There are about a thousand paralegal schools in operation in the United States today, operating in one guise or another. Surely anyone interested in pursuing a career in this rapidly growing field can find a school that meets his or her needs.
Paralegal schools operate within the auspices of many colleges and universities and some law schools offer this training as well. Some proprietary type schools, those specializing in just one occupational field, focus all their efforts on the paralegal profession and many vocational schools and community colleges offer training to one extent or another.
Of the one thousand or so paralegal schools, only about 260 of the programs offered have earned the approval of the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA is not chartered with regulating or overseeing the education of paralegals but graduating from a school that has its blessing is often a very attractive inclusion on a resume.
Most paralegal schools, especially those that meet ABA approval, offer the foundations of learning that qualify a graduate to sit for one of the three major certification exams offered in the US. Certification is not a requirement to work as a paralegal in the US, nor is a license in many states, but getting the certification anyway is usually viewed as an enhancement when evaluating resumes.
If certification is a goal, graduation from one of the many paralegal schools is only the beginning of the education process. To renew a certification, continuing education classes are required and sometimes a specified amount of time on the job is required, too.
Working with the law often means working with intimate and confidential details of a person's life or a business's operation and paralegal schools will all stress the value of strict confidentiality when dealing with legal matters on a professional basis. Sometimes a paralegal will have direct contact with a client but other times he or she will be involved with background-type work instead. Either way, discretion and confidentiality must be maintained to the utmost level at all times.
With the many options to choose from when considering paralegal schools, it's nice to know there are so many options. Enrolling in one of the many programs available, even those online, is a step to a career that promises steady employment and a very nice rate of pay.