expensive than more traditional options. Even supplementary expenses for such items as study materials or commuting can be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all online schools are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are considering are accredited by a respected organization, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and conventional setting, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Programs

Now that you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what academic options are available, you can begin the process of evaluating Concord GA area schools. But because there are so many programs accessible at junior and community colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you need to know what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is especially true if you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs also. If you are like most potential students, you will start by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other crucial aspects to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over some of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are researching so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate decision.

Is the Paralegal School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you enroll in should be accredited by a respected accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online training. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the training you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will establish with future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Concord GA law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically accessible only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Investigate what the reputations and rankings are for the Concord GA paralegal programs you are considering. This is of particular importance if you are new to the field with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Checking that the school you choose is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call some law firms that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask which schools they recommend. Bear in mind that even when a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while remaining in school. They can also offer an avenue for students to start establishing contacts within the Concord GA legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the paralegal programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Campus Located? Because laws vary from state to state, it may be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you want to practice after graduation. Also, it will be important to build relationships in the local legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is all the more justification to obtain your education in the area where you want to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many charge an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you may want to initially consider those schools that are within your Concord GA local region.

What is the Total Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price based on the credential received and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Don’t forget to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance might be available to help reduce part of the cost, so don’t forget to consult with the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Concord GA. Needless to say that if you choose to attend an online school, a portion these added expenses, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Classes Fit your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while getting their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can just attend weekend or evening classes near Concord GA, make certain classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you enroll in offers that option. Last, inquire what the process is for making up missed classes as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Concord GA?

Concord, Georgia

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Concord".[4] The community took its name from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, which stood at the site since the early 1840s.[5]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 336 people, 118 households, and 92 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.5 people per square mile (156.3/km²). There were 128 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.81% White, 24.70% African American, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.

There were 118 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the town, the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The location could not be found.

Choose the Best Paralegal Training near Concord GA

Enrolling in the ideal paralegal educational program is an important first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have discussed in this post, you have the option of attending classes at school or you can participate online in the comfort and privacy of your Concord residence. Paralegal academic programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions make available paralegal education, including community colleges, four year colleges and universities, in addition to vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a profound impact on your prospects for success in your new profession. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Give yourself the best possible chance to be successful in this exciting profession. But irrespective of how you choose to receive your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to examine each school and make your ultimate selection. And with the right training you can achieve your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Concord GA.

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