How to Select a Paralegal Degree Program near Winton North Carolina
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Winton NC and start your journey that will lead to a satisfying career in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you locate the right school so that you will receive the extensive training that you require to achieve success. As you most likely understand, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of educational options are being offered, both at school and online. However with numerous options to choose from, where does one begin? Some prospective students begin by searching for schools within commuting distance of their Winton residences. Of those options, they look for the program with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when choosing a college, they are not the only factors you must consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the school should be taken into account too. Later in this article we will review a list of questions that you must ask potential paralegal schools so that you can evaluate and compare every one before making your choice. But first, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the educational options that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Paralegals and legal assistants basically both fill comparable job roles and functions, only with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist Winton NC attorneys with a wide variety of job functions, such as maintaining client files, legal research, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their specific job functions are relevant to the type of legal firm where they work. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law firm might assist with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private practices, a paralegal’s work is normally billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as attorneys, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and follow a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their responsibilities can be diverse in support of the practices where they work, but a few of their everyday activities might include:
- Investigating and fact checking cases
- Researching pertinent laws and cases
- Preparing correspondence and legal papers
- Filing legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
- Helping attorneys prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
- Organizing and managing legal files, documents and additional records
With all of their duties, the role of a paralegal can be complex and rather demanding. On the other hand, what they are not legally permitted to do is give legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But paralegals are not restricted to administrative or clerical duties more apropos to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals truly are the right hand support systems for attorneys. And because they do so much of the legal preparation and ground work, lawyers are able to take on a much larger volume of cases or clients than they could on their own.
Paralegal Programs and Certification
As we discussed earlier, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the academic requirements and opportunities will be the same. The fastest way to start your career as a legal assistant in Winton NC is by earning a certificate, which can involve as little as six months to complete. Most entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more comprehensive education and can be earned at many community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are available as well. When you have earned either a certificate or degree, you may want to proceed and obtain a certification. Although it is not a mandatory requirement in North Carolina to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help increase your employment opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional as well. A few of the highly regarded certifying organizations in the field are:
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations
- American Alliance of Paralegals
- National Association of Legal Assistants
- National Association for Legal Professionals
By graduating with a paralegal certificate or degree from an accredited program (we will discuss the advantages of accreditation later) and earning a certification, you will have taken 2 essential first steps that will help guarantee your success as either a paralegal or a legal assistant.
Things to Ask Paralegal Degree Programs
Now that you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what training choices are offered, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating schools. But since there are so many programs available at junior and community colleges in the Winton NC area, as well as trade and vocational schools, you must know what questions to ask in order to evaluate each one. This is especially true when you add all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like many prospective students, you will begin by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other important issues to research also, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s take a look at several of the questions you need to be asking the schools you are considering so that you can effectively vet each one and make your ultimate choice.
Is the Paralegal Training Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the training you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will demonstrate to future employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Winton NC law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited school. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are often offered only for accredited schools.
What’s the School’s Reputation? Find out what the rankings and reputations are for the legal assistant programs you are looking at. This is of special importance if you are new to the field with no prior experience, since employers will have to make a decision based on the caliber of your education exclusively. Confirming that the school you select is accredited is an excellent first step. Reviewing school rating services, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help confirm school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call several Winton NC law practices that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask what schools they suggest. Remember that even if a school is not among the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.
Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students a chance to experience working in a law office or other legal operation while remaining in school. They can also present a means for students to start establishing contacts within the Winton NC legal field. Find out if the paralegal programs you are evaluating provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in pursuing after graduation.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the paralegal schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with North Carolina legal services employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School’s Location? Because laws vary among states, it might be a good idea to choose a legal assistant school located in North Carolina or the state where you wish to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be valuable to develop relationships in the local legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more justification to receive your education in the community where you choose to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many require an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you might want to initially investigate those schools that are within the Winton NC region.
What is the Total Cost? Paralegal programs can vary in cost based on the credential received and the amount of training provided. Having said that, tuition will not be the only cost for your training. Don’t forget to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget also. Financial assistance may be available to help reduce some of the expense, so be sure to check with the school’s financial aid department to see what is offered in Winton NC. Of course if you choose to attend an online school, a portion these additional expenses, for instance for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.
Do the Class Times Fit your Schedule? Numerous legal students keep working while receiving their training and need flexibility to schedule classes. If you can just attend weekend or evening classes near Winton NC, verify classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the program you enroll in provides that option. Last, find out what the procedure is for making-up missed classes as a result of sickness, work or family obligations.
Online Paralegal and Legal Assistant Degrees
Online paralegal or legal assistant programs have become more popular and may be an excellent option for individuals looking for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online programs can be especially appealing to individuals who keep working while obtaining a certificate or degree. As an additional advantage, online programs can sometimes be less costly than on campus options. Even secondary expenses for such things as study materials or commuting can be minimized or eliminated. One caveat, not all internet programs are accredited, which we will address in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality. So check to make certain that the school and program you are thinking about are accredited by a respected agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less supervised and formal environment, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Will You Attend Paralegal School near Winton NC?
