Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Dublin GA 31021

How to Choose a Paralegal Training Program near Dublin Georgia

Dublin GA paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Dublin GA and begin your journey that will result in a satisfying career in legal services. However, it’s essential that you locate the right school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you require to be successful. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more educational options are being offered, both on campus and online. But with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Dublin residences. Of those choices, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when picking a school, they are not the only factors you must consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school ought to be considered too. Later in this post we will cover a list of questions that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one before making your decision. But first, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the instructional options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Dublin GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both fill comparable job positions and functions, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Dublin GA with a diverse array of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job duties are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm may assist with trial logistics or delivering files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must perform with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be wide ranging in support of the firms where they are employed, but some of their daily tasks may involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on related laws and cases
  • Composing correspondence and legal papers
  • Filing legal papers with opposing counsel or the court
  • Assisting lawyers get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and preserving legal documents, files and other records

With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Dublin GA paralegal can be complex and rather challenging. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is offer legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not restricted to administrative or clerical tasks more suited 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 have the ability to handle a much larger number of cases or clients than they could alone.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Dublin GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational prerequisites and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to start your career in Dublin GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may take as little as 6 months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more extensive education and may be earned at many community colleges in two years. And if you are interested in an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. Once you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you may want to proceed and obtain a certification. Although 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 as well. Some 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 discuss the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 important first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Dublin GA.

Online Paralegal Degrees

attending paralegal school online in Dublin GAParalegal online schools have become more available and can be a good option for those in Dublin GA looking for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to those who continue to work while earning a degree. As an added benefit, online schools can sometimes be less costly than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs 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 sure that the school and program you are looking into are accredited by a respected agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less supervised and conventional environment, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Things to Ask Paralegal Programs

Now that you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what academic options are offered, you can start the undertaking of evaluating Dublin GA area schools. But because there are numerous programs accessible at junior and community colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to know what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly true when you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs also. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will start by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other critical aspects to research as well, such as accreditation and the reputation 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 properly vet each one and make your final selection.

Is the Paralegal Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you enroll in need to be accredited by a reputable accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. A number of Dublin GA law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited school. Finally, financial aid and student loans are typically accessible only for accredited schools.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Find out what the rankings and reputations are for the Dublin GA paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no previous experience, since employers will need to rely on the caliber of your training exclusively. Confirming that the program you choose is accredited is a good first step. Checking school rating reports, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also contact several law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even when a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program may still have an outstanding reputation.

Does the Program Offer Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law office or other legal operation while still in school. They can also provide a pathway for students to begin developing contacts within the Dublin GA legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are assessing provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Campus Located? Considering that laws differ from state to state, it might be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to establish relationships in the neighboring legal community, possibly through an internship program. This is even more justification to receive your education in the community where you want to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many charge a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may want to initially investigate those schools that are within your Dublin GA local area.

What is the Complete Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential received and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Remember to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid may be obtainable to help offset part of the expense, so don’t forget to consult with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Dublin GA. Naturally if you choose to attend an online school, a portion these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Classes Fit your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while getting their training and need flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Dublin GA, make sure classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the school you select offers that option. Finally, inquire what the process is for making up missed classes as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Dublin GA?

Dublin, Georgia

The original settlement was named after Dublin, Ireland.[6] Because of Dublin's location as a midpoint between Savannah and Atlanta, the town in recent decades became home to a small assortment of industrial distribution centers, which complemented various industries—textiles, furniture, and paper, among others—that had already established themselves there in the second half of the 20th century. Historically, however, Dublin's economy was based on the local cotton, corn, and soybean trades, which blossomed as the town's central location enabled it to thrive with the growth of the railroad.

Originally, Dublin and the surrounding area was home to Native Americans of the Muscogee people. Most of them fled westward with the arrival of European settlers, many of them organizing themselves into armed resistance units which fought government forces and British militias to protect their native territory well into the early 19th century. Ultimately, most of the Muscogee diaspora settled in what is now Oklahoma.

Despite the Irish ancestry of Dublin's first non-indigenous settlers, the town, like most of Middle Georgia, by the late 19th century had evolved from mixture of ethnicities. Most of the population descended from Scottish, English, and other western European immigrants. The considerable African-American population descended from most of whose roots lay in Angola or throughout west Africa. By the end of the 20th century, the town had also become home to a growing population of recent immigrants, many of them professionals from India, Korea, and Latin America. As labor migrations from Mexico and Central America shifted from the southwest U.S. to much of the southeast, many immigrants from those regions also moved to Dublin in the first decade of the 21st century.

Dublin, according to a historical marker[7] at the town's main Oconee bridge, was one of the last encampments at which Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family stayed before being captured by Union forces in May 1865.

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Select the Right Paralegal Training near Dublin GA

Enrolling in the best paralegal training program is an essential first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the option of attending classes on-campus or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Dublin home. Paralegal education programs are made available in various lengths and formats. Various types of private and public institutions offer paralegal education, including community and junior colleges, four year universities and colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Given that there is a broad range in the quality of programs, choose wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But no matter how you decide to obtain your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have provided you will be able to review each program and make your final decision. And with the ideal education you can accomplish your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Dublin GA.

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