Paralegal Programs in Massachusetts
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the lucrative and exciting world of law, but aren’t interested in taking years to get there, earning your paralegal certification in North Dartmouth MA just might be the way to go. A paralegal certificate will put you on the fast track to the career you want in as little as one year. Not only will you be starting a rewarding career in less than half the time of those who seek four-year degrees, but with a paralegal salary, you’ll also start your career earning an income that is well above most post-graduation entry level positions.
One of the biggest draws about paralegal jobs is the pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average paralegal salary in 2010 was $46,680. Of course, the more education and experience you have the more you earn. For those who have earned a paralegal certificate, and have gone on to build a career in the field, they can expect to eventually earn up to about $80,000 a year.
Businesses are always looking for ways to cut back, and though it seems counterintuitive that cut backs can be beneficial when entering the job market, when it comes to paralegal jobs, that is the case. As businesses make budget cuts they are turning more and more to paralegals. The hiring trends show that law firms would rather pay a paralegal salary than a lawyer’s salary, so they are hiring fewer lawyers and bringing on more paralegals in order to save money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the employment of paralegals is expected to grow by 18 percent through the year 2020.
Earning Your Paralegal Certification in North Dartmouth MA
Of course, before you can start your career as a paralegal you should earn your paralegal certificate. There are over 1,000 schools in the United States that have formal paralegal programs where you can earn either a certificate or an associate degree. If you do plan on enrolling in a paralegal program, however, you need to make sure that it’s a quality school which offers a well-rounded program. Employers will consider the school you attended when assessing you for potential employment. So, it really does make a difference. You will use your own criteria when selecting a school, such as school location and cost, but consider these factors as well:
- ABA Approved: The American Bar Association has a set of guidelines that a school must meet before granting approval. This is an important criteria because most employers will only consider candidates for paralegal jobs if they’ve graduated from an ABA-approved school.
- Curriculum: Any school you consider should offer curriculum that includes, not only legal courses, but classes in business and political systems, as well as American History. These subjects will benefit you in your career as you gain understanding of individual laws and the history behind them.
- Program Length: While it is possible to earn your certificate in as little as one year, you may also want to stay an additional year and earn a two year associate degree. If you aren’t sure which is right for you, discuss it with the school’s guidance counselor before making a final decision. Many people earn their certificate, start working, and then continue on in their education to earn an associate degree.
- Specialty Area: Many schools offer specialized areas of training in different legal niches, such as real estate law, corporate law, or intellectual property law (music, literature). If you have a specific area of interest, speak with the school guidance counselor to find out if they offer such individualized training.
- Placement Assistance: Good schools have established networks within the legal community, as well as alumni who have established themselves in their own careers. Use that network to your advantage and it will help you secure employment that much faster.
Reccomended Paralegal Programs in Massachusetts
The programs featured below are taught by top tier, schools and come high recommended as potential programs for most students.
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- CERT: Paralegal Studies
- Bachelor of Science: Paralegal Studies
- Certificate: Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate
- Bachelor of Science: Legal Studies
- And more...
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Paralegal
A career as a paralegal can be both personally and financially rewarding. There aren’t many careers which don’t require a four year degree that have the potential to start off paying an average salary in excess of $45,000 a year. When you seek out paralegal certification in North Dartmouth MA, you could be well on your way to starting a lucrative career.