How to Choose a Paralegal Training Program



People who are interested in training for a new career or improving their employment skills for their existing one should choose their school carefully, and those individuals interested in completing a paralegal training program are no different. You are investing your time and financial resources to do so, and you want to make sure that you are getting good value in return, as well as skills that will make you a quality candidate for job placement.





How do you know that the paralegal training school you are considering is a good one? Before you make a decision, you need to do some investigating. Taking the time to check out the school thoroughly before you enroll can save you disappointment later on.

Accreditation

If you are planning to apply for financial aid to help you pay for the cost of your education, you need to make sure the school you are considering is accredited. An established college or university will have this designation and is a safer bet than getting your education from a specialty school that has not been operating for very long.

Not only do you need to attend an accredited school to get help paying for your education, but you want to make sure that your credentials are recognized by employers once you graduate. It is worth your time to contact a few larger law firms in your area to find out if they have or would consider hiring a graduate from the schools you are considering.

Quality Training

Another factor you need to consider when considering a paralegal training program is whether you will be receiving up to date information. Law is considered a very traditional and conservative career choice, but that doesn’t mean that the procedures you need to be aware of stay static. Ask whether the learning materials have been updated recently and if the school works with an advisor to ensure that the course material is up to date.

Not everything that a paralegal will be asked to do on the job can be learned from books. Each one of the files involves real people, and some elements of the job, such as interview skills and conducting research, must be practiced in order for a person to become skilled at them. Ask if the training involves mostly lectures and note-taking or if there is an opportunity for hands-on learning as well.

Internships and Job Placement

Some paralegal training programs do include an internship component, and this is an important aspect of the educational process. Going out on the job allows the student to practice what he or she has learned in the classroom and if all goes well, it may even lead to a job offer.

The school you choose should offer some job placement assistance for students. Be sure you ask how much help you can expect in your search, and what form it will take. Some schools develop relationships with potential employers to place graduates, while others accept ads from companies and firms looking to hire paralegals.

It’s a good idea to ask about the placement rate for graduates when you are considering a school as well. The institution should keep track of these numbers and they can give you an idea of whether the paralegal training program successfully preparing people for the work force.

Comments on this entry are closed.