Paralegal questions

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Jewels B in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania

71 months ago

I am in school right now for my Associates Degree to in Paralegal Studies. I would like to go back to school (after I graduate) to get my bachelors degree, is there any online course that is ABA approved?

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

71 months ago

As far as I know, there are no online ABA approved Paralegal programs. Reason being that the ABA has requirements regarding a program's law library.

You can research ABA programs at the ABA website www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals/directory/home.html or at the AAfPE website-aafpe.org.

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

71 months ago

From the ABA website:

Home Study and Web-Based Programs

"The American Bar Association does not approve correspondence or home study programs and does not provide information on home study programs. The American Bar Association Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs do allow approved programs to offer some paralegal coursework through web-based electronic delivery and other means of distance delivery. It is suggested that you contact the American Association for Paralegal Education to obtain a list of its member institutions that offer some or all of the curriculum by distance delivery."

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Natasha Lovold in Pensacola, Florida

70 months ago

Yes there is through Kaplan University.

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Joel in Lindenhurst, New York

70 months ago

Jewels B in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania said: I am in school right now for my Associates Degree to in Paralegal Studies. I would like to go back to school (after I graduate) to get my bachelors degree, is there any online course that is ABA approved?

If your current paralegal associate degree is ABA approved and you would like to continue your paralegal studies on a bachelor level, ABA approval is not necessary because you have it on the associate degree.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

70 months ago

Joel, let's look at your youth. Do you have enough left (younger than 35) so you aren't "over the hill" in another five years? I would suggest you get your paralegal (associate) at an ABA approved school. I guess you want your Bachelor's in Legal Assisting. If you truly do, then get a minor too - in something like business administration, finance or education - so you have other options available in case your dream career collapses.

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Natasha Lovold in Pensacola, Florida

70 months ago

I was speaking of the bachelor's degree because if your associates is aba approved then it does not matter. But, an advantage about Kaplan University is that it comes highly recommended and it is nationally and regionally accredited. They offer Legal Studies not just Legal Assisting/Paralegal.

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Jane Do Girl in Milton, Florida

70 months ago

Natasha specifically referred to Kaplan University, the online school, which is not ABA approved. The OP doesn't say if her AS degree is ABA approved. I checked out Kaplan College's Denver campus; apparently, it was originally the Denver Paralegal Institute, founded in the late 1970's and has now been bought and assimilated into the Kaplan franchise. That particular campus program only offers a Certificate and an AS degree.

Another thing to think about - a number of states have implemented Paralegal registration or certification programs with varying criteria for eligibility. In Florida, the FRP program is fairly exclusionary in the qualifying education criteria, and we are learning that graduates from online programs or other non-traditional paralegal programs are not eligible to obtain this status. Although these programs are fairly new and voluntary, except California, I predict an eventual nationwide trend towards Paralegal regulation. Students should think about this when considering online paralegal programs.

Many traditional brick-and-mortar schools are now offering their paralegal programs online. If you're going to invest the money in higher education, invest in a recognized 'branded' degree. You can find many of those programs at the American Association for Paralegal Education website: www.aafpe.org/m_search/index.asp

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kitty in Scranton, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

I am looking for an ABA accredited school for paralegal studies. I am NOT interested in online courses. Does anyone have information about an accredited school in Pennsylvania?

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

kitty in Scranton, Pennsylvania said: I am looking for an ABA accredited school for paralegal studies. I am NOT interested in online courses. Does anyone have information about an accredited school in Pennsylvania?

The ABA-approved Paralegal certificate schools are in Philadelphia-where all the lawyers are. I went to Widener Law Schools Paralegal program, Wilmington, DE. It was an excellent program. As to getting a job , that is on you and ....The campus is small, self-contained and lovely. Great law library on campus. Classes are taught by same professors who also teach the law students. Most of the professors had law firm careers before they became professors. The classes are small, well taught. It is one semester to get the certificate if you go full-time day student. Sept-May grad. It runs parallel with the 1st year law students...Going to school was the best part.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

As to my education at Widener Law School's Paralegal program:

Education is great, and you must do well. Getting a job is a whole other challenge. Do not expect any help from the school for placement.

Philadelphia and Delaware are dead for jobs, due to present economy. The few positions will have lots of applicants. Maybe the govrenment is better, there is county, city, state, federal.

Be prepared for very low pay, low $20k

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

Be prepared for very low pay, $20K. Well then that's it. I'm going back to prostitution.

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Jess in Washington, District of Columbia

68 months ago

I am actually in a four year college that is ABA approved and you have the option to take most of your courses online. So far it is a great school! My question is, where in the country are the most paralegal jobs? And when do you think we will be out of this bad economy. I finish my bachelors degree in four years, but I plan to start looking for a job when I finish my associates in two years. Because my courses are all online, I have the freedom to move anywhere in the country for a job.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Be prepared for very low pay, $20K. Well then that's it. I'm going back to prostitution.

good one

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Jess in Washington, District of Columbia said: I am actually in a four year college that is ABA approved and you have the option to take most of your courses online. So far it is a great school! My question is, where in the country are the most paralegal jobs? And when do you think we will be out of this bad economy. I finish my bachelors degree in four years, but I plan to start looking for a job when I finish my associates in two years. Because my courses are all online, I have the freedom to move anywhere in the country for a job.

Well- A Paralegal in Dallas, TX has commented that the recession has not affected the legal community there, so far.

AS to the reession in general- it is going to be a long-haul.

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Jess in Washington, District of Columbia

68 months ago

Hey does anyone know how I can get my foot in the door in a law job? like I stated before, I am only in school for paralegal now, but I would really like to do anything in a law firm. Any ideas how to go about this?

