Has anyone heard of the Center for Legal Studies?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

50 months ago

Maybe you should go to the paralegal forums.

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rebeccavaz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Maybe you should go to the paralegal forums.

I've been checking out the paralegal forums with tooth and comb. I'm always so leary to jump into education programs without thoroughly exploring first.

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rebeccavaz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Bob in Portsmouth, New Hampshire said: It's legitimate. You can confirm with Lock Haven.

Thank you, Bob. Do you have previous experience with them?

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

46 months ago

I too want to take the CLS's paralegal certificate program offered here by the University of Colorado, Denver. It's got a 6-week fast-track program, which greatly appeals to me. And it's affordable at only $1,189. I'm disappointed, though, that it's not ABA accredited. Other option is to take a paralegal certificate course through a local community college, and their program is ABA accredited, but it takes a year, full-time to complete.

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Denver has a for-profit school from which you can earn an ABA paralegal certificate.

www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals/directory/co.html

I would urge you in the strongest of terms to investigate the vocation carefully and thoroughly before deciding to go forward.

Are you advising against becoming a paralegal?

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I should add that you can earn your ABA certificate in months at the school in question.

What ABA certificate? After exploring the ABA website, it doesn't appear it offers any certification for paralegals.

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Yes. Look at the website again. Near the top of the page is this heading: "ABA Approved Paralegal Education Programs." The website lists ABA-approved paralegal schools.

The page in question lists ABA-approved paralegal schools in Colorado. Two community colleges, one in Aurora and the other in Littleton, offer ABA-approved programs. The third school, in Thornton, is the for-profit school that trains students for ABA certificates in months. A four-year degree is likely needed for admission.

I realize that there are ABA approved schools/programs. The way your statement was worded implied there was some sort of ABA certificate.

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Just consider that you get what you pay for.

I am considering it, that's why I'm posting here. For opinions, informed opinions.

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jwright80126 in Littleton, Colorado

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Are you advising against becoming a paralegal?

Yes.

Why?

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FRP10 in West Palm Beach, Florida

45 months ago

rebeccavaz in Lancaster, Pennsylvania said: Was looking at their website and it shows a ton of different programs that you take through them but you get the degree from a college of your choice out of the ones they have listed. I don't quite get it. I live in PA and they have one through Lock Haven, which is normally a really great school, but is it really Lock Haven or are they using and abusing the name. BBB gave good ratings, but I'm leary. Anyone have any info???

Where ever you decide to take your course for a certified paralegal, it needs to be with a school that is approved by the ABA (American Bar Associate). I get so frustrusted with these schools that take your money and then when you are down you cannot get the appropriate credials. Also, to be a certifed paralegal, you need to take the CP exam in your state and pass it.

I hope this helps - from a Certified Paralegal and a FL Registered Paralegal

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FRP10 in West Palm Beach, Florida

45 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: My comment was clear. You would receive a paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal school.

Why not paralegal? Law is a tough industry. Lawyers are among the most difficult, demanding, rude, toxic, anal, abrupt and acerbic people one can work for. One needs Kevlar skin, titanium nerves and an iron constitution to work for attorneys.

You'll work under stress most of the time. You can expect to wrangle simultaneous multiple projects and multiple deadlines. Some attorneys leave their paralegals alone and let them work. So many of the rest of them are micromanagers who are in your face much of the time. On the opposite end are attorneys who are entirely hands-off but blame YOU if anything goes wrong.

You may have a billable hours quota to meet. Do not believe you can bill eight hours in a normal eight-hour workday. It just does not work that way. You will work long hours to meet that quota, with many of those hours unpaid. You can expect to work nights. You can expect to work on weekends and holidays from time to time. Even if you work in a non-billing firm you can still expect to work long days. In any case, you can expect scant recognition and, worst of all, little or no gratitude for your time and effort, from attorneys AND clients.

Continued, below.....

jwright - Amen, you said it all and it is so true. You have to love the work because you will definately work hard with not much gradification.

