How to Find a Paralegal Training Program near Dewey Arizona
Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Dewey AZ and start your journey that will result in a satisfying profession in legal services. However, it’s crucial that you find the ideal school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to achieve success. 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 becoming available, both on campus and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one start? Many prospective students start by looking for paralegal schools within driving range of their Dewey homes. Of those choices, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when selecting a school, they are not the only factors you need to take into consideration. Things like the reputation and accreditation of the school must be considered also. Later in this article we will cover a list of concerns that you need to ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare every one prior to making your decision. But first, 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 for the most part both fill comparable job positions and functions, just with different titles. On the other hand, 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 Dewey AZ with a wide range of job functions, including maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. For example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice may help with the logistics of a trial or delivering documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high level 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 are employed, but a few of their day-to-day tasks might involve:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Conducting research on related cases and laws
- Drafting correspondence and legal documents
- Submitting legal documents with the court or opposing counsel
- Helping attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and maintaining legal files, documents and other records
With all of their responsibilities, the job of a Dewey AZ paralegal can be complex and quite demanding. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is offer legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not confined to clerical or administrative tasks 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 number of clients or cases than they could on their own.
Paralegal Training and Certification
As we discussed earlier, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals perhaps having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational requirements and job prospects will be the same. The fastest way to begin your career in Dewey AZ as a paralegal is by obtaining a certificate, which can require as little as 6 months to accomplish. Most entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more expansive education and can be obtained at many community colleges in 2 years. And if you are interested in an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. When you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you might choose to continue and get a certification. Even though it is not a mandatory requirement in Arizona to work as a paralegal, certification may not only help maximize your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional as well. Some of the highly regarded certifying agencies 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 program (we will cover the advantages of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two essential first steps that will help ensure your success as a paralegal in Dewey AZ.
Paralegal Online Training
Online paralegal programs have become more available and can be a good alternative for students in Dewey AZ searching for convenient access to classes and accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be particularly appealing to individuals who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an added benefit, online programs can in some cases be less expensive than more traditional options. Even ancillary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials can be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet schools are accredited, which we will discuss in greater detail later. But at a minimum accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a respected organization, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal setting, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Paralegal Colleges
Since you now you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what educational options are available, you can start the undertaking of evaluating Dewey AZ area schools. But because there are numerous programs offered at community and junior colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you need to learn what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly 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 start by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have previously discussed, there are other critical factors to consider also, such as 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 considering so that you can properly vet each one and make your ultimate decision.
Is the Paralegal Program Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you select should be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also obtain 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 quality, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. A number of Dewey AZ law firms will only hire entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Also, financial assistance and student loans are often offered only for accredited programs.
What’s the Reputation of the Program? Find out what the rankings and reputations are for the Dewey AZ paralegal schools you are contemplating. This is of specific importance if you are entering the profession with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the quality of your education exclusively. Checking that the program you pick is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also contact several law offices that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask which schools they recommend. Keep in mind that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program could still have an outstanding reputation.
Does the Program Sponsor Internships? Internship programs give students an opportunity to experience working in a law firm or other legal establishment while attending school. They can also provide a means for students to begin developing contacts within the Dewey AZ legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are considering provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering after graduation.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the paralegal schools 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 substantial networks and great relationships with Arizona legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Because laws differ from one state to another, it might be advantageous to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you wish to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to build relationships in the local legal community, perhaps by means of an internship program. This is all the more justification to obtain your education in the area where you want to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most require a higher tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you may want to initially consider those colleges that are within your Dewey AZ local area.
What is the Entire Expense? Paralegal schools can differ in price based on the credential earned and the amount of training furnished. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Don’t forget to add the cost of books, supplies and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid may be obtainable to help minimize part of the expense, so make sure to talk to the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Dewey AZ. Needless to say that if you opt to attend an online school, some of these supplementary expenses, such as for commuting, might be decreased or eliminated.
Do the Classes Fit your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students continue working while obtaining their training and must have flexibility to schedule classes. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Dewey AZ, verify classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make certain that the program you select makes available that option. Last, ask what the process is for making-up classes missed due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Paralegal School in Dewey AZ?
Dewey–Humboldt is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The population of the town was 3,894 according to the 2010 census. The Dewey–Humboldt area was a census-designated place (CDP) at the 2000 census, at which time its population was 6,295.
Dewey–Humboldt was incorporated on December 20, 2004, from the existing unincorporated towns of Dewey and Humboldt, located adjacent to one another in the Agua Fria River Valley, 15 miles east of Prescott.
After discovery of gold on Lynx Creek in the spring of 1863, the Dewey area was settled around the summer 1863 by pioneer prospector, rancher and Indian-fighter King Woolsey (1832–1879), who founded the Agua Fria Ranch, in what was then known as "Woolsey Valley," to supply the miners. Woolsey used stones from a prehistoric ruin to build his ranch house, built an irrigation system off the Agua Fria (probably part of a prehistoric system), and introduced some of the first cattle into newly organized Yavapai County (1864). At the "falls" of the Agua Fria at present Humboldt, Woolsey built a small quartz mill to work gold ores from the nearby hills and a small water-powered grist mill. During 1864, he led the storied Woolsey Expeditions to the east in retaliatory raids on Apache and in search of gold; all failed to find a new Eldorado. All these activities caused his bankruptcy, and sale of the ranch property to the Bowers Brothers, sutlers at Fort Whipple. The brothers continued to use the house and farm the lands to supply the region with corn, barley, and other agricultural products. (The ruins of Woolsey's ranch house can still be seen between the old Black Canyon Highway and the Agua Fria River about one mile north of Humboldt. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.)
As the valley began to fill up with a few ranches and farms, a post office was established in 1875. The stage station (Prescott to Phoenix wagon road via Black Canyon) and post office nearby was named "Agua Fria." By the early 1870s water diversions were being used to irrigate an extensive area of corn and other crops. In the mid-1870s a small water-powered, silver-lead furnace, "Agua Fria Furnace," was built to work the ores from what would become the Iron King mine area. The small plant, built at the site of Woolsey's earlier mill at today's Humboldt, proved the value of the region, but was too isolated to make a profit.
Enroll in the Ideal Paralegal Degree Program near Dewey AZ
Selecting the right paralegal degree program is a vital first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have discussed in this post, you have the option of attending classes on-campus or you can participate online in the comfort and privacy of your Dewey home. Paralegal academic programs are offered in numerous formats and lengths. Several types of private and public institutions make available paralegal training, including junior and community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your prospects for success in your new profession. Given that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Give yourself the best possible opportunity to be successful in this fascinating profession. But regardless of how you choose to acquire your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will be able to examine each program and make your ultimate selection. And with the right education you can realize your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Dewey AZ.
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