Are you positive you want to get into law as a career? A 2-year associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies would be a smart first step to get you quickly working in the field and confirm if a law career is your calling in life.
How an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies Can Help You Enter the Legal Field
Getting your foot in the door in a law firm or court is crucial to understanding the day-to-day workings and seeing what the environment is like. If you start as a temp or as an assistant without any real legal studies background, the jargon, paperwork and procedures can leave you perplexed. Also, it won’t immerse you in law, since clerical positions do not give you the satisfaction of working with a clear understanding of what you’re doing and meaningful contact with clients is minimal.
On the other hand, a 2-year degree in Paralegal Studies will give you the vocabulary and rudimentary understanding of the flow of paperwork and proceedings that will ease your transition into the work. You’ll deal more hands-on with clients’ cases under the supervision of an attorney or judge. You’ll be immersed in the logic and research of law than with a clerical position. And, of course, your starting pay will also be higher from the moment you enter any law firm or court administration.
Paralegal Salaries and Job Growth
The demand for Paralegals and Legal Assistants is growing at 15%, which is a “much faster than average” rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, Paralegals make $50,410, although the top 90% are making up to $81,180. In Florida the mean wage is $49,110.
Florida is one of the states where paralegals enjoy a high employment rate in comparison to the rest of the U.S.
If you’d like to learn more about how to enter a law career quickly and at a higher wage with an AA degree in Paralegal Studies, call us right away with your questions 305-821-3333. We’d like to help you get there! Or write us online.
How to Become a Certified Paralegal in Florida
The Florida Bar Association has strict requirements spelling out who is a bona fide paralegal in the state. In the past, work experience was a substitute for education* and you could sit for the exam, but the Bar Association has specified recently “you may no longer use experience alone as a basis for eligibility registration [to sit for the certification exam].”
Work experience still counts, but it is in combination with studies. The years of experience required is generally lower for a person with a baccalaureate degree or a juris doctorate, however, you can jump into a law career with an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies, get some work experience and pass the certification exam so that the state will recognize and register you as a Certified Paralegal (CP).
Specifically, the bar specifies the following requirements in addition to an Associate’s degree:
“…an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program, plus a minimum of 2 years of paralegal work experience; RRTFB September 17, 2018… an associate’s degree from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Florida Department of Education, plus a minimum of 4 years of paralegal work experience…”
A career in law can be very rewarding and/or lucrative. Most people get into law because they want to know their own rights, are curious about how the legal system works, want to see justice done for others and also work in a stable, higher-paying career.
What FNU Can Offer to Help You Enter a Law Career
An Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Florida National University is a fast track to your law career since it only takes 2 years (60 credits) and you’ll step into a job on firm footing. Aside from basic algebra, statistics and college study skills classes, you have a good choice of humanities and behavioral/social electives at FNU to round out your studies, such as general psychology, principles of macroeconomics, etc.
FNU is fully accredited to award certificates, associates, baccalaureate and masters degrees, which are nationally recognized.
Our programs at FNU all have one thing in common: they are dedicated to increasing the job and business prospects of our community members in South Miami and Hialeah, where we have multiple campuses – one of them is brand new!
Main Hialeah Campus:
4425 W. Jose Regueiro (20th) Street
Training Center in Hialeah
4206 West 12th Avenue
11865 SW 26th Street
The programs at FNU are on-point and look to prepare our community for the jobs that are in demand today and tomorrow.
Students also rave through their testimonials of our professors’ dedication towards creating a supporting and rigorous academic environment that truly prepares them for the day-to-day of their jobs.
Distance Learning, Online Paralegal Studies Classes
At FNU we definitely saw a roadblock to learning among our community unless they were given more flexible learning options. We are proud to provide online classes to meet your needs and give you access to the education that will unlock the key to your dreams and aspirations. Check out the full list of our online programs (including the Paralegal Studies AA).
Financial Aid and Tuition Incentives
Another roadblock that we try to address is payment for education. Browse our list of scholarships, financial aid grants and tuition incentives (for military vets, companies, etc.).
Again, do not hesitate to speak to a person at FNU to get acquainted with our programs and ask any of the questions that will help you where you want to get in life. Education is an opportunity for advancement and an enriching experience. In Florida’s competitive environment and now with a growing economy, take advantage today! Call us at 305-821-3333 or contact us online.