14 Jan Paralegal Studies Degree Program | Abraham Lincoln University
Abraham Lincoln University has added new undergraduate programs to complement its flagship school of law program. One of the programs just added for online distance learning is Paralegal Studies, with diploma and associate degree programs available for enrollment.
What Are Paralegal Studies Programs?
Paralegal Studies programs are a vocational field preparing students for careers as paralegals. Paralegals perform a number of tasks at law firms and in other companies, doing legal research, helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. In addition to preparatory work, paralegals perform a number of functions. Depending upon the employer, paralegals might help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, and other documentation. Areas of study in our online paralegal degree programs are focused on preparation for this type of work, with courses in legal basics and legal research.
A certificate or degree is not necessarily required for employment as a paralegal, as some firms will train paralegals on the job, but the predominant number of paralegals employed in the United States have received some level of formal training.
Diplomas and degrees in Paralegal Studies prepare students for jobs in the following areas:
- Private law firms: Private law firms currently employ 71% of all paralegals according to the US Bureau of labor statistics. Specialties include: criminal law, civil law, real estate, bankruptcy, medical malpractice, and product liability.
- Non-profit organizations: Community legal service programs employ a number of paralegals to take on tasks as they are more affordable to employ than lawyers.
- State and Federal Governments: There are a number of government departments that hire paralegals, including local agencies, consumer organizations, and the courts.
- Private corporations: Many large corporations are bringing legal teams in-house to cut costs in today’s economy, which will mean an increase of paralegals working with lawyers as part of corporate legal teams.
Paralegal Studies Degree Levels
At Abraham Lincoln University, there are two levels of study in the Paralegal Studies program.
- Diploma: The diploma program is 30 semester credit hours and generally takes one year to complete. It provides a basic introduction and is tightly focused on the practical side of the Paralegal Studies program. It is recommended for those students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are looking to transition into a career as a paralegal.
- Associate: The associate degree takes two years to complete (60 semester credit hours) and is seen by most employers as qualification for employment as a paralegal. Unlike the diploma program, it combines legal course work with other subject areas for a broader educational experience.
For more information on the Paralegal Studies programs available from Abraham Lincoln University, visit www.alu.edu.