Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Suwanee GA 30024

How to Pick a Paralegal Certificate Program near Suwanee Georgia

Suwanee GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Suwanee GA and begin your journey that will lead to a gratifying career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you find the best school so that you will get the extensive training that you require to succeed. 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 at school and online. But with so many options to choose from, where does one start? A number of prospective students start by looking for paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Suwanee homes. Of those choices, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when picking a college, they are not the only factors you ought to consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program must be taken into consideration also. Later in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you ought to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one prior to making your selection. But first, let’s have 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?

Suwanee GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both hold comparable job positions and functions, only 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 help lawyers in Suwanee GA with a wide range of job duties, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they work. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with trial logistics or transporting files to court. In private firms, a paralegal’s work is normally billed by the hour as are the lawyer’s. And the same as lawyers, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be diverse in support of the firms where they work, but some of their everyday activities may involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Researching pertinent cases and laws
  • Composing correspondence and legal papers
  • Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and other records

With all of their duties, the role of a Suwanee GA paralegal can be involved and very challenging. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is provide legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not limited to clerical or administrative tasks more applicable 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 volume of clients or cases than they could on their own.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Suwanee GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational prerequisites and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to begin your career in Suwanee GA as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can require as little as 6 months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more extensive education and can be earned at many community colleges in two years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option also. After you have earned either a degree or a certificate, you might choose to continue and earn a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help boost your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. A few of the highly regarded certifying agencies 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 degree or certificate from an accredited program (we will discuss 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 Suwanee GA.

Online Paralegal Programs

attending paralegal school online in Suwanee GAOnline paralegal schools have become more prevalent and may be a good option for those in Suwanee GA looking for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to those who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an additional advantage, online programs can sometimes be less expensive than on campus options. Even secondary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials can be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs are accredited, which we will discuss in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the education you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make sure that the school and program you are looking into are accredited by a highly regarded organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less supervised and formal setting, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Now that you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what academic options are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Suwanee GA area schools. But because there are numerous programs available at community and junior colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you must find out what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is especially true if you add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will start by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other important issues to consider also, such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are considering so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final choice.

Is the Paralegal School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you pick need to be accredited by a reputable accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it might also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the education 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 Suwanee GA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial aid and student loans are typically offered only for accredited schools.

What’s the Reputation of the School? Investigate what the rankings and reputations are for the Suwanee GA paralegal programs you are considering. This is of particular importance if you are entering the profession with no prior experience, since employers will have to make a decision based on the caliber of your education exclusively. Verifying that the program you choose is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact a few law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask which schools they suggest. Bear in mind that even though a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an exceptional reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while still in school. They can also provide an avenue for students to begin developing contacts within the Suwanee GA legal field. Ask if the paralegal programs you are considering offer internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish 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 schools you are reviewing 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 students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School’s Location? Considering that laws differ from state to state, it might be beneficial to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you plan to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be important to establish relationships in the neighboring legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more justification to acquire your education in the area where you wish to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may want to initially look at those colleges that are within your Suwanee GA local area.

What is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price based on the credential received 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 also. Financial assistance may be obtainable to help offset some of the cost, so be sure to check with the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Suwanee GA. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, a portion these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, might 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 just attend night or weekend classes near Suwanee GA, verify classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the school you select makes available that option. Last, inquire what the procedure is for making-up classes missed due to sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Suwanee GA?

Suwanee, Georgia

Suwanee is a city in Gwinnett County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,355;[4] this had grown to an estimated 18,694 as of 2015.[5] Suwanee was the practicing home of the Atlanta Falcons football team from 1979 to 2001 and was voted among the Top 10 Best Places to Live by Money in 2007. In 2012, Suwanee was rated by Kiplinger as the third best place in America for raising families,[6] and in 2013, Suwanee was identified as one of the nation's 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine.

Suwanee, as did most towns in Georgia, started out as a Native American village. It was built on the Chattahoochee River, where societies flourished.[7] The city of Suwanee itself was established and officially recognized by the U.S. government in 1837 upon the erection of a post office. In 1871, the Georgia Air Line Railroad was built through Suwanee, and in 1880 the Rhodes House hotel was built to house passengers of the railroad.[7] This was instrumental in bringing people through the town and helped to generate trade and economic activity. In 1881, a fire burned down all of the buildings on Main Street except for one. From 1880 to 1920, the population saw almost no increase, shifting from 216 people to 241 over the course of 40 years.[7] As of 2015[update], the population of Suwanee was over 18,000[5]

Beginning in 1933 and ending in 1936, the now heavily traveled Buford Highway was constructed through Suwanee.[7] In 1960, Interstate 85 was built to extend to just south of Suwanee, where it ended at the time. Throughout the last 100 years, several primary education schools have opened in Suwanee, including North Gwinnett High School and Suwanee Elementary School. The first known date for Suwanee High School was 1880, when it was a one-room school house.[7] The first city hall was built in the early 1960s, and the second city hall was built in 1997. In 2005, Town Center was constructed and finished in 2009, at which time the city hall moved to it, where it currently resides.[7] In 2003, Suwanee was named a City of Excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association and Trend Magazine.[7] In 2017, Suwanee was recognized as a Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC[8]) certified at the bronze level for the city's commitment to environmental stewardship and their leadership in sustainability practices.

Suwanee is located in northern Gwinnett County at 34°03′05″N 84°04′22″W / 34.051447°N 84.072893°W / 34.051447; -84.072893Coordinates: 34°03′05″N 84°04′22″W / 34.051447°N 84.072893°W / 34.051447; -84.072893.[9] It is bordered to the northeast by the city of Sugar Hill, to the southwest by the city of Duluth, and on the west by the Chattahoochee River, which serves as the Fulton County border, and across which is the city of Johns Creek.

The location could not be found.

Choose the Best Paralegal Degree Program near Suwanee GA

Choosing the best paralegal educational program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have covered 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 Suwanee home. Paralegal education programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions offer paralegal training, including community and junior colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal program will have a pronounced impact on your prospects for success in your new profession. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, pick wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But irrespective of how you elect to obtain your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will have the ability to review each program and make your ultimate decision. And with the ideal training you can achieve your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Suwanee GA.

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    Tom Cain, Attorney at Law, PC
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    Divorce & Family Law, Personal Injury Law, Criminal Defense Law
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