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Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
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Paralegal Program Length: Is your paralegal program comprehensive enough?

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Nov 16, 2015 1:59:48 PM

Make sure the paralegal program contains at least 24 semester hours (38.4 CEUs) of skills-based paralegal training.

As a paralegal, you will work with attorneys who value higher education and have devoted a significant amount of time and expense to pursue a legal career. Your paralegal education will matter to them.

Is the program comprehensive enough to give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to work alongside an attorney? One way to make certain is to evaluate the program length to insure adequate attention is paid to critical subjects areas. Further, recognized authorities in paralegal education have established minimum standards regarding program length. The State of California requires “the successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in law-related courses and that has been accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization” as one criteria for a person to call themselves a paralegal.1

Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound impact on your opportunities for success in the career. Since there is a wide range in the quality of programs, choose carefully. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in this exciting profession.2

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Topics: paralegal certificate, paralegal degree, education and training, featured

Learn How Paralegals Gain Leverage With Good Interviewing Skills

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jan 16, 2014 1:32:00 PM

There is no doubt about it, attorneys often come to rely on their paralegals to conduct client interviews. In fact, most of the lists that outline the responsibilities of paralegals include 'conducting interviews'. The National Association of Legal Assistants - Paralegals and most other paralegal - related organizations place the following item at the top of their list:

  • Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the legal assistant, and the legal assistant works under the supervision of the attorney.  

Having good, solid interviewing skills and technique is important and can help you gain leverage whether you are just starting out as a paralegal or have legal experience.  The ability to interview clients is valuable enough that many campus and online paralegal programs include an Interviewing and Investigation course.

Here are a few basic interviewing tips that will help you as you prepare for and advance your paralegal career. 

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Topics: online classes, paralegal certificate, paralegal degree, career

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Paralegal Program

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jan 10, 2014 3:46:00 PM

There are specific reasons people choose to buy one product over another. 

Choosing a Paralegal Program

Selection criteria might be made based on size, color, texture, fit, cost, what your girlfriend said or what your mother prefers.

There is a lot to consider. If you are going to be pleased with your purchase you want to enjoy what the product provides and be happy with the benefits, service, and results.

Choosing where to receive your paralegal education is no different. Size of classes, depth and breadth of courses, tuition, class structure, graduate success, and employer satisfaction all play into making the right choice.

Here are 8 things to consider when choosing the right paralegal program.

1.  Specialization. Today, people understand the importance of specialization.  Probably foremost from experiences with the medical field.  A more recent move to specialization has taken place in law firms. It makes sense; focus on a specific area to gain more knowledge, ability, and success.

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Topics: online classes, paralegal certificate, paralegal degree

Why So Many College Graduates Are Underemployed...

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Oct 30, 2013 2:31:00 PM

...And One Possible and Practical Solution

According to a survey conducted by Reuters, “More than 40 percent of recent U.S. college graduates are underemployed or need more training to get on a career track.”  

The survey also discloses that more than 25% of these graduates have already enrolled in a Master’s degree program.  The perception that a master’s degree will satisfy the need for more training is valid provided the degree is skill-based; otherwise, if the degree is more philosophical in nature, the graduate might still need more training to gain a career.graduates choose paralegal school for practical skills

Another public opinion survey that was released by Northwestern University and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education stated that “American adults and employers want colleges to produce graduates who can think critically and creatively and can communicate orally and in writing.” 

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Topics: paralegal certificate, paralegal degree, career, education and training

Five Ways One Paralegal Student Made Connections

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Oct 9, 2013 10:01:00 AM

1.  Connecting to the Law

Her parents might say that she likes to argue, but Gretchen Trower enjoys questioning, researching, and building her case, which makes her well-suited to a paralegal career.  And she just graduated from Center for Advanced Legal Studies and is in her second month as a paralegal, the profession that she has dreamed about for almost 20 years.A paralegal student making connections to a legal career

It was in an undergraduate political science class at the University of Missouri where Gretchen's passion for the law was sparked.  She became very interested in how the law affects government policy and society.  The connection between courtroom decisions, policy, and people’s everyday lives made her want to become a lawyer.  She began to study for the LSAT, the entrance exam for most law schools.  But her plans changed after marrying a soldier she met while serving in the military.

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Topics: online classes, paralegal degree, graduates and alumni, veterans and military, career, education and training

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