Online Paralegal training

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Parapuff in Mesa, Arizona

108 months ago

I'd sure like someone to give some opinions on experiences with the online paralegal training schools. I'm considering Blackstone, but also looking at Penn Foster. Anyone have any comments or ideas on either of these schools? [Note: For personal reasons I cannot attend any program which has specific due dates, so I'm looking at whatever self-paced programs I can find.] Thanks!

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Joel Irving in Lindenhurst, New York

95 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Be sure the school you choose is ABA-approved. An ABA-approved paralegal certificate is the best paralegal certificate possible. You may be ineligible for some paralegal jobs if you don't have an ABA-approved paralegal certificate.

Hope that helps a little.

ABA programs are not available online.

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franS in Kissimmee, Florida

82 months ago

I went thru the Boston University paralegal certificate program which is 10 weeks long. I agree that you do need an ABA approved program as that is what firms want. My certificate is not ABA approved and it has been very difficult looking for a position if not near impossible. In fact, I could not even get an interview in Boston when I was there. I have moved to Orlando FL and it's even worse here.

ABA will not approve a program if it is not held in a brick and mortar situation. ( classroom) Their belief is that you need to have a classroom setting to truly get an education in law. I believe that after my experience I must agree on some levels. ten weeks of law is certainly not enough to prepare anyone for such a position. A paralegal is really foundation of any firm. Documents must be prepared with 100% accuracy or the case can fail. There is no room for error and any good paralegal will have had either extensive hands on experience or the proper education.

My advice to you would be to apply for a position in a law firm as either a receptionist or secretary. You will see first hand what happens in a law office and it will better help you to decide on how much time you truly want to commit to the field as far as education is concerned. You may end up in a firm that will help you advance your education and in return you contract to work for them for a minimum period of time after you graduate. Just getting your foot in the door at a firm is the first and most important step regardless of education or not.

Good luck to you.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

82 months ago

I don't think you really need ABA accredidation. As I said before, ABA accredidation is mainly important for law schools, not necessarily paralegal programs.

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franS in Kissimmee, Florida

82 months ago

Very well said.

Interestingly enough, I applied for a paralegal position last week and today was offered the job. There was no question as to the course being ABA approved or not. I will say that I firmly believe that because it came from Boston University, which we all know is a well regarded university, is one of the reasons I landed the interview. It probably helped that the attorney's wife attended BU as well. ( she also works in the firm but only as an office manager.)

I did have to create a motion for a case that the attorney had not yet encountered before. Apparently I did rather well since I was offered the position.

My advice stands though and I'm in total agreement that an ABA approved course is the best way to get into a firm or corp office. However, the course I took could stand as a great test to you to see how much you are inclined towards the law. It does cover a wide range of law subject but sadly they omit immigration, IP and bankruptcy. The course is approximately $3500. which is through a guaranteed loan and you have to pay about $250 a month on it even while you are taking the course.

As a side note sort of unrelated, the attorney I will be working for requested that I read the short book called " The Go-Getter." I was able to find it on-line as a free e-book as it has no copyright in the US. A very good and even comical read to bring you inside of yourself to determine what type of employee you really are. It's just a few pages....

Happy New Year's everyone!!!

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Lori in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts

81 months ago

franS in Kissimmee, Florida said: Very well said.

Interestingly enough, I applied for a paralegal position last week and today was offered the job. There was no question as to the course being ABA approved or not. I will say that I firmly believe that because it came from Boston University, which we all know is a well regarded university, is one of the reasons I landed the interview. It probably helped that the attorney's wife attended BU as well. ( she also works in the firm but only as an office manager.)

I did have to create a motion for a case that the attorney had not yet encountered before. Apparently I did rather well since I was offered the position.

My advice stands though and I'm in total agreement that an ABA approved course is the best way to get into a firm or corp office. However, the course I took could stand as a great test to you to see how much you are inclined towards the law. It does cover a wide range of law subject but sadly they omit immigration, IP and bankruptcy. The course is approximately $3500. which is through a guaranteed loan and you have to pay about $250 a month on it even while you are taking the course.

