Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a Legal Studies Program?
Your choice of a paralegal program will have an impact on your opportunities for success in a paralegal career. Because there is no national regulation of paralegals, anyone interested in the field should focus on the education they will receive at the program of his or her choice. One way to ensure you receive a quality education is to choose a program approved by the American Bar Association(ABA).
The ABA began approving paralegal programs in 1975. The approval program is voluntary. Programs seeking approval must prepare a detailed self-evaluation report as well as undergo a thorough review by an ABA panel. The three-person panel evaluates the program's administration, resources, curriculum and academic policies, faculty and program direction, admissions standards and practices, students services including placement and counseling, library, and facilities.
The Faulkner University Legal Studies Program offers an ABA-approved curriculum exclusively at its Montgomery campus. Faulkner University maintains a strong reputation for academic excellence. Faulkner offers an array of student services that begins when you enroll and continues through graduation and your career. The Legal Studies Department will assist you not only in preparing for a job, but in finding one as well. In addition, Legal Studies students have access to the Jones School of Law Library. This access provides a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in legal research.
Faulkner University strives to maintain the highest quality Legal Studies education program. A degree from its ABA approved Legal Studies program can be your first step to a rewarding and successful career as a paralegal.
In what areas of law do paralegals work?
Paralegals work in many areas of law including: litigation, real estate, corporate, probate and estate planning, intellectual property, family law, labor law, and bankruptcy. Many paralegals also work in other non-legal positions with governmental agencies and private sector businesses.
What are typical paralegal responsibilities?
Paralegals perform tasks such as: investigating facts, drafting legal documents, legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, maintaining contact with clients, and maintenance of legal files.
Will I be able to find a job with a Legal Studies degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 22 percent between 2006 and 2016.
What is the income of paralegals?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the mean salary of paralegals in Alabama as $35,960. The national mean is reported as $40,590. However, income varies depending on the location of the employer, the area's economy, type of work done, and the paralegal's educational and professional background.
What can I not do as a paralegal?
A paralegal/legal assistant cannot give legal advice, represent a client in court, establish a fee, or accept a case on behalf of an attorney.
Do I need certification to work as a paralegal?
Although you do not need a certification to work as a paralegal, there are nationally recognized certifying exams for paralegals. These certifications provide graduates with an extra edge in the job market. To prepare its graduates for the exam, Faulkner University includes a preparatory course for the CLA exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants in its Legal Studies curriculum. Also, the CLA exam is typically offered on Faulkner's campus.
What is the difference between a paralegal and a legal assistant?
Paralegals and legal assistants are essentially the same career. In recent years, paralegal organizations have began altering their names to use the word "paralegal" as opposed to "legal assistant." However, both names are recognized by the ABA as providing the same types of services to the legal community.