Find Paralegal Studies Schools Cumming GA 30028

How to Pick a Paralegal School near Cumming Georgia

Georgia law books and judge's gavel in Cumming 30028Best Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in a paralegal school near Cumming GA and start your journey that will lead to a satisfying profession in legal services. Nevertheless, it’s important that you locate the ideal school so that you will receive the comprehensive training that you need to be successful. As you most likely know, the legal field is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and a growing number of academic options are being offered, both at school and online. However with so many alternatives to choose from, where does one start? Some potential students start by searching for schools within traveling range of their Cumming residences. Of those options, they search for the program with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important considerations when choosing a college, they are not the only factors you should consider. Things like accreditation and the reputation of the program ought to be considered also. Later on in this post we will cover a list of questions that you need to ask prospective paralegal schools so that you can examine and compare every one before making your decision. But before we do, let’s take a look at exactly what a paralegal does and the educational choices that are available to earn a paralegal certificate or degree.

Georgia Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Georgia paralegal law library in Cumming 30028Legal assistants and paralegals essentially both hold the same job positions and functions, only with different titles. However, legal secretaries are not the equivalent of either of those two positions and are part of a separate job classification. Both paralegals and legal assistants help Cumming GA lawyers with a wide range of job functions, such as legal research, maintaining client files, communicating with clients, and drafting legal documents. Their specific job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice might help with the logistics of a trial or transferring files to court. In private firms, a paralegal’s work is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And just like attorneys, they must conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and abide by a strict standard of professional ethics. As stated, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the practices where they are employed, but a few of their daily tasks may involve:

  • Investigating and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on relevant laws and cases
  • Drafting correspondence and legal documents
  • Submitting legal documents with opposing counsel or the court
  • Assisting lawyers prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and managing legal documents, files and other records

With all of their duties, the role of a paralegal can be involved and quite demanding. However, what they are not legally permitted to do is provide legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal proceeding. But they are not restricted to clerical or administrative functions more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Legal assistants really are the right hand support systems for Cumming GA lawyers. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers have the ability to handle a much larger number of cases or clients than they could on their own.

Paralegal Education and Certification

As we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational requirements and job prospects will be the same. The quickest way to start your career as a legal assistant is by obtaining a certificate, which may involve just six months to complete. A large number of entry level positions do require an Associate’s Degree, which furnish a more expansive education and may be earned at many Cumming GA area community colleges in 2 years. For an even more comprehensive education, 4 year Bachelor’s Degrees are an option as well. When you have obtained either a degree or a certificate, you might want to continue and receive a certification. Even though it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to work as a paralegal, certification can not only help increase your career opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. A few of the highly respected certifying agencies 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 degree or certificate from an accredited Cumming GA area program (we will discuss the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken 2 crucial first steps that will help guarantee your success as either a paralegal or a legal assistant.

Paralegal and Legal Assistant Online Schools

attending paralegal school online in Cumming GAOnline legal assistant or paralegal programs have become more common in Cumming GA and can be a good alternative for those searching for convenient access to classes as well as flexible scheduling. Online schools can be particularly attractive to students who continue to work while obtaining a degree. As an added advantage, online classes can often be less costly than on campus options. Even supplementary expenditures for such things as commuting or study materials can be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs are accredited, which we will address in more detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest caliber. So check to make sure that the program and school you are thinking about are accredited by a reputable agency, for example the American Bar Association. But if you are disciplined enough to study in a less supervised and conventional environment, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

Things to Ask Paralegal Programs

Once you have a better idea about what paralegals do and what academic options are available, you can begin the undertaking of assessing schools. But because there are so many programs accessible at Cumming GA area community and junior colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools, you need to find out what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is particularly true if you include all of the online paralegal degree and certificate programs as well. If you are like most potential students, you will begin by looking for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already discussed, there are other critical factors to think about as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the schools. So let’s take a look at some of the questions you should be asking the programs you are investigating so that you can effectively vet each one and make your final choice.

Is the Paralegal Program Accredited? The paralegal program and school that you pick need to be accredited by a highly regarded organization such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also get accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. Accreditation will not only help guarantee that the education you will obtain will be of the highest quality, but it will demonstrate to potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Many Cumming GA law firms will only employ entry level paralegals that are graduates of an accredited program. Finally, financial assistance and student loans are typically offered only for accredited schools.

