Things I Should Know About Getting an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies
Can I get an associates degree in paralegal studies?
The majority of students who choose to become paralegals earn their education through a paralegal associates degree. And although an associates degree is the most common educational path for legal assistants, there are several different types of associates degrees.
For instance, some associates degrees are terminal, which means that you can start working as soon as you complete them. Others are designed so that you can transfer into a bachelors degree program, but you will also be qualified to work in the field after you earn an associates degree. And of course, you have the option to study at a traditional brick-and-mortar school or to pursue your paralegal associate degree online.
When you are investigating schools where you can study for your legal assisting associates degree, there are a few things that you should look for. First, check whether the programs that interest you are recognized by the American Bar Association or the American Association for Paralegal Education. You can be sure that you are earning a top paralegal associate degree if your program has been approved by either of these programs.
What kinds of associates can I earn?
If you decide to pursue an associates degree in this field, you will have 3 choices. Although these degree paths are all similar, there are subtle differences in the programs of study that you should pay attention to. You can earn an associate of arts, associate of science or an associate of applied science in paralegal studies.
In addition to paralegal classes, the associate of arts degree in paralegal studies offers a curriculum with more liberal arts and humanities courses than the other degrees. It is designed to give you a broad education. The associate of arts degree is the optimal choice if you want to transfer into a paralegal bachelors degree program.
You can also earn an associate of science in paralegal studies, which has more science and mathematics courses. Therefore, it is designed to give you a technical background. The associate of science degree is a good choice if you do not know whether you will want to transfer into a bachelors degree program or begin working as soon as you graduate.
Finally, you can earn an associate of applied science degree in paralegal studies. You should choose this degree if you want to enter the workforce immediately after you graduate because it teaches applied job skills, which will prepare you for a career.
How long does it take to earn a paralegal associates degree?
Regardless of whether you pursue your online paralegal associates degree or your traditional degree, you will need to earn 60 to 70 credit hours to graduate. Most students are able to complete their associates degrees in approximately 2 years.
What classes will I take in my paralegal associates degree program?
As you pursue your associates degree in paralegal studies, you will learn about legal procedures and administration. For example, some of the classes you can expect to study are business law, tort law, legal analysis and ethics.
In addition, the best paralegal associates degrees will place you into internships so that you can practice your skills and make professional connections. This is especially true if you earn a paralegal online associates degree, because you will need to try your skills in a realistic environment. This will provide you with a practical environment to test the skills that you learned in your online paralegal courses alone to prepare you for your career.
Can I earn my associates in paralegal studies online?
It is possible to earn a paralegal online associates degree. In fact, many schools offer online paralegal degrees. And as long as you earn an accredited online paralegal associate degree, your employers will respect your online degree as much as an offline degree. The best paralegal associates degree online will place you in an internship after you complete your online coursework. Internships and practicums are important because the work experience that you gain will boost your resume and improve your job prospects.
What kinds of jobs can I get with an associates degree in paralegal studies?
An associates degree in paralegal studies qualifies you for legal assisting jobs in law firms and government offices. For example, you may be hired as a paralegal or a legal secretary. However, when you graduate with your associates degree, you should keep in mind that more competitive positions often require bachelors degrees.