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Online Paralegal Degrees

Historically, aspiring paralegals were able to enter the legal industry without a bachelor's degree or a degree from a paralegal studies program. Eager young professionals were trained on the job. But that's changed in recent years. Today,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics advises those interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal to get formal training as those with a degree will have the best job prospects.

Getting the requisite paralegal training is fairly simple. There are basically three routes you can take that will equip you with the necessary skills and credentials to apply for paralegal jobs. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can take a paralegal certification program that will last a few months. If you don't have a degree, then you have two choices: enroll in a two-year paralegal degree program that results in an associates degree, or complete a four-year bachelor's degree program at a college or university.

What Paralegals Earn

Paralegals salaries range widely depending on what type of firm they work for and where that firm is located. A paralegal working for a high-profile law firm in New York City, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C., for example, will typically earn more than one working for a small firm in Wichita, Kansas. The median annual earnings for paralegals in 2004 was nearly $40,000, including bonuses. The top 10 percent most highly paid paralegals earned more than $61,000.

It's also a good time to enter the paralegal field. Job growth among paralegals is expected to be much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Paralegal Schools

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