Online Paralegal Training

If you are looking for a way to get into the paralegal field but don’t want to commit to full-time studies, consider online paralegal training. Taking courses from a remote location has become an increasingly popular choice for adults who want to upgrade their existing skill set to qualify for a better-paying job or change careers.

How to Get Training

The first step in finding online paralegal training is to start by taking a look at yourself.

  • What are your employment goals?
  • Are you looking for a program that will qualify you for a job as a paralegal or is your career goal to become a legal secretary?
  • How much time are you willing to commit to the program?
  • What are your budget considerations?

Once you have a clear idea about what you want to accomplish and the resources that you have available to you, it’s time to take the next step and start researching different programs. Studying online is different from going to a classroom with other students, and it isn’t the right choice for everyone. You need to consider all of your options carefully before you decide.

Online Classes Available

Depending on the school, you can choose from a number of different types of online paralegal training programs:

  • Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Paralegal Studies)

Students enrolled in a Certificate program can expect to finish in several weeks. Completing the requirements for an Associate’s Degree will require a longer time commitment. Depending on the number of courses a student is taking at one time, this type of program can be completed in under 18 months. A person who wants to complete a Bachelor’s Degree program in Paralegal Studies would be taking courses for between three and seven years.

Advantages and Disadvantages

An advantage of pursuing online paralegal training is that the program offers flexibility. With a brick and mortar school setting, a student is required to go to classes on a set schedule. A person who works various shifts may not be able to attend class at the time set by the school, and studying online means that the student can do so at a time that is convenient for them.

Studying remotely is not for everyone. For this type of education to be successful, a student must be able to stay focused on the program and completing the work required for each component. Having a set class schedule with assignments due at set times means that you have a schedule to follow. Without that structure, it’s easy to let the coursework skip away from you, and some people stop working on the program altogether.

Another disadvantage of taking an online program is that you don’t have the same level of interaction with your instructor and other students. People who sign up for online programs are often given the option of contacting an instructor by phone or e-mail with questions or concerns as they work through the course material.

Students who choose remote learning also can’t participate in class discussions that normally take place in brick and mortar classroom. These interactions between the instructor and students can help to clarify areas of the program that are unclear, since more than one person in the class may have similar questions.


The cost of an online paralegal training program varies, depending on the school and whether the student has chosen a Certificate, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program. A paralegal certificate may cost $1,500 or less, while an Associate’s or Bachelor’s program would cost into the thousands of dollars. Each school sets its own rates, and in some cases a student would pay for each individual course taken.

Distance Learning

Distance learning is an alternative to taking classes at a brick and mortar location, and pursuing an online paralegal training program offers students a high level of training that is recognized by employers.

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