Educational Programs of Paralegal Classes
One of the essential requirements of a person who would want to enter the paralegal profession is education, because paralegals are distinct group of educated and trained persons employed in legal offices and function as able assistants to lawyers.
In relation with the increasing number of people entering the paralegal profession, today there is an estimated 600 paralegal programs of paralegal classes in the United States. A variety of public and private institutions offer paralegal classes, including community colleges, four- year colleges and universities, business colleges and propriety institutions. These different institutions make it possible for persons with various backgrounds to enter the profession.
The most familiar types of educational programs of paralegal classes are the following:
§ Certificate Programs – these types of educational programs of paralegal classes are usually designed for those who are already a holder of an associate or baccalaureate degree. The range of units in certificate program paralegal classes is 18 – 60 semestral units. Longer programs usually include both general education and paralegal courses, similar to associate degree programs.
§ Bachelor Degree Programs – students in this paralegal class are awarded as baccalaureate degree holders after completing the course. Usually, this type of educational programs of paralegal classes is offered for four years by colleges and universities which have a paralegal studies major, minor, or concentration within a major. These programs are usually about 120 – 130 semester units, including 30 – 60 semester units in paralegal and related course.
§ Associate Degree Program – Paralegal classes under this program last for two years. These types of programs are offered by two – year community colleges, some four-year colleges and universities and some business schools. Before a student could earn an associate degree he must obtain and successfully complete a 60 – 70 semester units. Paralegal classes under this type of program are ½ paralegal courses and ½ courses in general education. Students under this program must consider where he would continue his paralegal education.
§ Master’s Degree Programs – Paralegal classes under this program are more advanced since the students under this type of program must be bachelor degree holders. Few colleges and universities that offer undergraduate paralegal studies are now offering an advanced degree in paralegal studies. This type of program is usually taken for two years.
Before a student enrolls in any of the said program, it is wise for him to make sure that the paralegal school has a program approved by the American Bar Association to ensure that the type of educational programs of paralegal classes has the quality needed for a paralegal education. Meanwhile, seeking of ABA’s approval is voluntary on the part of the institution.