How to Select a Paralegal School near Sublette Kansas
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Sublette KS and begin your journey that will result in a gratifying career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the extensive 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 a growing number of academic choices are becoming available, both at school and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students start by trying to find paralegal schools within driving range of their Sublette homes. Of those choices, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when selecting a school, they are not the only factors you ought to consider. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program need to be considered as well. Later in this article we will cover a list of concerns that you need to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare every one prior to making your choice. But before we do, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the instructional options that are available to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants essentially both hold the same job positions and responsibilities, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and are part of a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Sublette KS with a wide variety of job duties, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job duties are relevant to the type of legal firm where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with trial logistics or transferring documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed hourly as are the lawyer’s. And the same as lawyers, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be wide ranging in support of the practices where they work, but some of their day-to-day tasks may involve:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Conducting research on applicable laws and cases
- Drafting correspondence and legal documents
- Submitting legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
- Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their duties, the job of a Sublette KS paralegal can be complex and very demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally authorized to do is offer legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not restricted to clerical or administrative duties more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers are able to manage a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could alone.
Paralegal Programs and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational prerequisites and job prospects will be the same. The fastest means to launch your career in Sublette KS as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can take as little as six months to complete. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more expansive 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 certificate or degree, you might want to proceed and earn a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Kansas to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. A few of the highly regarded 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 program (we will cover the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two crucial initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Sublette KS.
Online Paralegal Programs
Paralegal online schools have become more prevalent and can be a good option for those in Sublette KS searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly attractive to students who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an added advantage, online schools can in some cases be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are reviewing are accredited by a reputable organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online could be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Paralegal Colleges
Now that you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Sublette KS area schools. But considering that there are so many programs accessible at junior and community colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is especially true if you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will begin by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously discussed, there are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as 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 investigating so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate decision.
Is the Paralegal Training Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to future employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Sublette KS law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are often offered only for accredited schools.
What’s the Reputation of the School? Investigate what the reputations and rankings are for the Sublette KS paralegal programs you are considering. This is of specific importance if you are new to the profession with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your training exclusively. Confirming that the program you choose is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, such as those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact some law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even though a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the Program Offer Internships? Internship programs offer students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to begin creating contacts within the Sublette KS legal field. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing offer internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing have job assistance 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 Kansas legal services employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Because laws vary from one state to another, it may be a good idea to enroll in a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be necessary to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to acquire 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 live outside of their districts. So you may need to initially consider those colleges that are within your Sublette KS local area.
How Much is the Total Cost? Paralegal programs can differ in cost based on the credential obtained and the amount of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only cost for your education. Don’t forget to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance may be obtainable to help minimize part of the cost, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Sublette KS. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, a portion these added costs, for instance for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Classes Match your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students keep working while receiving their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Sublette KS, make sure classes are offered at those times. Also, 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 obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Sublette KS?
Sublette was founded in 1912. It was named for William Lewis Sublette, a French Huguenot who was a partner in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Sublette was a mountain man, fur trapper and pioneer who blazed a trail through the area and was known by the local natives as "Cut Face".
Sublette is located at 37°28′47″N 100°50′42″W / 37.47972°N 100.84500°W / 37.47972; -100.84500 (37.479660, -100.845034). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.92 square miles (2.38 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,453 people, 556 households, and 409 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,579.3 inhabitants per square mile (609.8/km2). There were 626 housing units at an average density of 680.4 per square mile (262.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.1% White, 0.1% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 11.8% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.8% of the population.
There were 556 households of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.4% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.09.
Select the Right Paralegal Training near Sublette KS
Selecting the right paralegal degree program is an important first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have addressed in this post, you have the choice of attending classes at school or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Sublette home. Paralegal training programs are made available in many formats and lengths. Several kinds of public and private institutions make available paralegal training, including community colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose wisely. Afford yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed in this fascinating profession. But no matter how you elect to acquire your training and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to evaluate each school and make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training you can accomplish your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Sublette KS.
Other Cool Cities in Kansas