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Paralegal Certificate Programs
The nationwide demand for paralegals and legal assistants is growing. Currently, the number of paralegals in the legal community is totaling 90,000 and according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics, the paralegal job market is set to double in size.
Most employers who seek the services of a paralegal or legal assistant require applicants to have an associate degree or a certificate in paralegal studies, at the very least, before hiring.
The good news is that there are many colleges, universities and institutions that offer paralegal certificate programs, introducing the prospective paralegal student to many basic legal concepts and technical skills needed to meet future career challenges.
Who Should Take Paralegal Certificate Programs?
Anyone who is considering a career in the paralegal profession should consider getting formal education in paralegal studies. The paralegal certificate programs offer a good opportunity for you to hone your current skills and learn new ones as well, with courses focusing on critical thinking and communications as well as different specialties in paralegal studies.
While paralegal certificate programs are usually offered to those who are already holders of associate and bachelor degrees, high school graduates who choose a career in paralegal work may gain a good head start by enrolling in any of these paralegal certificate programs.
Moreover, paralegal certificate programs may be offered online as part of a distance education course. Now, homemakers seeking a new career may choose to enroll in a paralegal certificate program to train to become a paralegal. Career changers may also take advantage of the benefits of an online paralegal certificate program. These people bring administrative and management skills that increase their success in the legal field.
What Are the Different Paralegal Specialties?
The work of a paralegal or legal assistant is very broad. While lawyers assume the ultimate responsibility of providing legal services to their clients, paralegals may assist them in almost every task. Because of this, technical skills and knowledge about the legal system is important in order for a paralegal to become successful in his chosen career field.
In addition, many employers today require paralegal specialties. For instance, instead of tackling work under the broad category of Civil Law, an employer may want a paralegal who is knowledgeable about a smaller area of focus of Civil Law, such as personal injury.
Many paralegal certificate programs focus on different legal specialties and you only have to choose which one you prefer to focus on. These specialties may include any of the following:
* Personal injury
* Trademark law
* Civil rights
* Criminal law
* Consumer law
* Entertainment law
* Worker's compensation
* Welfare law
* Tribal law
* Real estate
* Nurse paralegal
* Patent law
* Family law
* Foreign law
* Estate planning
* Intellectual property law
* Insurance law
* Labor relations
* Labor standards
* Securities compliance
* Criminal investigation