In the state of Arizona, prospective paralegals have many different colleges and universities that they can choose to attend to earn their degree or certification in the field. Choosing from among these options can prove difficult, but it’s really just a matter of learning all that you can about each school and what its paralegal programs are like. Then, you have to pick one that you feel will realistically work with your lifestyle, your budget, the way in which you learn, and your personal and professional goals. No one school is the “right” or “best” choice for everyone; it really just depends on you and what you’re looking for!
With that said, Everest College, located in Phoenix, is a school that many prospective paralegals have had great success with. It offers only an associate’s degree in the field, which will take the average person around two years to complete. All of its paralegal courses are offered traditionally, with no online options. That’s likely because the program is extremely hands on and focuses on directly teaching you the skills you will need to know in order to do your job correctly. Common coursework includes learning how to perform legal research, studying the drafting process for legal documents, learning how to prepare pleadings, learning how to properly and effectively summarize legal documents, studying the proper organization of trial notebooks, learning how to ethically interview clients, and much more.
The city of Phoenix is actually quite popular for future and current paralegals, and is home to most of the state’s schools offering relevant programs. One example is Phoenix College, which has both a certification program and an associate’s degree program in paralegal studies. Keep in mind that applicants to the certification program must already hold a bachelor’s degree, though it need not be related to the field. Anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent can apply for this associate’s degree program though.
Other fine choices in the state include Pima Community College, in Tucson, and Lampson College in Tempe. While both are good schools, it is important to point out that Pima Community College is generally much more affordable than Lampson. In almost all cases, community colleges, trade or technical schools, or online schools will be your more budget-friendly option. However, Pima Community College offers only an associate’s degree program, while Lampson College offers both the associate’s degree program and the certification program.
As you can see, you have lots of different choices. Plus, it’s important to remember that you are never limited to just your own state. On the rare chance that you can’t find a single school within Arizona that appeals to you, you always have the option of pursuing schooling online. Today, there are many excellent online schools offering paralegal programs. Such programs allow you to work at your own pace, which makes them ideal for anyone trying to juggle other responsibilities with their quest for an education. Just as there are a lot of good online schools, though, there are also a lot of illegitimate scams.
You can protect yourself from the scams by taking the time to thoroughly research any school you are thinking of attending. You will want to look for one that is accredited, as well as with a program approved by the American Bar Association. Never just take a school’s claims of accreditation or approval at face value, however. Always go the extra mile and check them out yourself. In the end, when you have a strong education that will enable you to reach you career goals, you will be glad that you did.