Help picking online paralegal program

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Comments (9)

Lisa in Santa Rosa, California

27 months ago

I can't help but notice, Stephanie, that you are located in Golden, CO, where the CLS is also located. Do you work for them?

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

27 months ago

What percentage of your graduates obtain employment as a paralegal after graduation? What is the average debt level of these graduates? What is their starting salary as a paralegal?

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tmf1977 in Yonkers, New York

27 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: What percentage of your graduates obtain employment as a paralegal after graduation? What is the average debt level of these graduates? What is their starting salary as a paralegal?

It greatly depends on the market and location. At this time, the legal profession has taken a huge hit with respect to jobs and salaries. Newly admitted attorneys' salaries have significantly decreased over the past seven years, therefor legal support salaries have also decreased.

I can only vouch for NYC, but the average starting salary for large/mid size firms and in-house legal departments is $30K-35K. If you are working for a solo or small law firm (usually 10 attorneys or less), the starting salary usually averages between $12-$16 per hour.

As far as on-line, again I can only speak about the NY market, most law firms and companies frown upon on-line colleges/universities. Your best bet is checking out the ABA website and looking for a nearby ABA approved program. On-line programs are ok for brush up or to test drive courses, but in general, most employers (especially in law) prefer graduates from an accredited colleg/univesity in which the school is well ranked and has a good reputation.

Hope this helps.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

27 months ago

I am already a paralegal. I was asking that poster who was fake recommending the paralegal school where she worked, but it looks like the posts were deleted.

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tmf1977 in Yonkers, New York

27 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: I am already a paralegal. I was asking that poster who was fake recommending the paralegal school where she worked, but it looks like the posts were deleted.

No problem; glad the spammer received the boot on here ;-)

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BG in Carlsbad, California

27 months ago

Pretty much every major college and university offers online certificate and degree programs today. But it won't make much of a difference, since there are no jobs in the paralegal field regardless of what progran you complete.

Common sense says that if a lawyer can't find a job, then they won't be needing a paralegal in a support role for a role that doesn't exist. Also, many lawyers are working from home and do most of the work themselves, when they can land a client.

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UndergradCAL in Berkeley, California

27 months ago

BG in Carlsbad, California said: Pretty much every major college and university offers online certificate and degree programs today. But it won't make much of a difference, since there are no jobs in the paralegal field regardless of what progran you complete.

Common sense says that if a lawyer can't find a job, then they won't be needing a paralegal in a support role for a role that doesn't exist. Also, many lawyers are working from home and do most of the work themselves, when they can land a client.

It depends on what area you're living. If you're in SF or NY area, you can be sure that there are much more opportunities for Paralegal jobs to open up. Because the economy is doing very poorly, more job firms are expected to hire more paralegals over lawyers who typically do the same type of work. The reason is because Paralegals are a cheaper form of labor, who do the same work that lawyers would do. Paralegals would be more than happier to accept the job because of their little debt in comparison to lawyers who have been recently racking up and average of $100,000 debt. Lastly, the paralegal field is expected to grow 12-18-percent over the next few years. So while the Health/Science/Engineering fields seem to be a much more better with job prospects in comparison, there's no reason for future paralegals or aspiring lawyers to take this path first. It would be wiser for those wanting to pursue a career in the legal field.

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UndergradCAL in Berkeley, California

27 months ago

UndergradCAL in Berkeley, California said: It depends on what area you're living. If you're in SF or NY area, you can be sure that there are much more opportunities for Paralegal jobs to open up. Because the economy is doing very poorly, more job firms are expected to hire more paralegals over lawyers who typically do the same type of work. The reason is because Paralegals are a cheaper form of labor, who do the same work that lawyers would do. Paralegals would be more than happier to accept the job because of their little debt in comparison to lawyers who have been recently racking up and average of $100,000 debt. Lastly, the paralegal field is expected to grow 12-18-percent over the next few years. So while the Health/Science/Engineering fields seem to be a much more better with job prospects in comparison, there's no reason for future paralegals or aspiring lawyers to take this path first. It would be wiser for those wanting to pursue a career in the legal field.

"who do the same work that lawyers would do" --Correction:Paralegals don't do everything that a lawyer can. I just meant the prep work/ research.

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BG in Carlsbad, California

27 months ago

UndergradCAL in Berkeley, California said: Because the economy is doing very poorly, more job firms are expected to hire more paralegals over lawyers who typically do the same type of work. The reason is because Paralegals are a cheaper form of labor, who do the same work that lawyers would do.

The poor economy has resulted in businesses and people not hiring lawyers since they no longer have the budget for it. Despite paralegals providing a cheaper form of labor, there few support slots for law firms that aren't able to land clients. The days of Big law are over and many lawyers are unemployed and working out of a back bedroom. Instead of hiring a paralegal, they do the work themselves, assuming they can find work. Many can't and now work in other fields.

Seriously, anyone thinking about entering into the legal field will be facing the prospect of long term unemployment, since much of the work is being replaced by legal software and outsourcing. The only industry selling paralegal programs are the colleges and universities, e.g., the blind leading the blind with few jobs in sight.

The baby boomers who've retired will need medical services and anything connected to the pharmaeutical industry as doctors throw more pills at them.

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