Para legal course is a professional training program aimed at equipping individuals with knowledge and skills necessary for rendering support services in the legal industry. These courses are designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of law and procedures, including legal writing, research, drafting of documents, interviewing clients, and court procedure.
Aspiring para legal professionals can choose from various courses available in colleges, universities or private institutions. In this article, we will discuss types of para legal course options available, eligibility criteria, duration and requirements for admission into these programs.
Types of Para Legal Courses
There are different types of para legal courses available that cater to varying levels of qualifications and experience.
Certificate Programs in Para Legal Studies
Certificate programs in para legal studies are short-term courses that provide basic knowledge of para legal principles and practices. These programs typically last between six months to a year and cover topics such as civil law procedures, litigation support services and contracts law.
Diploma Programs in Para Legal Studies
Diploma programs in para legal studies offer more comprehensive training on the finer aspects of para legal work such as preparation for trial proceedings, conducting witness interviews and negotiating settlements. This program usually lasts between one to two years.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Para Legal Studies
Bachelor degree programs in Para Legal studies is an undergraduate program that provides you an extensive knowledge of laws with specialization modules based on your area interest within the field. It takes approximately three years to complete this program.
Master’s Degree Programmes
Master’s degree programmes are post-graduate level degrees that require a Bachelor’s Degree as eligibility requirement. The Master’s Degree programme is an advanced course which typically covers specific areas of law like IP Law or Corporate Law.
The eligibility criteria for admission into these courses vary according to qualification requirements set by the institutions offering these programs. Generally,
- A High School Diploma or GED is required for admission to certificate programs in para legal studies.
- For diploma and bachelor’s degree programs, a High School Diploma or GED is required, along with an associate degree.
- A bachelor’s degree and a GPA are required for admission to master’s degree programmes.
Duration of Para Legal Courses
The duration of para legal courses varies according to the level of study. Certificate programs usually take six months to one year to complete while diploma and bachelor’s degree programs can span between one year to four years depending on the curriculum requirements.
Master’s Degree Programs usually last between one year and two years but may require a thesis paper as a capstone project.
The admission requirements for para legal course vary based on the type of program chosen. However, some of the common requirements include:
- A completed application form.
- Official high school transcripts/academic records/GED scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Entry exam scores like LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
International applicants must provide proof of English proficiency through TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examinations.
The course curriculum offered at each institution may differ slightly based on the focus area; However, most programs have similar core subjects that cover topics like:
Legal Research and Writing
This subject covers research methods used by para legal professionals such as online researching techniques and finding cases using LexisNexis or Westlaw platforms. Students also learn how to write memos, briefs, pleadings, discovery requests among other documents used in litigation support services.
This subject covers courtroom procedures including jurisdictional principles, filing procedures for civil actions, pleadings from both parties involved in court proceedings, discovery rules and pre-trial motions.
This subject covers contract law principles and how to draft contracts effectively. Students learn about breach of contract, remedies for breach, termination of Contract and review samples of various types of contracts.
This subject covers ethical considerations when working as a para legal professional. Students are trained on the ethics code which requires them to uphold confidentiality, avoid conflicts of interest and maintain a high moral standard in all aspects of their work.
The elective courses offered vary among institutions but may include topics such as Intellectual Property Law, Health Law, Environmental Law or Corporate Law.
Cost of Para Legal Courses
The cost of para legal courses varies depending on the program type and institution offering it. The average cost for a certificate program ranges from $1,000 to $15,000 while diploma programs could range from $10,000 to $20,000.
Bachelor’s degree programs cost an average of $30,000-$50,000 while Master’s Degree programmes can range anywhere between $10 000 to more than $100 000 depending on the institution.
Para legal professionals have a wide range of career opportunities available to them based on their areas of skills and expertise:
- Corporate Para legal
- Litigation Para legal
- Governmental Agency Para legal
- Real Estate Closing Para legal
- Immigration Para Legal
- Personal Injury Trial Support
- Bankruptcy Assistant
- Contract Analyst
Para legals can earn an annual salary between $35k – $90k depending on job responsibilities and years of experience.
In conclusion, para legal courses are excellent training programs that equip individuals with necessary knowledge skill set for effective support service in the legal industry. There are different types of para legal courses available that cater to varying levels qualification experience; Eligibility requirements vary based on the level chosen admission requirements include transcripts/GED scorecards/personal statements/letters recommendation/entry exam scores; The course curriculum covers topics such as legal research and writing, civil procedures, contract law, legal ethics among other elective courses.
The cost of para legal courses varies depending on the program type and institution offering it; Career opportunities are vast with earning potential ranging from $35k – $90k annually based on job responsibilities and years of experience. Invest in a Para Legal Course today for a fulfilling career in the Legal industry!
What is a para legal course?
A para legal course is an educational program that trains individuals in the legal field to handle administrative, research, and drafting work for lawyers. The course provides theoretical knowledge and practical skills to become a valuable asset to law firms or corporate legal departments.
Who can take a para legal course?
Anyone with a passion for law and deep interest in understanding the nuances of legal proceedings can take the para legal course. It is an excellent option for students who aspire to join law school or those who want to enter the workforce as a paralegal.
What are some job opportunities available after completing a para legal course?
After completing a para legal course, one can choose to work as a paralegal in various settings such as law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporate legal departments and more. One could also opt for freelancing or working independently as a consultant depending on their expertise and experience.
What are some of the subjects covered in a typical para legal course syllabus?
A typical para legal course syllabus covers subjects such as civil procedure, criminal law, evidence law, contract law, business organizations, property laws etc. Additionally, courses related to communication skills; research methodologies; writing briefs and memoranda; ethics are also included.
How long does it take to complete a para legal course?
The duration of the para-legal courses differ based on the type of program you choose – Certificate/Diploma/Associate/Bachelor’s degree programs – but ranges from several months to up two years depending upon the intensity of the training program. The advanced level programs may require more time due to more specialized coursework along with internships or clinical work requirements.
What certifications are available after completing this course?
Upon successful completion of a para legal course, you can obtain certifications nationally recognized by various professional organizations such as National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the American Alliance of Paralegals Inc. based on their eligibility criteria.
What are some qualities required to excel in this field?
To excel in the Para-legal field, one should possess good communication skills, analytical thinking, strong organizational skills, be tech-savvy to handle legal software independently; have research skillset and finally have an ability to work under pressure while maintaining precision and confidentiality.
Can you study towards a para legal course online program?
Yes, there are several reputed universities that provide online para-legal courses with flexibility to complete the coursework at their own pace. The online courses are also budget-friendly and accessible for students who cannot attend classes onsite due to various reasons.
Is previous experience necessary before enrolling in a paralegal course?
No previous experience is required for enrolling in a paralegal course; however, some programs may require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree or have equivalent work experience in relevant fields. Being familiar with legal terminologies could help increase the effectiveness of learning process but it’s not mandatory.
How much does it cost to enroll for a paralegal course?
The cost of enrollment fee may vary depending upon the type of program chosen by individuals along with additional expenses like textbooks or software licensing fees that may apply for learning tools. However, most basic-level programs usually cost between $5000-$15,000 per year depending on location and institution offering it.