As a side note sort of unrelated, the attorney I will be working for requested that I read the short book called " The Go-Getter." I was able to find it on-line as a free e-book as it has no copyright in the US. A very good and even comical read to bring you inside of yourself to determine what type of employee you really are. It's just a few pages....

Happy New Year's everyone!!!

Hi FranS, I am just beginning my Paralegal course at BU starting this Saturday. I am very nervous but excited, I am also really glad to see you landed a job since graduating, congratulations. What was the age group in your class or did you take this course online? Just curious it's been along time since I was in school so just wanted to see what the age range was. Any advice you can give me I would appreciate. thanks,

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MaryG in Castroville, Texas

76 months ago

Parapuff in Mesa, Arizona said: I'd sure like someone to give some opinions on experiences with the online paralegal training schools. I'm considering Blackstone, but also looking at Penn Foster. Anyone have any comments or ideas on either of these schools? [Note: For personal reasons I cannot attend any program which has specific due dates, so I'm looking at whatever self-paced programs I can find.] Thanks!

I am currently enrolled at blackstone career institute.
I started in march and I am about half way done my goal is DEC 2010. but I also researched online schools before deciding, the reputation and the fact that it is accredited helped me make my decision, it is self paced and they offer monthly payment plans, they recently had a tuition increase. I am currently researching penn foster for an administrative assistant certificate to use with my paralegal certificate I also have my associated in arts from a community college here on my home town. I wish blackstone had an administrative assistant certificate program I would take it in a heartbeat to stay with blackstone after I complete my paralegal program.

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Denise Gerdes in Stacy, Minnesota

74 months ago

I just went through BU and it is now a 14 week course! So there you have it. I know a few people who have been hired from here. I am going to take a few extra classes online as well to supplement. I have a Master's Degree and I will tell you that this is just a rigourous, maybe even more so than a brick and mortar type of course. You have to discipline yourself and go to class EVERYDAY..even Sat. and Sun. I have spent over 300 hours on this course.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

74 months ago

You don't need an administrative assistant certificate. Those kinds of jobs can be learned on the job very easily. Heck, you could learn everything there is about being an AA from a book or the internet for a fraction of the price.

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dh in California

73 months ago

Have any of you, before you sink a lot of money into a program regardless of online or not, talked to other paralegals who have been in the field for a very long time to ask them about the profession and whether they would recommend it? Had I done that before I made my decision to go to paralegal school, I probably would have gone into something else because it wasn't until after I started working in law firms that I realized the bad decision I made.

A great majority of paralegals would NOT recommend this profession to their worst enemy. I never met anyone who liked it. Attorneys are some of the meanest, vindictive, hateful people on earth. It doesn't matter that you know you job and show up on time every day. The normal culture in a law firm is hostile and tense. It's commonplace to see someone crying in the ladies' room.

Ask around. You'll see that I know what I'm talking about. I left my last full time job at 39. I was so sick to death of it. I went back to school as a full time student to get my degree. I spent nearly 4 years in class with students half my age. I depleted my entire life savings and now have just over $40K in school loan debt. Not a good thing at my age (I'm now 43), but if I could repeat the last 4 years (I quit my last law job June, '06), I wouldn't change a thing. I got out. that's all that matters.

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rbdomo in Jerusalem, Israel

70 months ago

I would like to know if it is even proper to take from Penn foster their paralegal course if it is not aba cert. I would like to work on the net. If it is possible.

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rbdomo in Jerusalem, Israel

70 months ago

I would like to know if it is even proper to take from Penn foster their paralegal course if it is not aba cert. I would like to work on the net. If it is possible.

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buncle19 in Carlsbad, California

70 months ago

rbdomo in Jerusalem, Israel said: I would like to know if it is even proper to take from Penn foster their paralegal course if it is not aba cert. I would like to work on the net. If it is possible.

