Before enrolling in one of the many institutions of higher learning offering online masters in paralegal studies in the US, you should understand the main advantages of the academic certification. According to the CNNMoney Magazine, the paralegal profession is currently number 27 on the list of best jobs in the United States. With this in mind, an advanced degree in such a promising career field is likely to boost your chances of taking your career to the next level. Read to learn more about this advanced degree option including typical course subjects, requirements for admission, and some of the career opportunities available for people who hold the certification.
What is Studied within the Program?
Some of the course subjects in a typical master of paralegal studies online curriculum include litigation, legal research and writing, and corporate law, international law, intellectual property and government law. In general, the typical curriculum aims to produce graduates with a good understanding of philosophical, theoretical, historical perspectives as well as practical application of oral and written communication, ethics, analysis and legal technology.
Why Should Someone Pursue This Degree?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for paralegals increase about 18% between 2010 and 2020, which is almost double the demand for lawyers during the same period of time. This is likely to be good news for people who would wish to pursue a career in law but would also wish to avoid the longer process of becoming a lawyer. Moreover, as a paralegal, you can choose to specialize in a particular niche such as intellectual property, or alternative dispute resolution and become a specialist in the field you choose without necessarily having to study law. If your goal is an academic career in paralegal field, a master degree will serve you well to realize your dream.
What Standard Courses are Taken?
According to The George Washington University, a typical online masters in paralegal studies program consists of 12 courses, including core paralegal courses, legal specialties, practicum and an independent research. The core courses include corporate law, legal research and writing, litigation and American jurisprudence. Under government law specialty, expect to study government contracts law and administrative law courses. The course subjects for the intellectual property law specialty include the elements of intellectual property law and prosecution and litigation in intellectual property law. Under international law, typical course subjects include international litigation and international trade and finance. Additionally, you would have to submit a guided independent research on a subject of scholarly and professional significance. Finally, you would need to intern as a paralegal, which is an important step since it helps you acquire on-the-job skills that are likely to advance your academic and professional development.
What Career Opportunities Are Available Once Completed?
Upon graduating, you have a wide variety of highly rewarding career options to choose from, depending on your specialty and passion. For instance, if you opt to work as a federal branch paralegal, your job brief will include carrying out research for lawyers involved in federal court cases. On the other hand, if you decide to go into legal management, your core duty will be to validate legal documents and carry out detailed research on court cases. There are also other high profile opportunities in the corporate world, from pharmaceutical companies to technology companies.
Why Should Someone Pursue This Degree Online?
According to the Open Education Database, some of the best online paralegal programs are available over the Internet. Besides that, online courses have some inherent benefits such as low tuition costs and convenience since you would be able to choose your study time to fit your daily schedule.
What Types Of Requirements Are Needed For Admission?
According to the University of Illinois Springfield, you need to have a bachelor degree from one of the regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to get into most of the online masters in paralegal studies in the US. However, most programs do not have a specific. If you do not have experience in the American legal system, you may have to take course LES202: Introduction to the American Legal System. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate your ability to write effectively by submitting a 250-500 word statement of your professional goals and academic performance. If you have not graduated from an American University, you may have to sit and pass TOEFEL examination.
With paralegal jobs set to increase by a huge massive 18% between 2012 and 2020, according to the BLS, now is probably the right time to enroll in a master of paralegal studies online program. Upon graduating from such a program, you would be able to work in the legal field in various capacities.