Many programs are available to prepare you for the diverse duties involved in a career as a paralegal. Whether you choose to start with a certificate or have your eye on a master’s degree, pursuing your paralegal education online opens the door to a host of personal and professional benefits.
Here are 5 advantages to earning your paralegal degree online.
You’ll Develop a Strong Work Ethic
Earning your paralegal degree through an online program helps establish consistent study and work habits driven by self-motivation. Without a structured class schedule, you have to make time to complete assignments before the given deadlines regardless of what life throws at you. This teaches you how to adapt when a situation doesn’t go quite as you expect, something that isn’t uncommon in the world of law. These skills will serve you well when working in an environment where information may be needed on short notice to help a client.
You’ll Learn More about Being a Lawyer
If you’ve been thinking about going to law school but aren’t sure you about making the investment, working as a paralegal will give you a clear picture of what it’s like to be a lawyer. The opportunity to ask questions offers a greater understanding of the profession along with helpful advice about advancing your career. Simply doing your job may require learning even more about law than you did in school, and you’ll start to become familiar with the structure and tempo of working in the legal system.
You’ll Always Have Job Options
Law is one area where growth isn’t likely to stagnate in the near future. There will always be cases for lawyers to resolve, and these lawyers will always need assistance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46,200 paralegal jobs will be added to the job market by 2022. This jump in growth provides a measure of certainty that’s lacking in many other careers. It makes getting a paralegal degree worth the effort when you know that you have a good chance of landing a job after graduation.
You Get to Choose a Specialty
Law is divided into many areas, and paralegals can specialize in a chosen field the same way other professionals do. While you’re earning your degree, consider if you want to focus on a particular area of the law. Doing so will allow you to get a job in a law firm where you can expand your knowledge even more. Some paralegals do freelance work, and if you have a specialty, you can sell your services as an expert in the field to attract more clients.
You Can Make a Decent Salary
With a starting salary of around $35,000, a paralegal career can provide a good living wage, especially for young people. As you continue in the profession, you could wind up making over $70,000 per year. Salaries vary depending on your experience and the type of law firm you work for. Your income won’t be as predictable if you decide to become a freelancer, but you could potentially land some lucrative jobs with high-end firms if you have a good resume and market your services well.
Once you have your paralegal degree, you may choose to stay in the profession for the long term or decide to move on to becoming a lawyer and hiring your own paralegal to help in your office. Work on developing your skills while you’re in school, and take advantage of every opportunity to learn on the job so that you can become as proficient as possible.