Are you seeking a long-term employment with plenty of opportunities while playing a vital role in the legal community? In that case, a paralegal would suit you well. However, it is crucial that you are aware of the top universities that offer paralegal degree online in U.S. if you are considering a paralegal major with a flexible schedule.
Before listing the best 10 online paralegal degree programs in the country, we discuss what a paralegal is and the benefits of the profession in this article. You will understand how to find the top online paralegal programs at the end of this article. Without further ado, let us dive into it.
What Is a Paralegal?
Paralegals, often known as legal assistants, handle legal matters but are not admitted as attorneys or lawyers. Although they are not permitted to give legal advice to clients, they do carry out important legal tasks when an attorney is present.
Attorneys and law teams might not be able to handle a broad and expanding variety of responsibilities without them, including case planning, doing legal research, and producing legal documents.
To advance to the position of senior paralegal, many legal assistants opt to specialize in a particular field of law and gain experience there. Their experience spent at particular law firms will enable them to secure training contracts that are fiercely competitive.
If you want to work as a paralegal, there are specialized paralegal qualifications available. However, a lot of people hold a law degree, such as a BA or BSc. Although a law degree is not required, having a strong educational foundation and a working knowledge of the law is recommended.
Pros of Being a Paralegal
Even if any profession has its peaks and troughs, becoming a paralegal offers some benefits that make it a very appealing choice.
1. It is a Meaningful Work
As was already mentioned, paralegals are an essential part of a legal team. Their efforts make the legal team more efficient and enable them to concentrate on assisting their client win their case. After a long day at work, you can return home with the satisfaction of knowing that you did something to alleviate someone else’s extremely stressful condition.
2. You Can Work in Many Different Fields
Every area of law, no matter how specialized, requires the assistance of a paralegal. Therefore, you can focus on an area that interests you. Paralegals are also needed in government agencies including district and prosecuting attorney’s offices, as well as in law firms of all kinds.
3. It Offers Good Income Potential
For a job that just requires an associate’s degree, the earning potential is extremely good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paralegals made an average of $56,230 per year in 2021. This goes beyond some professions that call for a lot more knowledge.
But the possibility for income does not end there. You can demand a higher salary as you gain experience, training, and education.
4. Your Skills Can Lead to a Job Change
You need to have a few skills to succeed as a paralegal, including the ability for research, effective communication, and organization. If you decide you want to change occupations, the skills you pick up on the job can assist you in doing so because these are qualities that many various sorts of employers look for.
5. The Field is Easy to Enter
With a two-year associate degree in a relevant field or an online paralegal studies degree, you might be able to find work as a paralegal. In most cases, you do not also have to obtain certification. However, keep in mind that the employer determines the requirements for any paralegal role.
10 Best Schools Offering Paralegal Degree Online in U.S.
We have looked through several ranking lists of the best paralegal classes online to come up with our own list below. Note that these programs are not listed in any particular order. Without further delay, here are the best colleges and universities for those seeking a paralegal degree online in U.S.
1. Boston University
Boston University offers fully online paralegal certificate program. It is a targeted, practical way to advance your abilities and get a certificate that gives you a competitive edge in your pursuit for a paralegal career.
The curriculum for this program combines academic quality with the ease of online learning, making it both comprehensive and adaptable. It comprises modules that examine anything from the specifics of well-known legal topics to the technology employed by paralegals in the industry.
2. The City University of New York
You can prepare for the Certified Paralegal (CP) exam given by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) by taking this course, which is entirely online. You will learn how to carry out a range of duties performed by paralegals on a daily basis, including legal research, interviews, analysis, and more.
The online paralegal program at City University of New York gives you the ability to gain the particular professional expertise that employers are looking for. Those who are already working in the field can also gain from expanding their legal core knowledge and improving their writing and research skills.
3. Duke University
This certificate program is intended for those who want to change careers and get the skills necessary for a smooth entry into the paralegal field. The 300-hour online paralegal program at Duke University was created to instruct students in the facets of the in-demand profession.
The program is totally online and self-paced, but you have a year to finish the entire course load. To apply for this program, you must possess at least a two-year associate’s degree at the U.S. level. One of the most affordable online paralegal programs, you can learn directly from qualified professors for $6,995.
4. Louisiana State University
You can pursue a fulfilling legal career more quickly by enrolling in Louisiana State University’s paralegal studies certificate program. You can participate in eight paralegal courses, a 150-hour internship, and an online legal ethics seminar, all of which are taught by qualified professors.
With its night sessions and flexible scheduling, this program fits into your hectic schedule. Best of all, the American Bar Association has accepted only this non-credit credential in Louisiana.
5. Penn Foster College
You can begin the process of pursuing a legal career with the help of this associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Penn Foster College. You can take flexible online programs at your convenience to learn how to do necessary paralegal tasks at home.
You will eventually be eligible to take the NALA Certified Paralegal exam. You will be adequately equipped to find employment as a paralegal in a range of settings after graduation, including law firms, corporate legal departments, and more.
6. University of Texas at Austin
To help you start a successful career in law, the University of Texas at Austin teaches the most in-demand legal skills as well as the fundamentals of contracts, torts, and civil process. The course material concentrates on Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
The self-paced, entirely online course consists of writing modules, interactive quizzes, and traditional texts. A high school diploma is a minimum requirement, while an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is highly advised.
7. Rasmussen University
You will be taught by qualified professors in this online paralegal program about the legal system and the significance of legal ethics. The career-relevant abilities you need to perform services in all sectors of the legal system are provided by this program, which will assist you in obtaining a paralegal degree online in U.S.
Additionally, it has a paralegal capstone that equips you with valuable legal office experience. In as little as 18 months, you can earn an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. Alternatively, if you already hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, you might finish your online paralegal certificate program in as little as eight months.
8. Berkeley University
In this entirely online paralegal school, you can learn from working attorneys and have access to tools and support around-the-clock. You can acquire the legal knowledge and administrative skills necessary to work as a paralegal in any state in as little as six months to a year.
The certificate program requires a high school graduation or its equivalent. There are 3 mandatory courses and 3 electives in the curriculum, for a total of 8 semester units. You must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 to be eligible for the certificate.
9. Marian University
You will be ready to take on leadership roles with an associate of science in paralegal degree online in U.S. from Marian University. There are 66 credits in this paralegal program, which can be finished in as short as 14 months. Since all of the classes are taught online, you can complete your degree at the pace that works best for your schedule.
In this program, experienced lawyers and paralegals teach as adjunct faculty members. The program also offers internship opportunities and assistance from nearby legal firms. Many of their graduates have found employment in the firms in which they interned.
10. University of Washington
You will receive a thorough understanding of the American legal system as well as the skills required to function as a paralegal by completing this online certificate program. It is intended for paralegals as well as individuals who want to work in the legal field or pursue other legal-related careers.
You need a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to be eligible to apply. Most interestingly, you might be qualified to apply for a University of Washington Certificate Scholarship to help pay for the majority of the program’s expenses.
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