Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Brea CA 92821

How to Find a Paralegal College near Brea California

Brea CA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Brea CA and begin your journey that will lead to a fulfilling profession in legal services. However, it’s crucial that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the extensive training that you need to succeed. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more educational options are becoming available, both on campus and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? A number of prospective students begin by looking for paralegal schools within driving distance of their Brea residences. Of those options, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are very important considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only qualifiers you need to take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the program should be considered as well. Later on in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you should ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your selection. But first, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional alternatives that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Brea CA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants essentially both fill the same job roles and responsibilities, just with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Brea CA with a diverse array of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are based upon the type of practice where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice could help with the logistics of a trial or delivering documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And just like lawyers, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and adhere to a strict standard of professional ethics. As noted, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but some of their everyday tasks might involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Researching relevant cases and laws
  • Drafting correspondence and legal papers
  • Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
  • Assisting attorneys prepare for trial and stay organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and other records

With all of their duties, the role of a Brea CA paralegal can be involved and quite challenging. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is provide legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not confined to clerical or administrative tasks more applicable to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the main support systems for lawyers. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers have the ability to handle a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could alone.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Brea CA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The quickest way to start your career in Brea CA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may involve just six months to complete. Most entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and may be obtained at numerous community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. When you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you may want to proceed and receive a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in California to work as a paralegal, certification can not only help improve your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. Some of the highly regarded 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 cover the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two crucial initial steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Brea CA.

Paralegal Online Classes

attending paralegal school online in Brea CAOnline paralegal schools have become more prevalent and may be a good alternative for students in Brea CA looking 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 programs can in some cases be less expensive than on campus options. Even ancillary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will cover in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the school and program you are reviewing are accredited by a reputable organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Paralegal Programs

Once you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are available, you can start the undertaking of evaluating Brea CA area schools. But considering that there are numerous programs offered at junior and community colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. 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 significant factors to think about also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s go over a few of the questions you should be asking the schools you are considering so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final choice.

Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you choose need to be accredited by a recognized organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will receive will be of the highest quality, but it will show potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Brea CA law firms will only employ 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 Reputation of the Program? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Brea CA paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of particular importance if you are new to the profession with no prior work history, since employers will have to rely on the caliber of your training exclusively. Confirming that the program you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call some law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even if a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs offer students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal operation while remaining in school. They can also provide a means for students to start developing contacts within the Brea CA legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are assessing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. 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 a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with California legal services employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the School’s Location? Because laws vary from state to state, it may be a good idea to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to establish relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more justification to receive your education in the area where you wish to practice. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you may want to initially look at those colleges that are within your Brea CA local area.

How Much is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential received and the length of training provided. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Don’t forget to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid may be available to help minimize some of the expense, so don’t forget to talk to the school’s financial aid department to see what is available in Brea CA. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, some of these added costs, for instance for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Classes Match your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students keep working while obtaining their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Brea CA, make certain classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make certain that the program you choose offers that option. Last, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Brea CA?

Brea, California

The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed and located throughout the city. Brea's public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many public art programs across the United States.[citation needed]

The area was visited on July 29, 1769 by the Spanish Portolá expedition – the first Europeans to see inland parts of Alta California. The party camped in Brea Canyon, near a large native village and a small pool of clean water.[9] A historical marker dedicated to his visit stands in Brea Canyon just north of town.

The village of Olinda was founded in present-day Carbon Canyon at the beginning of the 19th century and many entrepreneurs came to the area searching for "black gold" (petroleum). In 1894, the owner of the land, Abel Stearns, sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California, and by 1898 many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil-drilling towers on the newly discovered Brea-Olinda Oil Field. In 1908 the village of Randolph, named for railway engineer Epes Randolph, was founded just south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families. Baseball legend Walter Johnson grew up in Olinda at the start of the 20th century where he worked in the surrounding oil fields as a youth.[10]

The villages of Olinda and Randolph grew and merged as the economy boomed, and on January 19, 1911, the town's map was filed under the new name of Brea, from the Spanish language word for natural asphalt (also called bitumen, pitch or tar). With a population of 752, Brea was incorporated on February 23, 1917, as the eighth official city of Orange County.

The location could not be found.

Enroll in the Ideal Paralegal Degree Program near Brea CA

Enrolling in the ideal paralegal educational program is a crucial 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 Brea residence. Paralegal academic programs are provided in numerous lengths and formats. Various kinds of private and public institutions offer paralegal education, including junior and community 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. Since there is a broad range in the quality of programs, pick carefully. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to be successful in this rewarding profession. But regardless of how you choose to obtain your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will be able to examine each program and make your ultimate decision. And with the right education you can accomplish your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Brea CA.

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