If you’re looking for a career change or to step into the legal field without spending tons of money and time on law school, a Paralegal certificate online may be for you. As a Paralegal or legal assistant, you will be tasked with investigative research, drafting, and record keeping under the supervision of a lawyer or court system. Paralegals should be organized, have good communication and computer skills, be able to multi-task and work well independently or under pressure. If you wish to become a Paralegal, here are the five best programs to get started.
Obtaining Your Paralegal Certificate Online
Liberty University is currently the “largest Christian University in the world with 250 programs.” Offering online programs since 1985, Liberty University has a Christ-based curriculum that will prepare you for the career you want.
Advantages of Liberty University
– Liberty University’s programs are taught from the Christian perspective, allowing you to grow in your faith.
– Financial aid is available, along with flexible scheduling for your busy life.
– You can study where and when you want to.
– Liberty University has a great support system of ministers, access to private tutors 24/7, and a private Facebook community to network with peers.
– Military benefits are offered, including discounted tuition, credits for military experience, and scholarships specifically for military personnel.
– Accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
– Options to attend residential campus classes.
– Paralegal certificate online can be earned in eight weeks.
Disadvantages of Liberty University
– Pricey at $390 per credit hour.
No exam is needed to earn your certificate, but you may choose to take an exam through a prestigious organization such as NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants) to become a Certified Paralegal.
Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster is different than other online schools because it focuses on your career goals, not just your education. You can take classes for high schools, to earn a college degree, or to prepare for a career. Penn Foster is accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, AdvancED, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Advantages of Penn Foster
– In addition to its accreditations, Penn Foster is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools.
– Veterans can receive education benefits.
– Serves and accommodates students with disabilities.
– Affordable tuition costs with 0% interest.
– Credits from accredited schools will transfer to Penn Foster.
– You can earn your Paralegal certificate online for as little as $39 per month.
– You’ll receive Student Support anytime you have a question or need help.
– Flexible class schedules to learn when and where you want to.
Disadvantages of Penn Foster
– Does not accept financial aid.
No exam is needed to obtain your certification.
Founded in 2003, National Paralegal College offers quality online-only education for those wishing to work in the legal field. They are accredited by DEAC.
Advantages of National Paralegal College
– Prospective students are given a free, two-week no obligation trial before enrolling.
– All faculty is experienced in working in the legal field.
– Tuition discounts are available to law firms and employers who enroll multiple employees.
– Offers career services, such as identifying prospective employers in your area and resume help.
– Military benefits and discounts are available, such as The Purple Heart Scholarship for those wounded in the line of duty and tuition paid for active military personnel.
– Has a forum to buy and sell used textbooks.
– Students can apply for financial aid through FAFSA.
To complete your Paralegal certificate online through National Paralegal College will cost $7,800 for twenty-four credit hours. They are partnered with NALA, so all students working toward their Paralegal certificate online must take the exam to earn their certificate and become a Certified Paralegal.
Kaplan University is one of the most recognized names in online education. It’s been around since 1937 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). They have seven campuses throughout the United States, so you have the option to take your classes online and at a residential campus.
Advantages of Kaplan University
– Discounts are available for active duty military and their spouses and international students.
– Financial aid and scholarships are available.
– Will accommodate students with disabilities.
– Has a variety of Student Resources available, such as a Career Network.
– Offers Academic Support.
– Campuses offer small class sizes of an average of twenty-four students, so each student can receive individual attention/help when necessary.
– Offers an ExcelTrack so students can get a degree faster and for less money.
– Has a Social Hub where you can connect with other students and alumni.
Tuition for the Paralegal certificate online will be $11,501.00 if you don’t qualify for discounts. However, you have several options to help pay for courses at Kaplan University. No exam is required.
An online-only college, Hampton University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The students at Hampton University are diverse and held to standards of satisfactory progress and an Academic Honesty Code.
Advantages of Hampton University
– Has a tutorial on how to use the Hampton U system.
– Military and veteran benefits are offered.
– Classes are not held at specific times – you can log in whenever it’s convenient for you.
– Lectures are electronic, so you can access them as many times as you want.
Disadvantages of Hampton University
– Only students residing in certain states are eligible to apply.
Students are required to have a conference with their academic advisor before starting their course. To earn their Paralegal certificate online, students must complete thirty hours of coursework, which will cost $9,000. No exam is required.
Earning your Paralegal certificate online can lead to a rewarding, profitable career in the legal field. Though any of the above courses would be a good option for education and career preparation, you should take time to consider which would work best for you and your lifestyle. So, whether you choose the flexibility of Hampton University or the Christian values of Liberty University, you can be certain you’ll receive a quality education. If you’ve taken any of these courses, let us know your thoughts and tell us about your experience.
IMAGE SOURCE: 1