How to Find a Paralegal Training Program near Yellow Springs Ohio
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Yellow Springs OH and start your journey that will result in a satisfying profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you find the ideal school so that you will receive the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational choices are becoming available, both at school and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students start by trying to find paralegal schools within traveling range of their Yellow Springs residences. Of those alternatives, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are necessary considerations when choosing a college, they are not the only qualifiers you ought to consider. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program ought to be taken into account also. Later on in this post we will review a list of concerns that you ought to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can examine and compare each one prior to making your choice. But before we do, let’s have a look at what a paralegal does and the academic 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 functions, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and belong to a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers in Yellow Springs OH with a wide variety of job duties, such as maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job duties are relevant to the type of practice where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might assist with the logistics of a trial or delivering files to court. In private firms, a paralegal’s work is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must perform with a high degree of professionalism and follow a strict code of professional ethics. As noted, their responsibilities can be diverse in support of the firms where they work, but a few of their daily activities can involve:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching applicable laws and cases
- Drafting correspondence and legal papers
- Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Assisting lawyers prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and preserving legal documents, files and other records
With all of their duties, the job of a Yellow Springs OH paralegal can be complicated and quite challenging. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is offer legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not confined to administrative or clerical tasks more applicable 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 ground work and preparation, attorneys have the ability to take on a much larger number 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 perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The fastest means to launch your career in Yellow Springs OH as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which may take as little as six months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more expansive education and can 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 an option also. Once you have obtained either a certificate or degree, you may want to continue and get a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Ohio to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help maximize your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few of the highly regarded certifying agencies 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 degree or certificate from an accredited school (we will cover the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 essential first steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Yellow Springs OH.
Paralegal Online Classes
Paralegal online schools have become more prevalent and can be a good option for those in Yellow Springs OH searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to those who keep working while earning a degree. As an additional benefit, online classes can sometimes be less expensive than more traditional options. Even supplementary expenditures for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online schools are accredited, which we will address in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are looking into are accredited by a respected organization, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Things to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs
Now that you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Yellow Springs OH area schools. But considering that there are numerous programs available at community and junior colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you must learn what questions to ask in order to evaluate each one. This is particularly true when you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like the majority of prospective students, you will start by searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other significant issues to consider as well, such as accreditation and the reputation 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 effectively vet each one and make your final selection.
Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you pick should be accredited by a reputable organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it might also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will receive will be of the highest quality, but it will show future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Yellow Springs OH law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are typically available only for accredited programs.
What’s the Reputation of the School? Research what the reputations and rankings are for the Yellow Springs OH paralegal programs you are looking at. This is of special importance if you are new to the profession with no prior work history, since employers will need to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Confirming that the school you choose is accredited is a good first step. Checking school rating reports, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact a few law firms that you may have an interest in working for after graduating and ask what schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even when a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.
Does the School Sponsor Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law practice or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also present a means for students to begin creating contacts within the Yellow Springs OH legal field. Ask if the paralegal programs you are evaluating provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the paralegal schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Ohio legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Considering that laws vary from state to state, it might be beneficial to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you want to practice after graduation. Also, it will be necessary to establish relationships in the area legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more justification to obtain your education in the area where you want to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many charge a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might need to first investigate those schools that are within your Yellow Springs OH local region.
How Much is the Entire Expense? Paralegal programs can differ in price based on the credential earned and the amount of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your education. Don’t forget to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance might be available to help offset some of the expense, so don’t forget to contact the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Yellow Springs OH. Of course if you decide to attend an online school, a portion these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Fit your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students continue working while getting their training and need flexibility to schedule classes. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Yellow Springs OH, make sure classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the program you enroll in makes available that option. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making-up missed classes as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Yellow Springs OH?
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yellow Springs is a village in Greene County, Ohio, United States. The population was 3,487 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home of Antioch College and Antioch University Midwest.
In 1825, the village was founded by William Mills and approximately 100 families, followers of Robert Owen, who wanted to emulate the utopian community at New Harmony, Indiana. The communitarian efforts dissolved due to internal conflicts. The Little Miami Railroad was completed in 1846 and brought increased commerce, inhabitants, and tourism. The village was incorporated in 1856.
Antioch College was founded in 1852 by the Christian Connection, and began operating in 1853 with the distinguished scholar Horace Mann as its first president. In 1920, Arthur E. Morgan became the innovative president of Antioch College, implementing a much-imitated work-study program for students. An engineer by training, Morgan left Antioch to become head of the Tennessee Valley Authority in Franklin D. Roosevelt's Administration. Upon his return to Yellow Springs, Morgan was a key leader of Quaker intentional community developments in Ohio and North Carolina. Antioch College was closed by Antioch University in 2008 but reopened, as an independent college, in 2011.
The Conway Colony, a group of 30 freed slaves who were transported by Moncure D. Conway, the abolitionist son of their former owner, settled in the village in 1862. Wheeling Gaunt, a former slave who purchased his own freedom, came to Yellow Springs in the 1860s and owned a substantial amount of land upon his death in 1894. Gaunt bequeathed to the village a large piece of land on its western side, requesting that the rent be used to buy flour for the "poor and worthy widows" of Yellow Springs. Although the land was used to create Gaunt Park, and thus does not generate rent, the village expanded the bequest to include sugar and still delivers flour and sugar to the village's widows at Christmas time, a tradition that generates annual media coverage.
Find the Ideal Paralegal Degree Program near Yellow Springs OH
Choosing the right paralegal training program is a vital first step toward your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have addressed in this post, you have the option of attending classes on campus or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Yellow Springs home. Paralegal academic programs are provided in various formats and lengths. Several types of private and public institutions offer paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your prospects for success in your new profession. Since there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible chance to be successful in this exciting profession. But irrespective of how you decide to receive your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to examine each school and make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training you can achieve your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Yellow Springs OH.
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