Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Lihue HI 96766

How to Choose a Paralegal Certificate Program near Lihue Hawaii

Lihue HI paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Lihue HI and start your journey that will lead to a fulfilling career 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 achieve success. As you probably know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational choices are being offered, both at school and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students start by trying to find paralegal schools within driving range of their Lihue homes. Of those alternatives, they try to find the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are prime considerations when selecting a school, they are not the only qualifiers you must take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the program should be taken into consideration also. Later on in this post we will review a list of questions that you need to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one before making your selection. But before we do, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the academic alternatives that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Lihue HI law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both hold comparable job roles and responsibilities, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Lihue HI with a wide variety of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of practice where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private firms, a paralegal’s work is normally billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And just like lawyers, they must conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As noted, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but some of their routine tasks may involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Researching related cases and laws
  • Preparing correspondence and legal documents
  • Filing legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting lawyers get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and preserving legal files, documents and other records

With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Lihue HI paralegal can be involved and rather demanding. However, what they are not legally allowed 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 really are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys have the ability to take on a much larger number of clients or cases than they could otherwise.

Paralegal Programs and Certification

law books and Lihue HI judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The quickest means to begin your career in Lihue HI as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can take as little as six months to complete. Many entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more comprehensive education and can be obtained at numerous community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option as well. Once you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you may want to continue and earn a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Hawaii to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help improve your employment opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. Some 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 school (we will cover the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two essential first steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Lihue HI.

Online Paralegal Degrees

attending paralegal school online in Lihue HIParalegal online schools have become more prevalent and may be an excellent alternative for students in Lihue HI looking for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online programs can be especially appealing to individuals who continue to work while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online schools can often be less costly than on campus options. Even ancillary expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all online programs are accredited, which we will address in more 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 reviewing are accredited by a respected organization, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less structured and conventional environment, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Schools

Since you now you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what training options are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Lihue HI area schools. But because there are numerous programs accessible at community and junior colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must find out what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs also. 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 previously covered, there are other crucial factors to research as well, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s go over a few of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are considering so that you can effectively 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 respected organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will get will be of the highest quality, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Numerous Lihue HI law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically accessible only for accredited schools.

What’s the School’s Reputation? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Lihue HI paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the profession with no previous experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your education exclusively. Confirming that the program you select is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also call several law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask which schools they recommend. Bear in mind that even though a school is not the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an exceptional reputation.

Does the School Offer Internships? Internship programs provide students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal operation while remaining in school. They can also provide an avenue for students to begin developing contacts within the Lihue HI legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are evaluating provide internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the paralegal programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Hawaii legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Campus Located? Because laws differ from state to state, it may be beneficial to enroll in a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be necessary to develop relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more reason to receive your education in the community where you wish to practice. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many charge a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may want to initially consider those schools that are within your Lihue HI local area.

What is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential obtained and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Don’t forget to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid may be available to help reduce part of the cost, so be sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Lihue HI. Naturally if you choose to attend an online school, some of these additional costs, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while receiving their training and need flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Lihue HI, make sure classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose makes available that option. Finally, inquire what the procedure is for making-up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Lihue HI?

Lihue, Hawaii

Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 6,455.[1]

In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language.[2][3] Lihue is located in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.[4]Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea;[5] he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.

With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.[6]

Subsequent plantation owner Paul Isenberg helped German people emigrate to Lihue starting in 1881, with the first Lutheran church in Hawaii founded in 1883.[7] Services were delivered in German well into the 1960s. By the 1930s, George Norton Wilcox became one of the largest sugarcane plantation owners, buying Grove Farm from Hermann A. Widemann.[8] The Wilcox family home, Kilohana, has been converted into a restaurant and gift shop. The surrounding plantation now grows crops and livestock. A narrow gauge tourist railroad with vintage diesel locomotives from Whitworth and General Electric offers tours of the plantation; horse-drawn carriage tours are offered as well. The grounds are also the site of luaus, many of which are offshore excursions booked through NCL America. Lihue also houses the Kauai Museum, which details the history of Kauai.[9]

The location could not be found.

Find the Right Paralegal Program near Lihue HI

Enrolling in the best paralegal degree program is a crucial first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the option of attending classes on-campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Lihue residence. Paralegal education programs are provided in various formats and lengths. Several types of public and private institutions provide 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 profound impact on your opportunities for success in your new career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Afford yourself the greatest possible opportunity to be successful in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you elect to acquire your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will be able to evaluate each school and make your final selection. And with the right education you can achieve your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Lihue HI.

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