Legal Assistant Online Training Castroville CA

How to Pick the Right Paralegal Studies School near Castroville California

Castroville CA Paralegal doing legal researchCongratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Castroville CA and begin your journey that will lead to a satisfying career in legal services. However, it’s essential that you find the best school so that you will receive the extensive training that you need to achieve success. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and increasingly more academic options are being offered, both at school and online. But with numerous options to choose from, where does one start? A number of potential students start by trying to find schools within traveling distance of their Castroville homes. Of those choices, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are very important considerations when picking a school, they are not the only qualifiers you need to consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program need to be taken into consideration too. Later in this post we will review a list of questions that you need to ask potential paralegal schools so that you can examine and compare every one before making your selection. But before we do, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the educational options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Castroville CA law libraryLegal assistants and paralegals essentially both hold the same job positions and functions, just with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a separate job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help Castroville CA lawyers with a wide variety of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of practice where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with the logistics of a trial or delivering files to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and abide by a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their duties can be diverse in support of the practices where they are employed, but some of their everyday tasks may involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on pertinent laws and cases
  • Preparing correspondence and legal papers
  • Filing legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
  • Assisting attorneys get ready for trial and stay organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal documents, files and additional records

With all of their duties, the role of a paralegal can be complicated and quite demanding. However, what they are not legally authorized to do is give legal counsel and advice or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not limited to administrative or clerical tasks more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Legal assistants truly are the right hand support systems for lawyers. And since they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, attorneys have the ability to handle a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Programs and Certification

legal assistant meeting with Castroville CA attorneyAs we previously covered, paralegals are essentially the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic requirements and job prospects will be the same. The fastest means to begin your career as a paralegal in Castroville CA is by obtaining a certificate, which can require as little as 6 months to accomplish. Many entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which offer a more expansive education and may be obtained at numerous community colleges in 2 years. For an even more extensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available also. When you have earned either a certificate or degree, you might want to proceed and get a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in California to practice as a paralegal, certification can not only help boost your career opportunities, but help establish you as a professional also. A few of the highly regarded certifying agencies in the field are:

  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations
  • American Alliance of Paralegals
  • National Association of Legal Assistants
  • National Association for Legal Professionals

By graduating with a paralegal degree or certificate from an accredited school (we will address the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 essential initial steps that will help guarantee your success as either a legal assistant or a paralegal.

Points to Ask Paralegal Schools

Questions to ask Castroville CA paralegal schoolsSince you now you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training options are offered, you can begin the undertaking of assessing schools. But since there are numerous programs available at junior and community colleges in the Castroville CA area, as well as vocational and trade schools, you need to know what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is especially true if you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like the majority of potential students, you will begin by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other critical issues to consider also, for instance accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at several of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are considering so that you can properly vet each one and make your ultimate selection.

Is the Paralegal School and Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you select should be accredited by a respected organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will receive will be of the highest standard, but it will show potential employers that you are a qualified professional also. Many Castroville CA law firms will only employ entry level legal assistants that are graduates of an accredited school. Also, financial aid and student loans are typically obtainable only for accredited programs.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Investigate what the reputations and rankings are for the legal assistant schools you are looking at. This is of particular importance if you are entering the profession with no previous experience, since employers will have to rely on the quality of your education exclusively. Checking that the program you choose is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating reports, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school rankings and quality of education as well. You can also call a few Castroville CA law offices that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Bear in mind that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Offer Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal enterprise while still in school. They can also offer a means for students to begin developing contacts within the Castroville CA legal field. Ask if the paralegal schools you are reviewing provide internship programs, especially in areas of the law that you are most interested in entering upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the paralegal programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with California legal services employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the School’s Location? Because laws differ among states, it might be advantageous to choose a paralegal school located in California or the state where you want to practice after graduating. In addition, it will be valuable to cultivate relationships in the neighboring legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is even more justification to obtain your education in the community where you want to practice. Also, if you attend classes at a community college, many require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might wish to initially consider those colleges that are within the Castroville CA area.

How Much is the Entire Cost? Paralegal programs can vary in cost based on the credential obtained and the length of training provided. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Remember to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance may be obtainable to help reduce part of the cost, so don’t forget to contact the school’s financial aid department to see what is offered in Castroville CA. Naturally if you opt to attend an online school, some of these additional costs, for instance for commuting, may be decreased or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? A number of legal students keep working while obtaining their training and need flexibility in class scheduling. If you can just attend night or weekend classes near Castroville CA, make certain classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the program you select offers that option. Finally, find out what the process is for making-up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.

Legal Assistant and Paralegal Online Schools

student attending online paralegal certificate program in Castroville CALegal assistant and paralegal online programs have become more popular and may be an excellent option for students searching for convenient access to classes and flexible scheduling. Online programs can be particularly appealing to those who continue to work while earning a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online programs can sometimes be less expensive than more traditional options. Even secondary expenditures for such items as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all online schools are accredited, which we will cover in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the education you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make certain that the school and program you are looking into are accredited by a highly regarded agency, such as the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to study in a less structured and formal environment, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.

 Attending a Paralegal School near Castroville CA?

If you live near Castroville California or perhaps are considering attending classes in that area, following is some interesting and useful information regarding the location of your new school campus.

Castroville, California

The site of the community was originally part of Rancho Bolsa Nueva y Moro Cojo, a 30,901-acre (125.05 km2) Mexican land grant given in 1844 by Manuel Micheltorena, Governor of Alta California, to María Antonia Pico de Castro.[5] After the 1848 cession of California to the United States following the Mexican–American War, Juan Bautista Castro, son of María Antonia Pico de Castro, founded Castroville in 1863.

The Rancho Bolsa Nueva y Moro Cojo is a combination of three land grants. "Rancho Moro Cojo," granted by Governor Luis Antonio Arguello in 1825. The second is "Rancho Bolsa Nueva," by Governnor Mariano Chico in 1836. The third was granted by Governor Juan Alvarado to Simeon Castro (Juan Bautista Castro's Father) in 1837.

In the 1840s, mapmaker Duflot de Mofras, wrote, "A few leagues before reaching the "Pajaro River", an area measuring a few hundred meters where the round trembles under the horses feet, although the earth is hard and covered by turf, is encountered.

Legal Assistant Online Training Castroville CA

Selecting the ideal paralegal studies degree school is an essential first step toward your success in the rewarding field of law. You originally came to this website because you had an interest in getting more information about Legal Assistant Online Training. But as we have covered in this article, you have the option of attending classes at school or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Castroville home. Paralegal education programs are offered in various formats and lengths. Different kinds of private and public institutions offer paralegal education, including junior and community colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal school will have a pronounced impact on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Considering that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Give yourself the best possible chance to be successful in this rewarding profession. But no matter how you decide to obtain your education and earn your degree or certificate, by asking the questions that we have presented you will have the ability to review each school and make your ultimate decision. And with the ideal education you can achieve your career objective to become a successful paralegal in Castroville CA.

Other California Locations That May Be Of Interest

  • Online Schools For Paralegal Studies Rancho Cucamonga CA
  • Certificate In Paralegal Studies Death Valley CA
  • Master In Legal Studies Pismo Beach CA
  • School To Be A Paralegal Tulare CA
  • Accredited Online Paralegal Degree Programs Ventura CA
  • Paralegal Classes Willows CA
  • What Education Is Needed To Become A Paralegal San Carlos CA
  • Paralegal Associate Degree Pasadena CA
  • Legal Assistant Certificate Program La Canada Flintridge CA
  • Paralegal Education Online Greenbrae CA
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