According to Newsweek , one of the best degrees or educational programs to pursue is in the paralegal field. Since attorneys are feeling the pinch of the recession, they are hiring more paralegals than lawyers in their firms, cutting costs while retaining their current ability to provide legal services and representation to clients. Paralegal students are not required to participate in “in-house” instruction like other students, since the majority of the work does not require hands-on demonstration of learned skills. A paralegal degree may be earned strictly online, giving the student flexibility and knowledge in the comfort of their own home.
A paralegal’s job consists of investigating facts and performing research, interviewing clients or witnesses, draft legal documents such as briefs, subpoenas, depositions and motions for discovery, keeping, organizing and maintaining files and exhibits , filing documents with federal and state courts and assistance during hearings, arbitrations, mediations, meetings, closings and trials. The tools needed to fulfill these job requirements can all be learned through Everest University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal studies, making it easy for the student to fulfill the education requirements and transition easily into a new and exciting career.
Everest University's Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal prepares graduates and educates them on the processes of interviewing, gathering, reviewing and analyzing legal issues and cases. This program also provides experience in the research, preparation and interpretation of legal documents as well as various legal environments.
Online schools are notorious for the ability to enhance education through communication, technology and writing, skills needed in a courtroom or law office to best serve legal clients. Research is a large part of a paralegal’s job, from researching laws to researching where a file has been stored, and online schools like Everest University help students learn how and where to research, especially in the legal field. Paralegals must also be organized, have good attention to detail, be adept at multi-tasking and teamwork, all of which are fostered through the Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal studies.
Paralegals are able to perform many job functions within the legal system, under the supervision of a lawyer or attorney. This career field has experienced growth, and is expected to continue, and Everest University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal studies is one of the best ways to quickly begin a career in the paralegal field. As a career choice, paralegals have an advantage due to the ease of being certified online, giving them a faster path into a job than many other students. Pursuing an online paralegal degree can help create job security now and in the future.
Background checks are becoming more common as employers, property management companies and even institutes of higher education search for information on a person in order to determine if that person is a right fit for the job or business partnership, a trustworthy tenant or a potential asset to a school’s alumni. These background checks are performed online, through records searches or by private investigators and with a minimal amount of information, the entire criminal, financial or other history may be obtained in a matter of hours or even minutes.
Employers and businesses are increasingly at risk for losses pertaining to employees’ criminal behavior or the embellishment of facts on a resume or job application. Job-related skills are hard to prove during the interviewing process, and many companies or private investigators may investigate not only a criminal history, but also verify job history, ensuring the security of the business. In the same sense, businesses and corporations seeking partnerships with other businesses may investigate financial and other industry concerns before signing any contracts. For jobs that require direct contact with minors, such as school, daycare or nanny positions, it is standard to perform criminal background, credit or other personal information checks.
For those who supplement income through rental properties, personal background checks on any potential tenants are necessary in order to keep the property secure and safe from damage. Many times, these background checks rely directly on court records that look for small claims judgments as well as contacting former landlords for recommendations. Some colleges and universities are also performing personal background checks on potential students to try to keep their campuses safe. Aside from personal information and criminal background checks, online searches through social networks are also becoming common ways for schools and private detectives to measure the character of a person.
The basic information needed for a background check is the name of the individual, birth date, social security number and address. Other information that is useful to the private investigator is former addresses of the subject, names of relatives or associates and any other names used, especially in the case of married and/or divorced women. Public records searches can produce results relating to vital records such as births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Credit history checks will give an overview of the subject’s financial picture and criminal background checks will disclose any criminal convictions or civil judgments.
The security of businesses, property, schools and even children are rapidly becoming the foremost concern when introducing unknown people into their area or locality. With information becoming easier to find, and expert tools at the hands of private investigators, background checks are not only a way to ease the mind of a business owner, educational system, property manager or private citizen.
Forensic psychology specialists help judges, attorneys, and other legal and law enforcement professionals understand the psychology of criminals or other philosophies and circumstances surrounding a criminal act. Whether in family, civil or criminal court, forensic, criminology or victimology specialists can be designated as expert witnesses on the stand. Forensic psychology specialists in the family court system can assist with psychotherapy services, present child custody evaluations, or help investigate reports of child abuse. In civil courts, a Victimology expert may assess competency and sometimes provide psychotherapy to crime victims. Criminal court forensic psychology specialists may perform evaluations of mental competency of both victim and criminal, work with mentally challenged or child witnesses, and provide assessments of juvenile or adult offenders.
University of the Rockies offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization program to those who wish to serve as a forensic psychology specialist in the court system, or privately, as a victim advocate, expert witness or any other advanced criminal justice career. This degree program is provided online in order to help the busy professional attain a higher level of education while still maintaining current life and job obligations. PayScale.com reports an average salary for forensic psychology professionals at $60,000 annually, and the growth in this sector is expected to grow at a steady rate.
