How to Pick a Paralegal College near Pendleton South Carolina
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Pendleton SC and begin your journey that will lead to a fulfilling career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you locate the right school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you require to succeed. As you most likely know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of academic options are becoming available, both at school and online. But with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students start by searching for paralegal schools within traveling range of their Pendleton residences. Of those choices, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are prime considerations when selecting a school, they are not the only factors you should take into consideration. Things such as the reputation and accreditation of the school ought to be considered too. Later in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you need to ask potential paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your choice. But before we do, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the educational alternatives 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 comparable job roles and responsibilities, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a different job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Pendleton SC with a wide range of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job duties are relevant to the type of practice where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice may help with trial logistics or transferring documents to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is usually billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as 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 wide ranging in support of the firms where they are employed, but a few of their routine activities might involve:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Researching pertinent laws and cases
- Composing correspondence and legal papers
- Filing legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Helping lawyers get ready for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal documents, files and additional records
With all of their duties, the job of a Pendleton SC paralegal can be complicated and quite demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally permitted to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not limited to administrative or clerical functions more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for attorneys. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys have the ability to manage a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Training and Certification
As we previously covered, paralegals are basically the same as legal assistants, with paralegals possibly having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational prerequisites and job prospects will be the same. The fastest way to start your career in Pendleton SC as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can take just 6 months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and may be acquired at many community colleges in two years. And if you are interested in an even more extensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option also. After you have earned either a degree or a certificate, you may choose to proceed and receive a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in South Carolina to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help boost your job 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 discuss the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two important first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Pendleton SC.
Paralegal Online Degrees
Online paralegal schools have become more popular and may be a good alternative for those in Pendleton SC looking for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online schools can be especially appealing to students who continue to work while earning a degree. As an added benefit, online classes can often be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all online schools are accredited, which we will cover in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the school and program you are reviewing are accredited by a reputable organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less structured and conventional setting, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Paralegal Colleges
Since you now you have a better understanding regarding what paralegals do and what training options are available, you can start the undertaking of assessing Pendleton SC area schools. But because there are numerous programs offered at junior and community colleges, in addition to vocational and trade schools, you need to find out what questions to ask so that you can evaluate each one. This is especially true if 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 searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other important aspects to think about also, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you should be asking the schools you are researching so that you can thoroughly vet each one and make your ultimate selection.
Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you enroll in should 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 learning. Accreditation will not only certify that the training you will get will be of the highest quality, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Pendleton SC law firms will only hire entry level legal assistants that have graduated from an accredited program. Also, financial aid and student loans are typically accessible only for accredited programs.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Research what the reputations and rankings are for the Pendleton SC 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 need to rely on the quality of your training exclusively. Verifying that the program you pick is accredited is a good 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 call some law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even when a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.
Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law practice or other legal establishment while attending school. They can also offer a means for students to begin establishing contacts within the Pendleton SC legal community. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing offer internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering upon graduation.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the paralegal programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with South Carolina legal services employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Campus Located? Because laws differ from one state to another, it might be advantageous to select a paralegal school located in the state where you want to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be valuable to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is all the more justification to receive your education in the community where you desire to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many require a higher tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might need to initially investigate those schools that are within your Pendleton SC local area.
How Much is the Entire Expense? Paralegal programs can differ in cost depending on the credential earned and the amount of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Remember to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid might be available to help minimize part of the cost, so don’t forget to talk to the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Pendleton SC. Naturally if you choose to attend an online program, a portion these supplementary costs, such as for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Classes Fit your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while getting their training and need flexibility to schedule classes. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Pendleton SC, 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 offers that option. Last, inquire what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to sickness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Pendleton SC?
Pendleton, South Carolina
The Pendleton Historic District, consisting of the town and its immediate surroundings, was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1970. Particularly notable historic buildings on the Pendleton town square include Farmer's Hall and Hunter's Store, which is currently the headquarters of the Pendleton District Historical, Recreational and Tourism Commission. Near Pendleton are the historic plantation homes Ashtabula and Woodburn.
