Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Atlanta ID 83601

How to Select a Paralegal Certificate Program near Atlanta Idaho

Atlanta ID paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Atlanta ID and start your journey that will lead to a gratifying career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will get the extensive training that you require to be successful. As you probably understand, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational choices are becoming available, both at school and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students begin by searching for paralegal schools within commuting range of their Atlanta residences. Of those choices, they look for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are very important considerations when selecting a college, they are not the only qualifiers you ought to take into consideration. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the program ought to be taken into account too. Later in this post we will cover a list of questions that you should ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one before making your choice. But before we do, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the academic options that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Atlanta ID law libraryParalegals and legal assistants essentially both hold the same job positions and responsibilities, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Atlanta ID with a diverse array of job duties, such as maintaining client files, legal research, 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 may help with the logistics of a trial or transferring documents to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like lawyers, they must conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and follow a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their daily tasks can involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Researching applicable cases and laws
  • Drafting correspondence and legal documents
  • Filing legal papers with opposing counsel or the court
  • Helping lawyers 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 job of a Atlanta ID paralegal can be complex and quite demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally permitted to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But paralegals are not confined to clerical or administrative duties more applicable to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the main support systems for attorneys. And since they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, attorneys have the ability to take on a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could on their own.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Atlanta ID judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational requirements and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to begin your career in Atlanta ID as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may take just six months to complete. Many entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more expansive education and can be earned at many community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. After you have acquired either a degree or a certificate, you may want to proceed and earn a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in Idaho to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your employment opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. Some 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 school (we will discuss 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 Atlanta ID.

Online Paralegal Training

attending paralegal school online in Atlanta IDOnline paralegal schools have become more common and may be a good alternative for those in Atlanta ID looking for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to individuals who continue to work while earning a degree. As an added benefit, online classes can in some cases be less costly than on campus options. Even ancillary expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all online schools are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest caliber. So check to make sure that the program and school you are looking into are accredited by a reputable organization, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Since you now you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what training options are available, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Atlanta ID area schools. But since there are numerous programs accessible at community and junior colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you need to find out 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 as well. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will start by searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously discussed, there are other critical factors to think about as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over some of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are researching so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate decision.

Is the Paralegal Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you choose should be accredited by a respected accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online training. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Atlanta ID law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are usually offered only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Atlanta ID paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of particular importance if you are new to the field with no previous work history, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your training exclusively. Checking that the school you pick 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 some law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask which schools they recommend. Bear in mind that even if a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law firm or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also present a means for students to begin developing contacts within the Atlanta ID legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are reviewing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Idaho legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Campus Located? Since laws vary from state to state, it may be beneficial to select a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to work after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, possibly through an internship program. This is even more justification to obtain your education in the area where you desire to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most require an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might want to initially consider those schools that are within your Atlanta ID local region.

What is the Complete Cost? Paralegal programs can vary in cost based on the credential received and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your education. Remember to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance may be available to help offset some of the expense, so be sure to consult with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Atlanta ID. Naturally if you choose to attend an online program, some of these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Classes Accommodate your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while getting their training and need flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend weekend or evening classes near Atlanta ID, 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 enroll in makes available that option. Finally, ask what the process is for making-up classes missed due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Atlanta ID?

Atlanta, Idaho

It was founded in 1864 during the Civil War as a gold and silver mining community and named by Southerners after a rumored Confederate victory over General Sherman in the Battle of Atlanta, which turned to be wholly false, but the name stuck. Mining activity near Atlanta preceded its establishment as a mining community. The John Stanley party discovered gold on the nearby Yuba River on July 20, 1864, just two days prior to the battle back in Georgia. That November, John Simmons made the discovery of the Atlanta lode which contained both gold and silver.

Atlanta is at an elevation of 5,383 feet (1,641 m) above sea level surrounded by the Boise National Forest, located near the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Boise River, approximately 2 miles (3 km) east of the mouth of the Yuba River. The Sawtooth Mountains are directly north, the Sawtooth Wilderness starts about a mile (1.6 km) north of Atlanta, at the base of Greylock Mountain, which summits at 9,363 feet (2,854 m).

Atlanta is about 40 miles (64 km) from two paved highways. It is east of State Highway 21, accessed on unimproved U.S. Forest Service roads. Atlanta is north of U.S. Highway 20, which is accessed from Atlanta by heading south on USFS roads through Rocky Bar, Featherville, and Pine. The junction with US-20 is just east of the Anderson Ranch Reservoir on the South Fork of the Boise River Atlanta can also be accessed by following the unimproved road from Arrowrock Dam which climbs with the Middle Fork of the Boise River.

Though founded as a mining community, and a number of private claims remain in the area, no significant commercial mining has occurred in the area for over 50 years, though more recently inquiries into opening a new plant have seen some headway. In place of mining, Atlanta has diversified into areas such as tourism, back-country activities, and preservation of the town's lengthy historic legacy.

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Select the Right Paralegal College near Atlanta ID

Selecting the best paralegal educational program is an essential first step toward your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the choice of attending classes on-campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Atlanta residence. Paralegal academic programs are made available in various lengths and formats. Different kinds of public and private institutions offer paralegal education, including community colleges, four year universities and colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your prospects for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this rewarding profession. But no matter how you elect to acquire your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to evaluate each program and make your final decision. And with the right training you can accomplish your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Atlanta ID.

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