Below are the education options you can pursue for a Paralegal career:
- Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
- Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal
- Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies
- Associate in Science in Legal Studies
- Diploma in Legal Assisting/ParalegalBachelor of Science in Legal Studies
A bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the legal system, in relation to the law, courts, clients, and lawyers. You will learn legal, ethical, technical, and communication skills. Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies, you will be ready for an entry level position as a Paralegal.Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal
An Associate’s degree in Legal Assisting/Paralegal will prepare students for a career as a legal assistant or paralegal for a licensed attorney. According to the American Bar Associate, a paralegal is “a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
A paralegal may work in a law firm (small or large) as a legal assistant or paralegal. He or she will perform duties such as providing assistance to a lawyer with research, preparing briefs, and other administrative tasks in a law office. However, a paralegal/legal assistance cannot practice law, advice clients, or set fees, since a paralegal is not able to directly provide legal services to the public.
Diploma/Certificate in Legal Assisting/Paralegal
Depending on the law office that employs you, a Diploma in Legal Assisting or Paralegal may be sufficient to carry out the same duties listed above for the Associate’s Degree in Legal Assisting/Paralegal. These duties include assisting the lawyers with research, brief preparation, and law office administration. However, a diploma will not allow you to practice law, advise clients, or set fees.