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Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
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Paralegal Blog

Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

Recent Posts

Paralegal Career Change: From Texas Oil and Gas to Sunny California Tinseltown

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

May 19, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Kelli.pngWhen I was laid off from the oil business for the second time in my 15-year career, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I was out of work again. Ups and downs are normal for the energy sector, and Texans are used to it. But the 2014 oil bust in Houston was particularly harsh for me. What was supposed to last a year at most would never come back, at least not like it used to be in the boom days.

By 2015, I had nothing in savings and I needed to work. Because I was a contractor who worked on a project basis, the 2014 down cycle was harder on me because I was not eligible for a severance nor unemployment benefits. Losing my career was not only financially devastating, but emotionally devastating as well. Most of my adult life I had a title and a hefty paycheck, and my identity was tied up in my career. I lost my identity when I lost my job, and I had no choice but to start over. If I wanted to have a better life long term, I had to find a career that was stable and offered more security.

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Topics: paralegal certificate, graduates and alumni, career, featured

What Is An Average Paralegal Salary?

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

May 16, 2017 2:20:00 PM

paralegal salary expectations

If you are considering a career as a paralegal, you may understandably wonder what salary you could command in such a role. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average paralegal salary in 2016 was $49,500.1 However, it is important to recognize that this figure can vary as a result of several factors.

What are these factors? As a prospective paralegal, do you have any control over them, and if so, how can you increase your earning potential if you ultimately decide to enter this field?

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Topics: credentials, career, education and training

What do Paralegals do? The Growing Trend of Non-Traditional Applications of a Paralegal Degree

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

May 9, 2017 2:20:00 PM


It is an exciting time to begin a career as a paralegal. In recent decades, the paralegal profession has continued to grow and expand into new, nontraditional fields. As we discussed previously in our blog, the rate of paralegal employment is expected to grow 8% from 2014-2024.1Business Meeting.png

The emergence of new industries and increasing efficiency in the legal industry has led to a higher demand for paralegal services.2 This trend is not new. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations expressed that this job growth is occurring in nontraditional environments, outside of traditional law firms. As we have reported before, tech companies such as Amazon are calling paralegal and legal assistants a “high demand field” and including tuition reimbursement for paralegal programs.
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Topics: career, paralegal skills, featured

Paralegals Benefit from Social Media

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

Aug 15, 2012 3:43:00 PM


People use their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media site differently.

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Topics: career

Why Paralegal Training May Make More Sense Than Law School

Posted by Center for Advanced Legal Studies [CALS]

Aug 13, 2012 9:30:00 AM

 

 Specialized Paralegal Training or Law School?

By SHELLI CARTER

With evolving demands in today’s job market, more bachelor’s degree holders are contemplating a return to school in search of a final stepping stone towards a stable, meaningful, and intellectually stimulating career.  Given the varied degree paths (Post baccalaureate, Master’s, Juris Doctor, etc.) and wide-range in tuition and fees, careful consideration should be given in comparing costs vs. benefits and pragmatism vs. prestige when selecting the best program.

Attending law school is a dream of many interested in legal fields and a surge in law degree programs and class size has made that pursuit possible for more people than ever – so much that the influx of law degree grads over the past several years has far outpaced the availability of attorney positions, forcing schools to drastically cut enrollments1. In data compiled by the ABA, law school alumni from the class of 2011 indicated that only 55% of graduates were employed in jobs that required passing the bar exam, while 30% reported being unemployed, underemployed, or back in graduate school.  A number of ABA accredited schools reported fewer than 40% of recent grads were employed as attorneys2

2011 Law School Graduate Jobs



Adding to the encumbrance of recent law school graduates is the trend of tuition fees skyrocketing alongside enrollments.  Indeed, over the last 20 years law school tuition has grown at a rate 4.5 times faster than the already escalating fees at 4-year schools3.   In 2010, law students graduating with debt owed an average of $98,500, with many owing well into the six-digits4.  Law school is a worthwhile dream for anyone looking for a challenging and prosperous career.  But with the recent surplus of highly educated, deeply indebted law school graduates competing for mid-level positions, it is also a dream worth postponing until the market stabilizes.  

Public Law School Tuition Trend

If you are considering a law degree, treat your education choice with the gravity it merits and research your options carefully:

  • Understand the real cost of a program, including student loan deferments and interest rates.  Know that the comparatively high tuition of law and business degree programs are frequently used by schools to subsidize less prosperous programs, sometimes by as much as 30%5.   Make sure the curriculum is worth the price.

  • Ask pointed questions about a program’s advertised employment data.  Be sure a school is not padding surveyed employment numbers with non-responders, temporary positions, and jobs unrelated to the degree program6.  Additionally, salary data can be skewed when high-earners report salaries at a greater rate than low-earners.  

The faculty and staff of Center for Advanced Legal Studies have dedicated over 25 years to the sole purpose of preparing & training students for careers as paralegals and related legal positions. 

  • Tuition is economical and it is circulated directly back into the paralegal programs.  The United States Office of Education reports a Federal Median Loan debt of $7,500.00 and a debt-to-earnings ratio of 2.84% for graduates of the Paralegal Certificate Program (2010-2011).
  • Students graduating from the Certificate Program in 2010 – 2011 are employed at a rate of 87%. Employment data includes only positions in the legal field.

Curriculum at CALS is specifically formatted to provide a comprehensive foundation for careers in the legal field, as well as simulate work-place scenarios.  An education from Center for Advanced Legal Studies can launch a paralegal career; it can also accomplish an important stride on a path to law school.  Regardless of your ultimate career goal, Center for Advanced Legal Studies is committed to fostering skills and opening doors to a rewarding career in an expansive and evolving legal field.

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  1. Nasri, G. “Law Schools Feel the Heat From Unemployed Grads,” HuffPost College, Feb. 24, 2012.

  2. Palazzo, J. “Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market,” Wall Street Journal, Jun. 25, 2012.  Caplan, L.  “An Existential Crisis for Law Schools,” New York Times, Jul. 14, 2012.  

  3. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics

  4. Henderson, W. and Zahorsky, R.  “The Law School Bubble: How Long Will It Last if Law Grads Can’t Pay Bills?,” ABA Journal, Jan. 1, 2012.

  5. Segal, D. “Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!”, New York Times, Jul 16, 2011.

  6. Segal, D. “Is Law School a Losing Game?,” New York Times, Jan 8, 2011.

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Topics: paralegal certificate, certification, education and training

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