Online Bachelor's Degree in Paralegal Studies
Read about online degree programs in paralegal studies, and explore some of the bachelor's-level classes you could take. Learn how online programs work. Review the admission requirements for a paralegal studies program. Get career outlook and salary info for paralegals. Schools offering Paralegal degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Paralegal Studies?
Bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies, such as the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Paralegal or B.S. in Political Science with an emphasis in paralegal studies, can be completed online or on a traditional college campus.
Some online programs can be completed in less than four years. In addition to degrees specifically in paralegal studies, online programs in related areas, such as political science or legal studies, are also available. Your bachelor's degree program may culminate in a senior capstone project or internship.
|Learning Environment||Traditional classroom and online degree programs are available|
|Technology Requirement||A computer with Internet access that meets the hardware and software specifications set by the institution|
|Common Courses||Legal assisting, research techniques, document formatting, professional writing, legal procedures|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma, or equivalent is required; standardized test scores and/or letters of recommendation may be needed, depending upon the institution|
|Median Salary (2014)||$48,350 per year|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Does an Online Program Work?
Bachelor's degree programs in this field of study are available through online or hybrid programs. Online programs are commonly administered through virtual classroom software and offer many of the same resources as their on-campus counterparts, such as online libraries or Internet-based tutoring. If you decide to apply for online programs, you should be prepared to meet minimum technical requirements and have access to the Internet.
What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?
Online coursework in bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies offers training in legal research, professional writing, basic legal studies and legal office administration. You can also learn about document formatting, legal procedures, legal assisting and research techniques. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:
- Document drafting
- Substantive law
- Legal research
- Business operations
- Family law
- Real estate law
- Criminal law
What Are the Admission Requirements?
As part of the general application process, you may need to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and high school transcripts to be considered for admission. Other admission requirements could include a writing sample and an entrance interview. If you want to prepare for this program in high school, consider taking classes in composition, communication, research or pre-law studies.
What Can I Expect From the Job Market?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paralegals earned a median annual salary of $48,350 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported an expected employment growth rate of eight percent between 2014 and 2024. This growth may be due to law firms hiring more paralegals, who can do much of the work a lawyer can do but at a cheaper rate.
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