When it comes to legal education, ABA approved paralegal programs can give graduates an advantage over others. ABA approved paralegal programs online and on campus are considered the gold standard when it comes to obtaining education and certification for these professionals.
–Hint: If you’re just looking for a list of schools… click here: Paralegal School List–
Standardized EducationOne reason why an ABA approved paralegal program is so highly regarded is the fact that it provides standardized education for all students. The American Bar Association sets forth particular criteria as far as required courses for a degree program go. They also spell out exactly what should be taught in a particular course in order to provide individuals with the skills most commonly needed in the industry.
Other programs may or may not meet these requirements, which is why a diploma from an ABA approved institution is highly desired.
ABA approved paralegal programs must be taught by licensed attorneys who are in good standing with that state’s Bar Association. As a result, students get the most up-to-date training possible, since these instructors apply real-world knowledge that supplements textbook material. An ABA approved paralegal program usually consists of very small classes, which means that students get the benefit of more personalized instruction than they would otherwise get at other colleges. Sound interesting – Find paralegal programs with great instructors here.*
Part of the requirements for ABA approved paralegal programs is a 120-hour externship. This externship is required whether a student is taking ABA approved paralegal programs online or via a traditional classroom setting. It is performed under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or practicing judge, and is worth three or four credit hours depending on the institution.
This allows students to gain some practical experience in the field before they begin working full time at this profession, and can also help them network with attorneys that might be hiring as well.
ABA approved online paralegal programs as well as on-ground courses focus heavily on legal ethics. Nearly every course gives examples of unethical practices that could be considered a violation of Bar Association rules.
For example, students who are taking estate planning are cautioned against drafting wills in which they would be named a beneficiary. They are also constantly reminded that paralegals are not authorized to practice law or give legal advice.
The constant focus on ethics means that there should be fewer violations among those who have graduated from ABA approved programs.
There are numerous advantages to taking an ABA approved course in order to become a paralegal. The training involved in one of these programs is extremely intense in order to prepare one for the highly technical work required in this career field.
Peruse the list below to find your school or click here.
Paralegal School List
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*not all of the programs on the list are ABA approved. Please due your due diligence with each individual school to find out which one is a good fit for you.