Not sure which program to start, please help!

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Comments (6)

fmavila05 in Sacramento, California

26 months ago

Recently I've been looking into going through a program to become a paralegal. I graduated from UC San Diego a year ago majoring in Urban Studies and Planning with a minor in Political Science. Now I'm back in Northern California (though not in Sacramento, about an hour south) and there are no paralegal programs within a reasonable distance that are ABA approved. I've come across a University of the Pacific online paralegal program (along with a couple others) and I was wondering, would doing an online program coupled with my B.A. be enough to overcome any disadvantages of not going to an ABA approved school?

Any help is appreciated.

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MS in Dallas, Texas

26 months ago

Don't bother. Just try and get a job with a solo, stay a couple of years and then apply for larger law firms. It doesn't sound like you are in any kind of major metro area where there are the better law firms (in terms of size) that might care about a certificate of any kind. The job placement percentage for students "graduating" from paralegal schools is quite low anyway. Don't take on the debt. It's not worth it.

Did you look at the legal job postings for law firms in your area to see what they are asking for as far as requirements?

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BG in Carlsbad, California

26 months ago

If a paralegal with experience can't find work what makes you think that you would find any as newbie graduate? I agree with MS, don't take on any debt since it's not worth it. Instead, choose a career that has good job prospects.

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fmavila05 in Manteca, California

26 months ago

The debt for the certificate at UOP isn't so bad that its unbearable. The program costs under $3,000 and would make me eligible for the NALA CP exam in California. I've looked around a little bit and it seems most require either experience or a certificate however there were some willing to train without either so I guess I can look around for more opportunities like that.

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MS in Dallas, Texas

26 months ago

Experienced paralegals are expensive and have high expectations and can be resistant to change. Many solos want a cheap inexperienced non-jaded person so they can pay them a guilt-free $9.00/hr. A newbie could take advantage of that. That's what I was thinking.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

26 months ago

I think MS makes a good point. I think firms do tend to like newer people without experience so they can mold them and pay them little.

I was able to get temp work in law firms having no experience.

I went to work in permanent jobs, attained experience and now cannot get anything.

$3,000 isn't that much to pay if you want to go for it. But, in general, jobs really aren't out there for paralegals.

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