Break Into the Legal World With a Degree in Paralegal Studies

June 27th, 2012 by

The legal industry is an interesting and lucrative field of employment. Although lawyers typically have to attend a four year college program and then three years of law school before they can find employment, not everyone who works in a law office requires such extensive qualifications and certifications. Paralegals do very similar work to lawyers and can earn surprisingly good salaries as well.

To become equipped to manage the challenges of this career, a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies online is a wise option. If you want to work in the legal field and find a stable and well paid career, then read on to learn more about becoming a paralegal and what degree you will need to get there.

Understanding Paralegal Studies

You might be surprised to learn that paralegals and lawyers are both trained to do many of the same tasks. However, paralegals will not speak in court on behalf of clients. They will work directly with clients in order to better serve their needs, communicate legal issues and to serve as a liaison between clients and lawyers.

Paralegals spend a lot of their time researching past court cases, settlements and finding information about existing trials and cases. Degree programs in paralegal studies will also focus heavily on communications. You can expect to learn more about written and verbal communication in order to better express yourself as a paralegal. Much of the coursework also revolves around understanding common law and the intricacies of the legal system in this country.

Career Opportunities After Receiving Your Degree

Most graduates who receive a bachelor degree in paralegal studies will go on to work as paralegals in a law firm. However, that is not the only opportunity for graduates. Some students who majored in paralegal studies will find employment in government offices or courthouses. Many also head back to school to become lawyers themselves. Many large businesses are keen to hire paralegal majors because they have a solid background in extensive research and great communication.

Advantages of Online Learning

There has been some recent confusion among potential students who are unsure about the validity of an online degree. As it turns out, online degrees are just as recognized in the legal community as they are in many other fields. Whether you have an online degree in paralegal studies or a traditional campus degree, employers don’t see a difference.

With an online degree, you can work from home on your own computer whenever you have time. You won’t need to stick to a set class schedule or face daily commutes to a college campus. Many online programs are even cheaper than campus degree programs thanks to much smaller overhead costs needed to run the schools.

Career Prospects and Salaries in the Legal World

Although many industries are suffering from layoffs, outsourcing and downsizing, most legal firms continue to grow in the United States. In law firms where the budget is a concern, employers are more likely to hire paralegals than lawyers.

Graduating with a degree in paralegal studies is a solid choice in a rough economy. It prepares you for a specific career as a paralegal, but the degree also transfers well to other areas like healthcare and government work. Average salaries for paralegals will range depending on your geographical area, but the median tends to be around $47,000 per year.

Earning a bachelor’s degree online in paralegal studies is a smart way to get ahead in life, find a steady career and earn more each year.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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