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mary in Tampa, Florida

45 months ago

Colorado does not require paralegals to take exams of any kind. Colorado leaves it up to employers to determine paralegal qualifications that best meets their needs.

This says it all about paralegal jobs. Just like court reporting in Florida. If no test requirements are necessary, then just what criteria is used? (Em, looks and likes) :) :(

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FRP10 in West Palm Beach, Florida

45 months ago

That is sad to hear. I thought all states had requirements. I would think a law firm or company would be more aware of how the person received their certificate. It is sad for those of us who have worked hard and taken exams.

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Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California

40 months ago

Keep in mind that not all paralegals are working in law firms. Corporate paralegals have a different environment, and my job sounds nothing like the nightmare that is described above.

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Law de Dah in Farmington, Minnesota

40 months ago

Also consider that there is a myriad of unemployed law school grads who have passed the bar. Why hire a paralegal when a JD will do the same work for the same money? They don't call them paralegals...they are lawyers. They'll work for $10-15 an hour to get the experience to move into a better law firm someday. They may hang in for 2-5 years. With such a low income, they'll barely be able to pay their $100,000 in student loans....sorry, off topic.
My law school admits that 60% of recent law graduates accepted employment for less than $40,000. As long as JDs are willing to take low paying jobs, there really is no need to pay a paralegal a living wage.
My friend's husband has exploited the overage for the past 5 years. Nowadays all new JDs come fully equipped with up-to-date technology skills.

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Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California

40 months ago

Like any job, your paralegal career choice is influenced greatly on what types of positions are available in your environment, and what area of expertise you choose to specialize in. Being in the Silicon Valley and surrounded by companies such as Yahoo, Google, Apple, eBay, Hitachi and Oracle to name a few, being a corporate paralegal is just as likely as being a paralegal in a private firm. Do some research on what field you would like to specialize in, and find out what the demand is in your area. You are not doomed to start in a hellhole, you are also not doomed to earn peanuts.

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rnm18 in Bennett, Colorado

40 months ago

Hi folks, has anyone worked for medical law firms? I'm a critical care, emergency RN with 20 years of experience and an excellent resume'. I see the adds for RN to read medical charts and summarize, I've taken Legal Nurse Consulting certification classes, which apparently one does not need and I'm really interested in this particular niche'. When the adds say "4 year degree or paralegal" do they mean that? I don't seem to be getting anywhere with anyone. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for help!

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Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California

40 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Not everyone can move to Silicon Valley, you know, or can everyone afford Cali's COL. Not only that, not everyone is interested in corporate law. Moreover, few, if any, corporate law departments hire entry-level paralegals. You cannot convince me the companies you mentioned will hire entry-level paralegals.

As far as earning peanuts goes, the Sunday Parade magazine ran its annual salary article. It ran a pic of a 35-year-old paralegal in Michigan. According to the article, that paralegal earns $25,100. I was earning slightly less than that figure as an entry-level paralegal sixteen years ago! The article did not set forth her experience, but, sorry, folks, that's peanuts. That paralegal is seriously underpaid.

The long and short is one will likely start in a law firm, and probably a small law firm. At some point and for at least a time one will likely experience a "hellhole." With a little luck one might escape the "hellhole."

That's why I said to do research on the demand in your area.

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Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California

40 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Not everyone can move to Silicon Valley, you know, or can everyone afford Cali's COL. Not only that, not everyone is interested in corporate law. Moreover, few, if any, corporate law departments hire entry-level paralegals. You cannot convince me the companies you mentioned will hire entry-level paralegals.

As far as earning peanuts goes, the Sunday Parade magazine ran its annual salary article. It ran a pic of a 35-year-old paralegal in Michigan. According to the article, that paralegal earns $25,100. I was earning slightly less than that figure as an entry-level paralegal sixteen years ago! The article did not set forth her experience, but, sorry, folks, that's peanuts. That paralegal is seriously underpaid.

