Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Hiram GA 30141

How to Pick a Paralegal Certificate Program near Hiram Georgia

Hiram GA paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Hiram GA and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying career in legal services. However, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to be successful. As you probably understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational alternatives are becoming available, both on campus and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? Some prospective students start by looking for paralegal schools within driving distance of their Hiram residences. Of those alternatives, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are prime considerations when picking a school, they are not the only factors you should take into consideration. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school should be taken into consideration as well. Later in this article we will cover a list of concerns that you must ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare every one prior to making your decision. But first, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the academic options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Hiram GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both fill comparable job roles and responsibilities, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Hiram GA with a diverse array of job duties, including maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are relevant to the type of practice where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with the logistics of a trial or delivering files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but a few of their everyday activities can involve:

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

With all of their duties, the role of a Hiram GA paralegal can be complicated and rather challenging. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But paralegals are not confined to administrative or clerical tasks more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys are able to take on a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could alone.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Hiram GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The quickest means to launch your career in Hiram GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can take just 6 months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more expansive education and can be earned at many community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. Once you have obtained either a certificate or degree, you may choose to continue and receive a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help maximize your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. Some of the highly respected certifying agencies 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 program (we will cover the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two crucial first steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Hiram GA.

Online Paralegal Degrees

attending paralegal school online in Hiram GAOnline paralegal schools have become more popular and can be an excellent alternative for individuals in Hiram GA searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly attractive to students who continue to work while earning a certificate or degree. As an added benefit, online classes can often be less costly than more traditional options. Even supplementary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps ensure that the training you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a reputable organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less structured and conventional environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Schools

Since you now you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what training options are available, you can start the undertaking of assessing Hiram GA area schools. But since there are so many programs available at community and junior colleges, as well as 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 add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs as well. If you are like many prospective students, you will start by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at several of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are investigating so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final decision.

Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it can also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance training. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Hiram GA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often obtainable only for accredited schools.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Investigate what the reputations and rankings are for the Hiram GA paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are new to the profession with no prior experience, since employers will have to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Checking that the program you pick is accredited is a good first step. Checking 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 contact some law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask what schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even though a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an exceptional reputation.

Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law firm or other legal enterprise while still in school. They can also provide a pathway for students to begin creating contacts within the Hiram GA legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are reviewing offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the paralegal programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Campus Located? Because laws vary from state to state, it might be advantageous to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you wish to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be necessary to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more justification to acquire your education in the community where you desire to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you may want to initially consider those colleges that are within your Hiram GA local region.

What is the Complete Expense? Paralegal schools can vary in price based on the credential received and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Remember to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid may be available to help minimize some of the expense, so be sure to check with the school’s financial aid department to find out what is offered in Hiram GA. Naturally if you opt to attend an online school, some of these added costs, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Fit your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while receiving their training and must have flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend weekend or evening classes near Hiram GA, make sure classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the program you choose offers that option. Last, find out what the procedure is for making up missed classes due to sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Hiram GA?

Hiram, Georgia

Dallas and Hiram more than doubled in population from 2000 to 2010, according to figures from the U.S. Census. Dallas, Paulding's county seat, went from an overall population of 5,056 in the year 2000 to 11,544 in the 2010 census—just over a 128 percent increase.

The county's numbers also swelled, but not at the rate experienced by Dallas and Hiram. From 2000's population of 81,678, the county saw nearly three-quarters of that total adding to its resident count, bringing it to 142,324.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 3543 people and 1,538 households residing in the city. The population density in 2000 was 452.5 people per square mile (174.67/km²). There were 506 housing units at an average density of 168.2 per square mile (64.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city in 2010 was 60.88% White, 32% African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 2.74% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.54% of the population.

There were 481 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.7% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.20.

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Enroll in the Ideal Paralegal Training near Hiram GA

Enrolling in the right paralegal degree program is an important first step toward your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have discussed in this article, you have the choice of attending classes at school or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Hiram residence. Paralegal education programs are made available in various formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions provide paralegal training, including community and junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a pronounced impact on your prospects for success in your new career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, pick wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible opportunity to be successful in this fascinating profession. But irrespective of how you decide to receive your training and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to examine each school and make your final decision. And with the appropriate education you can realize your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Hiram GA.

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