If you live near Winton NC or perhaps you are considering attending classes in that area, following is some interesting and useful information regarding the location of your new school campus.
EMC Winton-engined switchers
Early Electro-Motive Corporation switchers were built with Winton 201-A engines. A total of 175 were built between February 1935 and January 1939. Two main series of locomotives were built, distinguished by engine size and output: the straight-8, 600 hp (450 kW) 'S' series, and the V12, 900 hp (670 kW) 'N' series. Both were offered with either one-piece cast underframes from General Steel Castings of Granite City, Illinois, denoted by 'C' after the power identifier, and fabricated, welded underframes built by EMC themselves, denoted by 'W'. This gave four model series: SC, SW, NC and NW. Further developments of the 900 hp (670 kW) models gave model numbers NC1, NC2, NW1, and NW1A, all of which were practically indistinguishable externally from the others, as well as a pair of unique NW4 models for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a solitary, twin-engined T transfer locomotive model built for the Illinois Central Railroad.
The production S series locomotives are identical except for cast or welded underframes, which are identical to those used under the N-series 900 hp (670 kW) locomotives. The hood on the S series is shorter, and the locomotives have a characteristic, rounded-edged "satchel" in front of the radiator. The straight-8 600 hp (450 kW) Winton 201-A engine moved the exhaust stacks off-center to the engineer's left, while the N series' were central. The Winton-engined switchers can be distinguished from later EMD 567-engined units by small louvres at the top front sides of their hoods, as well as top-of-hood ventilation through several lifting vents rather than the large top grille of those later units.
Two pre-production units were built in February 1935; they differed from full production units by having a hood that did not taper in toward the cab, and six rather than three small louvres on each top front hood side. They were delivered to the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad as Nos. 425 and 426. Both were re-engined with EMD 567 engines in 1962. One, 426, was purchased by the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad and is on display at Steamtown National Historic Site in Lackawanna colors.
Find the Ideal Legal Assistant Certificate Program near Winton NC
Choosing the ideal paralegal training program is an essential first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have covered in this article, you have the choice of attending classes at school or you can participate online in the privacy and comfort of your Winton home. Paralegal training programs are made available in numerous formats and lengths. Various kinds of public and private institutions provide paralegal education, including community and junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities, as well as trade and vocational schools. Your choice of a paralegal school will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new profession. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of programs, pick wisely. Give yourself the best possible chance to be successful in this exciting profession. But no matter how you decide to obtain your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have provided you will be able to evaluate each program and make your ultimate decision. And with the right training you can accomplish your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Winton NC.
Other North Carolina Locations That May Be Of Interest
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UNC-Chapel Hill Paralegal Certificate Program
The educational training you receive in the paralegal certificate program can be used in a law office or in many other fields such as real estate, social services, and government. North Carolina State Bar. The North Carolina State Bar has designated UNC-Chapel Hill as a qualified paralegal studies program.
How to Become a Paralegal in North Carolina - NC ...
Under this plan, paralegals may voluntarily choose to become certified and use one of the following titles: North Carolina Certified Paralegal, North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal, Paralegal Certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification, or NCCP.
Paralegal Jobs, Employment in North Carolina | Indeed.com
237 Paralegal jobs available in North Carolina on Indeed.com. Apply to Paralegal, Senior Paralegal, Liaison and more!
North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division | NCBA ...
Paralegals in North Carolina have a home and it is the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association. As one of the largest sections/divisions within the NCBA, the Paralegal Division provides countless opportunities for education, service and leadership.
Paralegal Schools in North Carolina | Paralegal Degree ...
The instructors also used a general document template rather than one more suited for the state (North Carolina) in which most graduates of the program would seek employment.” -Student at North Carolina State University . Student Review: “The University of North Carolina State paralegal certificate program was great. This was a fourteen ...
North Carolina Paralegal Association
The North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc. (“NCPA”) is a not-for-profit corporation, formed for the purpose of promoting and enhancing the paralegal profession in the state of North Carolina and throughout the United States of America. We are a governed by a group of volunteer paralegals. The primary goals of NCPA are:
Home | North Carolina State Bar - Paralegal Certification
Certified paralegals who have retired from the workforce may now petition the board for retired status. Read more here. FOLLOW THE STATE BAR ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Stay connected with the North Carolina State Bar on social media by following them on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the State Bar on Facebook Follow the State Bar on Twitter
North Carolina Certification - ncparalegal.org
The North Carolina State Supreme Court adopted the Plan for Certification of Paralegals on October 6, 2004. The North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification began accepting applications on July 1, 2005. Please visit www.nccertifiedparalegal.gov if you have questions about certification or about your certification. NOTE: North ...
Paralegal Search | North Carolina State Bar - Paralegal ...
North Carolina State Bar - Paralegal Certification PO Box 25908 Raleigh, NC 27611
How to Become a Paralegal in North Carolina, Paralegal ...
North Carolina Paralegal Certification Basic Paralegal Certification Requirements. Certification: Certification is not required in North Carolina, but the state offers a voluntary program which can be valuable in pursuing your career. Age: In order to fulfill the requirements of this job, you will need to be at least 18.