The long and short is one will likely start in a law firm, and probably a small law firm. At some point and for at least a time one will likely experience a "hellhole." With a little luck one might escape the "hellhole."

As far as hiring entry-level paralegals, many of the companies do. Check careerbuilder, craigslist, there are entry level jobs all over the place. Also you use the term "corporate law" ambiguously. There are many parallels between firms and corporations. I work in IP law, protecting my company's inventions. There is also litigation, HR law, real estate and several other groups in the legal department of any given company.

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rnm18 in Bennett, Colorado

40 months ago

Yes I do mean Med-Mal. I did a LNC certification course recently and have been trying to do this at home but am hitting a wall at this point. I have applied at 8 different firms and have not heard from 5, the other 3 said no. I think mainly because of the paralegal cert./degree that I do not have, I'm not sure. I have 2 Assoc. degrees, a BS and currently I am doing a Master's program. All my nursing is in Critical Care/ICU/ED/SANE/Flights/Education.

I definetly am applying. A lot of firms with their adds are saying, "don't call us, we'll call you." I'm thinking it is because some also say "2-3 years experience." I have 20 in nursing and reviewing charts, 3 cases I did for attorneys back in 2002. I really appreciate the comments and help!

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Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California

40 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Update: I ran searches on CB and Monster for entry level paralegals in San Jose, California. I used "entry level paralegal" and "San Jose, CA" as my search terms. CB returned two hits - for paralegal training. Monster returned nothing.

CB returned several hits when I ran "paralegal" and "San Jose, CA." I read two paralegal ads. One ad was by an agency. Its Palo Alto law firm client requires a paralegal certificate and wants two to five years of experience. The other ad is by an agency. Its client wants "5+ years of [p]atent [p]rosecution experience in a law firm or supporting in-house legal counsel with an emphasis on [f]oreign [f]iling [a]pplications.

Monster returned eight hits when I ran a similar search. I won't go into all the details. One ad was by a company needing an IP paralegal. It wants "4-5 years experience and knowledge of intellectual property law is required, with related job experience in a law firm or corporate law department highly desired." Another, interesting, ad is by Apple. In that ad Apple prefers at least five years of trademark paralegal experience. It requires at least an A.A. degree. I realize Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code provisions drive many paralegal job requirements in Cal. I didn't bother searching craigslist.

Thank you for following up, FYI I am a paralegal that started with one of the companies I mentioned before, with zero experience. Thankyouverymuch. As far as you "buying it" I'm not here to convince you, but rather to tell the people that are interested in a paralegal career that it is possible to find something rewarding. I'm not sure why you have such the negative attitude towards it as if you want no one to be a paralegal.

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rnm18 in Bennett, Colorado

40 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I was going over your comments again relative to firm hiring quals. You mentioned ads you've seen state "four year degree or paralegal [certificate]. You have a four year degree. Thus, you've covered that qual.

Lack of paralegal certificate aside, these firms may want legal experience. That said, nurses transition to law. If law is what you want, why should you be any different. I reiterate a paralegal certificate from a reputable school may help you.


Lack of paralegal certificate aside, these firms may want legal experience. That said, nurses transition to law. If law is what you want, why should you be any different. I reiterate a paralegal certificate from a reputable school may help you.

I think I will get it. I called CCA yesterday and they stated that I'd only have to take the required Paralegal courses and no general and they were going to discuss the elective. I'll probably take the elective anyhow. Monday I'm going to dress up and go to the PI firms around Denver and hand them my resume' and then I will follow up with a phone call on Wednesday. Maybe that might help.

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rnm18 in Bennett, Colorado

40 months ago

I did. There was only a position for an underwriter but they had a section for "letter of interest" which one could upload cover letter and resume'. We'll see what happens! I'll let you know.

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Joe in Arlington, Virginia

26 months ago

FRP10 in West Palm Beach, Florida said: jwright - Amen, you said it all and it is so true. You have to love the work because you will definately work hard with not much gradification.

Did you really just type gradifcation? You're a paralegal?

