How to Choose a Paralegal Training Program near Corona California
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Corona CA and start your journey that will lead to a fulfilling profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you locate the best school so that you will get the comprehensive training that you require to succeed. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more academic options are becoming available, both on campus and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students begin by searching for paralegal schools within traveling distance of their Corona homes. Of those options, they try to find the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when selecting a school, they are not the only factors you need to consider. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the program should be taken into account too. Later on in this post we will review a list of questions that you ought to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare every one prior to making your selection. But before we do, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the academic choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants essentially both hold comparable job roles and responsibilities, just with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Corona CA with a wide range of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of legal firm where they work. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with trial logistics or delivering files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is usually billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and adhere to a strict standard of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they are employed, but some of their routine tasks might include:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Conducting research on related cases and laws
- Composing correspondence and legal documents
- Filing legal papers with opposing counsel or the court
- Helping lawyers get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Corona CA paralegal can be complicated and quite challenging. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But paralegals are not confined to administrative or clerical functions more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers are able to take on a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Education and Certification
As we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational requirements and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to begin your career in Corona CA as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which may involve just six months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more extensive education and can be acquired at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. Once you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you may want to continue and get a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in California to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help increase your employment opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few 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 school (we will cover the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two important first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Corona CA.
Online Paralegal Training
Online paralegal schools have become more common and may be an excellent option for those in Corona CA searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to those who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an added advantage, online classes can in some cases be less costly than on campus options. Even secondary expenditures for such things as study materials or commuting can be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will discuss in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the program and school you are looking into are accredited by a reputable organization, for example 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 ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs
Since you now you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are available, you can start the undertaking of assessing Corona CA area schools. But considering that there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you must find out 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 the majority of potential students, you will start by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other significant issues to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are researching so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate selection.
Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you select need to be accredited by a respected accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the training you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Corona CA law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are usually offered only for accredited programs.
What’s the Program’s Reputation? Research what the rankings and reputations are for the Corona CA paralegal programs you are considering. This is of particular importance if you are new to the profession with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the quality of your training exclusively. Checking that the school you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, such as 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 be interested in working for after graduation and ask what schools they recommend. Remember that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may 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 operation while remaining in school. They can also provide a pathway for students to begin developing contacts within the Corona CA legal community. Find out if the paralegal schools you are reviewing offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the paralegal programs you are interviewing 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 great relationships with California legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Considering that laws differ among states, it may be beneficial to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you wish to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be important to establish relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is all the more reason to receive your education in the area where you wish to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might want to initially consider those schools that are within your Corona CA local region.
How Much is the Total Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential earned and the amount of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your training. Don’t forget to include 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 cost, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid department to see what is available in Corona CA. Naturally if you decide to attend an online school, a portion these additional expenses, such as for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Classes Fit your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while getting their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend night or weekend classes near Corona CA, verify classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the program you select offers that option. Last, ask what the procedure is for making up missed classes due to sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Corona CA?
Corona is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 152,374, up from 124,966 at the 2000 census. The cities of Norco and Riverside lie to the northeast, Eastvale to the north, Chino Hills and Yorba Linda to the northwest, and the Cleveland National Forest and the Santa Ana Mountains to the southwest; unincorporated areas of Riverside County line all of its other borders. Corona lies approximately 48 miles (77 km) southeast of Los Angeles and 95 miles (153 km) north-northwest of San Diego.
Corona, originally named South Riverside, was founded at the height of the Southern California citrus boom in 1886, and is advantageously situated at the upper end of the Santa Ana River Canyon, a significant pass through the Santa Ana Mountains. The town of Corona was once the "Lemon Capital of the World". A museum there presents the lemon's former role in the local economy. The city derived its name (and its nickname, "The Circle City") from the curious layout of its streets, with a standard grid enclosed by the circular Grand Boulevard, 2.75 miles (4.43 kilometers) in circumference. The street layout was designed by Hiram Clay Kellogg, a civil engineer from Anaheim who was an influential figure in the early development of Orange County.
Corona was established as a town by the South Riverside Land and Water Company. The company was incorporated in 1886; founding members included ex-Governor of Iowa Samuel Merrill, R.B. Taylor, George L. Joy, A.S. Garretson, and Adolph Rimpau. Originally a citrus growers' organization, it purchased the lands of Rancho La Sierra of Bernardo Yorba, and the Rancho Temescal grant and the colony of South Riverside was laid out. They also secured the water rights to Temescal Creek, its tributaries and Lee Lake. Dams and pipelines were built to carry the water to the colony. In 1889, the Temescal Water Company was incorporated, to supply water for the new colony. This company purchased all the water-bearing lands in the Temescal valley and began drilling artesian wells.
Originally located in San Bernardino County, the city was named "South Riverside" and received its post office in that name on August 11, 1887. In 1893, South Riverside became part of the new Riverside County. In 1896, the city was renamed "Corona" for its circular Grand Boulevard, where three international automobile races were held in 1913, 1914 and 1916.
Enroll in the Ideal Paralegal School near Corona CA
Enrolling in the ideal paralegal educational program is an essential first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have discussed 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 Corona home. Paralegal education programs are made available in many formats and lengths. Several types of private and public institutions provide 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 profound impact on your prospects for success in your new career. Since there is a broad range in the quality of programs, choose wisely. Give yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed in this rewarding profession. But no matter how you decide to acquire your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have provided you will have the ability to review each program and make your final decision. And with the appropriate training you can achieve your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Corona CA.
Other Cool Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 1300