Penn Foster College offers affordable distance education. Most of their courses have been scrutinized and approved by ACE and is considered a quality academic standard in education. Penn Foster is considered a leader in distance education and been doing it for a long time.

Duke University also offers an online paralegal program. They turned down the ABA on approval and instead chose to offer their paralegal program on the strength of their reputation and high academic standards. Duke is on par with your Ivy League schools and is highly regarded by employers. If you have the money, then it would be an excellent choice.

Having studied in both traditional class settings and through distance learning, I found the latter to be much more challenging and rewarding, since it's not filled with the many distractions of being on campus. If you have the discipline and motivation to study and do the work, then you are going to learn something. That's the bottom line.

If, however, I was looking for an accredited and affordable online associate's degree in paralegal studies, it would probably be Penn Foster.

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buncle19 in Carlsbad, California

70 months ago

rbdomo - I was also wondering, will American law be of value to you in Israel?

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buncle19 in Carlsbad, California

70 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: American paralegal schools teach the American legal system. Therefore, earning a paralegal certificate from an American paralegal school would largely be a waste of time for an Israeli, not to mention a major waste of money, especially if the user opts for an expensive school such as Duke.

Good point.

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LC in Springfield, Missouri

69 months ago

Lori in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts said: Hi FranS, I am just beginning my Paralegal course at BU starting this Saturday. I am very nervous but excited, I am also really glad to see you landed a job since graduating, congratulations. What was the age group in your class or did you take this course online? Just curious it's been along time since I was in school so just wanted to see what the age range was. Any advice you can give me I would appreciate. thanks,

Considering this course myself, did you like it?

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

69 months ago

"Don't attend an online paralegal school. The long and short of it is many legal employers give online paralegal training short shrift."

That assumes they know you went to an online program. Many traditional schools have online paralegal degrees. Nobody would ever know you got the degree online.

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rbdomo in Tel Aviv, Israel

69 months ago

Why should it matter if it is ABA or not? It you have the national certification and they GO accourding to the ABA why the HOOT and HAULER?

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

69 months ago

"Already argued that with you, Don. All an employer has to do is view a transcript or call the school."

Then I guess we need to have this argument again because transcripts don't say whether you got your degree online or on campus. And a school would be prohibited by federal privacy laws from telling a third party information about your enrollment status without your consent.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

69 months ago

"Also, Don, as I wrote, above, employers are aware that people "attend" online schools. Therefore, Don, don't consent to a background check involving your school."

What are you talking about? The only thing 99% of employers want to see in regards to your education is your transcript. They are not going to call up the school and start asking them 10,000 questions about your time there. When they hire you or consider you, they ask for official transcripts (many don't even do this) and that's it. 99% of employers are not going to do a thorough investigation into you. They are not the CIA for goodness sake.

And the chances of being asked whether you got your degree online are very tiny. I've had multiple interviews and the question never came up.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

69 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: It matters to many American legal employers. Many American legal employers require paralegals to have attended an ABA-approved paralegal school. An ABA paralegal certificate means one has been trained according to nationally recognized, ascertainable standards.

There is no "national" paralegal certification in the United States. As we discussed on another forum, an ABA paralegal certificate might be less important to you in Israel. Moreover, you might waste your time and money training with any American paralegal school because of the American and Israeli legal systems are different.

so are you saying their is no nationally accredited paralegal certificate, because I am about to attain one?

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

69 months ago

No matter what, someone with great marketing skills, poise, and eye on there goal will get a job if they so desire it. We must think positive, and not negative. Anyone can get a job in paralegal, even in these times of financial uncertainty. Just got to work hard.

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jccurtis in Virginia Beach, Virginia

68 months ago

Family memeber graduated from uCLA ABA approved paralegal program. School offers NO internship opportunity. MAJOR weakness. Without experience paralegal grads have NO chance finding a position unless they have connections. Sad truth is, UCLA, and all other paralegal programs are churning out grads every semester for jobs that do not exist.

