How to Find a Paralegal Program near Delmar Delaware
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Delmar DE and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you find the best school so that you will get the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you probably know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more academic options are becoming available, both at school and online. However with numerous options to choose from, where does one start? Many prospective students begin by searching for paralegal schools within traveling distance of their Delmar homes. Of those options, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are necessary considerations when picking a college, they are not the only factors you ought to take into consideration. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program should be considered also. Later in this article we will review a list of questions that you need to 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 educational 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 basically both hold the same job positions and responsibilities, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a separate job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Delmar DE with a diverse array of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice could help with trial logistics or transporting files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is typically billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And just like lawyers, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and abide by a strict standard of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their daily activities might include:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Conducting research on pertinent laws and cases
- Drafting correspondence and legal documents
- Filing legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
- Helping attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal files, documents and other records
With all of their responsibilities, the job of a Delmar DE paralegal can be complex and rather demanding. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is give legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not limited to clerical or administrative functions 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, attorneys have the ability to handle a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Education and Certification
As we discussed earlier, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the educational requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest means to launch your career in Delmar DE as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can require just six months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more comprehensive education and can be acquired at numerous community colleges in two years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available 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 Delaware to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help maximize your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. Some of the highly respected 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 certificate or degree from an accredited school (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 crucial first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Delmar DE.
Paralegal Online Schools
Online paralegal schools have become more popular and may be an excellent option for students in Delmar DE searching for convenient access to classes as well as accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to students who continue to work while earning a degree. As an additional benefit, online schools can in some cases be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenses for such things as commuting or study materials can be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all online schools are accredited, which we will discuss in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a highly regarded agency, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your degree or certificate online could be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Paralegal Programs
Once you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Delmar DE area schools. But considering that there are so many programs offered at junior and community colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you must find out what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly true if you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like many prospective 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 factors to think about as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at several of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are considering so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate selection.
Is the Paralegal Training Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency 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 focuses on distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional also. A number of Delmar DE law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are often available only for accredited schools.
What’s the Reputation of the Program? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Delmar DE paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are new to the field with no previous work history, since employers will need to rely on the caliber of your training exclusively. Checking that the program you pick is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating reports, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also call several law practices that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also offer an avenue for students to begin creating contacts within the Delmar DE legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are assessing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the paralegal schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Delaware legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Since laws vary from state to state, it may be beneficial to select a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you plan to practice after graduating. Also, it will be necessary to create relationships in the area legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is even more reason to acquire your education in the community where you choose to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many require an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might need to first consider those colleges that are within your Delmar DE local area.
What is the Entire Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential earned and the amount of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Remember to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance may be available to help minimize some of the expense, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Delmar DE. Naturally if you choose to attend an online program, some of these supplementary costs, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while getting their training and must have flexibility to schedule classes. If you can solely attend night or weekend classes near Delmar DE, make sure classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you enroll in makes available that option. Finally, inquire what the protocol is for making-up classes missed as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Delmar DE?
Delmar is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States, on the Maryland border along the Transpeninsular Line. Its motto is "The Little Town Too Big for One State." The population was 1,597 at the 2010 census, an increase of 13.5% over the previous decade. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area and a suburb of Salisbury, MD. When added with "twin city" Delmar, Maryland, the total population of the town was 4,600 at the 2010 Census.
The Town of Delmar was founded in October 1859 with the extension of the Delaware Railroad to the southern boundary of Delaware. The Transpeninsular Line was responsible for the founding of this unique bi-state town because the Charter of the Delaware Railroad Company permitted only the building of a railroad within the State of Delaware and the charter of the corresponding railroad company in Maryland permitted only the laying of railroad track within the State of Maryland. Thus, in 1859, the two respective railroads met and the town of Delmar was born. The name is a portmanteau of the states whose border this railroad center straddles - Delaware and Maryland.
The Town of Delmar grew slowly until 1884 when the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad completed a railroad from Pocomoke City, Maryland to Cape Charles, Virginia and also established a ferry service across the Chesapeake Bay between Cape Charles and Norfolk, Virginia. These new developments immediately made the Delmarva Peninsula an important link between the north and south. The Town of Delmar, being the midway town of the Delmarva Peninsula and already a railroad terminal, was the point for trains to change crews and locomotives and also a center for maintenance of the rolling equipment. As a result of these developments, a tremendous influx of experienced railroad men moved into the community and considerable extra employment was furnished for local townspeople. During this accelerated rapid growth period, Delmar became a "boom town". New dwelling units sprang up all over town and new businesses were established to meet the demands of its growing population. By 1889, the population of the Town of Delmar had increased to 680 and was still growing.
In 1888, the Town of Delmar, Maryland was granted a charter by the General Assembly of Maryland. An examination of this charter and the laws of Maryland fails to reveal any mention of the twin town of Delmar, Delaware. Therefore, it could be assumed that up until this time there was very little cooperation between halves of the Town of Delmar. The Town of Delmar was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1892 and again in 1901. The first fire destroyed everything in its path over a ten-acre (40,000 m²) area and the second major fire was almost as destructive. In each instance, the Town of Delmar was rebuilt and continued as a flourishing town. The first indication of any cooperation between Delmar, Maryland and Delmar, Delaware came in 1924 when surveys were conducted for a possible sewerage system for the entire Town of Delmar. The construction of the sewerage system in 1927 was considered the first joint project between the two towns in that the law provided that both towns would maintain the outfall sewer with Maryland paying the expenses and billing the Delaware side one-half of all costs.
Choose the Ideal Paralegal School near Delmar DE
Choosing the ideal paralegal educational program is an essential first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have addressed in this article, you have the option of attending classes at school or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Delmar residence. Paralegal training programs are provided in various lengths and formats. Different kinds of private and public institutions make available paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound impact on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose carefully. Afford yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this exciting profession. But regardless of how you decide to receive your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have provided you will have the ability to examine each school and make your final decision. And with the appropriate education you can accomplish your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Delmar DE.
Other Cool Cities in Delaware
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4