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3 Things To Know about a Paralegal Associate Degree

The field of law can be very exciting and paralegals play a vital role! Whether a paralegal is working in a law firm, on a corporate legal team, or for a government agency, his/her job duties will vary from day to day. Daily tasks can include investigating the facts of a case, conducting relevant research on legal precedents, writing reports to help lawyers prepare for trials or drafting legal correspondence. If this type of dynamic job sounds like a good fit for you, starting an associates degree paralegal program is the best first step to launching a legal career.

But, before you get started you may want to know more about the field. Below are three things you should consider before enrolling in an online school for paralegal studies.

Online school vs. traditional school

Selecting a school is a very personal choice. Considerations should include available time, the degrees a school offers as well as personal learning styles. For many, an online degree program can be the right option because it allows for a great deal of flexibility. Additionally, at an online school classes can be taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which could help students balance school work with an existing job as a legal assistant or legal secretary.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment of paralegals is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2020. The driving force? Budget conscious employers recognize the value in hiring paralegals. The advantage they see is paralegals can perform a wider variety tasks at a less costly rate than lawyers. But, as job opportunities continue to grow, so will competition for open positions. The BLS suggests that because of this competition formally trained paralegals may be hired more frequently than those without training and paralegals with experience and specialization will have more opportunities in high-demand practice areas. The bottom-line is paralegals with a degree increase their chances of being hired.

Skills to Improve Employability

While earning an associates degree, paralegal students will gain several critical job skills, the ability to analyze cases and prepare legal documents. In addition to these degree-related traits, a successful paralegal career requires another set of qualities to improve an individual’s employability. Critical thinking skills, information literacy, organizational skills and strong communication skills are all highly desired by employers.

Bryant & Stratton College Online has an associate degree paralegal program that emphasizes degree-related skills as well as fosters other characteristics in students that help them gain a competitive edge in the marketplace through its Employability Series. If you’d like to learn more about earning a degree in paralegal studies visit online.bryantstratton.edu.

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