Paralegals are important professionals in the legal field. Their main job is to provide assistance to lawyers through completion of paperwork, filing and submitting of legal documents, notarizing documents, and so much more. Without paralegals, lawyers could not do their jobs. Fortunately, paralegals can earn above average salaries n the state of Alabama. They just need training, which is minimal in itself, and from there, they can begin working in the field. The vast majority of paralegal professionals have only an associate’s degree in the area. Bear in mind, though, that your degree must come from a program approved by the American Bar Association in order to find work in the field.
Fortunately, Alabama is home to several approved programs. All you have to do is choose the one that is right for you. Montgomery is a particularly good place to be for the aspiring paralegal. It is home to Auburn University, the Community College of the Air Force, Faulkner University, and South University, all of which offer paralegal programs. Bear in mind, though, that community colleges or trade or technical schools are often your best bet in this field. They are much cheaper than traditional colleges or universities and can grant you the same degree. However, some people just like the prestige of attending a larger, better known school. Others genuinely do feel that they get a higher quality education at such schools. Only you can decide the right option for you.
One community college that offers a paralegal degree in the state is Gadsden State Community College, which as the name implies, is based in Gadsden. This small school may not be as large and in charge as some of the state’s major colleges and universities, but it is actually known for having a very solid and reputable paralegal program. Best of all, most people will complete the program in two years or less!
For those who have their hearts set on a traditional schooling option, however, there’s Sanford University, located in Birmingham. This school is an excellent choice, in large part because of its location. Birmingham is a massive and bustling city, and it is absolutely full of lawyers. What this means for you, as a prospective paralegal, is that you should have no problem finding work after you complete your degree. Furthermore, as you are studying, you should have lots of opportunities for experiential learning, like job shadowing and internships. These are things that can build up your resume, help you to make important connections within the field, and generally have a much easier time finding a job.
Obviously, Alabama is home to a lot of educational choices. For best results, you will want to further research each option. If at all possible, tour the campus where the program is hosted, and ask whatever questions you have to the admissions director. In the end, you want a school that will work with your lifestyle and your learning style and that, most importantly of all, will propel you to the career you’ve always wanted.