How to Select a Paralegal School near Blairsden-Graeagle California
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Blairsden-Graeagle CA and begin your journey that will result in a fulfilling profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you locate the right school so that you will get the extensive training that you need to succeed. As you probably know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more educational choices are becoming available, both on campus and online. However with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? Many prospective students start by trying to find paralegal schools within driving range of their Blairsden-Graeagle homes. Of those alternatives, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are prime considerations when picking a school, they are not the only factors you ought to consider. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the school should be taken into account also. Later in this article we will review a list of questions that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one prior to making your choice. But first, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional options 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 the same job roles and functions, just with different titles. On the other hand, 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 attorneys in Blairsden-Graeagle CA with a wide variety of job duties, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might help with trial logistics or transferring files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is usually billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict standard of professional ethics. As mentioned, their responsibilities can be diverse in support of the firms where they are employed, but a few of their daily activities may include:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching applicable laws and cases
- Composing correspondence and legal papers
- Filing legal papers with opposing counsel or the court
- Helping attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and preserving legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their duties, the role of a Blairsden-Graeagle CA paralegal can be complicated and quite demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally allowed to do is give legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not confined to administrative or clerical duties more applicable 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, lawyers are able to manage a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could otherwise.
Paralegal Programs and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to start your career in Blairsden-Graeagle CA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may require as little as 6 months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more extensive education and may be earned at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are offered as well. When you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you might choose to continue and receive a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in California to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help improve your employment opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. 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 certificate or degree from an accredited school (we will address the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 essential initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Blairsden-Graeagle CA.
Paralegal Online Degrees
Paralegal online programs have become more popular and may be a good alternative for those in Blairsden-Graeagle CA searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to students who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online classes can often be less costly than on campus options. Even ancillary expenditures for such things as commuting or study materials can be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the program and school you are considering are accredited by a respected organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less structured and formal environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs
Now that you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what educational options are offered, you can start the undertaking of assessing Blairsden-Graeagle CA area schools. But because there are so many programs available at community and junior colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to find out what questions to ask so that you can 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 begin by searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other crucial aspects to think about also, for instance the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over some of the questions you should be asking the schools you are investigating so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate selection.
Is the Paralegal Training 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 school, it can also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online training. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Blairsden-Graeagle CA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically obtainable only for accredited schools.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Blairsden-Graeagle CA paralegal schools you are considering. This is of specific importance if you are entering the field with no previous 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 an excellent first step. Checking school rating reports, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact some law firms that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Remember that even though a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the School Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while still in school. They can also provide a means for students to begin developing contacts within the Blairsden-Graeagle CA legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are considering offer 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 probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the paralegal schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with California legal services employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Campus Located? Considering that laws differ from state to state, it may be beneficial to select a paralegal school located in the state where you plan to work after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to build relationships in the neighboring legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to obtain your education in the area where you wish to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many charge a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might want to first investigate those schools that are within your Blairsden-Graeagle CA local area.
What is the Total Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in cost based on the credential obtained and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your education. Don’t forget to include the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance may be accessible to help reduce part of the cost, so be sure to talk to the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Blairsden-Graeagle CA. Naturally if you opt to attend an online program, some of these added expenses, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Fit your Schedule? A number of paralegal students continue working while receiving their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Blairsden-Graeagle CA, 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 offers that option. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making-up missed classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Blairsden-Graeagle CA?
Graeagle is a census-designated place (CDP) located about 60 miles (97 km) from Reno, Nevada and 46 miles (74 km) from Truckee, California in Plumas County, California, United States. The population was 737 at the 2010 census, down from 831 at the 2000 census.
The town of Graeagle was founded in 1916, as a lumber town, and established a post office in 1919 with the moniker of Davies Mill. It was named Graeagle after a naming contest to select a better name than "Davies' Mill;" the winning entry contracted "Grey Eagle Creek" to Graeagle. This name may have some connection with Edward D Baker, the "Gray Eagle of Republicanism," who was in the mining region in 1856 while stumping the state for Frémont.
Graeagle Lumber Company was owned by the California Fruit Exchange and employed hundreds in logging, lumber production and to manufacture box shook (boxes for picking and shipping fruit and vegetables) from the 1920s to the 1950s. Modernization closed the mill in 1956, the box factory in 1957 and the town was acquired by the West family in 1959.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), of which 11.04 square miles (28.6 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) (0.51%) is water.
Choose the Ideal Paralegal Training near Blairsden-Graeagle CA
Selecting the best paralegal degree program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have covered in this post, you have the option of attending classes on campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Blairsden-Graeagle home. Paralegal education programs are provided in various formats and lengths. Several kinds of private and public institutions provide paralegal education, including junior and community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a pronounced influence on your prospects for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a broad range in the quality of programs, pick carefully. Give yourself the greatest possible opportunity to succeed in this fascinating profession. But no matter how you choose to obtain your training and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to examine each school and make your final selection. And with the appropriate education you can achieve your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Blairsden-Graeagle CA.
Other Cool Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4