How to Pick a Paralegal School near Alexander Illinois
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Alexander IL and begin your journey that will lead to a gratifying profession in legal services. However, it’s important that you find the best school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you require to achieve success. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of academic choices are being offered, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students start by looking for paralegal schools within driving range of their Alexander homes. Of those choices, they look for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are very important considerations when choosing a college, they are not the only factors you must consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school ought to be considered also. Later on in this article we will review a list of questions that you must ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one prior to making your choice. But before we do, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the academic choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants basically both fill comparable job positions and responsibilities, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and are part of a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Alexander IL with a wide range of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of practice where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring documents to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is normally billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and abide by a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but some of their regular tasks may include:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Conducting research on related cases and laws
- Composing correspondence and legal papers
- Submitting legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
- Assisting attorneys prepare for trial and stay organized with their cases
- Organizing and maintaining legal documents, files and additional records
With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Alexander IL paralegal can be complicated and quite challenging. On the other hand, what they are not legally allowed to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. 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 attorneys. And since they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, attorneys have the ability to take on a much larger number of clients or cases than they could on their own.
Paralegal Programs and Certification
As we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to launch your career in Alexander IL as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can require as little as 6 months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more extensive education and can be acquired at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option also. When you have earned either a certificate or degree, you may choose to proceed and obtain a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in Illinois to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your employment opportunities, but help establish 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 certificate or degree from an accredited program (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two important first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Alexander IL.
Paralegal Online Certificates
Online paralegal schools have become more popular and may be a good alternative for those in Alexander IL searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to those who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online classes can in some cases be less costly than more traditional options. Even secondary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all online programs are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are considering are accredited by a highly regarded organization, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then obtaining your certificate or degree online could be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs
Once you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what academic choices are available, you can start the process of evaluating Alexander IL area schools. But considering that there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you need to learn what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is particularly true when you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like many potential students, you will start by searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other significant factors to research as well, such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s go over some of the questions you should be asking the programs you are considering so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate choice.
Is the Paralegal Program Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you pick need to be accredited by a respected accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online training. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Alexander IL law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often available only for accredited programs.
What’s the Program’s Reputation? Find out what the rankings and reputations are for the Alexander IL paralegal schools you are considering. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your training exclusively. Verifying that the school you pick is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact a few law offices that you may be interested 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 may still have an exceptional reputation.
Does the School Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal enterprise while still in school. They can also provide an avenue for students to begin developing contacts within the Alexander IL legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the paralegal programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Illinois legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Since laws vary from one state to another, it might be advantageous to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to work after graduation. Also, it will be necessary to create relationships in the area legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is all the more justification to receive your education in the community where you want to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge a higher tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might want to initially look at those schools that are within your Alexander IL local area.
How Much is the Entire Expense? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential obtained and the amount of training furnished. 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 also. Financial assistance may be available to help minimize part of the cost, so don’t forget to talk to the school’s financial aid office to see what is offered in Alexander IL. Naturally if you opt to attend an online school, a portion these additional expenses, such as for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while obtaining their training and must have flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Alexander IL, make certain classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers that option. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making-up classes missed due to sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Alexander IL?
Alexander Ilyich Siloti (also Ziloti, Russian: Алекса́ндр Ильи́ч Зило́ти, Aleksandr Iljič Ziloti, Ukrainian: Олександр Ілліч Зілоті; 9 October 1863 – 8 December 1945) was a Russian pianist, conductor and composer. His daughter, Kyriena Siloti, was also a noted pianist and teacher in New York and Boston until her death in 1989, aged 94.
Alexander Siloti was born on his father's estate near Kharkiv, Ukraine (then part of Imperial Russia). He studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Nikolai Zverev from 1871, then from 1875 under Nikolai Rubinstein, brother of the more famous Anton Rubinstein; from that year he also studied counterpoint under Sergei Taneyev, harmony under Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and theory under Nikolai Hubert. He graduated with the Gold Medal in Piano in 1881. Siloti went to Weimar, Germany to further his studies with Franz Liszt, co-founding the Liszt-Verein in Leipzig, and making his professional debut on 19 November 1883. Returning to Russia in 1887, Siloti taught at the Moscow Conservatory, where his students included Alexander Goldenweiser, Leonid Maximov, and his first cousin Sergei Rachmaninoff. During this period he also began work as editor for Tchaikovsky, particularly on the First and Second piano concertos.
Siloti married Vera Tretyakova, herself a pianist and the daughter of wealthy industrialist and art collector Pavel Tretyakov. He left his post at the Conservatory in May 1891, and from 1892-1900 lived and toured in Europe with his wife and young children. He also toured New York City, Boston, Cincinnati and Chicago in 1898. As a conductor Siloti gave the world premiere of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the composer as soloist in 1901. From 1901-1903, he led the Moscow Philharmonic; from 1903-1917, he organized, financed, and conducted the influential Siloti Concerts in St Petersburg, collaborating with the critic and musicologist Alexander Ossovsky. He presented Leopold Auer, Pablo Casals, Feodor Chaliapin, George Enescu, Josef Hofmann, Wanda Landowska, Willem Mengelberg, Felix Mottl, Arthur Nikisch, Arnold Schoenberg and Felix Weingartner, and local and world premieres by Debussy, Elgar, Glazunov, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Scriabin, Sibelius, Stravinsky and others. Ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev first heard Stravinsky's music at one of the Siloti Concerts.
In the generation prior to 1917, Siloti was one of Russia's most important artists, with music by Arensky, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky dedicated to him. In 1918, Siloti was appointed Intendant of the Mariinsky Theatre, but late the following year fled what had become Soviet Russia for England, finally settling in New York City in December 1921. From 1925-1942 he taught at the Juilliard Graduate School, performing occasionally in recital, and in November 1930 gave a legendary all-Liszt concert with Arturo Toscanini. His many students included Marc Blitzstein, Gladys Ewart, and Eugene Istomin.
Find the Best Paralegal School near Alexander IL
Enrolling in the best paralegal educational program is an important 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 at school or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Alexander home. Paralegal training programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Various kinds of public and private institutions provide paralegal education, including community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, 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. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, pick carefully. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But irrespective of how you decide to receive your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to review each school and make your ultimate decision. And with the ideal education you can realize your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Alexander IL.
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