Paralegal program offers quick path to success

By Jan Dona

A fast-track program gets previous degree-earners into the paralegal field – from home.

No matter the economy, the key to finding a good job or advancing in a chosen field is the right training. Students from Lewis & Clark Community College’s (L&C’s) paralegal program have proven that the need for qualified paralegals is real and immediate.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for well-trained legal assistants/paralegals is expected to increase by 10% in the next decade – a rate higher than average for other occupations.

L&C has stepped up to meet this market demand with its 30 and Out option, which is designed for those who have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This fast-track option allows full-time students to complete their Paralegal Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in just two to three semesters and entirely online.

Even students who start from scratch can complete their degree in less time than many other programs.

Tabitha Elliot, a full-time paralegal and mother of two, describes the program as flexible and manageable.

“Time management and organization are key in being a paralegal,” Elliot said. “This program teaches you how to manage your time, get organized and multitask.”

Jessica McGiffen found the instructors to be patient and relatable.

“I was constantly encouraged to ask questions and felt any confusion I had was validated; there was never a silly question,” McGiffen said. “Future paralegals get the opportunity to explore different types of litigation, whether it be family law, estate, torts, corporate or even military.”

Amanda Mansfield was able to complete the program while working full-time.

“The program was easy to manage while working a full-time job,” Mansfield said. “I feel much more prepared in my job at the law firm now that I have more knowledge and a better understanding of the documents I create and terminology used.”

According to paralegal program coordinator and professor Becky Gockel, paralegals often work from home.

“The market demand is high right now,” Gockel said. “This program is designed to meet the needs of those wanting to launch a new career or advance in an industry in which they’re already working.”

This article originally appeared here.

Jan Dona

is a media specialist at Lewis & Clark Community College in Illinois.