Category Archives: Rhode Island

Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Slocum RI 02877

How to Pick a Paralegal Certificate Program near Slocum Rhode Island

Slocum RI paralegal working with attorneyCongratulations on your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Slocum RI 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 receive the comprehensive training that you need to achieve success. As you probably understand, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational choices are becoming available, both on campus and online. However with so many options to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students begin by searching for paralegal schools within commuting range of their Slocum homes. Of those choices, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are prime considerations when picking a college, they are not the only qualifiers you need to take into consideration. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program must be taken into account also. Later on in this post we will cover a list of questions that you must ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one before making your choice. But before we do, let’s take a look at 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?

Slocum RI law libraryParalegals and legal assistants for the most part both hold comparable job positions and responsibilities, just with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and belong to a separate job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist lawyers in Slocum RI with a wide range of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job duties are based upon the type of legal firm where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could help with trial logistics or transferring documents to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is typically billed by the hour as are the lawyer’s. And the same as lawyers, they must perform with a high level of professionalism and abide by a strict standard of professional ethics. As noted, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the firms where they work, but some of their everyday activities may involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on pertinent cases and laws
  • Preparing correspondence and legal papers
  • Submitting legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
  • Helping lawyers get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and managing legal documents, files and other records

With all of their duties, the job of a Slocum RI paralegal can be complex and rather demanding. However, 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 restricted to administrative or clerical duties more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers have the ability to handle a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Slocum RI judge's gavelAs we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. In any case, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The quickest way to launch your career in Slocum RI as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which can involve as little as six months to accomplish. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and can be obtained at many community colleges in two years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. After you have earned either a degree or a certificate, you may choose to continue and get a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in Rhode Island to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your career 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 program (we will cover 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 Slocum RI.

Paralegal Online Degrees

attending paralegal school online in Slocum RIOnline paralegal schools have become more prevalent and may be a good alternative for students in Slocum RI looking for convenient access to classes as well as accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to those who keep working while obtaining a degree. As an added benefit, online classes can sometimes be less costly than more traditional options. Even secondary expenditures for such things as study materials or commuting can be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs 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 reputable agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less supervised and formal setting, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Things to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs

Once you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can start the process of evaluating Slocum RI area schools. But since there are numerous programs accessible at junior and community colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is particularly true if you include all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs as well. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will start by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously covered, there are other important aspects to consider as well, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at a few of the questions you should be asking the programs you are researching so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate selection.

Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a respected organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. A number of Slocum RI law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited program. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often available only for accredited programs.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Find out what the reputations and rankings are for the Slocum RI paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of particular importance if you are new to the field with no prior experience, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Confirming that the school you select 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 quality of education and rankings as well. You can also contact some law offices that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask what schools they recommend. Bear in mind that even when a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs give students a chance to experience working in a law office or other legal establishment while still in school. They can also present a pathway for students to begin establishing contacts within the Slocum RI legal field. Find out if the paralegal schools you are evaluating offer internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the paralegal programs 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 large networks and great relationships with Rhode Island legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Campus Located? Considering that laws vary from one state to another, it might be advantageous to choose a paralegal school domiciled in the state where you wish to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be valuable to build relationships in the area legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to obtain your education in the area where you choose 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 may wish to first consider those colleges that are within your Slocum RI local region.

How Much is the Complete Expense? Paralegal programs can differ in price depending on the credential earned and the length of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your education. Remember to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance might be obtainable to help offset part of the expense, so be sure to consult with the school’s financial aid department to find out what is offered in Slocum RI. Needless to say that if you decide to attend an online program, some of these supplementary costs, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Classes Match your Schedule? A number of paralegal students keep working while getting their training and must have flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Slocum RI, verify classes are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the program you select makes available that option. Finally, ask what the process is for making up missed classes because of sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Slocum RI?

Samuel Slocum

Samuel Slocum (March 4, 1792 - January 26, 1861), was an American inventor from Poughkeepsie, New York. He was born in Jamestown, RI, son of Peleg Slocum and Anne Dyer Slocum. He was raised in Usquepaugh, RI, a village in South Kingstown, RI, where a Mr. William Lockwood sometime after 1772, first invented the common pin with a head, to keep it from slipping through cloth.[1] Samuel was the 6th of 8 children. He worked as a carpenter before he decided to move to London and become a pin maker. He married Susan Stanton Slocum in 1817 at Richmond, RI, and had three children, Samuel Dyer Slocum, Mary Slocum, and John Stanton Slocum.

A short time later he moved back to the United States, to Poughkeepsie, NY and formed a pin manufacturing company, Slocum and Jillson, which invented a "Machine for Sticking Pins into Paper", which is often believed to be the first stapler. In fact, this patent from September 30, 1841, Patent #2275, is for a device used for packaging pins.

The location could not be found.

Enroll in the Best Paralegal Training near Slocum RI

Selecting the best paralegal degree program is a vital 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 at school or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Slocum residence. Paralegal education programs are offered in many formats and lengths. Various kinds of public and private institutions provide paralegal training, including community colleges, four year universities and colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a pronounced impact on your opportunities for success in your new career. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, pick carefully. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this fascinating profession. But no matter how you choose to acquire your training and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will be able to evaluate each school and make your final selection. And with the right training you can accomplish your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Slocum RI.

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