Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Wailuku HI 96793

How to Find a Paralegal College near Wailuku Hawaii

Wailuku HI paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Wailuku HI and start your journey that will result in a rewarding career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you locate the ideal school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you require to be successful. As you probably know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational options are being offered, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some prospective students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Wailuku homes. Of those choices, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are necessary considerations when selecting a college, they are not the only factors you must consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school must be taken into account too. Later on in this post we will review a list of concerns that you should ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one before making your choice. But before we do, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the educational choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Wailuku HI law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both fill the same 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 classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Wailuku HI with a wide variety of job functions, 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. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice could assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is typically billed by the hour as are the lawyer’s. And the same as lawyers, they must conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and follow a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be diverse in support of the practices where they are employed, but a few of their regular tasks can involve:

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

With all of their duties, the role of a Wailuku HI paralegal can be involved and quite demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally authorized to do is give legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not limited to administrative or clerical functions more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand 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 cases or clients than they could alone.

Paralegal Education and Certification

law books and Wailuku HI judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually 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 means to launch your career in Wailuku HI as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may require as little as 6 months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more extensive education and may be earned at many community colleges in two years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. Once you have acquired either a degree or a certificate, you might choose to continue and earn a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in Hawaii to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help increase your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few of the highly respected certifying agencies 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 degree or certificate from an accredited school (we will cover the benefits 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 Wailuku HI.

Online Paralegal Degrees

attending paralegal school online in Wailuku HIOnline paralegal programs have become more popular and may be a good alternative for individuals in Wailuku HI looking for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to individuals who keep working while obtaining a degree. As an added advantage, online classes can in some cases be less costly than more traditional options. Even secondary expenditures for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs are accredited, which we will discuss in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a respected organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less supervised and conventional environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online could be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Once you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what educational choices are available, you can start the undertaking of assessing Wailuku HI area schools. But because there are so many programs offered 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 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 start by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other critical aspects to think about also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at several 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 Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a reputable organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online training. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. A number of Wailuku HI law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are usually accessible only for accredited schools.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Learn what the rankings and reputations are for the Wailuku HI paralegal schools you are considering. This is of specific 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 education exclusively. Verifying that the program you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing 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 call a few law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even if a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to begin developing contacts within the Wailuku HI legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are evaluating provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the paralegal schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Hawaii legal services employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Campus Located? Considering that laws vary from one state to another, it may be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you wish to work after graduation. Also, it will be valuable to establish relationships in the area legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more justification to receive your education in the area where you choose to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most charge a higher tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might wish to initially investigate those schools that are within your Wailuku HI local region.

How Much is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential earned and the length of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your training. Don’t forget to include 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 expense, so make sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Wailuku HI. Of course if you opt to attend an online program, some of these supplementary costs, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Fit your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students keep working while receiving their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend night or weekend classes near Wailuku HI, make certain classes are available at those times. Also, 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 process is for making-up missed classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Wailuku HI?

Wailuku, Hawaii

Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.

Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.

There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.[citation needed]

Wailuku is located at 20°53′31″N 156°30′8″W / 20.89194°N 156.50222°W / 20.89194; -156.50222 (20.891923, -156.502177)[3] between the CDPs of Waihee-Waiehu to the north, Kahului to the east, and Waikapu to the south.

The location could not be found.

Find the Best Paralegal Degree Program near Wailuku HI

Choosing the best paralegal degree program is an essential first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the option of attending classes at school or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Wailuku residence. Paralegal education programs are offered in many formats and lengths. Several types of public and private institutions make available paralegal education, 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 career. Given that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, pick wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to be successful in this exciting profession. But regardless of how you choose to receive your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will have the ability to assess each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the ideal education you can realize your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Wailuku HI.

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    David A Sereno Attorney At Law
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