Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Lyons GA 30436

How to Pick a Paralegal Degree Program near Lyons Georgia

Lyons GA paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Lyons GA and start your journey that will result in a gratifying profession in legal services. However, it’s crucial that you find the right school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to succeed. As you most likely understand, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of academic options are becoming available, both at school and online. However with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students begin by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Lyons homes. Of those alternatives, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only qualifiers you must take into consideration. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program ought to be considered also. Later in this article we will cover a list of questions that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one prior to making your selection. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the educational alternatives that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Lyons GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both fill the same job roles and functions, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Lyons GA with a wide range of job duties, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm may assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is typically billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And the same as attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and abide by a strict standard of professional ethics. As noted, their responsibilities can be wide ranging in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their everyday activities may involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Researching related laws and cases
  • Composing correspondence and legal documents
  • Filing legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and preserving legal files, documents and additional records

With all of their responsibilities, the job of a Lyons GA paralegal can be complicated and rather demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally permitted to do is provide legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not limited to administrative or clerical duties more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers have the ability to take on a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could on their own.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Lyons 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 begin your career in Lyons GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can require just 6 months to complete. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more expansive education and may be earned at numerous 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 degree or a certificate, you might want to continue and earn a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few of the highly respected certifying organizations 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 benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 essential first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Lyons GA.

Paralegal Online Training

attending paralegal school online in Lyons GAOnline paralegal programs have become more common and can be a good alternative for individuals in Lyons GA searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly attractive to those who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an additional benefit, online programs can in some cases be less expensive than on campus options. Even supplementary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the training you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the school and program you are thinking about are accredited by a respected organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Now that you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what educational choices are available, you can start the undertaking of assessing Lyons GA area schools. But considering that there are so many programs offered 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 add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs as well. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will start by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other critical issues to research as well, for instance the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over several of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are investigating so that you can properly vet each one and make your ultimate selection.

Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you choose should be accredited by a recognized organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online training. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Lyons GA law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically available only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Lyons GA paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are new to the profession with no prior work history, since employers will need to make a decision based on the quality of your training exclusively. Confirming that the program you choose is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also call some law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Bear 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 give students a chance to experience working in a law office or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also provide an avenue for students to begin establishing contacts within the Lyons GA legal field. Find out if the paralegal schools you are evaluating offer internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering after graduation.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the paralegal programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? Because laws differ from one state to another, it might be beneficial to choose a paralegal school located in the state where you plan to work after graduation. Also, it will be important to build relationships in the neighboring legal community, possibly through an internship program. This is even more reason to obtain your education in the area where you desire to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most require an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might want to first look at those schools that are within your Lyons GA local area.

How Much is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential received and the length of training provided. 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 might be obtainable to help offset some of the cost, so make sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Lyons GA. Needless to say that if you opt to attend an online school, a portion these additional expenses, such as for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students continue working while obtaining their training and must have flexibility in class scheduling. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Lyons GA, make certain classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the school you choose makes available that option. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Lyons GA?

Lyons, Georgia

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 4,169 people, 1,547 households, and 986 families residing in the city. The population density was 557.1 people per square mile (215.2/km²). There were 1,787 housing units at an average density of 238.8 per square mile (92.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.25% White, 32.38% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 7.22% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.06% of the population.

There were 1,547 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 21.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,202, and the median income for a family was $26,044. Males had a median income of $22,254 versus $16,611 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,364. About 28.6% of families and 37.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.8% of those under age 18 and 20.4% of those age 65 or over.

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Select the Right Paralegal Training near Lyons GA

Enrolling in the best paralegal educational program is a crucial 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 on campus or you can attend them online in the comfort and privacy of your Lyons residence. Paralegal academic programs are offered in many formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions provide paralegal training, including community and junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal program will have a pronounced influence on your prospects for success in your new career. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Afford yourself the greatest possible opportunity to succeed in this rewarding profession. But regardless of how you elect to receive your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to examine each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the right training you can achieve your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Lyons GA.

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