If you would like to be a paralegal in the state of Connecticut, then you are going to have to get an education from an accredited college or university, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Employers will and can only hire those professionals who have attended a school that is both fully accredited and approved by the American Bar Association, which regulates many aspects of legal professions.

You’ll be happy to know, though, that you do have several schools within your state that fit this criteria. Choosing any one of them will get you off to a promising start in your new career.

Before you start looking at schools, however, you will need to decide what kind of an education you wish to pursue. For the vast majority of professionals working in the field, a simple associate’s degree in paralegal studies was all it took to find success. These degree programs can generally be completed in around two years on average, and can be earned quite affordably, especially if you choose a community college or a trade or technical school.

For some, though, certification programs are the best option. These programs are completed in about a year, or in some cases, in as little as six months, but they require the applicant to first possess a bachelor’s degree, though it need not be in a related area. This is a great option for anyone who went to school for something different before deciding a career as a paralegal was the best choice.

Knowing which schooling option is the right fit for you will help you immensely as you try to choose a school. You can narrow your choices down to those schools that offer the program you need. This should help to make the entire process a lot less overwhelming.

For those who are thinking a community college would be the best fit, one popular option is Manchester Community College. You also have Norwalk Community Technical College as a worthwhile choice as well. It is important to note that affordability isn’t the only draw of a community college. These schools also tend to be much more flexible in terms of scheduling, offering classes in the evenings and sometimes even on the weekends.

Some classes may even be offered online, or may be a combination of online studies and traditional meetings. This is ideal for anyone who is struggling to balance demands on their time with their quest for an education. Working professionals and busy parents, for example, benefit greatly from such programs.

Outside of the community college realm, some good choices are Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, and the University of Hartford, based in West Hartford. You also have the University of New Haven, located in West Haven. If none of these choices or any of the above choices appeal to you, however, you can always make the decision to obtain your degree or certification from an online school. While this used to be frowned upon, it is becoming more and more common in today’s world.

This is not to say, however, that there are not still a lot of scams running rampant on the internet. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get an online education. It simply means that you need to be careful and very selective as you choose a school. Remember, your school has to be both accredited and approved by the American Bar Association.

You should always check up on a school’s claims of accreditation or American Bar Association approval, and you should research to learn about its general reputation long before you ever enroll.