As the cost of legal fees climbs ever higher, more and more law firms are turning to the expertise of its staff of paralegals, or legal assistants, to perform some of the basic background work required of lawyers. In fact, the job of paralegal is expected to grow by more than 20%, much faster than the average job, between now and 2016, according to US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One great way to get a jumpstart into this very promising line of work is to apply for the chance to earn an online paralegal degree. Most paralegals hold an associates degree, a few hold a bachelors degree, and some of them train on the job but studying online will allow the freedom to study when it's convenient, especially if it's necessary to maintain a job or run a busy household while studying for the degree.
Computers are an important aspect of a legal practice anyway so earning an online paralegal degree demonstrates a level of comfort with computers and software programs and proves proficiency as well. Both these attributes will become invaluable during a career as a busy paralegal.
Almost 70% of the paralegals employed in the US today work for law firms, doing the legwork behind the scenes for court cases, closings, and other legal proceedings, all areas that are thoroughly covered in online paralegal degree programs as well as those taught in a classroom environment.
Other avenues of employment that can be enjoyed by obtaining an online paralegal degree are with government agencies and in corporate firms where the work is closely connected to the US judicial system.
There is a very large amount of research and analysis required of a legal assistant and an online paralegal degree will train the student in finding the best sources of reliable information and how to work effectively with it.
Online paralegal degree studies require a great deal of organization and documentation, some of the same characteristics a person would have in order to consider an online learning program of any sort. This may even come as second nature to the most valued legal assistants.
With a rather dramatic shift in the workload from lawyers to their paralegal staff, an online paralegal degree is a great way to begin a career sure to bring steady employment and personal satisfaction.