What to Look for in an Online Paralegal Degree Course
- Curriculum: Paralegals need a wide breadth of knowledge on a variety of legal topics. Check to be sure that your online course will offer you training in all the subjects you will need to know. Included curriculum should cover the following subject matter at a minimum: legal vocabulary, criminal law, civil law, business law, torts, legal research, case management, legal writing,
- Accreditation: In order to receive the best online education possible, you will want to verify that the school is accredited by the US Department of Education. It is not necessary to select a course that is American Bar Association (ABA) approved, although that is an indication of a top-notch program. Another indication of a good program is one that is endorsed by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
- Graduation Rates: Check on your selected school’s graduation rates. An institution with low graduation rates is a low quality school and not worth your time or money.
- Pricing: There is a wide range of prices for online courses. Attending an accredited school will qualify you for federal financial aid programs. Some private institutions will have their own financial assistance programs available for you. Carefully consider the quality of education you will receive before amassing any student loans.
Advantages of an Online Paralegal Degree
An online paralegal degree is an excellent choice for many people. It is an ideal option for busy people who are working full time or for those who don’t live near a paralegal college. Attending school online is convenient since you can get online to do your school work during the times you are available, even if that is the middle of the night.
Disadvantages of an Online Paralegal Degree
An online paralegal degree is not the right choice for everyone. You have to be a self-motivated individual to keep up with your studies. Learning the law online without the benefit of a classroom can be challenging. Be sure that your school has a good support system established to help you with any questions that arise or help you need on your assignments. Hopefully, your program will have resources available to help you set up internships or work/study opportunities.
Requirements to Enroll in an Online Paralegal Degree Program
Online Paralegal degree programs do not have any special requirements to enroll vs. going to school to take classes. You will have to be able to meet the particular school’s admission requirements. Basic considerations such as a high school diploma or GED are standard. You will need to have a suitable computer and online access. Conditions will vary depending on the school, so be sure to check with the school’s admission counselor to make sure you qualify for enrollment.
Online Certificate vs Online Degree
A Paralegal Certificate is not a degree. Instead of a diploma, you receive a certificate that shows you have successfully completed the required course work. A Paralegal degree can be an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in which you have completed all of the required course credits. Both a certificate and degree can be achieved online.