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N4nette | Annette's Law School Blog

Graduate-Level Paralegal Education – What You Should Know

November 1 2016, 08:53am

Posted by Silva

Graduate-Level Paralegal Education – What You Should Know

The paralegal field is unique among all others as there is a wide breadth of acceptable education levels. Unlike other professional careers in which you must complete a standard education level, the paralegal industry accepts those with no formal education as well as those with higher-level degrees. Because this profession lacks a solid educational standard enforcement, if you decide to pursue a graduate-level paralegal education, you are among a small and unique group of professionals - weblink.

Although the reasons as to why you wish to undergo a graduate-level training program can vary, there is one universal fact: this level of education will set you above the majority of your competition. This can ultimately lead to greater annual salaries as well as significant promotions. However, is this costly and time-consuming educational pathway work it? While this is a personalized decision, there are several elements you must take into consideration before making your final decision.

Greater Employment Options

When you complete a graduate-level degree program, you’re literally giving yourself a boost among your competition. Earning a graduate degree in paralegal studies allows you to not only enter the workforce in a unique position, but you’re also seen as an ideal candidate for promotions. However, if you aren’t sure you want this to be your “forever” career, then you may find the time and energy that goes into completing this type of coursework may not be worth it.

Current Graduate Degree Programs

As of writing this article, the American Bar Association has approved a total of five master’s degree programs in legal studies within the United States. Although there are other master’s degree programs, professionals within this industry suggest only attending an American Bar Association graduate degree program. This ensures the curriculum you’re taught is the latest and greatest within the industry.

Perhaps one of the primary reasons why there are so few master’s degree programs in paralegal studies is because the industry simply doesn’t require such a level of education to be considered a professional. Shown here, to reach the peak of your career all you need is an undergraduate degree and a certificate in paralegal studies. Generally, obtaining this level of education is all you need to reach your overall career goals.

Therefore, one of the most important elements to consider when you’re looking at a graduate degree in paralegal studies is whether or not this advanced-level degree is worth your time and money. If you have an undergraduate degree and a certificate in paralegal studies, earning a master’s degree may not be the best use of your time. Instead, you may want to consider becoming a Certified Legal Assistant or a Certified Paralegal offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).


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Legal Research Part of the Paralegal Exam

October 1 2016, 08:51am

Posted by Silva

Legal Research Part of the Paralegal Exam

Due to the widespread interest of the paralegal profession, competition within the past several  years has skyrocketed. Although this industry is expected to continue its positive growth for the next decade, the number of paralegal graduates is also on the increase. Therefore, it’s becoming essential to take extra steps in order to remain highly competitive. While there are many ways in which you can accomplish this goal, perhaps one of the most effective ways to stand out among a crowded stack of resumes is to become a certified paralegal.

Unlike other professions, you don’t actually need to become certified in order to be employed as a paralegal. However, earning this voluntary designation not only clearly demonstrates your competency within your field, but showcases your professionalism. There are several national certification organizations that offer a Certified Paralegal and/or Certified Legal Assistant designations, as explained on this official site for paralegal education. Perhaps the most recognized and well-respected is the National Association of Legal Assistants, which is also the oldest certifying body within the paralegal industry.

As with many certification examinations, the CP/CLA examination is separated into several parts. Each part is designed to measure your competency within a specific topic/scope of knowledge. Within this article, we’re going to explore one of the most important – Legal Research.

When you’re employed as a paralegal, you’ll be charged with the task of performing deep-level legal research. This is one of the most important parts of your job as the information gathered throughout your research is immensely helpful when it comes to assisting clients within their case. Throughout this portion of the examination, you’ll be required to answer questions pertaining to the following topics:

Research Problems

No one case is like another. While there may be overlapping similarities, the details are generally specific for that client/case. Because of this, one method of research used in the past may not be applicable for a current task. Therefore, you must be able to identify research problems and take effective step-by-step applications to gain the information the case requires.

Citation Rules

Although you’re not a lawyer, you must be well-versed when it comes to the various rules of citations. The use of this knowledge will vary based upon the industry you’re employed in (as well as the scope of practice of your employer). However, holding a solid understanding of these rules is essential to properly operate as a paralegal within your industry.


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Paralegals Working in Landlord and Tenant Law

September 1 2016, 08:51am

Posted by Silva

Paralegals Working in Landlord and Tenant Law

In almost every city within America, one of the most active section of the court system are cases that involve landlord-tenant law. The increase in lease provision issues has grown so large that many judicial systems actually have specific courts to simply deal with the issues that arise in landlord-tenant disputes. Because of the sheer amount of cases involving these legal woes, many law firms employ an army of paralegals to assist in this practice. A paralegal within a landlord-tenant law firm is charged with the task of researching and detailing the relationship between landlord and tenant, as well as all the various steps involved in the creation, review and termination of a case.

The very beginning of any landlord-tenant case is founded in the lease. In the most general sense, a lease a specific type of contract geared toward establishing a relationship between a landlord and a tenant (also referred to as a lessee). A landlord is a person who legally owns a property and a tenant is a party who rents, or leases, the property for a specified amount of time. As a paralegal, you must be well-versed in the four types of property leases:

Periodic Tenancy – This type of lease agreement continues in periods and is automatically renewed until either the landlord or tenant notifies the other party with the intent of terminating the lease agreement.

Tenancy for Years – This is among the most common types of lease agreements as it features a specific start and end date, typically for one or more years.

Tenancy at Will – This form of lease agreement is entered with the express intent that either party can terminate the lease whenever without any official form of notice.

Tenancy at Sufferance – This form of tenancy allows a tenant who unlawfully remains at a property after the lawful lease has been terminated.

As a landlord-tenant law paralegal, you’ll typically be responsible for the assisting in the drafting of a lawsuit petition. Once approved, you’ll generally be responsible to ensure the petition for a lawsuit is properly served and filed with the respective court (which also includes the affidavit of service).

Landlord-tenant law offers a unique opportunity to work within the legal industry, and there are a wide array of opportunities for professional paralegals. If you’re interested in working within a popular and constantly changing industry, then starting work as a landlord-tenant law paralegal may be your ideal choice.


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