Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Douglasville GA 30133

How to Select a Paralegal College near Douglasville Georgia

Douglasville GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Douglasville GA and begin your journey that will lead to a rewarding career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will get the extensive training that you require to achieve success. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more educational options are being offered, both at school and online. However with so many options to choose from, where does one begin? Some prospective students begin by looking for paralegal schools within commuting range of their Douglasville homes. Of those options, 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 consider. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the school should be considered too. Later in this article we will review a list of questions that you should ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one prior to making your decision. But before we do, let’s take 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?

Douglasville GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants essentially both hold the same job positions and responsibilities, just 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 lawyers in Douglasville GA with a diverse array of job functions, such as legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are relevant to the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with trial logistics or transferring documents to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is typically billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and abide by a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their daily tasks can involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Researching related laws and cases
  • Composing correspondence and legal papers
  • Submitting legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys prepare for trial and stay organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and additional records

With all of their duties, the role of a Douglasville GA paralegal can be complex and very demanding. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not restricted to clerical or administrative duties 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 manage a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could otherwise.

Paralegal Education and Certification

law books and Douglasville GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to start your career in Douglasville GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can take just six months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and can be acquired at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. After you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you might choose to continue and get a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help improve your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. Some of the highly regarded certifying agencies in the profession 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 school (we will address the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 important initial steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Douglasville GA.

Online Paralegal Programs

attending paralegal school online in Douglasville GAOnline paralegal programs have become more prevalent and may be an excellent alternative for those in Douglasville GA looking for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to individuals who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an additional advantage, online classes can often be less costly than more traditional options. Even supplementary expenses for such things as study materials or commuting can be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs are accredited, which we will discuss in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are reviewing are accredited by a respected agency, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Paralegal Programs

Once you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what educational choices are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Douglasville GA area schools. But considering that there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask in order to evaluate each one. This is especially true when you add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs as well. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will begin by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other important issues to consider as well, including 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 effectively vet each one and make your final selection.

Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you choose need to be accredited by a reputable organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will receive will be of the highest quality, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Douglasville GA law firms will only hire entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial aid and student loans are usually available only for accredited programs.

What’s the School’s Reputation? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Douglasville GA paralegal schools you are looking at. This is of specific importance if you are entering the field with no prior work history, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your training exclusively. Verifying that the school you select is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those provided 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 be interested in working for after graduation 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 excellent reputation.

Does the School Provide Internships? Internship programs give students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while attending school. They can also present an avenue for students to begin establishing contacts within the Douglasville GA legal field. Ask if the paralegal programs you are considering provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the paralegal schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the School’s Location? Since laws differ among states, it may be advantageous to select a paralegal school located in the state where you plan to work after graduating. Also, it will be important to establish relationships in the local legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to receive your education in the area where you want to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may want to first look at those colleges that are within your Douglasville GA local region.

What is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in cost based on the credential earned and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Remember to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance might be obtainable to help offset some of the expense, so be sure to consult with the school’s financial aid department to see what is offered in Douglasville GA. Of course if you opt to attend an online school, some of these supplementary costs, for instance for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while getting their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Douglasville GA, make certain classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the program you enroll in makes available that option. Finally, ask what the process is for making up missed classes because of sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Douglasville GA?

Douglasville, Georgia

Located along a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as "Skint Chestnut." The name was derived from a large tree used by Native Americans as a landmark; it was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.

Douglasville was founded in 1874 as the railroad was constructed in the area. That same year, Douglasville was designated as the county seat of the recently formed Douglas County. The community was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas.[6] The town was originally named for Frederick Douglass during Reconstruction and this naming was undone by former Confederate leaders once Reconstruction was abandoned by the country.

On September 21, 2009, Douglas County was devastated by the worst flood in Georgia history. Over 18 inches (457 mm) of rain fell in one night, destroying many roads and homes. The county was later declared a disaster area, and the governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency. The flooding most affected the areas of Douglasville, Villa Rica, Austell, Lithia Springs, and Chapel Hill. The disaster killed more than eight people in the county, most of them in the Douglasville area.

Douglasville is located in north-central Douglas County at 33°44′59″N 84°43′23″W / 33.74972°N 84.72306°W / 33.74972; -84.72306Coordinates: 33°44′59″N 84°43′23″W / 33.74972°N 84.72306°W / 33.74972; -84.72306 (33.749824, −84.723190). Lithia Springs is 6 miles (10 km) to the northeast along U.S. Route 78, and Villa Rica is 10 miles (16 km) to the west. Hiram is 9 miles (14 km) to the north via SR 92. Downtown Atlanta is 22 miles (35 km) to the east via Interstate 20.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right Paralegal Training near Douglasville GA

Choosing the ideal paralegal degree program is a crucial first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have discussed in this article, you have the option of attending classes on-campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Douglasville home. Paralegal education programs are provided in various lengths and formats. Various kinds of private and public institutions make available paralegal education, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a pronounced impact on your opportunities for success in your new career. Given that there is a broad range in the quality of programs, pick carefully. Afford yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But irrespective of how you choose to receive your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to evaluate each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the right education you can accomplish your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Douglasville GA.

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