How to Select a Paralegal Degree Program near Warm Springs Oregon
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Warm Springs OR and begin your journey that will lead to a gratifying profession in legal services. However, it’s important that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you require to succeed. As you probably know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of academic choices are being offered, both on campus and online. However with numerous alternatives to choose from, where does one begin? Many potential students start by searching for paralegal schools within commuting range of their Warm Springs residences. Of those alternatives, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when choosing a school, they are not the only factors you should take into consideration. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the school should be taken into account as well. Later in this article we will review a list of concerns that you should ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare each one before making your selection. But first, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the instructional 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 positions and responsibilities, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a separate job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants help attorneys in Warm Springs OR with a wide range of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is usually billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and follow a strict code of professional ethics. As stated, their duties can be varied in support of the practices where they are employed, but a few of their day-to-day activities can involve:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching related cases and laws
- Composing correspondence and legal papers
- Submitting legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
- Helping lawyers prepare for trial and stay organized with their cases
- Organizing and preserving legal files, documents and other records
With all of their responsibilities, the role of a Warm Springs OR paralegal can be involved and very challenging. On the other hand, what they are not legally allowed to do is provide legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not confined to administrative or clerical tasks more applicable to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And since they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, attorneys have the ability to handle a much larger volume of clients or cases than they could alone.
Paralegal Education and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational prerequisites and opportunities will be the same. The quickest means to launch your career in Warm Springs OR as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can take just six months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more extensive education and may be earned at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. Once you have acquired either a degree or a certificate, you might choose to proceed and get a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in Oregon to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. Some 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 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 guarantee your success as a paralegal in Warm Springs OR.
Online Paralegal Degrees
Paralegal online schools have become more popular and may be an excellent option for students in Warm Springs OR searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online programs can be especially appealing to those who continue to work while earning a degree. As an added benefit, online schools can in some cases be less costly than more traditional options. Even secondary expenditures for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated. One caution, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps guarantee 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 agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and conventional setting, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Paralegal Schools
Since you now you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what educational options are offered, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Warm Springs OR area schools. But since there are so many programs accessible at junior and community colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you need to learn what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is especially true when you add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will begin by looking for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously discussed, there are other important issues to consider also, for instance 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 properly vet each one and make your ultimate selection.
Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select need to be accredited by a recognized organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it can also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. A number of Warm Springs OR law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited school. Also, financial aid and student loans are usually available only for accredited programs.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Research what the rankings and reputations are for the Warm Springs OR paralegal programs you are contemplating. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no prior work history, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Verifying that the school you pick is accredited is an excellent first step. Checking school rating reports, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also contact several law practices that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask which schools they suggest. Bear in mind that even though a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal enterprise while remaining in school. They can also present an avenue for students to start developing contacts within the Warm Springs OR legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are reviewing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the paralegal schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Oregon legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Campus Located? Because laws differ from state to state, it might be a good idea to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduating. In addition, it will be valuable to develop relationships in the local legal community, possibly through an internship program. This is all the more justification to receive your education in the community where you desire to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many charge an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might want to first investigate those schools that are within your Warm Springs OR local region.
What is the Complete Expense? Paralegal schools can vary in price depending on the credential obtained and the amount of training provided. Having said that, 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 also. Financial aid might be obtainable to help reduce some of the cost, so make sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is available in Warm Springs OR. Of course if you choose to attend an online school, a portion these added expenses, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while getting their training and must have flexibility in class scheduling. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Warm Springs OR, make sure classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the school you enroll in offers that option. Last, ask what the procedure is for making-up classes missed due to sickness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Warm Springs OR?
Warm Springs, Georgia
Warm Springs, originally named Bullochville (after the Bulloch family, the family of Martha Bulloch Roosevelt), first came to prominence in the 19th century as a spa town, because of its mineral springs which flow constantly at nearly 90 °F (32 °C). Residents of Georgia, particularly Savannah, began spending vacations at Bullochville in the late 18th century as a way to escape yellow fever, finding the number of warm springs in the vicinity of Bullochville very attractive. In the late 19th century traveling to the warm springs was attractive as a way to get away from Atlanta.[clarification needed] Traveling by railroad to Durand, they would then go to Bullochville. One of the places benefiting from this was the Meriwether Inn. Once the automobile became popular in the early 20th century, the tourists began going elsewhere, starting the decline of the Meriwether Inn.
In 1921, Franklin Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, diagnosed at the time as polio, now thought[by whom?] to be Guillain–Barré syndrome. He tried to regain strength in his legs by bathing and exercising in the warm water. His first time in Warm Springs was October 1924. He went to a resort in the town whose attraction was a permanent 88-degree natural spring, but whose main house was described as "ramshackle". It became famous as the Little White House, where Roosevelt lived while president, because of his paralytic illness. He died there in 1945 and it is now a public museum. Roosevelt first came in the 1920s in hopes that the warm water would improve his paraplegia. He was a constant visitor for two decades, and renamed the town from Bullochville to Warm Springs. The town is still home to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation (Roosevelt's former polio hospital) which remains a world-renowned comprehensive rehabilitation center including a physical rehabilitation hospital and vocational rehabilitation unit. The springs are not available for public use as a bath/spa resort, but they are used by the Roosevelt Institute for therapeutic purposes.
As of the census of 2010, there were 485 people, 172 households, and 107 families residing in the city. The population density was 409.7 people per square mile (158.7/km²). There were 208 housing units at an average density of 175.7 per square mile (68.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.22% White, 31.75% African American, and 1.03% from two or more races.
There were 172 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.3% were married couples living together, 25.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.99.
Find the Right Paralegal Training near Warm Springs OR
Choosing the ideal paralegal degree program is an important first step to guarantee your success in the rewarding field of law. As we have covered in this post, you have the option of attending classes on campus or you can attend them online in the comfort and privacy of your Warm Springs home. Paralegal education programs are offered in many formats and lengths. Several kinds of public and private institutions make available paralegal training, including 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. Considering that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Give yourself the best possible chance to be successful in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you choose to obtain your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will be able to assess each school and make your ultimate decision. And with the ideal training you can achieve your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Warm Springs OR.
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