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Exploring the Top Paralegal Degrees To Kick-Start Your Career

4 minute read

By Katie Ormsby

Paralegals are integral to the legal system. They conduct research, prepare documents, and help ensure law firms operate efficiently. Thanks to the valuable support of paralegals, lawyers can better serve their clients. If you’re detail-oriented, thrive under pressure, and have a knack for problem-solving, a paralegal career could be a great fit. You can enter the field with an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate program. Start a search today to find the top paralegal degrees to jumpstart your career.

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What Does a Paralegal Do?

A paralegal, also referred to as a legal assistant, plays a vital role in the legal field. They assist attorneys by taking care of a range of tasks that include but are not limited to:

Essentially, they help streamline the legal process, ensuring that cases run smoothly and efficiently.1

How Much Does a Paralegal Make?

The median salary for paralegals and legal assistants is $56,230.2 However, earnings can vary significantly depending on the industry. For instance, paralegals working in the federal government earn a median annual salary of $69,680, while those in the finance and insurance sector earn a median annual salary of $64,740.3 These figures help illustrate the financial potential of a paralegal career.

What Skills Does a Paralegal Need?

There are a few skills and personality traits that can help paralegals succeed. Here are a few of those skills and traits:

Paralegal degree programs are specifically designed to help prospective paralegals develop and refine these essential skills.4

Associate in Paralegal Degree Programs

An associate degree in paralegal studies is a popular entry point into the profession. It provides students with a solid foundation in law, ethics, and procedures. Here are some top programs to keep in mind:

Bachelor’s in Paralegal Degree Programs

A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies provides a more in-depth study of law and can potentially open doors to higher-level paralegal positions. Here are some noteworthy programs to consider:

Certificate in Paralegal Degree Programs

For those with a degree in another field, a certificate program can offer specialized legal knowledge and skills. Some popular programs to have on your radar include:

Choosing the Right Program for Your Goals

When it comes to selecting the right program for you, consider your career goals, budget, and available time. If you aim to enter the field quickly, an associate degree or certificate program might be the right fit. If you want a higher earning potential, a bachelor’s degree might be a better choice.

Always research programs thoroughly, considering their curriculum, faculty, reputation, cost, and support services. Remember, the key is to choose a program that aligns with your personal and professional objectives. Make this decision with care, so you can feel confident about your decision.

Katie Ormsby