Pursuing a Career as a Paralegal

Written by admin on May 9th, 2011

At Kaplan University, the undergraduate legal studies program is one of the largest offered.† Many students enrolled in the paralegal program are already in professional positions and do not have the time or alternative to commute to a ground campus. The invaluable flexibility of Kaplan University’s online programs allows these students to pursue a degree while balancing current commitments. Furthermore, as technology becomes more embedded in the legal industry, an online paralegal program could provide an increased comfort level with technology that can transition directly into a student’s work environment.

Paralegals or legal assistants are generally responsible for a variety of tasks that include assisting clients, performing investigative functions, preparing legal documents, and assisting with litigation preparation. Some additional day-to-day tasks may include preparing briefs, pleadings, or wills; preparing real estate closing statements; researching and gathering data such as statutes and legal articles; handling escrow accounts and billing; or helping to arbitrate disputes between parties.

Kaplan University offers three programs for those interested in the paralegal track: an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies; a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies; and a Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate. Both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are designed to provide students with practical knowledge and technical skills that can immediately be applied in their careers.‡ The bachelor’s degree program provides a broad foundation of core subjects plus higher level courses in areas such as torts, legal writing, and technology. Students in the bachelor’s program also complete a number of courses that provide instruction in specific topics such as dispute resolution, social security, health law, divorce mediation, and law office management.

The Pathway to Postbaccalaureate Certificate program is intended for students that have obtained a bachelor’s degree and are seeking a career as a paralegal. The program is designed to provide the foundational paralegal skills and knowledge needed so graduates can communicate in a legal environment, conduct legal research, and evaluate sources, as well as understand the court system, law office management, and litigation.

Success in the online paralegal program at Kaplan University is built on a strong foundational knowledge, the beginning of which is acquired at the high school level. Taking high school classes that develop writing skills, technical aptitude and knowledge of the law, government, and math would be beneficial to students considering a paralegal degree program.

In addition to the paralegal programs, Kaplan University offers degrees in legal studies, public administration and policy, or environmental policy and management. Those students that already have an associate’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college may qualify for the advanced start option, offering the ability to obtain a bachelor’s degree in as little as two years.§ Graduates with a bachelor’s degree could then choose to pursue their master’s degree in legal studies or attend law school.

There are many career colleges that offer paralegal courses. To see these and others, visit the paralegal colleges directory today.

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