Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Peachtree City GA 30269

How to Select a Paralegal School near Peachtree City Georgia

Peachtree City GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Peachtree City GA and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying profession in legal services. However, it’s important that you locate the ideal school so that you will get the extensive training that you need to be successful. As you probably understand, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational choices are becoming available, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students begin by looking for paralegal schools within traveling distance of their Peachtree City homes. Of those options, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only factors you must take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the program ought to be taken into consideration too. Later on in this article we will review a list of questions that you must ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your selection. But before we do, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the educational choices that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Peachtree City GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both fill comparable job roles and functions, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and are part of a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Peachtree City GA with a wide variety of job duties, such as legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with the logistics of a trial or transporting documents to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is normally billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And just like 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 practices where they are employed, but a few of their day-to-day activities might involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on related cases and laws
  • Drafting correspondence and legal documents
  • Submitting legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and managing legal documents, files and other records

With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Peachtree City GA paralegal can be involved and quite challenging. On the other hand, 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 limited to administrative or clerical tasks more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for attorneys. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers are able to handle a much larger number of clients or cases than they could otherwise.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Peachtree City GA judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to launch your career in Peachtree City GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can require just 6 months to complete. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more extensive education and may be obtained at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option as well. After you have earned either a degree or a certificate, you may choose to proceed and earn a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help boost your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. A few of the highly regarded 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 certificate or degree from an accredited program (we will discuss the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two important initial steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Peachtree City GA.

Paralegal Online Classes

attending paralegal school online in Peachtree City GAParalegal online schools have become more available and may be an excellent alternative for students in Peachtree City GA searching for convenient access to classes as well as accommodating scheduling. Online programs can be particularly attractive to students who keep working while earning a degree. As an added benefit, online programs can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even secondary expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest caliber. So check to make sure that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a reputable agency, such as 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 may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Since you now you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what academic choices are offered, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Peachtree City GA area schools. But because there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is especially true if you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like many prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other critical factors to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over several of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are investigating so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final selection.

Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. A number of Peachtree City GA law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically obtainable only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Peachtree City GA paralegal programs you are looking at. This is of particular importance if you are entering the field with no prior work history, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your training exclusively. Confirming that the school you choose is accredited is a good first step. Checking school rating services, 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 some law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask what schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even if a school is not the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an exceptional reputation.

Does the School Offer Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law office or other legal enterprise while attending school. They can also offer a pathway for students to begin establishing contacts within the Peachtree City GA legal field. Find out if the paralegal schools you are reviewing provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the paralegal schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the School Located? Considering that laws differ from state to state, it may be advantageous to select a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to work after graduation. In addition, it will be necessary to cultivate relationships in the area legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to obtain your education in the area where you desire to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may need to first investigate those schools that are within your Peachtree City GA local area.

What is the Total Expense? Paralegal programs can vary in price depending on the credential obtained and the length of training provided. Having said that, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your education. Don’t forget to include the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance might be accessible to help minimize part of the cost, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid department to see what is offered in Peachtree City GA. Of course if you decide to attend an online school, some of these added expenses, such as for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Classes Accommodate your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students keep working while getting their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Peachtree City GA, verify classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the program you choose provides that option. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, illness or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Peachtree City GA?

Peachtree City, Georgia

Peachtree City is located in western Fayette County in the southern Atlanta metro area. It is bordered to the west by Coweta County and to the north by the city of Tyrone. It is crossed by Georgia State Route 74, Georgia State Route 34, and Georgia State Route 54. SR 54 leads east 10 miles (16 km) to Fayetteville, the county seat, and southwest 17 miles (27 km) to Luthersville. Newnan is 12 miles (19 km) to the west via SR 54 and SR 34. SR 74, the Joel Cowan Parkway, runs through the west side of Peachtree City, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Tyrone and 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 85 near Fairburn. Downtown Atlanta is 31 miles (50 km) to the north via SR 74 and I-85.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Peachtree City has a total area of 25.4 square miles (65.9 km2), of which 24.6 square miles (63.6 km2) is land and 0.93 square miles (2.4 km2), or 3.57%, is water.[2] The city is in the watershed of Line Creek, which forms the western city boundary and county line, and is a south-flowing tributary of the Flint River.

Peachtree City has three lakes. Lake Kedron to the north is a reservoir that supplies Lake Peachtree to the south via Flat Creek. Lake Kedron is owned by the Fayette County Authority, and is managed so as to keep Lake Peachtree full whenever there is a lack of rain and still allow for recreational use of the lake during droughts. Lake Kedron is not afforded any recreational use except for fishing. Lake McIntosh, the newest lake, close to Planterra, has now reached full pool.[5]

Peachtree City has a system of golf cart paths which spider across the town and provide a secondary means of access to almost any destination within city limits. These multi-use paths stretch for more than 90 miles (140 km) throughout the city. Many places of business have specially designated golf cart parking spaces. The Peachtree City Police Department has several golf carts used to patrol along these paths.[6]

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Select the Best Paralegal Training near Peachtree City GA

Choosing the right paralegal degree program is an essential first step to guarantee 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 participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Peachtree City residence. Paralegal academic programs are offered in various lengths and formats. Several types of public and private institutions make available paralegal training, including community colleges, four year colleges and universities, in addition to vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal program will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, pick carefully. Afford yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed in this rewarding profession. But irrespective 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 education you can achieve your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Peachtree City GA.

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    Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard
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    Divorce & Family Law, Estate Planning Law, Personal Injury Law
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    42 Eastbrook Bnd, Peachtree City, GA 30269

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