If you have already completed your first bachelor’s degree or are thinking about returning to school, it’s not too late to consider a career in law. While the decreased demand for attorneys is causing many students to reconsider law school, paralegal and legal research positions are expected to grow and offer a strong salary. Legal studies training programs offered online make it convenient for students to take advantage of the growing opportunities in law.
Courses of Study
The courses that you take will take depend on the focus of your legal studies training program. If your goal is to train to become a paralegal, your courses will focus on the technical skills that you need to succeed on the job. If your goal is to move on to graduate school or pursue a research position, the focus of your courses will be primarily academic.
Regardless of you goals, most legal studies training programs require the following courses:
- Civil Law
- Criminal Law
- Employment Law
- Legal Research and Writing
These courses will broaden your understanding of legal topics and explain the technical processes and standards that legal professionals must adhere to.
Legal Studies Certification
A legal studies certification training program does not act as a stand-in for a college degree. Rather, a certificate will be awarded after taking a set of classes that focus on legal topics. It typically takes 1 year of full-time study to complete a certificate program. Students who have already completed their bachelor’s in a general field or who are working toward an associate’s degree often choose to receive certification to increase their job prospects.
Currently, 270 legal studies programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). While an ABA-approved program is not necessary for many entry-level paralegal positions, many large firms and businesses require that paralegals complete an ABA-approved program. Students with the goal of becoming a paralegal should consider enrolling in a properly accredited program.
Benefits of Online Legal Studies Training
Students who work full-time or who desire to accelerate their studies should consider enrolling in an online legal studies training program. Students who take online courses will take the exact same courses that are offered in a traditional classroom setting. However, they will have the option of attending classes on their own time and even choosing self-paced courses. This flexibility allows online students to cut down the time it will take to prepare for their new career.
Careers in Legal Studies
Legal studies training programs prepare students for entry-level positions as paralegals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals and legal assistants can expect a median income of $46K. Openings for paralegals and legal assistants are expected to grow by 18 percent. However, the increased competition in this field makes it important to receive formal training.
A legal studies training program is useful to other professionals as well. Small-business owners, government employees, and writers may also benefit from an increased understanding of the law. A legal studies training program gives students the tools to apply their studies to many different endeavors.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Paralegals and Legal Assistants.