As the judicial system in the United States increasingly becomes a more complicated and difficult river to navigate, law professionals continue to become exponentially more dependent on the work of paralegals as a way to build cases for their clients. The paralegal is a person who has the potential to be an attorney’s competitive advantage, as they are the person who handles much of the work that makes lawyers more efficient and thorough. Opportunities abound for people who choose to work in law, specifically within the paralegal profession. Issues such as taxation and intellectual property rights are quickly becoming significant problems for attorneys, and as both of these issues evolve, attorneys find themselves in need of people who are capable of engaging in the difficult task of researching current changes as they prepare for a case.
Perhaps the most significant occurrence in the field of education so far in this millennium is the rapid expansion of the online learning environment in higher education. Whether an individual is wishing to make a career transition into law or is looking to further their career in their current industry or organization as a law para-professional, an online paralegal program offers tremendous advantages. The Internet has allowed us to develop virtual classrooms that become just as engaging and challenging as the traditional on-ground classroom, but with the ease of simply logging in from a home terminal or notebook.
The world has also become a 24/7/365 marketplace, and the demands of the student of today are not easily accommodated by the classrooms of yesterday. Many universities have begun to develop online courses or hybrid online/on-ground courses, but are not capable of implementing an entire program in the online arena. The demands of our world today dictate that a person must be capable of being flexible and nimble with changing their work schedule, and an online program gives a working student that possibility.
Accredited Online Paralegal Programs
- Post University
The Post University Paralegal Certificate program is designed for completion in as little as a year to 17 months. Courses in this program run for 8 weeks and begin 6 times a year. Student graduating from this program have developed skills which will allow them to be successful in positions in the field of law as well as in organizations within industries under significant regulation, such as banking. A personal advisor will assist you in developing a schedule to fit your specific needs.
- Rasmussen College
With more than 110 years of academic excellence, Rasmussen College is a trusted and respected higher education institution with campuses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, Florida, and online throughout the nation. Since 1900, Rasmussen College has been dedicated to helping our students succeed both in the classroom and in their careers. Rasmussen College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- National Paralegal College
The National Paralegal College Paralegal Certificate program is designed for the student who is looking for quick entry into the job market with a certificate in paralegal studies. This program takes from seven to seventeen months to complete. The focus of this program is on developing the skills of the student as a legal researcher and teaches students the use of legal industry standard search engines such as LexisNexis. The student is also given development in specific laws on both federal and state levels.
- Duke University
The prestigious Duke University offers an online Paralegal Certificate program which is available to students who have a schedule that does not afford them the time to attend a traditional on-ground course, or who desire to attend this program offered by Duke but are otherwise incapable of relocating to their campus in North Carolina. This certificate program gives students training in the use of common tools utilized by legal professionals and develops the student’s communication skills as a legal para-professional. This program is designed to be completed in five months to a year. At completion, the student will receive the same degree as a student who had attended classes on-ground, but will have had the advantage of having the program in an online setting led by instructors focused on a national audience, not just for the student who will practice in North Carolina.
- California State University – Dominguez Hills
The CSU – Dominguez Hills online Paralegal Certificate program offers students the training necessary to be an effective assistant to an attorney both in the field and in the office. This program will give the student the opportunity to develop skills such as conducting witness interviewing and preparation, law research, and case preparation. This program was created as an effective alternative to the on-ground campus and offers instruction concerning many specialties in law.
The accredited online paralegal certificate programs listed above each have an advantage over the traditional approach. Online Paralegal certificate programs offer access to quality programs that prepare the student for a highly competitive job market by leveraging the capabilities of communication technology. A student is no longer limited by time or distance from achieving their dream, and with the accelerated nature of many programs, a person who desires to work in the intellectually demanding field of paralegal services can very easily find a solution that is right for their situation. Now, more than ever, education matters as we evolve in to a more knowledge-based economy, and having an education from an accredited program in a consistently high demand field will give an individual a competitive edge when looking for employment.