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LC in Springfield, Missouri

68 months ago

Denise Gerdes in Stacy, Minnesota said: I just went through BU and it is now a 14 week course! So there you have it. I know a few people who have been hired from here. I am going to take a few extra classes online as well to supplement. I have a Master's Degree and I will tell you that this is just a rigourous, maybe even more so than a brick and mortar type of course. You have to discipline yourself and go to class EVERYDAY..even Sat. and Sun. I have spent over 300 hours on this course.

Were you happy with the outcome?

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LC in Springfield, Missouri

68 months ago

Does anyone have information on The Center for Legal Studies; legal secretary and paralegal courses?
I know, I know, it isn't ABA approved and I am not interested in this. I would like information on this course if available. Also, has anyone taken the BU program and been satisfied?
Once again, not interested in ABA information. Thanks

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rbdomo in Tel Aviv, Israel

68 months ago

so, did she like the 300 hour course or not...jobs?

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Beachy Keen in Redondo Beach, California

68 months ago

By the way, rbdomo, just to help you out, it's "hoot and holler," as in "shout." All the best to you.

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Beachy Keen in Redondo Beach, California

68 months ago

I shall take a look. Thanks.

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rbdomo in Tel Aviv, Israel

68 months ago

THANK YOU FOR THE CORRECTION.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

67 months ago

There are online paralegal classes now? Are paralegal certificates falling out of Cracker Jack boxes yet? This is getting bad. I can only imagine how the field is being sold nowadays.

As far as the importance of an ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate, I would only think it would be important when you're starting out in the field and mostly with the bigger firms. I have one myself, but with all my experience in litigation, the benefit of it at this point seems negligible.

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Andre in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

Yes, it is getting bad. With programs such as these no wonder so many people are jumping on the paralegal bandwagon.

That is precisely the point I have made all along and which wannabes apparently don't understand. An ABA paralegal certificate is the highest grade paralegal certificate available. An ABA certificate is an industry recognized credential. An ABA certificate renders one eligible for ALL paralegal jobs — and particularly for jobs that pay better. If one wants to be a paralegal one cannot go wrong by earning an ABA paralegal certificate. Don't give me any nonsense about an MPS trumping an ABA paralegal certificate because it has academic accreditation or a paralegal certificate earned at an ABA-accredited law school being as good as or trumping an ABA-approved paralegal certificate. It doesn't.

there's a reason, there is requirements for paralegal training, state to state laws have different requirements, it is not a bandwagon, it is a desire to want to do better, researching law, speaking to people, negotiating, writing up documents. Those are the skills that make up a paralegal in almost every field of law, ABA is top of the list for desired degree or certificate to get, but accredited regionally is next while nationally after that. bottom of the barrel is a degree or certificate with no credentials, skills are easily achieved in this field of work. It is just time to accept alternative forms of education, and believe people put their heart and sole into learning the craft, the work a paralegal does will speak for itself. so it's who is cut out for it will get and better paying jobs.

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Donald_ in Ridgefield, New Jersey

67 months ago

"Would you want someone with only fourteen weeks of ONLINE training handling your affairs?"

I would not want someone with only 14 weeks of paralegal training, period. I'm not sure why you put an emphasis on "online." The most distrubing fact is that it's only 14 weeks and the education you get will be just as lacking on campus as it would be online.

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Andre in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

A year and 2 months is not a bad amount of training time, paralegals are set for many different fields, not sure what you mean by "wannabe's" you cannot nor determine the heart and effort put into their own studies, Like i stated their is a tier of credentials, on top of that ABA being a instituted credential between lawyers in a time where paralegals only need to be certified, you know nala, you know all the certifications it takes for that,14 months actually cuts it the get certified. I put emphasis on online, because the world is turning and speed and information is what people are looking at, how fast you can get, process it and use it. you cannot deny that whether you feel a certain way, the rest of the world is changing and conforming to new standards that might not be as direct but versatile for the availability of how people get their degrees or certificates/certifications.

