Are you interested in becoming a paralegal in the state of Oregon? If so, then you need to understand that, at this time, the state is actually not home to any American Bar Association approved programs in the field. Don’t think, though, that this means you have to give up on your career goals. It is still entirely possible for you to reach them.
You just have to be a little more flexible and understand that your road to getting started in the field might not look like everyone else’s does. Really, though, no two paths to becoming a paralegal are exactly the same; everyone enters into this career in a different way.
In order for you to find work in the field, you are going to need to attend a program from an accredited school and, as discussed above, that program is going to need to be approved by the American Bar Association. Since you don’t have any options that meet these criteria in your state, you are going to have to find some way to get in the schooling you need.
Something that many people do is to make the conscious decision to attend an unapproved program. Then, once they have completed the program, they move out of state or go online and earn a certificate from an approved program. This certificate makes their degree valid and enables them to work in the field in only about six months to a year on average.
While this is kind of a roundabout way of achieving your career goals, the important thing is that you achieve them.
For others, this is simply too much hassle, so they choose a different option. The simplest one is just to find an online school that meets the criteria discussed earlier. Online schooling can be excellent, as it allows you to choose from schools based all over the nation and to work at your own pace. However, it can also be a complete dead end, if you choose the wrong school that is.
Just as there are many good online schools out there, there are also a lot of scams. It takes some real research and effort on your part to find a good, legitimate school. Once you have done that, though, your education will be just as good and just as valid as if you had gone to a traditional college or university.
Everyone, though, doesn’t like the idea of online schooling. It just doesn’t work with some people’s learning styles, and others simply want the experience of traditional schooling. If you fall into one of these categories, then you might consider moving out of the state, at least temporarily, to attend school. Many nearby states do have legitimate programs in the field.
The only thing to keep in mind, though, is that if you attend a public institution in a state where you do not have residency, you will be charged astronomical out of state tuition fees.
One way around these fees is to spend some time, usually a year, living in the state in order to gain residency status. Once you have that, you will pay the same amount as all other residents of the state, which is usually about half of the out of state tuition costs. Private institutions are another option, as they cost the same for every student, no matter where they have residency.
However, these schools are also more expensive than public schools. Only you can decide which option is the best fit for you, but all that matters is that you do.