Paralegal and Paralegal CertificateWritten by Sara Jenkins
Paralegal or legal assistant is ďa distinguishable person who assists attorneys in delivery of legal services. Through formal education, training and experience, legal assistant has knowledge and expertise regarding legal system and substantive and procedural law which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under supervision of an attorney.Ē
In United States, there are more than 120,000 paralegals that have received paralegal certificates that do tasks and become vital members of legal community. Paralegal are either hired by lawyers, law firms, corporations, governmental agency, or other groups of same manner.
Paralegals, as a legal assistant have limited task. They could mot represent a client in court not give legal advice. They cannot set fee or accept a case. In short paralegals cannot assume duties that are set for legal officers only.
However, paralegals can perform tasks under supervision of attorney. These can be, but not limited to, conducting client interview without bridging gap between paralegal and attorney. Paralegals can also conduct survey, investigations, and research whether statistical or documentary. Paralegals can also summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimony. They can also attend hearings and trial with attorney. And with legal assistance, paralegals can author and sign correspondence but does not include legal opinions.
But becoming must have a formal education about profession. The Associate Degree Programs, Bachelor Degree Programs, and Masterís Degree Program are some of this. There is also what we can Certificate Program that is offered to various educational institutions that can be between 16-60 semester units.
Enrolling in a Paralegal SchoolWritten by Sara Jenkins
Paralegal jobs in United States have steadily been on rise these past few years. The US Department of Labor also projects that in next several years, paralegal job opportunities will continue to increase. As law firms continue to expand and new ones are being established, paralegals are progressively more in demand than ever before.
Some paralegal positions do not require extensive training and provide it on-the-job. However, most employers prefer applicants who have had formal training in a paralegal school. These law firms need paralegals who already demonstrate proficiency. On-the-job training calls for a commitment of more resources and time, which may not be cost effective for firm.
Because of increasing demand for paralegals that specialize in particular fields, paralegal training courses and paralegal schools have also gained popularity. For those considering a career in this field, enrolling in a paralegal school is a good decision. A paralegal school will provide extensive training on duties and functions of a paralegal. The training that a paralegal school provides is very advantageous to student compared to on-the-job-training. In a paralegal school, future paralegals can complete paralegal training programs and even proceed to taking additional classes in a specialized area of study.
General paralegal training in a paralegal school usually consist of special courses that cover key areas of importance. Paralegal training programs in paralegal schools include classes in legal terminology as well as operation of US Justice System. Paralegal schools also train students on basics of conducting an investigation and interviews. Some other key courses that paralegal schools offer include legal writing and conducting legal research. Students will also learn about legal ethics and professional responsibility. Paralegal schools are excellent training ground for future legal professionals. Some paralegal schools provide affiliate programs with law schools, universities and colleges that could further improve skills and knowledge of its students.