How to Pick a Paralegal College near Springville Utah
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Springville UT and begin your journey that will result in a gratifying career in legal services. However, it’s important that you locate the right school so that you will get the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you most likely know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more educational choices are being offered, both at school and online. However with numerous options to choose from, where does one start? Some prospective students start by searching for paralegal schools within commuting range of their Springville homes. Of those options, they look for the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when selecting a college, they are not the only qualifiers you ought to take into consideration. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program must be taken into account also. Later in this post we will review a list of questions that you need to ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can evaluate and compare every one prior to making your selection. But before we do, let’s have a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the academic choices that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?
Paralegals and legal assistants basically both fill comparable job roles and responsibilities, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a separate job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Springville UT with a wide variety of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm could assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private firms, the work of a paralegal is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like lawyers, they must perform with a high degree of professionalism and comply with a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their responsibilities can be wide ranging in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their everyday tasks may include:
- Researching and fact checking cases
- Researching applicable laws and cases
- Preparing correspondence and legal documents
- Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Helping lawyers prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and maintaining legal documents, files and additional records
With all of their duties, the job of a Springville UT paralegal can be involved and very challenging. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But they are not confined to administrative or clerical functions more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for attorneys. And because 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 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 fastest means to begin your career in Springville UT as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can involve just six months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more expansive education and may be acquired at many 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. After you have acquired either a degree or a certificate, you may choose to proceed and get a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in Utah to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help increase your employment opportunities, but help substantiate 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 certificate or degree from an accredited school (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 essential initial steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Springville UT.
Online Paralegal Certificates
Paralegal online programs have become more popular and may be a good alternative for those in Springville UT looking for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to students who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an added advantage, online programs can sometimes be less expensive than more traditional options. Even secondary expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online schools are accredited, which we will discuss in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the school and program you are looking into are accredited by a respected organization, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to attend classes in a less supervised and formal environment, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Paralegal Studies Programs
Once you have a better understanding about what paralegals do and what academic choices are available, you can begin the process of assessing Springville UT area schools. But because there are so many programs accessible at community and junior colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you need to know what questions to ask in order to compare each one. This is particularly true if you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will start by searching for schools within commuting distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other crucial factors to think about also, for instance accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at a few of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are researching so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final selection.
Is the Paralegal Program and School Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you choose need to be accredited by a respected organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the training you will get will be of the highest standard, but it will show potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Springville UT law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are usually offered only for accredited schools.
What’s the Program’s Reputation? Research what the reputations and rankings are for the Springville UT paralegal schools you are considering. This is of special importance if you are entering the field with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your training exclusively. Verifying that the school you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help verify school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also contact a few law practices that you may have an interest in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Keep in mind that even though a school is not among the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an exceptional reputation.
Does the School Provide Internships? Internship programs give students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while attending school. They can also present a means for students to start creating contacts within the Springville UT legal field. Find out if the paralegal schools you are evaluating provide internship programs, particularly in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the paralegal schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Utah legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? Since laws differ from one state to another, it may be a good idea to select a paralegal school located in the state where you want to work after graduation. Also, it will be important to build relationships in the neighboring legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is all the more reason to receive your education in the area where you choose to work. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, most require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might wish to initially look at those colleges that are within your Springville UT local area.
How Much is the Complete Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in cost depending on the credential earned and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your education. Remember to include the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial aid may be accessible to help reduce part of the cost, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid office to see what is available in Springville UT. Naturally if you decide to attend an online school, a portion these supplementary costs, for instance for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Classes Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students keep working while getting their training and need flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend weekend or evening classes near Springville UT, make certain classes are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the program you select makes available that option. Last, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to sickness, work or family obligations.
Considering Paralegal School in Springville UT?
Springville is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States that is part of the Provo-Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 31,464 in 2014, according to the United States Census. Springville is a bedroom community for commuters who work in the Springville, Provo-Orem and Salt Lake City metropolitan areas. Other neighboring cities include Spanish Fork and Mapleton. Springville has the nickname of "Art City" or "Hobble Creek".
Springville was first explored in 1776 by Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, a Franciscan padre. What became Springville lay along the wagon route called the Mormon Road that Mormon pioneers and 49ers traveled through southern Utah, northern Arizona, southern Nevada and Southern California. From 1855, each winter trains of freight wagons traveled on this road across the deserts between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City until the late 1860s when the railroad arrived in Utah. Springville was originally settled in 1850 by eight pioneer families who crossed the plains to Salt Lake Valley from the East and were subsequently directed by Brigham Young to settle 50 miles (80 km) further south. Incorporated in February 1853, the city was first called Hobble Creek by the early pioneers, because their horses were often hobbled (by loosely tying their front feet together) and left along the stream to graze in the lush grass. If the horses wandered into the creek, the hobbles came off in the water. Thus, the settlement earned its original name. Later, as the town grew, the name was changed to Springville, after the Fort Springville. Fort Springville was named such because of the many freshwater springs in the area, particularly near the fort. The original name was not completely lost, however, as the canyon stream (and associated canyons), a local elementary school, and city owned golf course have retained the name Hobble Creek.
Springville is known as "Art City" due to its strong development of the arts. Springville is home to the Springville Museum of Art, Utah's oldest museum for the visual fine arts (circa 1937). The museum, housed in a historic Spanish Colonial Revival-style building, showcases collections of many well-known artists, both local and national, including collections of Utah art, a major Soviet collection, early Americana, and the European Steed collection. Springville is the birthplace of noted sculptor Cyrus Dallin. The main street is dotted with bronze statues, including several from local sculptors Gary Price and Jeff Decker.
Springville is a thriving community which has experienced steady growth over the past ten years. The current population is projected to grow to more than 50,000 over the next ten years, in line with the expected future expansion of its commercial, office, retail, and industrial sectors along the city's I-15 corridor.
Select the Best Paralegal Degree Program near Springville UT
Selecting the ideal paralegal degree program is a vital first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying 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 Springville home. Paralegal education programs are made available in various formats and lengths. Different kinds of public and private institutions make available paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a pronounced influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Afford yourself the greatest possible opportunity to be successful in this rewarding profession. But no matter how you decide to acquire your training and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will have the ability to review each program and make your ultimate decision. And with the right training you can accomplish your career objective to become a practicing paralegal in Springville UT.
Other Cool Cities in Utah
Business Results 1 - 10 of 20