11 Law & Paralegal Studies FAQs Answered by Program Director

The paralegal field is one of the fastest growing job markets and University of Cincinnati is here to prepare you to succeed in it. With several fully online program options: the Associate of Applied Business in Law & Paralegal Studies, the Bachelor of Science in Law & Paralegal Studies, the Post-Associate Certificate, or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, we are here to ensure you select the program that best fits your goals.

To help determine which program is right for you and if University of Cincinnati is the best fit, we asked Program Director, Page Beetem, to answer some frequently asked questions about our Law & Paralegal Studies programs.

11 Frequently Asked Questions about Law & Paralegal Studies Education:

What Is the Difference Between the Degree Programs and Certificates?

Page’s response:
At University of Cincinnati’s Law & Paralegal program, you have a lot of options to choose from: an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a post-associate certificate, and a post-baccalaureate certificate.

Certificates are for people who have a degree already, in any discipline, and are only going to focus on the legal courses that they need to enter the legal profession. There are many programs across the US that offer certificates, but they are not fully after completing your degree. Being an American Bar Association approved program means that our certificates are a degree plus additional education.

I’ve Attended College Before but Haven’t Earned a Degree. Should I Apply for the Associate Program or the Bachelor’s Program?

Page’s response:
For people who have attended college before but don’t have a degree, it’s important to look at how many credit hours have you earned and how many credit hours will apply.

Typically, if you have less than 60 credit hours that will transfer we recommend starting in the associate program. If you have more than 60 credit hours we will most likely recommend the bachelor program.

What are the Distinctions Between the Post-Associate and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificates?

Page’s response:
Our certificates are available for students who have earned a degree in any other discipline and are looking for the legal courses needed to enter the field of law. The post-associate is offered for students that hold an associate degree and the post-baccalaureate is for students with a bachelor’s degree.

The post-associate certificate is going to focus on more of your entry level courses while the post-baccalaureate will offer more advanced courses. Both certificates will prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the legal profession.

I’d Eventually Like to Become an Attorney. Is a Paralegal Degree a Good Place to Start?

Page’s response:
Law school is a long path that entails an additional three years of education beyond your bachelor’s degree. Many of our students will start with a paralegal degree or certificate because it’s a great foundation, where you’ll learn the terms and vocabulary that you will need in law school.

At the undergraduate level we take more of a direct approach, where as in law school it’s a more inductive reasoning approach. However, the paralegal programs offer a great foundation for those looking to potentially go into law school.

I’m Interested in a Specific Area of Law. Will the Curriculum Cover any Specialty Areas?

Page’s response:
The great thing about law is that it covers every area of our lives. If you come to our programs with a background or interest in any specific area of law, we have subject matter courses that cover a wide variety of them, from real estate law to family law and more.

You will learn about each as substantive areas of law, as well as learning about the procedural law that dictates every specialty area.

Given That the Courses Are Online, Does That Mean I can Take Classes and Complete Assignments Whenever I Want?

Page’s response:
An online curriculum is a fabulous thing that offers students a lot of flexibility, but there is still a lot of structure. Our programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), which requires students to take at least nine credit hours of synchronous instruction. This means you will be in class at a set time, face to face (virtually), with your professor and fellow students.

Outside of those nine credit hours your courses will be asynchronous, which means there is no set meeting time for the class. In these courses there are still set deadlines and you will be responsible for turning in assignments on time and meeting specific milestones throughout the course.

Aside from Gaining Proficiency in Paralegal Knowledge, How Will the Programs Prepare Me for the Job Market?

Page’s response:
One of our main focuses in our programs is making sure that you are job ready on day one. We give you practical assignments to gain practical skills to ensure that you are able to be a productive member of the legal team right off the bat.

Then, we take it a step further with courses like our pathway to professionalism. This course focuses on the soft skills that can be difficult to teach in the classroom, but that you need when you start your career. You’ll gain confidence through things like going to an association meeting or completing volunteer or pro bono projects, which will not only help your resumé, but will also help you once you’re working in the field.

What Qualifications or Backgrounds Do the Professors Have?

Page’s response:
At University of Cincinnati’s Law & Paralegal Studies online programs, all of your professors are licensed practitioners. They are attorneys who on average have 15 years of experience working in the field. They know exactly what is expected of you and are able to equip you with the practical skills you need to succeed.

I Currently Work Full-Time and Plan to Continue Working. Are These Programs for Me?

Page’s response:
We know that our students have lives and commitments outside of being a student. Part of the great thing about being online is the flexibility that it offers. However, enrolling in these programs does take time.

I always advise our students to do a gut check to make sure that they have the support around them to fully commit to the program. You can absolutely complete these programs while working full-time, but you need to carve out the time to ensure that you are able to do your best.

What Practical Skills Will I Learn?

Page’s response:
Our programs are focused on equipping our students with the practical skills they need to be ready on day one of their job in the legal field. We do that through courses like a practicum, or internship. During this time you’ll work in a law firm under the supervision of an attorney for 200 hours during the course of the semester.

We have connections across the entire country to ensure that you can complete these hours and gain the experience in your jurisdiction so that you have practical skills you can utilize, wherever you are.

What Is the Significance of the University of Cincinnati’s Programs Being Approved by the American Bar Association?

Page’s response:
Only about one third of the paralegal programs in the United States have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). The process to get the ABA approval is rigorous and we make sure that our programs are meeting each one of their requirements.

Your future employer wants to know that you’ve gone to a quality school and they are able to use that ABA approval as a measurement. The ABA approval keeps our academic programs rigorous and ensures that we are meeting the needs of our legal community.

Ready to Get Started?

Our enrollment services advisors are ready to answer any other questions you may have and help you decide which of our fully online Law & Paralegal Studies programs is right for you. Contact us today!

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