Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Bonners Ferry ID 83805

How to Pick a Paralegal Degree Program near Bonners Ferry Idaho

Bonners Ferry ID paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Bonners Ferry ID and start your journey that will lead to a fulfilling profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s essential that you locate the right school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you need to be successful. As you probably understand, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational choices are becoming available, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting range of their Bonners Ferry residences. Of those choices, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only factors you must take into consideration. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program must be taken into account also. Later on in this post we will review a list of concerns that you ought to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one prior to making your selection. But first, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the educational options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Bonners Ferry ID law libraryParalegals and legal assistants essentially both fill comparable job positions and responsibilities, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and are part of a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers in Bonners Ferry ID with a wide variety of job duties, such as legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might assist with trial logistics or delivering files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict standard of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but some of their day-to-day tasks may involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Researching pertinent cases and laws
  • Drafting correspondence and legal papers
  • Filing legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
  • Organizing and preserving legal documents, files and additional records

With all of their duties, the role of a Bonners Ferry ID paralegal can be complex and very demanding. However, 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 restricted to clerical or administrative functions more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the main support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, attorneys are able to manage a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could otherwise.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Bonners Ferry ID judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps 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 begin your career in Bonners Ferry ID as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can involve as little as six months to complete. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more comprehensive education and can be acquired at many community colleges in two years. And if you are interested in an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are offered also. After you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you might want to continue and earn a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in Idaho to work as a paralegal, certification can not only help boost your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. Some of the highly respected certifying organizations 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 discuss the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two crucial initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Bonners Ferry ID.

Paralegal Online Programs

attending paralegal school online in Bonners Ferry IDParalegal online schools have become more popular and can be an excellent option for students in Bonners Ferry ID searching for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online programs can be particularly attractive to students who keep working while obtaining a degree. As an added advantage, online schools can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenditures for such items as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online schools are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the training you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a respected agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Schools

Once you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what educational choices are available, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating Bonners Ferry ID area schools. But since there are numerous programs accessible at community and junior colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to learn what questions to ask so that you can 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 prospective students, you will start by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other important issues to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over a few of the questions you should be asking the schools you are considering so that you can properly vet each one and make your final choice.

Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will receive will be of the highest quality, but it will establish with future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Bonners Ferry ID law firms will only hire entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited program. Finally, financial aid and student loans are typically available only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the School? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Bonners Ferry ID paralegal programs you are considering. This is of particular importance if you are new to the field with no prior work history, since employers will have to make a decision based on the quality of your training exclusively. Confirming that the school you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call some law offices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Remember that even when a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law office or other legal establishment while remaining in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to start establishing contacts within the Bonners Ferry ID legal field. Find out if the paralegal programs you are considering provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the paralegal schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Idaho legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School’s Location? Since laws vary from one state to another, it might be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you want to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to establish relationships in the neighboring legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to obtain your education in the community where you want to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might want to initially consider those schools that are within your Bonners Ferry ID local region.

How Much is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can vary in cost depending on the credential earned and the length of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your training. Don’t forget to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance might be available to help offset some of the expense, so make sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Bonners Ferry ID. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, some of these additional expenses, for instance for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Classes Match your Schedule? A number of paralegal students continue working while receiving their training and must have flexibility in class scheduling. If you can solely attend night or weekend classes near Bonners Ferry ID, verify classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you enroll in makes available that option. Last, find out what the protocol is for making-up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Considering Paralegal School in Bonners Ferry ID?

Bonners Ferry, Idaho

When gold was discovered in the East Kootenays of British Columbia in 1863, thousands of prospectors from all over the West surged northward over a route that became known as the Wildhorse Trail. Edwin Bonner, a merchant from Walla Walla, Washington, established a ferry in 1864 where the trail crossed the broad Kootenai River. In 1875, Richard Fry, and his Sinixt wife, Justine Su-steel Fry, leased the business,[5] but the location retained the name of the original founder and later became the town of Bonners Ferry.

Before the gold rush, only a few visitors had come to the region; one of the first was explorer David Thompson, a cartographer for the North West Company. Thompson and four fellow fur traders arrived in 1808 to trade with the Lower Kootenais. Exhausted and famished[who?], the local natives gave Thompson's party dried fish and moss bread. Thompson returned the next year and established a trading post on Lake Pend Oreille. He was followed in 1846 by Jesuit Priest Father DeSmet, a missionary to the Kootenai Tribe.

The Oregon question was settled by Oregon Treaty of 1846 which established the 49th Parallel north as the boundary between the U.S.A and British North America. Government surveyors of the Boundary Commission came in 1858 to establish the border between the United States and British Columbia.

With mines to the north, the community of Bonners Ferry began to flourish in the 1880s as a supplier.[6] The Norwegian-built steamer Midge began service in 1883 and operated for the next 25 years, carrying passengers and freight between Bonners Ferry and British Columbia. The Great Northern Railway was built here in 1892, followed quickly by the Spokane International and the Kootenai Valley lines.

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Select the Right Paralegal College near Bonners Ferry ID

Choosing 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 post, you have the choice of attending classes on-campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Bonners Ferry home. Paralegal training programs are made available in many formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions make available paralegal education, including community and junior colleges, four-year universities and colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a pronounced influence on your prospects for success in your new career. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, pick wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible opportunity to succeed in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you choose to acquire your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to examine each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the ideal education you can achieve your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Bonners Ferry ID.

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