Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Cornelia GA 30531

How to Choose a Paralegal Program near Cornelia Georgia

Cornelia GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Cornelia GA and begin your journey that will result in a gratifying career in legal services. However, it’s crucial that you locate the best school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to succeed. As you probably understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational options are being offered, both on campus and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students begin by searching for paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Cornelia homes. Of those options, they try to find the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when selecting a college, they are not the only qualifiers you must consider. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program ought to be considered as well. Later on in this article we will review a list of concerns that you should ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare each one before making your decision. But before we do, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional alternatives that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Cornelia GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both fill the same job roles and responsibilities, just with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Cornelia GA with a wide range of job duties, including maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice could assist with trial logistics or transporting documents to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is typically billed by the hour as are the lawyer’s. And the same as attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As noted, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but a few of their routine activities can include:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on pertinent laws and cases
  • Preparing correspondence and legal documents
  • Filing legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
  • Helping attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and additional records

With all of their duties, the job of a Cornelia GA paralegal can be involved and very demanding. 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 limited to clerical or administrative functions more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys are able to handle a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could otherwise.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Cornelia GA judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to launch your career in Cornelia GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may require just 6 months to complete. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more extensive education and may be earned at numerous community colleges in two years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option also. When you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you might choose to proceed and earn a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to work as a paralegal, certification can not only help improve your career opportunities, but help establish 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 certificate or degree from an accredited school (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two crucial first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Cornelia GA.

Online Paralegal Certificates

attending paralegal school online in Cornelia GAOnline paralegal schools have become more common and can be an excellent alternative for individuals in Cornelia GA looking for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to those who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an added benefit, online programs can often be less expensive than on campus options. Even supplementary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials can be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all online programs are accredited, which we will cover in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are looking into are accredited by a highly regarded agency, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs

Now that you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can start the process of assessing Cornelia GA area schools. But because there are so many programs accessible at community and junior colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to learn what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly true if you include all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. If you are like many potential students, you will start by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other critical factors to think about also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over several of the questions you should be asking the schools you are considering so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate choice.

Is the Paralegal School and Program 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will receive will be of the highest quality, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. A number of Cornelia GA law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited program. Finally, financial aid and student loans are typically available only for accredited programs.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Cornelia GA paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no previous work history, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your education exclusively. Verifying that the school you pick is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating reports, such as those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact some law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Remember that even when a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.

Does the School Sponsor Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while still in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to start establishing contacts within the Cornelia GA legal field. Ask if the paralegal schools you are considering offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out 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 substantial networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? Because laws vary from one state to another, it might be a good idea to choose a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduating. In addition, it will be important to build relationships in the local legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to receive your education in the community where you wish to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many charge a higher tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you may need to first investigate those colleges that are within your Cornelia GA local region.

How Much is the Entire Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price based on the credential received and the amount of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Don’t forget to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance might be obtainable to help minimize part of the cost, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Cornelia GA. Of course if you decide to attend an online school, a portion these added costs, such as for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Classes Accommodate your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while obtaining their training and must have flexibility to schedule classes. If you can just attend weekend or evening classes near Cornelia GA, make sure classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the program you choose offers that option. Finally, ask what the process is for making-up missed classes due to sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Cornelia GA?

Cornelia, Georgia

Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,160 at the 2010 census,[6] up from 3,674 at the 2000 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk-shaped monument. Cornelia was the retirement home of baseball legend Ty Cobb who was born nearby, and was a base of operation for production of the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase that was filmed along the Tallulah Falls Railway that ran from Cornelia northward along the rim of Tallulah Gorge to Franklin, North Carolina.

Cornelia is located in southern Habersham County at 34°30′49″N 83°31′51″W / 34.51361°N 83.53083°W / 34.51361; -83.53083 (34.513716, -83.530942).[7] It is bordered to the east by Mount Airy and to the southwest by Baldwin.

Cornelia was originally called "Blaine", and under the latter name had its start in the early 1870s when the Charlotte Airline Railroad was extended to that point.[8] The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Cornelia".[9]

Cornelia abounds in historical lore. Near the city is the Wofford Trail, on which many stagecoach robberies occurred. The last railroad holdup in Georgia took place at Cagle's Crossing, which is a few miles south of Cornelia.[10] The whole of Habersham County was extremely loyal to the Confederacy and was known, along with the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and countless other fertile, out-of-the-way places as the "breadbasket of the Confederacy", as thousands of bushels of wheat and corn were supplied to the troops from this area alone. After the fall of Atlanta, a detachment of Sherman's cavalry was sent to raid the county; but the Confederate Home Guard, made up of men too old for military duty, left the mountains on which Cornelia is situated and met the Yankee raiders at a narrow pass about four miles east of the town. By making considerable noise and stirring up clouds of smoke, they scared off the enemy and saved the area from complete devastation. Today this skirmish is remembered as "The Battle of the Narrows".[11] A few years after the war, a young school teacher named William Herschel Cobb and his wife Amanda settled near the site of this skirmish, and she gave birth in 1886 to one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Ty Cobb.

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Find the Best Paralegal Degree Program near Cornelia GA

Selecting the best paralegal training program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have covered in this article, you have the option of attending classes at school or you can attend them online in the comfort and privacy of your Cornelia residence. Paralegal academic programs are provided in various formats and lengths. Different kinds of public and private institutions provide paralegal training, including community and junior colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound impact on your prospects for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose wisely. Give yourself the greatest possible chance to be successful in this rewarding profession. But regardless of how you choose to receive your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have presented you will be able to review each school and make your final decision. And with the right education you can achieve your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Cornelia GA.

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