Paralegal Programs – Get Your Certification Online
A paralegal professional is a legal officer, who prepares legal documents on behalf of a law firm or an attorney. However, paralegal professionals cannot represent a client in court, or dispense legal advice on their own.
There are various different options available in online paralegal programs and certifications, which enable people to qualify as paralegals. The benefit of online programs is that they allow people to complete the programs in the least amount of time. The minimum amount of time that online paralegal programs can be completed in is 15 months. Other than short diplomas, there are various extensive programs that students can pursue. For example, there are extensive programs that lead to associates, bachelors and masters degrees. However, the fees or rates of these programs progressively increase with the complexity of the program.
Characteristics of a Paralegal
Paralegals are sometimes also known as legal assistants. The duties of paralegal professions are varied.
• They act as analysts, researchers and assistants to lawyers, helping lawyers organize official documents while preparing for trials.
• They can also be employed to assist in court proceedings, to help prepare documents like shareholder contracts or agreements, mortgage documents, tax documents and criminal documents.
• Paralegals heavily rely on the use of technology in the event of carrying out their duties.
• One of the most important skills a paralegal must possess is the skill of accessing computer databases. This is a skill that a paralegal has to make use of on a daily basis, especially when it comes to preparing agreements, legal documents and contracts required by clients.
• Lastly, paralegal professionals also record and track billable hours by attorneys. This is in fact, one of the most important services paralegals provide for attorneys.
Colleges and Universities Running Online Paralegal Programs
A few years back, enrolling for online paralegal programs was not as common as it is today. Thanks to the concept of online degree programs, it is now possible to earn a degree in any program or course of your choice. Today, there are various accredited online institutions, which offer online paralegal programs such as:
• Kaplan University
• Everest University Online
• Penn Foster College
• South University
• Colorado Technical University Online
• The George Washington University
• Keiser University
• National Paralegal College
Tuition Fees and Course Requirements
The tuition fees and course requirements vary from institution to institution. So, when you’re looking for online paralegal programs, make sure that you carefully check out the details of all the different programs before choosing the one that suits you. Tuition fees are generally based on the number of courses and credit hours you enroll for.
Flexibility is one of the greatest advantages of studying online. The interesting thing about online paralegal programs is that they give you the opportunity to take online lectures at your own leisure. Another benefit is that you can have your tests postponed to a later date and time of your convenience.