Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Screven GA 31560

How to Find a Paralegal School near Screven Georgia

Screven GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Screven GA and begin your journey that will result in a satisfying career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you find the best school so that you will get the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you probably understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational options are becoming available, both at school and online. But with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students start by looking for paralegal schools within driving range of their Screven residences. Of those choices, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location 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 must be considered also. Later on in this post we will review a list of concerns that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare every one before making your choice. But before we do, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Screven GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both hold the same job positions 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 Screven GA with a wide range of job functions, including maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job duties are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with the logistics of a trial or transporting files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is usually billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And the same as lawyers, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and adhere to a strict standard of professional ethics. As noted, their duties can be diverse in support of the practices where they are employed, but some of their regular tasks may include:

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

With all of their responsibilities, the job of a Screven GA paralegal can be involved and very challenging. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not confined to administrative or clerical functions more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, lawyers are able to take on a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Screven GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The fastest means to launch your career in Screven GA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can take just six months to complete. Many entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more comprehensive education and may be earned at many community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. After you have acquired either a degree or a certificate, you might want to proceed and earn a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help improve your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. A few of the highly regarded 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 school (we will cover the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two essential first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Screven GA.

Paralegal Online Schools

attending paralegal school online in Screven GAOnline paralegal programs have become more available and can be a good option for individuals in Screven GA looking for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to those who continue to work while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an added benefit, online schools can often be less expensive than on campus options. Even supplementary 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 more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the education you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a reputable organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less supervised and formal environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online could be the right choice for you.

Things to Ask Paralegal Schools

Once you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what academic choices are available, you can begin the process of evaluating Screven GA area schools. But since there are numerous programs accessible at junior and community colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to find out what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like many prospective students, you will begin by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other important aspects to think about also, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at a few 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 and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Screven GA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are typically available only for accredited schools.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Screven GA paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no previous experience, since employers will have to make a decision based on the quality of your training exclusively. Confirming that the school you pick is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call a few law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Remember that even if a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.

Does the School Provide Internships? Internship programs provide students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also present an avenue for students to begin creating contacts within the Screven GA legal field. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the School’s Location? Because laws vary from state to state, it may be beneficial to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be necessary to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to obtain your education in the community where you choose to practice. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most charge an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might wish to first look at those colleges that are within your Screven GA local region.

How Much is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in cost based on the credential obtained and the length of training provided. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your education. Don’t forget to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance may be available to help offset part of the expense, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid office to find out what is available in Screven GA. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, a portion these additional expenses, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Classes Match your Schedule? A number of paralegal students continue working while obtaining their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Screven GA, make sure classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers that option. Last, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Screven GA?

Screven, Georgia

Screven is a city in Wayne County, Georgia, United States. The population was 702 at the 2000 census. Although it was a railroad town as early as 1847, it was not officially chartered until August 19, 1907.

In 1857 the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railroad Company's line from Savannah, Georgia to Screven (then known as Station Seven) was completed when then trestle was built over the Altamaha River at Doctortown. Prior to this, the tracks connected the town to Thomasville, then a popular resort destination for wealthy Northerners and Europeans. The town was named for Dr. James Proctor Screven of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad. After Dr. Screven's death in 1859, his son John Bryan Screven took over the railroad and continued its development. Both men served as mayor of Savannah. A section of the tracks just outside Screven on the Little Satilla is still known as the Abutment, the name it was given during the construction of the tracks.

The town was originally in the 4th land District of Appling County and moved into Wayne County when the county lines were redrawn after the American Civil War ended. The Confederate States Army had a training camp, Camp Harrison, in Screven for a short time in the Fall of 1860. The soldiers came by train to Screven.

Following the Civil War, Captain Christopher Columbus Grace, one of the Immortal 600, came to Screven and established himself in the turpentine, ginning and trade store business. In 1877, he erected a sawmill that spurned the community's growth. In 1880, he was a founding member of the Screven Methodist Episcopal Church, the first church established in the town of Screven. Other men of commerce came to join Captain Grace in the town of Screven. J. A. Hilton building the community's first brick store and operated a hardware store in later years. The J. H. Walker Company opened a mercantile business in 1876 and J. C. Hatcher opened a store in 1899. In the mid-1890s, the Royal family relocated to Screven to work with the Atlantic Coastline Railroad.

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Choose the Ideal Paralegal Certificate Program near Screven GA

Choosing the ideal paralegal educational program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have discussed in this post, you have the choice of attending classes at school or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Screven residence. Paralegal training programs are made available in numerous lengths and formats. Various types of public and private institutions provide paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a profound impact on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Since there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Afford yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed in this exciting profession. But no matter how you choose to acquire your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will have the ability to examine each program and make your final decision. And with the appropriate education you can accomplish your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Screven GA.

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