Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Hinesville GA 31310

How to Choose a Paralegal School near Hinesville Georgia

Hinesville GA paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Hinesville GA and start your journey that will result in a satisfying profession in legal services. However, it’s important that you find the ideal school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you need to be successful. As you most likely know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational alternatives are being offered, both at school and online. But with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of prospective students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting range of their Hinesville residences. Of those options, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only qualifiers you must take into consideration. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the program should be taken into account also. Later on in this article we will cover a list of concerns that you need to ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare each one prior to making your selection. But first, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the educational choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Hinesville GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both hold the same job roles and functions, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and are part of a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers in Hinesville GA with a diverse array of job duties, such as maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice could assist with trial logistics or delivering documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is usually billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And just like lawyers, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and adhere to a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but some of their everyday activities might involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on related laws and cases
  • Composing correspondence and legal documents
  • Submitting legal documents 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 additional records

With all of their duties, the job of a Hinesville GA paralegal can be complicated and rather demanding. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not restricted to administrative or clerical duties more applicable 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 ground work and preparation, lawyers are able to manage a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Education and Certification

law books and Hinesville GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic prerequisites and job prospects will be the same. The fastest means to begin your career in Hinesville GA as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which may involve just 6 months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and can be earned at numerous community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. When you have obtained either a certificate or degree, you may choose to proceed and obtain a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few 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 certificate or degree from an accredited program (we will cover the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 essential first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Hinesville GA.

Paralegal Online Schools

attending paralegal school online in Hinesville GAParalegal online schools have become more available and may be a good option for those in Hinesville GA looking for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to individuals who continue to work while earning a certificate or degree. As an added advantage, online classes can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenditures for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will discuss in greater detail later. But at a minimum 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 organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less supervised and formal setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

Things to Ask Paralegal Schools

Since you now you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Hinesville GA area schools. But because there are numerous programs accessible at junior and community colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you must find out what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is particularly true if you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other critical aspects to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you should be asking the programs you are considering so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your final decision.

Is the Paralegal School Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Hinesville GA law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial aid and student loans are typically obtainable only for accredited programs.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Research what the rankings and reputations are for the Hinesville GA paralegal programs you are looking at. This is of special importance if you are entering the profession with no prior experience, since employers will have to rely on the caliber of your education 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 verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call several law offices that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while attending school. They can also present a pathway for students to start developing contacts within the Hinesville GA legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are assessing offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly 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 placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? Since laws vary among states, it may be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to practice after graduation. Also, it will be important to develop relationships in the area legal community, possibly through an internship program. This is all the more justification to acquire your education in the community where you desire to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may wish to initially investigate those colleges that are within your Hinesville GA local area.

How Much is the Complete Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in cost based on the credential received and the amount of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Remember to include the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid might be obtainable to help offset part of the cost, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid office to see what is offered in Hinesville GA. Of course if you choose to attend an online school, a portion these additional costs, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while obtaining their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Hinesville GA, make certain classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers that option. Last, ask what the procedure is for making-up classes missed because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Hinesville GA?

Hinesville, Georgia

Hinesville is a city in Liberty County, Georgia, United States. The population was 33,437 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Liberty County.[4] Nearby Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville are part of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area, which comprises all of Liberty County and neighboring Long County.

Hinesville was founded in 1837. That same year, the seat of Liberty County was transferred to Hinesville from Riceboro. It was incorporated as a city in 1916.[5] The city is named for Charleton Hines, a state senator.[6][7]

Hinesville is located next to the Atlantic coast which has an abundance of coastal streams and waterways. It is known for its pine trees, oaks, deer, wild hogs, and other wildlife. The Cay Creek Wetlands is a waterway that sits in Midway, Georgia and Hinesville in which can be seen nature and the historical Liberty Trail. It is the second largest city on U.S. Route 84 in Georgia after Valdosta. It is 58 miles west from U.S. Route 84 eastern terminus and 275 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Hineville was founded by Samuel Bethea Jr.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,437 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 45.8% Black, 35.0% White, 0.4% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from some other race and 3.9% from two or more races. 11.5% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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Enroll in the Best Paralegal Program near Hinesville GA

Selecting the right paralegal educational program is a vital first step to guarantee 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 participate online in the comfort and privacy of your Hinesville residence. Paralegal academic programs are provided in various formats and lengths. Different kinds of private and public institutions offer paralegal education, including community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new career. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Give yourself the greatest possible opportunity to succeed in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you elect to acquire your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will have the ability to evaluate each program and make your final selection. And with the appropriate training you can realize your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Hinesville GA.

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