Are you interested in being a paralegal? Do you live in the state of Delaware? If you have answered yes to both of these questions, then you should, first of all, be congratulated on wanting to go into such a lucrative and honorable profession.
Paralegals are important members of the legal field, and most of the important things that happen within the field would not be possible without them. Because of their vast importance, however, paralegals are required to undergo some serious training before they can hold jobs in the field. In order to help you prepare for your education and your subsequent career, we’ve provided you with four important facts on earning that paralegal degree.
1. Not Everyone Has a Paralegal Degree: Yes, we know that we just told you that everyone has to have an education in the field. This does not mean, however, that everyone has to hold a degree in paralegal studies specifically. While it is true that the vast majority of professionals currently working in the field hold associate’s degrees in paralegal studies, some only have a certification.
Certification programs can only be attended, however, by those who already hold a bachelor’s degree, even if it is in an unrelated area. Certification programs take around six months to a year to complete on average and associate’s degree programs generally take around two years. Associate’s degree programs, though, have no prerequisites other than a high school diploma or its equivalent.
2. Schools Must be Accredited And Approved: With most other educational ventures, it only matters if a school has been accredited by an appropriate body. When it comes to a paralegal education, it isn’t enough for the school to be accredited.
While this is certainly necessary, the school must also be fully approved by the American Bar Association. This means that only a select number of colleges and universities offering paralegal degree and certification programs in the state are actually qualified to do so.
3. There are Only Four Approved Schools in Delaware: Currently, there are only four schools within the state that are actually accredited and approved to offer paralegal education. Any choice you make outside of these schools will not land you work in the field, plain and simple. The schools you have to choose from are Delaware Technical and Community College, located in Georgetown; Wesley College in Dover; Widener University Law Center at Wilmington, and Wilmington University of New Castle. If you wish to venture outside of these choices, your best bet is to pursue your education online.
4. Community Colleges and Online Schools are More Affordable Options: As you’ll notice, there is only one community college within the approved schools in Delaware. This is unfortunate, since community colleges are so much more affordable than traditional colleges and universities. If you need a lowered price but don’t want to attend Delaware Technical and Community College, consider pursuing your degree or certification from an online school.