Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Pendergrass GA 30567

How to Find a Paralegal Degree Program near Pendergrass Georgia

Pendergrass GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Pendergrass GA and start your journey that will lead to a rewarding profession in legal services. However, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you need to succeed. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more academic choices are being offered, both at school and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Many potential students start by looking for paralegal schools within traveling distance of their Pendergrass residences. Of those choices, they search for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when selecting a college, they are not the only factors you should consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school should be taken into consideration also. Later in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you need to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one prior to making your decision. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional choices that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Pendergrass GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both hold comparable job roles and functions, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and belong to a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Pendergrass GA with a wide variety of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of legal firm where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm may assist with trial logistics or transferring files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is typically billed by the hour as are the lawyer’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 stated, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but some of their regular tasks can involve:

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

With all of their responsibilities, the job of a Pendergrass GA paralegal can be complicated and very challenging. On the other hand, what they are not legally authorized to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not limited to administrative or clerical duties more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, lawyers have the ability to handle a much larger number of clients or cases than they could alone.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Pendergrass 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 requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to launch your career in Pendergrass GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can require as little as six months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and may be obtained at many community colleges in two years. For an even more extensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. After you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you might choose to continue and receive a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. Some 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 school (we will cover the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two important initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Pendergrass GA.

Online Paralegal Schools

attending paralegal school online in Pendergrass GAOnline paralegal programs have become more popular and can be a good option for students in Pendergrass GA looking for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to those who keep working while earning a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online schools can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenses for such items as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will discuss in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are looking into are accredited by a reputable agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and formal environment, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs

Since you now you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what educational choices are available, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Pendergrass 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 know what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other crucial aspects to research also, for instance accreditation and the reputation 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 choice.

Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you pick need to be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will get will be of the highest quality, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Pendergrass GA law firms will only hire entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often available only for accredited schools.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Investigate what the reputations and rankings are for the Pendergrass GA paralegal programs you are looking at. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no previous work history, since employers will have to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Verifying that the school you pick is accredited is a good first step. Checking school rating services, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact a few law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Remember that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an exceptional reputation.

Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while attending school. They can also provide an avenue for students to begin creating contacts within the Pendergrass GA legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are assessing offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the paralegal programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? Because laws vary from state to state, it may be beneficial to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to practice after graduation. Also, it will be important to build relationships in the neighboring legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to obtain your education in the area where you want to practice. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might need to initially investigate those schools that are within your Pendergrass GA local region.

How Much is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential obtained and the amount of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your education. Don’t forget to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid might be accessible to help reduce part of the cost, so don’t forget to consult with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Pendergrass GA. Needless to say that if you opt to attend an online program, a portion these additional expenses, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many 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 Pendergrass GA, make sure classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the program you select offers that option. Finally, inquire what the protocol is for making up missed classes due to sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Pendergrass GA?

Pendergrass, Georgia

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 431 people, 156 households, and 117 families residing in the city. The population density was 212.8 people per square mile (82.4/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 84.4 per square mile (32.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.93% Native American, 0.46% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.18% of the population.

There were 156 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 17.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,751, and the median income for a family was $37,700. Males had a median income of $23,750 versus $15,179 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,699. About 9.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

The location could not be found.

Select the Best Paralegal School near Pendergrass GA

Selecting the ideal paralegal educational program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying 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 Pendergrass home. Paralegal training programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Different types of private and public institutions offer paralegal education, including community colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a pronounced influence on your prospects for success in your new career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Afford yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But irrespective of how you elect 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 ultimate decision. And with the appropriate training you can accomplish your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Pendergrass GA.

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