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Andre in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: As in "want to be." Look it up. I submit the rest of the world is not changing and conforming in the manner you postulate. In any event, once again, bottom line is employers set hiring requirements. Among other things, therein lies education requirements. You can assert all day the rest of the world is changing ad infinitum, but the threshold issue is whether legal employers accept online training and which ones accept it. If online training is less accepted than traditional school, it stands to reason it won't take one as far as traditional training. You can reread my post, above, about institutional clients indirectly influencing hiring at many (top paying) law firms.

can you truly assert that each and every employee will want higher education, If you look at many post on all the job.com and other various job finding sites (not saying they are the authority for finding all paralegal jobs), they will go for years of "experience" over any ABA and just accept a person who has a degree or certificate that is accredited in some fashion with paralegal. The point I am making, if you want to find a job, you gotta do your research.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

I am comprehending what your saying just fine, now if you mean that the clients want their paralegals to have bachelors as well as ABA, or just be ABA as opposed to certified with a degree and some how they are conveying to the lawyer, I want only people with the highest degree and credentials on my case, then the lawyer is looking into what his clients want way too much and not presenting their firm in a way where they have the best trained people. It is very simple to convey a message to your client, I have observed my employees and they do the top notch work, if this is not conveyed they are letting the clients walk all over them, but i still say this is not the personality of most of the community who need legal services but of the clients who need constant representation. all field cannot be dictated by the clients feelings, be smart the lawyer is the one managing this, if he has not looked at the pa work and judged himself, then I do no know what to tell you, the lawyer has no idea of who he hired, and what their abilities are and are not marketing them to the client correctly.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

67 months ago

Reading some of the comments on this board makes it even more irritating that I'm not being made offers. And, apparently, my previous post about Cracker Jacks appears to be true.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: Reading some of the comments on this board makes it even more irritating that I'm not being made offers. And, apparently, my previous post about Cracker Jacks appears to be true.

there are a million nurses, thousands of designers, people are not in it for just the money, but looking at accredited schools, why would it be hard to believe people are putting their best effort forward and these schools have condensed the learning style. I like to stand up for people that are willing to find a way even if they do not have the financial means. this is really what its about, a profession that much to little training was needed, now its being monopolized in a sense. you cannot blame people for wanting or thinking they are getting equal education for a lesser down payment.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Not only has the proliferation of new paralegals, with so many of them trained by cut-rate programs, devalued that market, the proliferation of second-rate attorneys trained by second-rate law schools has degraded the legal industry. It's now at the point where a J.D. can be pulled from a box of Cracker Jacks. Never mind that first-rate new attorneys trained by first-rate law schools are experiencing difficulty finding jobs. You have every right to be irritated.

I am not whining about anything, that was chicago guy he is not getting the offers, and it is called stopping the monopoly before it gets bigger, you should see as anyone sees how "The Game" is being attempted to be changed, I stated that yes the specific clients who needed constant rep will dictate what they want. however the bread and butter of the industry is not same clients alone, its the average people who cannot afford beyond or too much above what their house note is. the playing field will be evened, I just see it going that way, not opinion just a simple observation, so you might want to quit the whining and not take it so personal.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

if i took the so away from behind the word personal it would be personally, just mechanics of how the sentences is structured and sounds. anyways you have not disappointed nor taught me anything, I play the game just fine, but you fail to see whats in front of us, from a business stand point it levels the playing field. once again if you hope to convince people otherwise, you need to look around and see whats up and coming. so please lead the next 5 post whining to a minimum of 2 post.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

O.K. for you I will give the best writing possible, most people are not authorities on writing. So can you follow this, I am using my best writing skills(maybe). your skills from what i can see are not stellar, but you write, and write about the paralegal subject, knowing there is nothing wrong with my writing, I will say it is pointless to ask a person to write better when you lose an argument. It makes it look like you could not find anything to properly respond with.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

How am I whining about unfairness, I never stated anything that was unfair. If you are a paralegal, you need to check on those investigative skill's and understand when someone is defending others, because a commentator posted they were falling out of the cracker jack box, versus complaining no one can get a job, I never said any of those things, so how am I complaining about unfairness when i just stated a simple fact of knowledge of where the business is going.

