How to Choose a Paralegal Program near Ely Nevada
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Ely NV and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying career in legal services. However, it’s essential that you locate the best school so that you will get the extensive training that you require to be successful. As you probably know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational options are being offered, both at school and online. But with so many options to choose from, where does one begin? Many prospective students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Ely residences. Of those options, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are prime considerations when picking 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 consideration also. Later on in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you ought to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your decision. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the educational options that are available 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 equivalent of either of those two positions and belong to a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Ely NV with a diverse array of job duties, including maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job functions are relevant to the type of legal firm 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 practices, a paralegal’s work is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, 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 work, but a few of their daily activities can involve:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Researching pertinent cases and laws
- Drafting correspondence and legal documents
- Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Ely NV paralegal can be complicated and rather demanding. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is give legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not limited to administrative or clerical tasks more applicable to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys are able to manage a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Training and Certification
As 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 academic requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest means to launch your career in Ely NV as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can involve as little as 6 months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more extensive education and can be obtained at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. After you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you might want to continue and earn a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Nevada to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help increase your job opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. Some 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 program (we will cover the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two essential initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Ely NV.
Online Paralegal Classes
Online paralegal schools have become more prevalent and may be a good alternative for individuals in Ely NV looking for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be especially attractive to those who keep working while earning a certificate or degree. As an added benefit, online schools can in some cases be less expensive than more traditional options. Even secondary expenses for such items as study materials or commuting can be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all online schools are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the program and school you are reviewing 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 conventional environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs
Once you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what educational options are available, you can begin the process of assessing Ely NV 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 find out what questions to ask in order to 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 potential students, you will start by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other critical aspects to research as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over several of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are researching so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final selection.
Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you enroll in need to be accredited by a recognized organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it may also obtain 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 get will be of the highest quality, but it will show potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. Numerous Ely NV law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are usually accessible only for accredited schools.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Investigate what the rankings and reputations are for the Ely NV paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no prior work history, since employers will need to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Confirming that the program you pick is accredited is an excellent first step. Checking school rating services, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also contact a few law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Bear in mind that even when 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 give students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also provide a pathway for students to start establishing contacts within the Ely NV legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are evaluating offer internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the paralegal schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Nevada legal services employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School’s Location? Since laws differ among states, it may be a good idea to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to work after graduating. Also, it will be necessary to establish relationships in the area legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is even more justification to acquire your education in the area where you desire to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might want to first consider those colleges that are within your Ely NV local region.
What is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in price depending on the credential obtained and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Remember to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance may be available to help reduce part of the expense, so don’t forget to contact the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Ely NV. Naturally if you opt to attend an online program, some of these supplementary costs, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Classes Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while receiving their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend night or weekend classes near Ely NV, make certain classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the program you choose offers that option. Last, ask what the protocol is for making-up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Ely NV?
Ely (/ˈiːli/, EE-lee) is the largest city and county seat of White Pine County, Nevada, United States. Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. In 1906, copper was discovered and Ely's mining boom came later than the other towns along US 50. The railroads connecting the First Transcontinental Railroad to the mines in Austin, Nevada and Eureka, Nevada have long been removed, but the railroad to Ely is preserved as a heritage railway by the Nevada Northern Railway and known as the Ghost Train of Old Ely. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,255.
In 1878, Vermont resident J. W. Long came to White Pine County and soon set up a camp known as "Ely", after discovering gold. The name "Ely" has been credited to several possible origins: Long's hometown of Ely, Vermont; a New York Congressman with the surname Ely, who sent Long as a representative according to local historians; Smith Ely, a Vermont native who financed one of the city's early mineral operations; and John Ely, an Illinois native who came to Nevada for mining.
Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. Ely's mining boom came later than the other towns along US 50, with the discovery of copper in 1906. This made Ely a mining town, suffering through the boom-and-bust cycles so common in the West. Originally, Ely was home to a number of copper mining companies, Kennecott being the most famous. With a crash in the copper market in the mid-1970s, Kennecott shut down and copper mining disappeared (temporarily).
With the advent of cyanide heap leaching—a method of extracting gold from what was previously considered very low-grade ore—the next boom was on. Many companies processed the massive piles of "overburden" that had been removed from copper mines, or expanded the existing open-pit mines to extract the gold ore. Gold mines as widespread as the Robinson project near Ruth, and AmSelco's Alligator Ridge mine 65 miles (105 km) from Ely, kept the town alive during the 1980s and 1990s, until the recent revival of copper mining.
Find the Best Paralegal Degree Program near Ely NV
Enrolling in the ideal paralegal educational program is an essential first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the choice of attending classes on campus or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Ely residence. Paralegal education programs are offered in various lengths and formats. Several types of private and public institutions provide paralegal education, including community and junior colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a pronounced impact on your opportunities for success in your new career. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose wisely. Give yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this rewarding profession. But regardless of how you choose to obtain your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will be able to assess each program and make your ultimate decision. And with the ideal education you can realize your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Ely NV.
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