Are you interested in a career in law, but don’t want to spend years getting the required education and training? You might be interested in becoming a paralegal through online paralegal programs.
Paralegals help lawyers by performing a variety of tasks, such as conducting legal research; drafting correspondences and other legal documents; writing reports that aid lawyers in their preparation for trials; investigate and verify facts surrounding a case; obtaining affidavits and other formal statements that may be presented as evidence in court for trials; and maintaining and organizing files, whether electronic or otherwise. You can become a paralegal by earning an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or completing an unrelated bachelor’s degree and earning a certificate in paralegal studies. Some schools offer bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies. There are also a number of accredited online paralegal programs that prospective students can choose from.
Online paralegal programs offer the same quality education as their traditional counterparts. To start with, these programs typically require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Instead of traveling to the school’s location and physically attending classes, students will be required to attend classes online and participate by handing in homework, and taking quizzes and exams. This is beneficial for students who are restricted by work schedules and family obligations from going to traditional colleges and universities.
The length of time required to earn an online paralegal degree or certificate may vary depending on the amount of time a student is able to devote to his or her studies.
Online Paralegal Schools
- Boston University offers an online Paralegal Studies Program that emphasizes expertise in writing, research, and technology, all of which are core skills that are valued and sought after in all areas of law. Students will learn comprehensive legal theory from experienced scholar-teachers over the course of fourteen weeks. The online paralegal program is offered six times a year and delivers the same proven curriculum as the long-standing classroom program. The online paralegal certificate program covers the following topics: Legal Research; Legal Writing and Reasoning; Technology and the Paralegal; Real Estate; Corporate Law; Litigation; and, Probate and Family Law.
- UC Berkeley Extension’s Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies was designed by paralegals for paralegals and taught by practicing attorneys. Students can obtain the knowledge and skills they need to become a paralegal in just six months, and can choose to learn at their own pace through the paralegal online program or through the hybrid format that combines classroom and online study. The online paralegal courses include Essential Paralegal Studies Part I and II; Paralegal Business Law; Paralegal California Procedures; Paralegal Contract Law; Paralegal Criminal Law; Paralegal Family Law; Paralegal Intellectual Property Law; and, Paralegal Tort Law.
- Duke University Continuing Studies Online Global Paralegal Certificate Program trains students and prepares them for future careers as professional paralegals. The program provides comprehensive support materials designed to help each student successfully complete the program. It is based on the U.S. legal system and includes traditional texts, online lectures notes, mock exams, writing labs and reference materials for each of the 50 states. Students are also provided access to Lexis Nexis and Westlaw, two of the most recognized legal research tools in the world.