Online Paralegal Training

Formal paralegal training and certification isn't required in any state, but most employers do prefer their paralegals to have completed some type of certification or degree program in the field. Paralegal training programs are available at many vocational schools, colleges and even some larger universities, and are open to students without any previous legal experience. Completing a formal paralegal training program can give you the advanced skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your career, and having some type of certificate or degree can put you in a better position for an attractive job as a paralegal throughout your career. Taking some time to learn about different types of paralegal training programs can help you decide whether this is the right educational and career path for you.

Who Needs Paralegal Training?

If you want to serve as a legal assistant for a law firm or an independent attorney, completing a formal paralegal training program can help you obtain an attractive position shortly after graduation or completion of the program. Anyone interested in becoming a paralegal can enter a paralegal training program without any background or training in the field. These programs can run from 7 months to four years or more, depending on the level of study you choose to complete. Some attorneys prefer to hire paralegals with an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, while others are comfortable hiring those with a paralegal certificate.

Types of Paralegal Training Programs

The type of paralegal training program you choose to complete will depend on the level of education you already have, whether you want to pursue this career path on a part-time or a full-time basis, and what area you want to specialize in. The different types of paralegal training programs include:

  • Paralegal Certificate Programs
  • Online Paralegal Education Programs
  • Associate's Degree Program in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor's Degree Program in Paralegal Studies
  • Master's Degree Program in Paralegal Studies
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificate Programs

Some schools and organizations also offer continuing education courses for paralegals who want to advance in their careers without completing another formal training program. Continuing education courses and advanced courses can help paralegals keep up with changing laws and statutes, learn about new legal software programs and applications, and also learn new research methods and database organization skills.

Completing Paralegal Training Online

Students who don't live near an accredited school or training center that offers paralegal training may be able to complete their education online. Online paralegal certification programs are usually shorter than degree programs and can help students prepare for their paralegal certification exam. Completing paralegal training online can provide a student with more flexibility in their schedule and allow them to work at their own pace. Students enrolled in online programs typically take quizzes and tests over the web, participate in discussion groups, attend web-based lectures and seminars, and have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other students and legal professionals. For some people, an online format is a much better way to fulfill many of the general paralegal training requirements and can be a fast-track educational experience towards certification.