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

24 months ago

Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California said: Thank you for following up, FYI I am a paralegal that started with one of the companies I mentioned before, with zero experience. Thankyouverymuch. As far as you "buying it" I'm not here to convince you, but rather to tell the people that are interested in a paralegal career that it is possible to find something rewarding. I'm not sure why you have such the negative attitude towards it as if you want no one to be a paralegal.

I'm in this particular program now. I have an MA in Communications and the program is a lot more difficult and intense than I expected. Here in California, the ABA accreditation doesn't seem to matter - what does matter is that we have to take twice the classes, is why I chose this program rather than of the accredited ones at a junior college. The entire California course will take 28 weeks. Everyone in the class has at least a Bachelors. I have zero interest in working for a law firm. I am strictly interested in corporate law - specifically in an entertainment or technology company. I'm in LA and willing to move to the Bay if needed. I will check in later as far as job prospects and pay.

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

24 months ago

Patent Paralegal in San Jose, California said: That's why I said to do research on the demand in your area.

This isn't letting me edit my response below. You said you work in patent law in SJ. Are you in the tech field or something else? My interest is in IP in tech or entertainment - the later is where my background is. Do you know anything about the legal work available at Apple, Adobe, Google, etc? I could use the change of pace and has it that unlike LA, the Silicon Valley pays better vs. COL. Or maybe it's the Glamour Tax I pay working for a studio.

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daithy in Uniondale, Indiana

23 months ago

I finished the paralegal course through The Center for Legal Studies in April. The reasons I chose them over any other paralegal program are: 1. They partner with reputable colleges and universities. 2. They are affordable. 3. They don't just hand you your certificate, you have to earn it. That is probably why they have such a good reputation. 4. Time is important to me. The class is only 15 weeks long, and you don't have to be online at any set time. I could work on school stuff when it was convenient for me.
I am very cautious when it comes to taking classes online. I did my research and found that this company is legit.

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marge in Dallas, Texas

23 months ago

Daithy - how was the job placement after you completed The Center for Legal Studies? What kind of paralegal jobs did you and your classmaes get?

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daithy in Uniondale, Indiana

23 months ago

I have actually just now begun the job search. I am a Realtor, the housing market got hit really hard here. I knew it was in my best interest to prepare for a new career. I will still do real estate on the side, but I can't allow myself to depend on the money.
I would say about a third of the students in my class were already working for a law firm before taking the class. Several of them stated that their employers were putting them through the class.
Prior to taking the class, I searched classifieds to see what attorneys in my area are looking for in paralegals. Many want you to be a notary public, so I became one (it was relatively easy). All require at least a paralegal certificate. Almost all attorneys require some work in the legal field. This has to be the most frustrating part- how do you get experience if nobody will hire entry level?
The best way to get experience is to volunteer at your local Legal Aid or other nonprofit legal organization. Not only does that gain you the experience, but you will also meet attorneys in the area.
I hope this helps :)

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Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California

23 months ago

Do the local Legal Aid or non-profits let you volunteer before you get your certificate? I'm in California so it's a 30 week class for me. I have nothing better to do other than going to endless job interviews with 500 other people.

Here in California, it is a 500-1 per each opening in any job. I had heard this but I finally saw it. I went to take a test for a higher level executive assistant job with the city and there were literally at least 400 women in that room and maybe 50 men.

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daithy in Uniondale, Indiana

23 months ago

Anne O NyMous in Somewhere in, California said: Do the local Legal Aid or non-profits let you volunteer before you get your certificate? I'm in California so it's a 30 week class for me. I have nothing better to do other than going to endless job interviews with 500 other people.

Here in California, it is a 500-1 per each opening in any job. I had heard this but I finally saw it. I went to take a test for a higher level executive assistant job with the city and there were literally at least 400 women in that room and maybe 50 men.

California is different from other states. I know they require more school hours. I would imagine you should still be able to volunteer though, since you're in school for it but I would call the legal aid near you and find out.
Another program you might want to look into is called CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate. You do not need to be a paralegal to volunteer for that and it gets you experience.

