Top Online Paralegal Degree Programs and Industry Salary 2023/2024

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Today we will dive in and have a look at the Top Online Paralegal Degree and Industry Salary, Careers, Opportunities, etc.

Paralegal Degree

There are multiple routes to becoming a practicing paralegal, including online associate degrees, paralegal bachelor degree online programs, and diploma and certificate programs.

Each of these options provides different career opportunities. Taking accelerated classes can help you get out into the workforce in half the time as a traditional course of study.

Associate in Paralegal Degree Program

An associate degree is typically a 1 or 2 year degree that can help prepare you to enter a job much quicker than a bachelor’s degree would.

Because it’s typically not as rigorous as a bachelor’s degree program, an associate degree program usually trains for lower-level positions. They can also help prepare you for completing a bachelor’s degree in the future.

You can earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree, an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree, or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Paralegal or Legal Studies.

The difference usually means nothing more than how many science and math classes you’re required to take, and this is at the discretion of the school to decide. Any of these degree programs can help you get the basic training needed to be successful as a paralegal.

Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies

In contrast to the 1 to 2 year training degree programs for an associate degree, a paralegal bachelor’s degree online program usually takes about 3 to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive.

Bachelor’s degree programs may offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS).

Because a bachelor’s degree usually takes longer to complete, you may gain more experience writing mock trial briefs, conducting legal research, and acquiring the skills needed to become an effective paralegal.

You may also have more opportunities through a bachelor’s degree program to intern with law firms or shadow a paralegal or attorney.

One of the primary advantages of choosing a bachelor’s degree over an associate degree is the potential to continue on to law school.

Law schools typically require the completion of a bachelor’s degree for admission. If you have a desire to one day become an attorney, you’ll want to consider pursuing a paralegal bachelor’s degree rather than an associate degree. Doing so could help put you in a much better position to apply to law school in the future.

Paralegal Diploma and Certificate Programs

Online diploma and certificate programs are different from both paralegal associate degree online programs and paralegal bachelor degree online programs. They also differ from online legal secretarial training.

Certificate programs can help you become a Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP) through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). These online programs are designed to give you the opportunity to take the CLA/CP exam and help you pass it.

Some certification and diploma programs only require a high school diploma or GED to get started.

Many others do require an associate or bachelor’s degree (in any subject), computer competency, and/or English fluency.

Paralegal certificate courses are intensive courses that last about a year or less. The cost of these programs varies greatly, but students usually pay anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 for the entire program, including books and other materials.

Certificate courses are usually module-based courses, meaning students complete sections at their own pace. They are then assessed at the end of each module before moving on to the next.

A common procedure is that students are paired with instructors (practicing attorneys or instructors with law experience) that serve as graders and mentors. Even though these certificate programs are courses, students won’t really be in a class with others like they might in a paralegal bachelor’s degree online program.

After completing various assessments, which typically include demonstrations of knowledge and intensive writing activities, students can then go on to take the CLA/CP exam. If they pass, become certified paralegals.

Paralegal certification is not mandatory in the United States but is instead a voluntary way to demonstrate paralegal proficiency (similar to an accountant electing to become a CPA). This certification can look impressive on a resume and convey to an employer that you’re serious about your role as a paralegal.

What Exactly Does a Paralegal Do on a Given Day?

The primary role of a paralegal is to assist attorneys in doing their jobs efficiently and ethically.

According to Frankly Legal, employers look for paralegals that possess strong communication, writing, and research skills. They also look for those that are detail-oriented, self-motivated, organized, and able to handle deadlines and urgent demands with ease and sensibility.

Experience in the field and recommendations from former employers, advisors, and mentors can also help you land a paralegal position.

Paralegals are in charge of a variety of duties, including writing briefs and reports, conducting legal research, and organizing witness interviews and depositions. Whatever the lead attorney needs the paralegal to do, that’s what he/she will be assigned to do.

Paralegals move from the office to the courtroom to assist attorneys, so paralegal work can be very mobile and demanding.

Job Outlook for Paralegal Students

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals make on average about $52,920 per year, which is about on par with the national average household income. With a projected 12 % job growth, the field is growing faster than average, so there should be ample opportunities to secure a rewarding career.

The BLS also reports that paralegals are sometimes required to work overtime in order to meet demands. Because of this, the hours of a paralegal may not be as flexible as other career fields.

Other Career Paths

Training to become a paralegal can also help prepare you for other potential careers in the field of law and related fields. If you obtain a degree in Paralegal Studies, becoming a paralegal is not your only career option.

A paralegal associate degree online or a paralegal bachelor degree online can give you the necessary training to pursue a career as a:

  • Law clerk
  • Claims adjuster
  • Occupational specialist

If for some reason, becoming a paralegal doesn’t work out, your investment and training can still help you pursue a variety of other careers.

What Is the Best Paralegal Certification Program?

Most students find that the best paralegal certification programs are those that provided sufficient preparation for the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) and Certified Paralegal (CP) exams through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Other beneficial attributes to look for are online learning platforms, multiple start dates, and accelerated classes.

What Do You Major in to Become a Paralegal?

The most common bachelor’s level majors taken to pursue a career as a paralegal are:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies
  • Liberal Arts
  • Paralegal Studies

Some employers may require a degree in paralegal studies, but there is typically no requirement to have one specific degree. You may even be able to become a certified paralegal without a college education.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Paralegal Degree?

That depends on the level of education you want and what type of program you enroll in. If you take accelerated classes, you may be able to finish your associate degree in about a year. You may be able to complete a bachelor’s degree in two years.

If you don’t take accelerated classes, both degrees usually take twice as long.

Are There Any Online ABA Approved Paralegal Programs?

The ABA approves the best online paralegal certificate programs but not fully online degrees. To qualify for ABA approval, an online class has to mirror that of an on-campus program. It needs to provide just as much instruction and has to have a way to ensure that students are completing their own work.


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Hello readers, you are welcome to your info connect. My name is Emmanuel, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer, a blogger, and Digital Marketer. I share educational and career information and content to enable viewers who are aiming for success to attain it in their various fields. I hope you enjoy your tour here.

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