With November elections on the horizon, have you found yourself wondering which candidate's platform offers you the best job prospects? Instead of leaving your economic well-being in the politicians' hands, consider updating your skill set so that you'll be in high demand regardless of the election outcomes.
Think it takes too long to acquire these highly sought-after skills? Think again. You can become a paralegal in as little as six weeks.
Niagara University, in cooperation with the Center for Legal Studies, offers a quick, affordable paralegal certificate program that prepares students for paralegal and legal assistant jobs. The 84-hour, live lecture course, which is held on evenings and Saturdays, begins Oct. 16, and runs for six weeks.
Today's new grads and job seekers are facing complex job markets that are vexed by political uncertainty. When starting new careers, workers not only seek gainful employment, but also the assurance that their skill sets will be in demand for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for people with paralegal training is 37.8 percent higher than the national average. In addition, the job outlook for these professionals is projected to improve significantly over the next 10 years.
Paralegals don't practice law, but they are trained to help attorneys gather evidence, do research, interview clients and witnesses, and prepare legal briefs and forms. In short, companies and legal firms are looking save money by hiring paralegals to perform many of the tasks that were previously assigned to licensed attorneys.
"Most people just think of paralegals working in law firms," said Gail Stowers, a paralegal course instructor with the Center for Legal Studies. "Many of them do work in law firms, but the job market is so much broader than that. Students are surprised when I tell them that paralegals are employed in 47 different areas of the law and settings. Some include corporate human resources or legal departments, government agencies, banks, insurance companies, the criminal justice system, lobbying organizations and legal aid offices. Employers can easily see the cost savings in hiring paralegals rather than attorneys (at about $200 an hour) for many legal tasks."
Students who complete the paralegal certificate course will receive their certificate from Niagara University, providing instant credibility in the job market.
The curriculum is strong, the instructors are outstanding, and, at $1,189 (plus about $400 for books), the paralegal certificate course is one of the quickest and most affordable paths available toward careers in the legal industry. The course teaches students how to investigate complex fact patterns, interview witnesses, research the law, prepare legal documents and help prepare cases for courtroom litigation. Graduates of the program can specialize in such topics as criminal law, contracts, civil rights law and environmental law, just to name a few. Job search techniques are also included in the curriculum.
For more information, contact Niagara University's Office of Continuing Education at 716-286-8181 or www.niagara.edu/ce.