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jslinfla2 in Delray Beach, Florida

23 months ago

Joe in Arlington, Virginia said: Did you really just type gradifcation? You're a paralegal?

Are you going to grade her on her spelling? Are you paying her salary?

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jslinfla2 in Delray Beach, Florida

23 months ago

rnm18 in Bennett, Colorado said: Yes I do mean Med-Mal. I did a LNC certification course recently and have been trying to do this at home but am hitting a wall at this point. I have applied at 8 different firms and have not heard from 5, the other 3 said no. I think mainly because of the paralegal cert./degree that I do not have, I'm not sure. I have 2 Assoc. degrees, a BS and currently I am doing a Master's program. All my nursing is in Critical Care/ICU/ED/SANE/Flights/ Education .

I definetly am applying. A lot of firms with their adds are saying, "don't call us, we'll call you." I'm thinking it is because some also say "2-3 years experience." I have 20 in nursing and reviewing charts, 3 cases I did for attorneys back in 2002. I really appreciate the comments and help!

The best place to look for med-mal firms is Martindale-Hubbell. They are very thick directories and can be found in most law libraries. Also, try martindale.com. Hope this helps.

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sue in Maple Grove, Minnesota

23 months ago

I was a paralegal for a medical malpractice firm before retiring and I think that they would love to have a nurse working for them. I do also think that if you had a paralegal certification of some kind, your resume would definitely stand
out.

And with that...a caveat...attorneys are very difficult to work for, especially litigation attorneys and I think that is because the characteristics that make a fighting, winning attorney are the same characteristics that make them hard to work for. What would be nice is if you could just lock them in the closet until you are ready to go to court..., the paralegal can handle getting the case ready etc, then let them loose to do their job...then lock them up again! I worked for corporate attorneys also, and they seemed to be much nicer. Not under as much stress.

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R McH in Maryland

17 months ago

To respond to the forum's basic question--yes, I have heard of The Center for Legal Studies (The Center). I worked as a Paralegal Course Instructor for The Center approximately six years ago. The program is rigorous and students are not just handed the certificate, they have to earn it. The course is well thought out and the selection process for instructors are extensive. I believe ownership in The Center has subsequently changed, but it appears that they have kept the same education model. As with any vocational program, if you are seeking to take the course for career advancement or get a job, always, always make sure that any program you eventually wind up with has some kind of job placement policy--and not just resume writing assistance. Because when you lay out your hard-earned money in a training program, the thing you want most is for that program to pay dividends in the future in the way of employment. If a training program cannot provide placement assistance, do not and I repeat, do not waste your money no matter how attractive the program appears. Nothing is worst that spending money on a training program where the job prospects after the completion of the program is the same as before you started. Good luck.

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R McH in Maryland

17 months ago

MINOR CORRECTION-- "Nothing is worst than spending money on a training program where the job prospects after the completion of the program is the same as before you started."

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R McH in Maryland

17 months ago

CORRECTED TEXT: To respond to the forum's basic question--yes, I have heard of The Center for Legal Studies (The Center). I worked as a Paralegal Course Instructor for The Center approximately six years ago. The program is rigorous and students are not just handed the certificate, they have to earn it. The course is well thought out and the selection process for instructors are extensive. I believe ownership in The Center has subsequently changed, but it appears that they have kept the same education model. As with any vocational program, if you are seeking to take the course for career advancement or get a job, always, always make sure that any program you eventually wind up with has some kind of job placement policy--and not just resume writing assistance. Because when you lay out your hard-earned money in a training program, the thing you want most is for that program to pay dividends in the future in the way of employment. If a training program cannot provide placement assistance, do not and I repeat, do not waste your money no matter how attractive the program appears. Nothing is worst than spending money on a training program where the job prospects after the completion of the program is the same as before you started. Good luck.

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marshamc999@att.net in Chicago, Illinois

16 months ago

it looks like the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Houston TX, has lost their ABA Approval.

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