5 Online Bachelor Degree Programs Available in Paralegal

Benefits of an Online Paralegal Bachelors Degree

The work involved in legal cases goes well beyond the lawyer's job. Paralegals play a key role in law offices, taking part in the investigation, research, organization and filing involved with legal work. Earning an online paralegal bachelors degree may be one of the best ways to prepare for this... role.

The work involved
Paralegals serve a key role in bringing legal cases together. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they may be required to conduct background research concerning the facts of a case and the laws and regulations that may relate to it.  They can also be called upon to perform much of the necessary clerical work, including gathering affidavits, taking notes during cases, handling transcripts, scheduling meetings and making appointments with clients and witnesses.

Earning an online paralegal bachelors degree may prepare graduates to pursue work in this position. Classes may focus on legal procedures, communications and the administrative work involved. These skills, while geared toward performing the tasks of a paralegal, may be worthwhile in any number of jobs that require research, organization, multitasking and working under pressure.

Choosing a focus
Like law offices, paralegals may specialize in a certain field, ranging from corporate law to personal injury to real estate. The BLS highlights two particular types of paralegals: corporate and litigation.[i] The differences in these tasks vary depending on the needs of the organization, so that one kind of paralegal may focus largely on court cases while others may serve a more clerical role in preparing office documents.

Corporate paralegals may be excepted to handle the variety of legal documents that businesses' hold, including. shareholder agreements, stock-option plans financial reports and contracts. Meanwhile, litigation paralegals gather evidence and conduct research on the behalf of lawyers for cases.

Potential Salaries
Income will vary depending on the office and specialization involved. The BLS provides some insight into the annual median wages of different kinds of paralegals, though only the job outlook for the profession overall.

  • Paralegal, overall: $46,990[ii] (17 percent projected job growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Federal government paralegal: $62,400[iii]
  • Finance and insurance paralegal: $54,670[iii]
  • Local government paralegal: $47,000[iii]
  • Legal services paralegal: $44,950[iii]

Skills required
Excellent research and organizational abilities are needed to perform this job well. People who wish to study in this field should also have good communication skills in order to organize and present their research to lawyers, attorneys and other paralegals. Given that paralegals must coordinate between lawyers, witnesses, clients and other administrative staff, personal skills can also be valuable.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-1 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm#tab-5

 

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