Distance Education For Paralegals

One of the most popular degrees being sought after in today’s world is for paralegal studies. Paralegals are in high demand as more and more attorneys are seeking out persons trained in today’s technology and how it applies in the legal field.

Due to the rapid growth for paralegal degrees, many educational institutions have begun to offer paralegal degrees online.

This is a huge bonus for those that could not previously afford continuing their education at a traditional facility. By providing paralegal courses online, many colleges and universities have opened doors to people that have had to take care of their families or hold down full time jobs. Online studies have so much more flexibility as to when you can attend class, generally courses and lectures are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. So you have chosen to pursue a career as a paralegal; that is fantastic. Now the hard part is choosing the right online school for you.

There are many institutions that offer paralegal courses, but the most careful consideration you need to focus on is whether or not the institution is accredited or not. Accreditation refers to an institution that has met a standard or certain criterion; in this case the department of education sets forth those standards. We have listed a few that are popularly chosen for paralegal degrees among other degrees. Simply press control and click on any link to view or obtain more information:

o University of Phoenix
o Walden University
o Capella University
o Western Governors University
o University of Phoenix Online International
o Virginia College Online

Once again, the above is just a small representation of the totality of schools that offer paralegal degrees. Being able to attend paralegal studies online often cost far less than a traditional learning setting. Many online colleges and universities offer a flat tuition fee that includes any books, software, or other materials needed for their courses. Aside from the occasional application or enrollment fee, there are no other hidden or unexpected fees that come up.

Attorneys often prefer students who have studied online for a variety of reasons beyond being trained with the newest technology. Students who have achieved their degrees online possess skills beyond those that are taught. Online students have greater self-discipline, are better self-starters, have good time management skills, have the capability to multitask, as well as having the ability to work independently without much supervision which is crucial for many law firms.

Online Legal and Paralegal Training Schools

There are a number of accredited online schools and colleges that offer training for those looking to obtain a degree in the legal and paralegal field. Paralegals, also known as lawyer assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks like researching, preparing documents, meeting with clients, and taking notes. Students who choose to enroll in an online educational program will prepare for careers in law, criminal justice, and more. Online educational options include certificates as well as associates, bachelors, and master’s degrees.

Associate level degrees are available through a number of online educational programs. An associate’s degree will provide students with the skills necessary to work in a law office or courthouse. Students can train for the career they desire in as little as two years or continue education to earn a higher degree in legal and paralegal studies. An online degree at this level will take approximately 60 credit hours or four full time semesters to complete. Curriculum may include the study of legal research, administrative law, criminal law, contracts, legal analysis, and more. Students can continue their education with enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program.

With a bachelor’s degree program students can obtain an education in just four years. Length of study will consist of 120 credit hours or eight full time semesters. Online schools provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain a bachelors degree and career in the legal and paralegal profession. Bachelor’s degree holders can find employment in corporate law departments, private law firms, law enforcement agencies, state and federal government agencies, and more. Online course study may consist of learning to research legal issues, draft and summarize legal documents, prepare pleadings, interview clients, and more. An online bachelor’s degree program will prepare student for study at a master’s level.

An accredited online master’s degree program allows students to obtain knowledge in a variety of areas. A master’s degree in legal and paralegal studies will consist of an additional year of education. Online curriculum may include the study of corporate law, legal research and writing, litigation, government law, international law, and intellectual property law. With a masters degree students will have the training to consider becoming attorneys. Certificate programs can also be completed online after obtaining a masters degree if students choose to obtain specialized education.

Students can choose to obtain certification either before or after completing a degree program. Certificates can be earned in specialized areas that legal and paralegal professionals need knowledge of to further their skills. Certificates can take anywhere from a couple months to one year to complete. Students can choose to obtain a certificate in areas like corporate and property law, environmental law, international law, alternative dispute resolution, and more.

Nursing – Continuing Education For The Medical Industry

After a nurse receives the certificate or diploma necessary to work legally as a registered nurse, he or she is eligible to enroll in nursing continuing education, which emphasizes specialized fields in the nursing and medical fields and returns another certificate upon completion of the program. Some of the continuing nursing education fields available to registered nurses are: legal issues of health care, nursing administration and managerial skills, distinctive health care issues such as brain injury or paraplegic care, and working as an instructor in the physical, medical or social sciences. Educational institutions differ in the types of courses that they offer to the nurse wanting to pursue further advancement in the field of nursing, such as programs, which allow a R.N. to succeed as a nurse practitioner, or even eventually a physician.

Depending on the regulations held by the state in which a nurse obtains her degree, he or she may have to take nursing continuing education courses in order to retain their license. These are referred to as “continuing education units” or CEU’s, and are necessary for anyone employed in the medical field as they will instruct the nurse or physician about the latest developments and advances in medicine. Some of the states which do not mandate continuing education are Maryland, South Dakota, Virginia, and Connecticut. About half of all other states demand a certain amount of continuing education to maintain licensure. However, an advanced practical nurse is allowed to forego the nursing continuing education process in only one state, Arizona. The other forty-nine states ask for re-recertification by supplemental education courses to keep a license if you are an advanced practical nurse.

A good thing about nursing continuing education is that many registered nurses are able to attend these courses for free because their current employer will offer a grant that will pay for them, which is reimbursed to them by the government. In addition, there are several CEU programs available online, which offer flexible scheduling for the nurse who is working full-time but needs to be re-certified by taking a certain amount of courses. CEU classes can consist of a one-time seminar to lengthier sessions that may need to be tested over when completed. One “contact hour” is equal to sixty minutes, with ten “contact hours” needed to accomplish one CEU. An example of what are needed regarding “contact” hours is the California’s requirement that a registered nurse must show that he or she has finalized thirty contact hours in two years for the state to grant a renewal of a nursing license.

Justice Should Be Blind, Not Dumb – Continuing Ed For Lawyers

When people talk about how important continuing education is to society at large, the example that usually comes up is the medical field. There is no way to overstate the importance of doctors, nurses and therapists staying abreast of changes in their fields, as health care is of primary concern to everyone. The availability of online continuing education has had a tremendously positive impact on public health, but another socially important area benefiting from the technology is the legal profession.

Next to their staying healthy, staying within the law in their personal, professional and business activities is about the most important consideration for people today. With new laws going on the books every year, online continuing legal education is no longer an option, but a necessity, for every practicing attorney. It is equally important that prospective clients know that the lawyer they are using, or going to use, is up to date on the law.

State by state, district by district

Every one of the 50 states in the U.S. has oversight agencies that certify professionals in a variety of specialties – medicine, law, accounting and so forth. Being “admitted to the bar,” in fact, is something that lawyers must do on a state-by-state basis, as there is no single “federal bar” that comprises all the states. In fact, being accredited to practice in the federal court system (which would include U.S. possession such as Guam, the Virgin Islands, etc.) would constitute a 51st detail for any legal eagle who wants to practice across the country. (However, there is no record of any lawyer ever being admitted to practice in every state in the country.)

Because laws differ so greatly from state to state, as practices and procedures also do in such varied legal specialties as criminal law and probate, the curricula of the various online colleges would be specific to individual states. Even for attorneys admitted to the federal bar, an online continuing legal education would have to cover the different court districts around the country. Each district has its own legal precedents and case law, so practicing law in federal districts has to be mastered individually.

With Internet-based distance learning, lawyers (like other professionals) can continue a full-time workload and serve their clients while scheduling their online continuing legal education with great flexibility. In this way, the Internet helps to keep the gears and levers of the justice system functioning, even as the gear-pullers and lever-handlers of the legal profession stay abreast of current legislation and court decisions.