How to Find a Paralegal College near Luke Afb Arizona
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Luke Afb AZ and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying profession in legal services. However, it’s essential that you find the right school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you need to succeed. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more academic choices are being offered, both at school and online. However with so many options to choose from, where does one begin? A number of prospective students start by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Luke Afb residences. Of those choices, they try to find the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when choosing a college, they are not the only factors you ought to take into consideration. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the program should be considered as well. Later in this post we will review a list of questions that you need to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare every one before making your selection. But before we do, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the instructional choices that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants for the most part both hold comparable job positions and functions, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Luke Afb AZ with a diverse array of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are relevant to the type of practice where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with the logistics of a trial or delivering files to court. In private firms, a paralegal’s work is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and adhere to a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they are employed, but some of their day-to-day activities can include:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching related cases and laws
- Preparing correspondence and legal documents
- Filing legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
- Helping lawyers get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal documents, files and other records
With all of their duties, the role of a Luke Afb AZ paralegal can be complex and quite demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally allowed to do is provide legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not limited to administrative or clerical tasks more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the main support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, lawyers are able to handle a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Training and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational requirements and job prospects will be the same. The fastest means to launch your career in Luke Afb AZ as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which may involve just 6 months to complete. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more extensive education and may be acquired at numerous community colleges in two years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are offered as well. Once you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you may want to proceed and obtain a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Arizona to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help increase your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. Some of the highly regarded certifying organizations 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 advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two crucial first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Luke Afb AZ.
Online Paralegal Training
Online paralegal schools have become more prevalent and can be a good alternative for students in Luke Afb AZ searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly attractive to individuals who keep working while earning a degree. As an added advantage, online schools can in some cases be less costly than on campus options. Even supplementary expenditures for such items as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all internet programs 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 quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a reputable organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and conventional setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs
Now that you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what training choices are available, you can begin the process of assessing Luke Afb AZ area schools. But considering that there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs also. If you are like most prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s go over a few of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are investigating so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate decision.
Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you enroll in need to be accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Numerous Luke Afb AZ law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial aid and student loans are usually available only for accredited schools.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Learn what the rankings and reputations are for the Luke Afb AZ paralegal schools you are looking at. This is of particular importance if you are new to the field with no prior work history, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Checking that the school you pick is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating services, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also call some law practices that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even if a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program could 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 establishment while remaining in school. They can also offer an avenue for students to start developing contacts within the Luke Afb AZ legal field. Find out if the paralegal schools you are considering provide internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering upon graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School’s Location? Because laws vary from one state to another, it might be beneficial to choose a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduation. In addition, it will be important to build relationships in the area legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more justification to acquire your education in the community where you wish 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 may want to first investigate those colleges that are within your Luke Afb AZ local region.
How Much is the Total Cost? Paralegal programs can differ in price based on the credential earned and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Don’t forget to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid may be accessible to help reduce part of the expense, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid office to see what is offered in Luke Afb AZ. Of course if you opt to attend an online school, some of these supplementary expenses, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students continue working while getting their training and need flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Luke Afb AZ, make certain classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make certain that the program you choose makes available that option. Last, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Luke Afb AZ?
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles (6.1 nmi; 11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is also about 15 miles (13 nmi; 24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.
Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced. On 16 July 2013, the Air Force announced that Luke AFB will house a total of 144 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Luke Air Force Base is an active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base with 170 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW), under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force.
The 56th FW is composed of four groups, 27 squadrons, including six training squadrons. There are several tenant units on base, including the 944th Fighter Wing, assigned to 10th Air Force and the Air Force Reserve. The 56th Fighter Wing also trains more than 700 maintenance technicians each year.
Select the Ideal Paralegal Certificate Program near Luke Afb AZ
Choosing the ideal paralegal training 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 participate online in the comfort and privacy of your Luke Afb residence. Paralegal education programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Various types of private and public institutions provide paralegal education, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal program will have a profound impact on your prospects for success in your new profession. Given that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, pick carefully. Give yourself the greatest possible opportunity to be successful in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you decide to acquire your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to evaluate each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the right training you can accomplish your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Luke Afb AZ.
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