Can I work while studying for my bachelors degree in paralegal?
Students studying for a paralegal bachelor degree may find the idea of working full time while in a 4-year program daunting, but there are a number of reasons to consider doing so.
One of the most important is that once you are an upperclassman, you should be able to find a job in your field. It will provide valuable on-the-job training as well as increase your marketability once you graduate. For example, you might find work as a clerk or legal secretary while you are in school. Even job experience not directly related to your field may qualify you for a position that someone without that experience could not get.
The requirements for a bachelors in paralegal are often demanding, and the course load can be very heavy. Enrollment in a required internship will make it even more difficult to keep a full-time job, as interns must also complete assignments and classes aside from the minimum mandatory hours spent on-site. Fortunately, there are many online paralegal schools and hybrid online paralegal bachelor degree programs to help meet the needs of today’s working adults. Many on-campus programs offer evening or weekend classes as well.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online paralegal bachelors degree program?
Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies online. Students are taught by practicing lawyers and explore a range of topics such as the foundations of law, contemporary worldviews, rhetoric and real estate.
Eastern Kentucky University is highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report among top public schools and offers an ABA approved bachelor in paralegal science. Students learn the critical elements of law while acquiring a strong liberal arts background. An internship is part of the curriculum as well.
One of the best paralegal bachelors programs can be found at Peirce College. The school is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report among top online bachelors programs and has an ABA-approved option for a paralegal bachelor degree online. While the 4 core courses must be completed on campus or through transfer credits, upper-level paralegal classes and all general course requirements are offered online.
University of Great Falls (UGF), ranked twenty-ninth among Midwestern colleges by U.S. News & World Report, offers a bachelors in paralegal studies. Electives allow students to specialize in an area of their choosing. An internship is required at a law firm, judge’s office or corporation.
Are there any scholarships for traditional or online bachelors degree students in paralegal?
Three national associations offer scholarships to students in top paralegal bachelor degree programs. The first is the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), which offers the annual Thomson Reuters/NFPA scholarship to students enrolled or accepted into an accredited paralegal education program. It awards a first place scholarship of $3,000 and a second place scholarship of $2,000. Any student in an accredited paralegal bachelors degree program should apply.
The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers the Certified Paralegal Scholarship Award to eligible students who have been nominated by an instructor and have another qualified professional reference. The nominee must be enrolled in an academic paralegal program and is expected to graduate within 9 months of the nomination. The award recognizes 2 students who plan to take the Certified Paralegal exam.
The American Association for Paralegal Education offers the LEX Scholarship for students who are members of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), the national honor society founded by the organization. Winners receive a $500 award.
Individual schools typically offer scholarships to students enrolled in their paralegal programs as well. Check with your school’s financial aid office to apply for opportunities. In addition, local paralegal and state bar associations and rotary clubs often provide scholarships.
Can I study abroad during my on-campus or online bachelors degree program in paralegal?
At University of Great Falls, any student in good academic standing is eligible to apply to participate in study abroad programs. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.5 and you must be at least a sophomore at the time of travel. Students can study abroad as exchange students or in third-party programs for either a semester or a year. This is an ideal opportunity for students studying for UGF’s paralegal bachelors degree online.
Students at Marymount University, which has a bachelors degree program in paralegal studies, offers 3 types of study abroad for full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates in any major. You can study for a year, a semester or just for the summer. The school requires that undergraduate students have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and are at least sophomores. Students experience new methods of learning in any academic subject and immersion in a new culture, develop fluency in another language and live in a completely different environment.
Students in online paralegal courses generally have the same access to study abroad programs as long as they have met the minimum academic requirements. All students must meet with their academic advisor and obtain approval from their department before studying abroad.