What’s the Reputation of the Program? Investigate what the rankings and reputations are for the Georgia paralegal schools you are looking at. This is of particular importance if you are entering the profession with no previous work history, since Cumming GA employers will have to rely on the caliber of your education exclusively. Confirming that the program you select is accredited is a good first step. Reviewing school rating services, such as those provided by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call several law practices that you may be interested in working for after graduation and ask what schools they suggest. Remember that even though a school is not the most highly ranked, its paralegal program may still have an excellent reputation.

Does the Program Provide Internships? Internship programs offer students an opportunity to experience working in a law firm or other Cumming GA legal enterprise while attending school. They can also present a pathway for students to begin creating contacts within the legal community. Find out if the paralegal programs you are considering offer internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the paralegal schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Cumming GA legal services employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the School’s Location? Since laws differ from one state to another, it may be beneficial to choose a paralegal school located in Georgia or the state where you want to practice after graduation. In addition, it will be necessary to create relationships in the area Cumming GA legal community, possibly by means of an internship program. This is even more justification to obtain your education in the area where you choose to practice. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, most charge an increased tuition for students that reside outside of their districts. So you might want to initially investigate those colleges that are within your local region.

How Much is the Total Cost? Paralegal schools can vary in cost depending on the credential obtained and the length of training furnished. However, tuition will not be the only expenditure for your training. Remember to add the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial assistance might be obtainable to help minimize some of the expense, so make sure to consult with the school’s financial aid department to find out what is available in Cumming GA. Needless to say that if you opt to attend an online program, some of these supplementary expenses, for instance for commuting, might be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Class Times Accommodate your Schedule? Numerous paralegal students keep working while getting their training and require flexibility in class scheduling. If you can only attend night or weekend classes near Cumming GA, make sure classes are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make certain that the school you enroll in provides that option. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to sickness, work or family emergencies.

Select the Best Paralegal Certificate Program near Cumming GA

Choosing the best paralegal degree program is a vital first step to guarantee your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have covered in this post, you have the choice of attending classes at school or you can attend them online in the comfort and privacy of your Cumming residence. Paralegal education programs are made available in numerous lengths and formats. Various kinds of private and public institutions make available paralegal training, including community and junior colleges, four-year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your selection of a paralegal program will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new career. Given that there is a wide range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Give yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this rewarding profession. But irrespective of how you choose to acquire your education and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have presented you will be able to evaluate each school and make your ultimate selection. And with the ideal training you can realize your career goal to become a practicing paralegal in Cumming GA.

More About Cumming Georgia

Cumming, Georgia

Cumming is a city in Forsyth County, Georgia, United States, and the sole incorporated area in the county. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 5,430 at the 2010 census,[5] up from 4,220 in 2000. Surrounding unincorporated areas with a Cumming mailing address have a population of approximately 100,000. Cumming is the county seat of Forsyth County.[6]

The area, now called Cumming, was first inhabited by Cherokee tribes. They came in 1755. The Cherokee and Creek people developed disputes over hunting land. After two years of fighting, the Cherokee won the land in the Battle of Taliwa. The Creek people were forced to move south of the Chattahoochee River.[7][8]

The Cherokee coexisted with white settlers until the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1828. Settlers that moved to the area to mine for gold pushed for the removal of the Cherokee. In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed. The treaty stated that the Cherokee Nation must move to the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi River. This resulted in the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee territory was then formed into Cherokee County in 1831. In 1832, the county was split into several counties including Forsyth County.[9]

In 1833, the town of Cumming was formed from two 40-acre (16 ha) land lots that had been issued as part of a Georgia State Land Lottery in 1832. The two lots designated as Land Lot 1269 and Land Lot 1270 were purchased by a couple of Forsyth County Inferior Court justices who realized that it was necessary to have a seat of government to conduct county business. The boundaries of the two lots ended at what is now Tolbert Street on the west side, Eastern Circle on the east side, Resthaven Street on the south side, and School Street on the north side. In 1834 the post office was established and began delivering mail. The justices of the Inferior Court divided the town land into smaller lots and began selling them to people over the next several years, reserving one lot for the county courthouse. During that same year, the Georgia State Legislature incorporated the town of Cumming into the City of Cumming and made it the official government seat of Forsyth County. Cumming was named after Colonel William Cumming.[10]

 

 

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