ABA Approved Paralegal Certification
Paralegal careers are some of the most popular legal careers out there. You will find that many individuals that want to enter the law career path don’t care to spend their time in school to work as an attorney. If you are in a situation that you want to take on the exciting parts of the legal career field but you aren’t necessarily interested in becoming an attorney, earning an ABA approved paralegal certification will give you a wide variety of options for employment, locally or through relocation. Many students struggle with the choice between an ABA approved certification and a bachelor’s degree without a certification, but there are quite a few reasons you would want to pursue something approved by the ABA.
Why do I Need an ABA Approved Certificate
Look at job postings for your local area and see what is in more demand. You may find that ABA certification is rarely or almost always required, but that shouldn’t tell you which way to go just yet. Instead, start looking around the country and you will see other areas with certification requirements. While it is not possible to make a blanket statement that all paralegal careers are going to need ABA certification soon, in time, it will be the norm instead of an option.
With an ABA approved paralegal certification, you are showing that you attending a degree program that was overseen by a more strict set of guidelines. While a community college or university can get you a bachelor’s degree to enter the paralegal field, that may not matter to employers in many areas. When you show that you earned an ABA approved certificate, you are representing a depth of knowledge that will be more normalized amongst all schools.
If you went to school in Florida, for example, you may get a different education towards your paralegal degree than you would in Washington, but if you earned an ABA certification, you will have a similar degree regardless of where you attend college. This should inspire a great deal of confidence to potential employers. Be sure to talk to local law offices to see what they prefer from your degree and you will likely hear them mention the ABA certification at some point in the conversation.
The biggest advantage of any certification and legal degree is that you will sit in a much better position for finding work. When you see job market numbers, don’t look at the overall number, look at your specific career paths numbers. Those with certificates and degrees will see a much lower rate of unemployment, and you’ll often find that those that are currently working are also attending college at the same time.
Balancing Work and College
It may seem all but impossible to balance your current work schedule along with a busy school schedule, but things are much easier these days thanks to online degree programs. Colleges understand the difficulties that students go through when balancing their life and college responsibilities so many have fully embraced the idea of an online degree program.
Online programs work as you would expect. There is little difference in the classes, you just learn in a slightly different way. By logging into your online classroom you will find lectures and other tools that will help you understand your material more completely and you will find a schedule that lists due dates. Your only time constraints come from the due dates listed on the schedule. As long as that work is submitted on time, you decided when you take care of your school responsibilities. This freedom to make your schedule up each day should allow you to get started on your future immediately.