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Jess in Mount Airy, Maryland

68 months ago

My program definitely is ABA approved, I do have to take some courses in class, but most can be taken online.. They are one of the only schools that does offer ABA courses online!

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

How about if you give us the website for your program so we can check it out. I don't think it's ABA approved either.

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Jess in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Peirce College, look them up they are ABA approved!

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

68 months ago

Well, the first thing I would do to try and land an entry level paralegal job is impress, impress, impress at the place where you do your internship. That's the number one way to get an entry level job.

The Dallas legal field seems sortof okay still. I have heard of only minor layoffs. No matter the city you might try and get in with a consumer bankruptcy attorney. It would be low paying if you represented the consumer, but it would be a start and that field is booming. Do you have Spanish? That helps a lot in Texas if you are working for a law firm that represents individuals, but again when you represent individuals vs representing companies, the pay is not as much.

I got my entry level job by cold-faxing my resume to law firms in town. I was offered a gig at my internship, but turned it down as every single person in that corporate legal department was not happy working there. The general counsel was a nut job.

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Jess in Midlothian, Virginia

68 months ago

"My program definitely is ABA approved, I do have to take some courses in class, but most can be taken online.. They are one of the only schools that does offer ABA courses online!"

As I stated it is ABA approved, and I also stated that I do have to go to class for some of my classes, but I can take most of my courses online! And as for Mary in Tampa Florida, yeah the courses are expensive BUT I am not coming out school with a community college degree! To me it is worth it!

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Jess in Washington, District of Columbia said: Hey does anyone know how I can get my foot in the door in a law job? like I stated before, I am only in school for paralegal now, but I would really like to do anything in a law firm. Any ideas how to go about this?

If you are in school now, go to the placement office and start asking now. Ask your professors. GEt the local legal newspaper with classified in the back.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Actually, Mary, according to the ABA website, Peirce's program is ABA approved: (emphasis added)

It is on Pine Street, Philadelphia- never heard of it- sure the lawyers in Philadelphia have.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Seriously- with the economy where it is - paralegal is a scary field to pay money for. Philadelphia is a dry town for work now.

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Jess in Mechanicsville, Maryland

68 months ago

Yeah the economy sucks, but I can afford the schooling. My husband and I are just really good at budgeting money! And I will NOT settle in Philly!! I have the freedom to move all over north America including Canada since I have the correct paper work for both countries. That is why I am asking, where in this country are the most paralegal jobs?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

Jess, if you wants job to IMPRESS, think about court reporting. The hours are better, far more prestidge. And jobs are plentiful.

Well, gotta run off for $10.00 an hour.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

68 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: As long as one has the aptitude for court reporting. It appears to be hard to learn. According to your very informative comments on other fora, Mary, some people spend years and tons of money trying to learn it.

I agree with Cindy about not paying money for paralegal. It's not worth it. Law is a lousy industry in which to work. Paralegal jobs are hard to get, especially for entry paralegals, and particularly in this economy. Stressful environment, long hours, heavy workload and supervisors who have no business being supervisors.

It was a good profession to get into , at one point in time,
Times have changed. It is not the profession to get into.

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Andi in Wesley Chapel, Florida

60 months ago

I was looking online at a campus called South University. They claim to be ABA approved and also have most classes online and only 4 classes taken at another school with the credits transfered to them. In addition the cost of this school Per 4-credit course ($361 per credit hour)
Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies - 104 Credits Total
Students pursuing the Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies are required
to take a total of 26 courses as follows:

■15 foundation courses - 60 credits
■11 major courses - 44 credits

All courses are 4 quarter credits in length.

Is this a good school or do you know of a better/ more affordable school in the vicinity of Tampa?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

60 months ago

In the vicinity of Tampa - go to St. Pete College in Clearwater. It is ABA approved. I went there. The credits are like $75.00 per credit. And they do have a lot of online classes.

look up St. Petersburg College, then look for legal assisting

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Andi in Wesley Chapel, Florida

60 months ago

Hello Mary,
I called this school today and they didn't mention any classes online were these for the paralegal program? I spoke with a Demers and she gave me the impression that there was no online classes? Also said the classes would be Monday - Thursday from 7pm through 9:40pm.

How did you like the classes? What positive / negative have you experienced over there?

I understand also that the classes start on January 5th. Would online classes on this date too? Do you think...

Thank you so much! Have you graduated yet? Was it easy to find work?

Andi

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

60 months ago

Yes, the classes are M - Th from 7 - 9:40. That means that's when the classes are OFFERED. You could take two classes and only have to come two days a week. There are some online classes. A lot of the core classes are online.

The classes are from 7:00 at night because they are taught by professionals. Susan teaches the paralegal internship class. Attorneys teach the other classes.

I was only in the program for three terms because I was already completing my Bachelor's Degree (one class left) and I had also been in the legal field for 20 years.

St. Pete has a very good program and the price is fair. I didn't have anything negative about the program - but others did. They had a problem because if you do not get done in five years, then you get "bumped into" the course requirements at that time period. Which means you're there five years. At the time you started you had to take X classes. Then some time later X more classes were required. You do not have to take those new classes. But if you're not done in five years, then you do.

I would suggest you start out with all the basic core classes. Take one paralegal course each term. With the program, you have to pick three specialities. I took litigation, corporations and real estate.

Let me see if I can find the link. Then go to the link. You can check out the whole program, what classes are required and when they are offered.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

60 months ago

Here's the website. It has all the info. It's called Paralegal Studies now.

www.spcollege.edu/clw/business/paralegal/index.htm

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New Orleans- Paralegal

48 months ago

Hello:

It takes alot of dedication and patience to make it in this field.
I started as a file clerk and now after five years of hard work I finally have a decent paying career.

Your either at the table or on the menu!

Lera Toups

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