With the online option to attain a graduate-level degree in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies, University of the Rockies is helping professionals create a better future. Career satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of life, and by mastering the education needed to move forward into the forensic psychology, criminology or victimology fields, the future can be a very satisfactory place.
Evidence in court can come in many forms, from expert testimony to biological evidence to computer forensic evidence. Most evidence, such as a finger print or DNA sample, is almost impossible to dispute under normal circumstances. Evidence gained from the search of a computer or other computer-based peripheral can be a little more difficult to prove its worth in a court of law, especially when the value of evidence is based on its ability to be solid, not circumstantial.
Computer evidence, whether a file from a home PC or a list of websites viewed by a person on trial, can easily be tampered with during the process of investigation. Computers today are more complex than ever, and even the act of turning on a computer can change the data within, limiting the validity of any evidence extracted by a computer forensics specialist. It is this ability to easily “corrupt” or manipulate the evidence on a computer that can be concerning to law enforcement and police agencies that rely on the computer activity of a suspected criminal. Not only can this data-driven information be easily altered, even by the investigator with the best intentions, but because of the various steps taken in courts to dismiss evidence as inadmissible, there are also processes used to obtain the information needed to secure computer evidence.
One of the most important aspects of introducing computer forensic evidence in a court or trial is the chain of custody. By assuring the court that the computer or peripheral such as an external hard drive, flash drive or other electronic media device has not been tampered with, the computer forensic professional must keep a detailed log of how the device or devices were obtained and who may have had access to the files in question during the trial.
Another important factor in admissible computer forensic evidence is the ability to prove that a file or files exist on the original computer without changing any of the data on the computer. With the complexities of the computer environment, file data can easily change even during the process of a forensic investigation, and therefore be inadmissible in court. A knowledgeable computer forensics professional not only understands the delicate nature of retrieving this information, but also places a great deal of care in the extraction of computer data that is needed to help a prosecutor build an airtight case against a criminal.
As technology and computers advance ahead at an astounding rate, the ability of a computer forensics professional to keep up with those changes can be the hallmark of an efficient and effective law enforcement agency. By adhering to the rules of the chain of custody and the strict guidelines that apply to computer data extraction, a computer forensics professional can be an invaluable asset to any criminal investigation team.
Law enforcement and police agencies are expected to protect and serve the public, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender or age. Many times, violent or criminal acts are perpetrated between adults, but with the recent spotlight on youth violence and prevention, law enforcement and other organizations have implemented youth violence prevention programs within schools and communities in order to prevent crimes committed by those who may not be old enough to truly understand the consequences of their actions.
In the past decade, violent crimes committed by individuals between the ages of 12-18 have dropped dramatically, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This report includes information on non-violent crimes such as verbal abuse, bullying, hitting, slapping, or fist fighting as well as aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and homicide committed by and against youth. This decline in youth violence is attributed to declining gang violence, successful community law enforcement efforts, as well as various school and community-based programs to prevent violence. However, youth violence is still considered the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Youth violence is an indication of the health of a community, and, in turn, may affect the community’s health by increasing health care costs, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. Plus, youth violence directly and indirectly affects the mental health of those within these at-risk schools or communities.
Specific youth violence prevention programs that focus exclusively on issues like date rape and sexual assault or bullying are rapidly being integrated within academic curriculum in many schools, helping lower the overall rates of those crimes being committed, as well as their specific crime rates. Gang, alcohol and drug education programs, as well as workshops and seminars that link domestic violence and abuse to youth crime are also contributing to the lower crime rates. Law enforcement agencies and police officers are helping to take a proactive role in youth violence prevention by participating in these programs and even offering mentoring services, in many cases.
As more risk factors for youth violence are identified and used to help educate and lower its occurrence, the facts still show that youth violence is a national problem. Through educating children in schools and community organizations, as well as educating teachers, law enforcement, police officers and community organizers, the prevention of youth violence can becomes a natural part of the process of reducing violent and non-violent crime rates, regardless of the age of the perpetrator.
Careers in criminal justice are as varied as the organizations, law enforcement departments and government levels that hire criminal justice professionals. Administrative careers in criminal justice are typically positions in which investigating and interpreting data, managing people, and critical thinking skills are best utilized in order to create a seamless environment within the criminal justice systems. Walden University offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Criminal Justice Management and Administration to those who wish to pursue a career in criminal justice administration.
The Criminal Justice Management and Administration program from Walden University is based on recommendations from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. It encompasses studies of civic engagement, social responsibility, and global awareness as well as helping to build skills and knowledge of the collection and analysis of data across organizations. Other education and training in this program includes teamwork and communication skills, the successful application of policies and budgets, and the development and integration models of cross-agency coordination among regional, state, national, and international agencies in anticipation and response to typical critical incidents. These vital skills are needed in all levels of law enforcement, including local, regional, state and federal systems, corrections, homeland security, and social services including victim and advocacy services and criminal justice-related nonprofit organizations.
