Generally considered the entry-level positions at most law firms, at least aside from the file clerks who roam the corridors, the market for legal assistants is one that always seems to be quite strong nationwide. Generally, their duties include assisting paralegals and attorneys so that cases can proceed smoothly both in court and in the office. With the right amount of work and dedication, their experience is generally grounds for advancement, with most legal assistants eventually working as paralegals at major firms nationwide.
Even though it is considered an entry-level position, those who are looking to become a legal assistant must still earn their high salaries and rather large list of responsibilities. That generally means a two-year or four-year degree program in legal studies, paralegal studies, or a related field. Of all the programs offered from coast to coast, there are five in particular that students should pursue.
1. Kaplan University
Kaplan is almost synonymous with online legal education, and the university has spent the past several decades burnishing its legal education credentials among major law firms and students alike. For those students aspiring to a career as a legal assistant, Kaplan offers both a Bachelor ’s of Science and an Associate’s of Science in Paralegal Studies. The program draws on the experience of seasoned legal professionals who teach online courses, facilitate online group discussions, and issue online assessments.
Kaplan’s programs can also be put on what the university call its “Fast Track.” This allows for accelerated completion of a program, giving students more time to locate a job and enjoy a successful career in their field.
2. Mercy College
New York’s Mercy College has always been a big name in the legal field, and its four-year degree program in legal studies is one reason that it has so successfully maintained that reputation. Mercy College is known for hiring some of the best legal minds in New York to educate its students, which allows them to get a more thorough understanding of how lawyers, court professionals, and fellow legal assistants, think in the real world.
Because of its focus on merging legal studies with general education and management courses, Mercy College prepares graduates for a diverse career in the legal field that will likely help them throughout the duration of their time in the workforce.
3. St. Petersburg College
The paralegal studies program at St. Petersburg College, located in Florida, is accredited by the American Bar Association and is one of the best programs in the south for aspiring legal assistants. The university operates a career-focused Bachelor ’s of Science program, giving students the tools they need to find the right job after graduation and put their skills to work.
Throughout the southern United States, St. Petersburg is understood as offering one of the best educational backgrounds for legal assistants and paralegals. That’s a huge benefit for young jobseekers in today’s economy.
4. Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Pennsylvania College of Technology, located in the central part of the state, is one of the few schools nationwide that offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Legal Assistantship. It’s an extremely unique program, and the best of its kind, for the profession. The university focuses on a career-centric approach, guided by local legal professionals with a wealth of experience in the courts, the office, and in interacting with the assistants who help them each day.
The degree’s unique nature and excellent preparation means that most graduate find a related job in record time, all while paying some of the lowest tuition rates for a legal studies program available anywhere.
5. Florida Atlantic University
Aspiring legal assistants who are looking for a very broad legal education will find it at Florida Atlantic University. While many other universities focus on preparing students to become a paralegal or legal assistant, the Bachelor’s in Legal Studies program at FAU prepares students to pursue a wide range of legal careers. It’s also considered one of the top programs for students who are considering attending law school at some point in the future.
With experienced professors and an in-depth legal education, FAU’s program should be a top priority for students who have even the slightest inkling of pursuing a more involved career in the legal profession at some point in the future.
An Entry-Level Career with Endless Possibilities
With the great degree programs mentioned here, legal assistants will find all of the tools they need to land a job, enjoy their position, and turn it into a great opportunity for advancement throughout the higher ranks of the legal profession.