Is a Legal Assistant/Paralegal Degree Right For You?

Is a Legal Assistant/Paralegal Degree Right For You?

28 May 2015 By Emily Hohf

Paralegal degree BLOGHave you considered going to school for a Legal Assistant/Paralegal Degree? First, what is a paralegal and what does a paralegal do? A career as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, performs legal work to support a law office or other legal entity or legal department. The paralegal plays an instrumental role in providing high-quality legal services that represent the law office and surrounding community.

How to become a Legal Assistant/Paralegal

To become a paralegal in Oregon, paralegal training and education is often times an essential first step in order to get the clerical skills and legal knowledge required to complete your day-to-day legal tasks. With an Associate of Applied Science in Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Pioneer Pacific College, you’ll be fully equipped to hold a valuable legal position at a law office. The Legal Assistant/Paralegal Associate’s Degree at Pioneer Pacific is designed to take 70 academic weeks, so it’s possible to begin your new career within a year and a half. Once you successfully complete the Legal Assistant/Paralegal Associate’s Degree, students are eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Science Degree in the Legal Studies Program.

What to look for in a Paralegal Program

– ABA Approved. You’ll want to choose a school whose Paralegal program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), because not all colleges are. Pioneer Pacific is proud to be one of the two schools in the state of Oregon that offers a Legal Assistant/Paralegal program approved by the ABA.

– Extra Curricular Activities. To be a successful Legal Assistant/Paralegal, choose a program that offers experience in and out of the classroom. The Legal Assistant/Paralegal program at Pioneer Pacific offers a 180-hour externship in addition to scenarios in the classroom.

– Knowledgeable Professors. The key to quality learning is having professors who have experience in the industry. The professors at Pioneer Pacific have worked directly in the legal field so they can offer practical insight during your education.

– Job Placement. Take a look at the school’s job placement rate before deciding on a Legal Assistant/Paralegal program, you’ll want to find a program with a high rate.

Skills Necessary for a Legal Assistant/Paralegal Career

– Detail Oriented. Your work will be a direct representation of you and your firm, so it is important that you are able to pay attention to detail and deliver flawless work.

– Follow Directions. As a Legal Assistant/Paralegal, you could be working closely with lawyers who will be representing clients in court. In order to provide the proper support, you’ll need to be able to follow directions with precision.

– Teamwork. You will need to be able to work well with others, since you will be in contact with lawyers, clients, and other professionals for most of your workdays.

– Fast-paced. There is always plenty to do and many strict deadlines in a law office, so be ready for the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced work environment.

Contact us online or call one of our helpful Admissions Officers at 1-866-772-4636 to learn more about your options with this exciting career path.

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