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How do I Choose the Best Paralegal School?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2019
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There are many factors you may consider when you're trying to choose the best paralegal school. One of the most important is selecting a school that is accredited in your jurisdiction. Besides accreditation, you may also compare schools according to reputation, costs, course content, and job placement assistance. You may also consider such things as a school's proximity to your home or workplace as well as whether or not online courses are available.

Accreditation is a crucial factor to consider when you are choosing a paralegal school. If the school you choose is not accredited, this means it may not be viewed as a legitimate place to get your paralegal training. If you earn a certificate or degree from such a school, potential employers, certification organizations, and other schools may not consider your credentials as legitimate. This may become a road block as you look for a job or work toward advancement with your employer.

Another factor to consider in choosing a paralegal school is the actual content of the program. If you are hoping to earn a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree, you'll want to make sure the school you choose offers the particular program that interests you. You may also look at the program outline to ensure that the school you choose has up-to-date training that will prepare you not only for understanding legal cases, but also for legal writing and research.

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The reputation of the paralegal school you choose may prove important as well. Any accredited school may be a good place for you to get your education, but you may find that some employers respect credentials earned at well-known or highly-esteemed schools more than those earned at schools with names they do not recognize. At the very least, you may do well to avoid schools that have questionable reputations, even if the program's content seems adequate.

You may also consider the extras a school offers when you're trying to select the best paralegal school. For example, you may choose a school that offers tutoring, job placement help, computer labs, an honor society, and opportunities to volunteer or intern in the legal field. Additionally, resources such as a legal research library could prove important as you work toward a paralegal credential.

Cost and location may also make your list of considerations as you prepare to earn a paralegal degree or certificate. You may choose the school that offers the most affordable tuition or the highest amount of financial aid. You may also look for a school that is close to where you live or go to work. If you need a good deal of flexibility in your scheduling, you may even choose to look for a school that offers classes online.

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