Students that want to work in law but don't necessarily have the desire to become a lawyer can take another popular path. Several education options are available to students inside legal and paralegal career studies. Legal and paralegal schools offer career studies to become a lawyer's assistant.
As an assistant students should expect to work with lawyer's to prepare for meetings and trails. Work duties regularly consist of researching facts, writing reports, drafting legal documents, and more. Assistants learn to do everything lawyers do short of actually practicing law, which can only be gained through a law degree. Through the concentrated legal and paralegal studies students can enter a career where they are completely immersed in the field of law.
The first option, which takes the least amount of schooling, is working through a certificate program. Most programs take less than seven months and the majority of programs are for students that already have an associate's or bachelor's degree. The reason behind this is that certificate programs only have students taking courses that pertain to legal and paralegal work. Education stresses teaching students how to perform legal research and draft legal documents. Curriculum introduces students to all traditional areas of law. Areas of study include:
Students also have the option of entering a post-baccalaureate certificate program. The curriculum is very similar to an undergraduate certificate program. The only major difference is that students are required to have a bachelor's degree prior to admission.
Students that don't plan on continuing education often complete an associate's degree. The coursework completed is sufficient to work inside a lawyer's office or firm. An associate's degrees should include study on legal terminology, legal writing, research, litigation, and family law. The skills to think logically and apply learned knowledge to each specific case is gained when students complete a program. Students should expect education to last two years. Another option is to gain a specialized degree in paralegal business. Students work through much of the same curriculum but also take specialized courses in criminal justice that allow them to aid a lawyer further. Schooling in this type of degree program is focused on teaching students to provide professional advice with issues in the office and courtroom.
Completing a bachelor's degree is the highest option available to students before entering law school. Much like an associate's degree program, a bachelor's degree program focuses on all areas of law and prepares students to assist lawyers. Curriculum topics cover studies in real estate, immigration, business law, and more. Students learn all the legal parameters in which they will work. Preparing case summaries, organizing notes, investigating facts, and helping a lawyer set legal fees are all learned skills. Having a bachelor's degree helps students advance inside the industry and allows them to enter law school later if desired.
Working side-by-side with lawyers on cases is an exciting career that can be entered. Enroll in legal and paralegal schools that are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) for full accreditation and start the educational process needed to work inside the legal industry.