For centuries, the land that is now Pendleton was the territory of the Cherokee nation. After England claimed South Carolina as a colony, the Cherokee traded with the British. After the Cherokee lost the war of 1759-60 against the British, the British dominated trade in the region and began to settle more of the land with large farms.Andrew Pickens, who was a general in the Revolutionary War moved to the area and commissioned the district of Pendleton in 1790. During the first half of the 1800s, wealthy families built homes in Pendleton. These homes were built as a summer vacation spot for the low-country plantation owners. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1789–1865) built Woodburn Plantation in 1830. Later, the Adger family, a wealthy family from Charleston, expanded the plantation to over 1,000 acres (400 ha) and enlarged the house to over 18 rooms.
Pendleton is located in northwestern Anderson County at 34°39′2″N 82°46′51″W / 34.65056°N 82.78083°W / 34.65056; -82.78083 (34.650672, -82.780736). Its northwestern edge touches the Anderson County/Pickens County line and borders the city of Clemson. U.S. Route 76 passes through the southwest part of town, bypassing the town center and leading northwest to Clemson and southeast 14 miles (23 km) to Anderson, the county seat. Greenville is 30 miles (48 km) to the northeast by U.S. Route 123.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.9 km2), of which 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.70%, is water.
Find the Best Paralegal Training near Pendleton SC
Choosing the right paralegal training program is a vital first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have discussed in this article, you have the choice of attending classes on campus or you can attend them online in the comfort and privacy of your Pendleton residence. Paralegal education programs are offered in numerous lengths and formats. Different types of private and public institutions make available paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a pronounced impact on your prospects for success in your new career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Afford yourself the best possible chance to be successful in this fascinating profession. But no matter how you choose to receive your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will be able to assess each school and make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training you can realize your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Pendleton SC.
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Curriculum for the Paralegal Studies Program - Continuing ...
Curriculum for the Paralegal Studies Program. ... Prepares you to work within the South Carolina legal environment. Note that South Carolina's legal system is similar to that of many others states, so much of this knowledge is applicable even if you relocate to another part of the country. ... Upcoming Paralegal Certificate Programs. Online ...
Best Paralegal Schools in South Carolina
South Carolina's paralegal opportunities are growing along with the rest of the nation, and the average salary for paralegals in the state in 2018 was $45,480. 1 Though this average salary is below the national average, the cost of living in the state is relatively low. The outlook is also good for South Carolina paralegals.
South Carolina Bar - SC Paralegal Certification | Home
paralegal certification : The S.C. Supreme Court has implemented a program for the voluntary certification of paralegals in South Carolina. This program identifies qualified individuals to perform substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of a lawyer.
Meet Your Paralegal Instructors - University of South Carolina
Additionally, Ms. Boette has served on paralegal program advisory boards, the Palmetto Paralegal Association Executive Board, and she teaches career seminars to students in The University of South Carolina Paralegal Certificate Program.
Paralegal Schools in South Carolina | Paralegal Degree ...
Paralegal Schools in South Carolina. South Carolina’s colleges and universities offer an array of paralegal programs that can lead to the award of a certificate or degree and may allow you to choose study areas to fit with your personal interests and career goals.
Paralegal Studies Certificate Program - Continuing ...
Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. You can earn your Paralegal Certificate from USC - in the classroom or online! Quickly complete your studies in just over six months and enter this rewarding legal field with the confidence and credentials to succeed.
South Carolina Paralegal Schools | Paralegal Certification ...
Where to Earn Your Paralegal Certificate or Degree in South Carolina Paralegal Certificates. Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) Located in Conway, South Carolina, Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) offers a paralegal specialist certificate designed to prepare students to work under the supervision of attorneys. Students learn and ...
15 Accredited Paralegal Schools in South Carolina
Paralegal Schools In South Carolina. There are 15 accredited paralegal schools in South Carolina for faculty who teach paralegal classes to choose from. The trends in South Carolina's paralegal academic community can be evaluated by looking at the statistics and graphs below.