How to Pick a Paralegal Degree Program near Temperance Michigan
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Temperance MI and begin your journey that will result in a satisfying career in legal services. However, it’s essential that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to achieve success. As you most likely know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational alternatives are being offered, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? A number of potential students begin by trying to find paralegal schools within commuting range of their Temperance residences. Of those choices, they search for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when picking a school, they are not the only qualifiers you need to take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the school ought to be taken into consideration too. Later in this article we will review a list of questions that you must ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your selection. But before we do, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the academic 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 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 belong to a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Temperance MI with a wide variety of job duties, such as legal research, maintaining client files, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job duties are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with trial logistics or transporting files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed by the hour as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and abide by a strict standard of professional ethics. As mentioned, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they work, but some of their day-to-day tasks can include:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching pertinent laws and cases
- Preparing correspondence and legal papers
- Submitting legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
- Assisting lawyers get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their duties, the job of a Temperance MI paralegal can be involved and quite challenging. 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 paralegals are not confined to clerical or administrative duties more suited 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 have the ability to handle a much larger number of clients or cases than they could on their own.
Paralegal Education and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The quickest means to start your career in Temperance MI as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can involve just six months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more expansive education and may be earned at numerous community colleges in two years. For an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. After you have earned either a degree or a certificate, you might want to proceed and receive a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Michigan to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help increase your job opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. A few of the highly regarded certifying organizations 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 degree or certificate from an accredited school (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken two important initial steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Temperance MI.
Paralegal Online Classes
Online paralegal programs have become more common and may be a good alternative for individuals in Temperance MI searching for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to individuals who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an additional benefit, online classes can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even supplementary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials can be reduced or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will discuss in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the training you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the school and program you are reviewing are accredited by a highly regarded organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Paralegal Colleges
Since you now you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what academic options are available, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Temperance MI area schools. But considering that there are numerous programs offered at community and junior colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is especially true when you include 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 previously discussed, there are other important factors to research as well, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s go over several of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are considering so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate choice.
Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you pick should be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency 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 targets online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. A number of Temperance MI law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited program. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often accessible only for accredited schools.
What’s the Reputation of the School? Research what the reputations and rankings are for the Temperance MI paralegal schools you are looking at. This is of specific importance if you are new to the profession with no previous experience, since employers will have to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Confirming that the program you choose is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, such as those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact several law firms that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even when a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an exceptional reputation.
Does the School Sponsor Internships? Internship programs provide students a chance to experience working in a law office or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also offer a pathway for students to begin creating contacts within the Temperance MI legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are reviewing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering upon graduation.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the paralegal programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Michigan legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? Because laws differ among states, it might be a good idea to select a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduation. Also, it will be necessary to develop relationships in the neighboring legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is all the more justification to receive your education in the area where you desire to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might wish to initially investigate those schools that are within your Temperance MI local area.
How Much is the Total Cost? Paralegal schools can differ in cost depending on the credential obtained and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your training. Remember to include the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance may be obtainable to help offset some of the expense, so make sure to contact the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Temperance MI. Naturally if you decide to attend an online program, a portion these supplementary costs, for instance for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while obtaining their training and need flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Temperance MI, make certain classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers that option. Last, ask what the procedure is for making up missed classes because of sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Temperance MI?
Temperance is an unincorporated community in Bedford Township, Monroe County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes. The population was 8,517 at the 2010 census. The Temperance ZIP code, 48182, serves most of Bedford Township outside of the Lambertville area, as well as portions of western Erie Township, southern Ida Township, and northeast Whiteford Township. Temperance was established as Bedford Center in 1859. On December 8, 1884, a post office was established at Bedford Center and was named Temperance with Lewis Ansted as the first postmaster. The name "Temperance" was suggested by the wife of one of the founding land owners, who was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. A petition was circulated and the name Bedford Center was changed to Temperance. During the early years of Temperance, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was prohibited.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,757 people, 2,857 households, and 2,177 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,688.0 per square mile (651.1/km²). There were 2,953 housing units at an average density of 642.6 per square mile (247.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.10% White, 0.19% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population.
There were 2,857 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.3% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
Enroll in the Right Paralegal Certificate Program near Temperance MI
Enrolling in the right paralegal training program is an important first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have covered 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 Temperance residence. Paralegal education programs are provided in numerous lengths and formats. Several types of public and private institutions offer paralegal training, including community colleges, four-year universities and colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a pronounced influence on your prospects for success in your new career. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Afford yourself the best possible opportunity to be successful in this rewarding profession. But regardless of how you choose to acquire your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to examine each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the right training you can achieve your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Temperance MI.
Other Cool Cities in Michigan
Business Results 1 - 10 of 7