Law firms and businesses rely on paralegal and legal assistants to perform a variety of legal tasks. Students interested in online paralegal programs can earn an online paralegal certificate , an online paralegal associate degree , or an online paralegal bachelor’s degree .
Paralegals help lawyers prepare for trials and meetings ; they also conduct research on relevant laws and regulations , study legal articles , and create reports .
Their responsibilities vary depending on the type of legal practice ; some paralegals help prepare mortgages and other financial documents , while others investigate , collect , and organise evidence for court hearings .
Paralegals in large firms often specialise in a particular area of law , whereas those in small firms often work on cases from beginning to end . The paralegal profession has expanded in recent years as public agencies , private law firms , and corporations recognise that employing paralegals increases their efficiency and cost-effectiveness .
The minimum education required for paralegals is a certificate in paralegal studies. However, employers typically, prefer candidates with more education. Bachelor’s programs in paralegal studies are less common than paralegal certificate and associate programs.
According to the Bureau of Laboratory Statistics (BLS) , some aspiring paralegals earn a bachelor’s degree in another subject, such as criminal justice or law, and then pursue a paralegal certificate.