The Justice Management and Administration program from Walden University blends contemporary theory on the nature, extent, and cause of crime with the study of national and international criminal justice practices. In all levels of criminal justice, these skills are essential and are able to translate into numerous career paths within the criminal justice systems. In May 2008, median annual wages of detectives and criminal investigators were $60,910, while supervisors made a median $75,490. Career outlook for those in criminal justice, especially investigations and administration, is expected to continue to grow at an average rate.
Walden University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Criminal Justice Management and Administration can give students a different insight into the process of criminal justice, enabling the knowledge to enforce and even help change public policy as well as manage individuals working within the criminal justice system. This program is offered online, supported through coursework and a final capstone project, using the latest interactive media, including computer-generated scenarios from crime scenes. This format enables students to enhance their career and educational goals while still maintaining any current job or family obligations.
Computer viruses, malware, Trojans and all sorts of evil data destructors run rampant through the data systems of the Internet, flash drives and now, even on mobile devices. Some hackers want your bank information, some want your social security number, and some just like to be mean and erase your data. Computer security should always be a priority, but with the creative ways in which these viruses and other programs are finding their ways onto innocent laptops, desktops and mobile devices, protecting your data from harm may become an increasingly important part of your daily computing tasks.
Identity theft can and does happen on a regular basis, and the process of cleaning up your identity and convincing creditors that your personal information was compromised is a huge hassle that could have potentially destructive repercussions if not taken care of. If you have any type of financial information online, always be sure to protect it to the best of your ability by creating unique passwords and changing them regularly. Experts in computer security advise that when you log-in to an online account, verify on the browser that you are logging in securely, so that your username and password combination is less likely to be transmitted to a third party.
Be aware that any program that is downloaded could contain a “keylogger,” or application that sends all of the keystrokes you make on your computer to a third party, enabling them to see your username and passwords. Computer security professionals strongly advise that you only download information from trusted websites, and use great caution when opening e-mail attachments, even if they are from someone you know. E-mail can be easily hacked and the message with a picture from your uncle could contain a virus.
If you have a wireless Internet connection in your house, configure it securely with an encrypted password to help keep out anyone who could try to access your personal information through your modem or router. If you surf the Internet regularly, choose a safe web browser and be sure to keep your firewall updated, as well as any anti-virus and spyware detectors. Ignore popups or install a pop-up blocker, as these applications can download potentially harmful viruses that compromise your computer security without your knowledge.
Get in the habit of backing up your computer data regularly. Invest in an external hard drive or you can even sign up with an online backup site. Some Internet Service Providers also include a certain amount of space on their servers for your backup needs. Some of these online providers of backup computer security can even be scheduled to run while you are not on your computer. These sites also make it easier to access your information from anywhere, instead of remembering to bring a backup device on business trips or if you work in several offices.
The security of your personal information and data is only as strong as the effort you put into keeping it safe. By eliminating the ability of hackers and programs to infiltrate your information through the use of programs, applications and common sense, your computer security concerns should be minimal.
Criminal investigations are one of the most important aspects of any job or career in law enforcement. If not for the efforts of police officers, crime scene and other criminal investigators, the number of crimes committed would skyrocket and the safety of the public would be jeopardized as criminals run free. Understanding the techniques, technology and procedures of a criminal investigation can lead to a rewarding career in criminal justice, such as an independent forensic science consultant, fingerprint technician and examiner, forensic investigator, evidence technician, or even a career in private investigation. The ability and knowledge it takes to interpret evidence from a crime scene into information for a criminal profile or evidence for a court trial is constantly growing and expanding, and the need for qualified individuals to interpret these clues is always in demand.
Everest University’s Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations program offers fundamental criminal justice courses in crime scene investigation, fingerprints, forensic photography, technology crimes, criminalistics, collecting and presenting audio & visual evidence and biological evidence plus computer, technology and core college curriculum classes. This online 2-year program can help students begin their careers quicker than a “brick and mortar,” school because of its flexibility and a ability to work around current home, life or current job obligations. In addition, Everest University’s Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations program provides students with skills and training needed to compete after graduating, including job search techniques, resume preparation and interviewing skills.
After graduating, students are able to use their Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations to find jobs in forensic laboratories, medical examiners offices, hospitals and insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, loss prevention departments and within the federal, state and local government, as well as criminal investigations contractors or private detectives. The median salary for those with an Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations is just above $40,000 annually. The job outlook for a student graduating with an Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations varies depending on the career path chosen.
With the Associate Degree in Criminal Investigations program from Everest University, students learn the skills needed at a crime scene, in a laboratory and even the ability to interview and secure employment in the law enforcement career field. This online program offers more than just core college curriculum and enhanced criminal investigations classes, but also the convenience, flexibility and support needed for those looking to start a new career, change or enhance their current career, or embark on the next phase of their life as a Criminal Investigator.