Prospective paralegals living in the state of Kentucky are very fortunate, because there are many different schools that they can attend to get the necessary education for a job in the field. Many other states do not have any schools with appropriate paralegal studies programs, or if they do, they only offer a few.
This is not the case with Kentucky, though. It has several accredited schools with paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association. Keep in mind that having both of these things—accreditation and ABA approval—is necessary for obtaining work in the field.
You have choices not just in terms of what school you attend, but also in terms of what kind of training you receive. Paralegals may choose to earn an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or a similar area, or they can choose to take it to the next level and earn a bachelor’s degree.
Those who hold unrelated bachelor’s degrees or who hold related degrees from unapproved institutions can choose to earn a certificate in the field, as a way to help them find work without having to pursue an entirely new degree. Associate’s degree programs take about two years to complete on average, while bachelor’s degree programs usually take around four years. Certification programs generally take anywhere from six months to a year, depending upon the program.
No matter which educational path you decide is the right fit for you, Kentucky will have a college or university to meet your needs. One excellent school in the state is Beckfield College, located in Florence. This school is a fine choice because it offers so many different programs. In fact, anyone can attend it and get the degree or certificate that they need. It offers a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, an associate’s degree in the same, and two academic certificates in the field as well.
Then, you have Daymar College, in Owensboro, and Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond. The latter choice is an especially good one, because it is based in an area where there is a great need for qualified paralegal professionals. There are also, in Richmond, a lot of law firms and other organizations that employ paralegals.
This means that you will have many internship and other experiential learning opportunities at your fingertips. Eastern Kentucky University is well aware of this and takes full advantage of it; it is a very hands-on school and wants students to get as much practice as possible in the field.
Another excellent school in the state is Morehead State University, located in Morehead. It is a very affordable option, providing you are a resident of the state. The school, however, only offers a bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies, so those seeking an associate’s degree or a certification program will need to look elsewhere for their education.
One place they can turn to is Sullivan University, which has two convenient locations in Lexington and Louisville. There is also the University of Louisville, which is another school that benefits greatly from being in such a large city that hires many paralegals and still has a great need for them. This school, however, only has an associate’s degree program in paralegal studies.
Finally, don’t forget about Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green. This school has an associate’s degree program in the field. Any of these schools would make a fine choice for your paralegal education. If, for some reason, you do not feel that any of these choices would be a good fit for you, then you do have the option of pursuing your degree online.
If you choose this route, then you will need to be especially careful and selective. While there are many wonderful online schools out there, there are also a lot of scams in the online world. Don’t get sucked in by one of these. Always research any school you are thinking of attending, and never take any claims of accreditation or ABA approval at face value; investigate them yourself.
Always ask lots of questions about the program and how it will prepare you for a career in the field and, whenever possible, try to choose schools that have a local, physical base, as this can come in handy.