For those Mississippi residents planning to go into the paralegal career field, it is important to note that an education is absolutely vital. This education may take the form of an associate’s degree, which takes around two years to complete on average; a bachelor’s degree, which will generally take about four years to complete; or a certificate, which can only be earned by those who already hold a bachelor’s degree and will take anywhere from six months to a year to complete.

Fortunately, no matter which educational path you choose, you will find that Mississippi has a wide variety of different school choices. Plus, in today’s world, you are not confined to just the schooling options in your state. You can always make the decision to pursue your degree from an online institution.

One great choice is the Mississippi University for Women. Bear in mind, however, that this is a private institution, which means it will be much more expensive than the public schools in the state. If you can afford it, though, many people feel that the individualized attention they receive and the smaller class sizes are well worth the added costs. The school only offers a bachelor’s degree program, so only those who have chosen this path will find what they are looking for at this particular school.

You might also consider the University of Southern Mississippi, which is located in Hattiesburg. It, too, offers a bachelor’s degree program in the field. The program is incredibly hands on and prepares students to perform very specific and necessary tasks that they will need to know for a successful career.

All students study legal research and legal memorandums, legal document drafting, and paralegal ethics, among other things. Because of this focus on professional skills and because of the program’s fine reputation in the state, students who graduate from this school usually have no problem securing jobs almost immediately.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, you can always choose to turn to the internet for your education. If you do this, though, you are going to want to be especially careful about choosing your school. While there are many good online schools offering quality educations, there are also a lot of scams.

These scams exist just to take your money and waste your time and efforts, so don’t fall victim to them. Make sure any online school you enroll in is fully accredited and that its paralegal programs have been approved by the American Bar Association.

Some online schools that have been known to offer good programs in the field are Herzing College, Kaplan College, George Washington University, Ashworth College, and Penn Foster Schools. Students have also had success with Everest University Online, Virginia College Online, Post University, the Keiser College eCampus, Jones College, Brookline College, Broadview University, and the U.S. Career Institute.

Then, you have Anthem College and Carrington College California as well. Some of these schools may have physical bases that are local to you, which can definitely come in handy if you end up needing hands-on, in-person help at some point.

You will find, with most online schools, that you have a lot of freedom and control over your education. The vast majority of these institutions will allow you to set your own schedule and to work at your own pace.

This can be a great thing for those who are struggling to balance their quest for an education with other demands on their time, such as a full or part time job or spending time with their families. Again, as long as you choose a good, accredited, and ABA approved school, you can get an excellent education without leaving your living room.