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The game in Pontiac, Michigan

67 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Have you ever heard of capital letters, Andre?

FYI writing goes to presentation and credibility. Thought you might want to know.

Wow I see caps in my last 3 post, I guess I knew about them all along. Sorry if I get just start to write and then put in caps after I have realized I was not. Did you forget 99% of paralegal work is preparation and going over what you did to perfection, come on buddy, seriously are you going to whine about all the details on blog. You can say I look professional, when the other guy was just throwing out a point, not paying attention to the writing specifics just the message. The message is, change will come, I think that is enough said, it is a simple fact and the reason why you cannot deny what I said, it is simply the truth.

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rbdomo in Haifa, Israel

67 months ago

Alright, every post noted! Let us go forward with more positive statements. Andre...Strunk and White! As soon as you can! I hope you find a job that fits your needs.

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rbdomo in Haifa, Israel

67 months ago

Well...I am not really looking for Paralegal school here. I am looking for one in USA. I already have a B.A, A.A and lots of extra curricular courses. I am still looking for an aba approved program on-line.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

67 months ago

I think DLP realizes why this thread irritates me. I stopped reading many of the responses after the end of the first page because they're almost unreadable and incomprehensible.

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Beachy Keen in Redondo Beach, California

67 months ago

Displaced, please explain what The Game was begging the question about?

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rbdomo in Tel Aviv, Israel

67 months ago

First of all there are plenty of jobs on the computer. Second of all I am in USA most of the year any way. Also, this is not my first degree. Companies want experience and most of all knowledge in other fields.

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nurseboop2011 in Tacoma, Washington

67 months ago

The game in Pontiac, Michigan said: so are you saying their is no nationally accredited paralegal certificate, because I am about to attain one?

I have a 2 year AA and two AAS. I have AAS in criminal justice and I have worked in a law firm as a recptionist right out of college. I have been a flight attendant and I am now a nurse, which I would not reccommend at all. I love the law and have mainly been a nurse in mental health, detox, competency restoration and have worked at a state hospital. I have knowleddge of the social law industry. It helps to have a AA or BA in something. It helps to have a background in health care if interested in personal injury, criminal justice and mental health background if interested in legal aid or defense attorney work.My nursing has prepared me for this as well as POLST and POA, elder law and crimnal law. Experience is very important and more important is to volunteer. This will get you in the door, especially with DA or legal aid. I volunteer my time. They will hire you!
Crystal

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nurseboop2011 in Tacoma, Washington

67 months ago

Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: "Also, Don, as I wrote, above, employers are aware that people "attend" online schools. Therefore, Don, don't consent to a background check involving your school."

What are you talking about? The only thing 99% of employers want to see in regards to your education is your transcript. They are not going to call up the school and start asking them 10,000 questions about your time there. When they hire you or consider you, they ask for official transcripts (many don't even do this) and that's it. 99% of employers are not going to do a thorough investigation into you. They are not the CIA for goodness sake.

And the chances of being asked whether you got your degree online are very tiny. I've had multiple interviews and the question never came up.

Now days all they want are references and you diploma. They do not ask for transcripts even in nursing they do not do this at all. And you are all speaking of high paid legal firms that require some of the things you are talking about. If you like to argue become an attorney not a paralegal.

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nurseboop2011 in Tacoma, Washington

67 months ago

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
Being a paralegal is not just about prestige but about helping others less fortunate. Volunteer your time shows that you are willing to start at the bootom and are serious about making a difference.

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