Utah residents who would like to become paralegals should know that they will absolutely need to hold some sort of a degree in order to practice in the field in the state. What degree they hold is up to them, but it will need to come from an accredited college or university, and from a program that has been approved by the American Bar Association.
If a particular program doesn’t meet this criteria, then any degree or certificate that it grants will not be of any real use to the graduate.
The vast majority of paralegals working in the state hold only associate’s degrees. These degrees, which take two years to earn on average, are sufficient for entry-level positions in the field. Because they usually come from community colleges or from trade or technical schools, though not always, they are generally quite affordable to earn.
Plus, most of these institutions are willing to work with professionals and anyone else who is balancing other demands on their time with their quest for an education. Most institutions offer evening or even weekend or online classes to help accommodate all different types of students.
Then, you have bachelor’s degree programs, which are becoming more and more common, and more and more necessary for success in the field. In today’s troubled economy, it’s no surprise that the competition for paralegal jobs in the state is becoming quite fierce. Bachelor’s degrees, though, are an excellent way to stand out above the competition and to get a better starting position and a better starting salary.
These degrees will take the average person around four years to earn, and they usually come from traditional colleges and universities. However, some people do choose to earn their degrees online.
The only real exception to having a degree in paralegal studies is to have a certification. Even then, however, you will still be required to hold a bachelor’s degree first, though not in a related area. The deal with these programs is that they are designed to help those who are coming to a paralegal career later in life, after they have already completed schooling in a different area.
These programs help them to get the job they want without having to start their educations over from scratch. They can also be helpful for slots games anyone who has made the mistake of earning a degree from a program not approved by the American Bar Association.
So, as you can see, there are lots of different ways to fulfill the educational requirements for a paralegal career. Once you have done so, though, you are almost ready to get out there and to start applying for jobs in the field.
We say almost, because one of the most important steps of your education should be gaining real world experience in the field, which you can easily do through an internship or other experiential learning opportunity.
You can find out about internships through your school or just by browsing through local job listings, where they are often posted. If you’re somewhat of a go-getter, you can even contact companies or professionals for whom you are interested in interning for directly to ask them about internship opportunities.
In any case, an internship is a great way to gain real experience in the field, to start building an impressive resume, and to make important connections which could lead to job offers later on down the road or even right away after you complete your internship. Just make sure you treat your internship just as seriously as you would a real job.