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Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program Overview

Paralegals prepare common legal documents like contracts, wills and trusts. They interview witnesses and do legal research. They prepare briefs, motions and pleadings, and then file these with the appropriate court. They do all this under the direction of the licensed attorneys for whom they work.

At Everest, you can get the knowledge, skills and experience you need to work as a paralegal or legal assistant. Everest offers a variety of two- and four-year paralegal programs, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Choose from:

  • Paralegal (Associate degree)
  • Paralegal (Bachelor's degree)
  • Paralegal/Legal Assistant (One campus only)

Note: Program schedules and availability vary by campus.

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Courses

Everest's paralegal programs are designed to give you a broad, marketable background in the knowledge and skills demanded by today's law firms. As a student of Everest's Paralegal program, you'll have an opportunity to study subjects including:

  • Civil Procedure: This is the body of law that sets out the rules for settling disputes between individuals. Such procedures usually take the form of lawsuits.
  • Family Law: This is the body of law that covers the rules for marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, prenuptial agreements and divorces. Laws in this field tend to differ significantly from state to state.
  • Contract Law: Contract law sets down the rules for agreements, both written and oral, between individuals and/or businesses.
  • Torts: Tort law is that body of law that covers harm to persons or property in which the victim (plaintiff) attempts to exact relief -- usually in the form of money -- from the defendant. Unlike contract law, tort proceedings do not depend on a previous agreement between the parties.
  • Criminal Procedure: This is the body of law that crimes against persons or property that are prosecuted by the government rather than individuals. Unlike tort proceedings, punishment in criminal cases can include jail and/or prison time in additional to monetary penalties.
  • Legal Research and Writing: This course covers the strategies and tactics for researching legal precedents, filings and similar information, as well as the proper form and language for standard legal documents.
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate: This course covers the elements of these common legal instruments and how to properly create them.
  • Trial Preparation and Procedure: In this course, you will learn the steps necessary to prepare a case to go to court, plus how courtroom proceedings are conducted.
  • Paralegal Externship: To cap off your Everest education, you'll have an opportunity to work in an actual law office for several weeks. Many students regard this true hands-on experience as the most valuable part of their education.

Note: This Paralegal program description is not necessarily reflective of every Paralegal program offered across all Everest campuses. This is a summary of general topics learned within most schools. Please check your campus catalog for specific details about what is taught in the Paralegal program near you. Also note, this paralegal training and education is not an introductory curriculum for law school.

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Careers

Paralegals and legal assistants can be found in a variety of office settings. These include law firms, corporate legal departments, legal aid offices and government agencies.

As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce operational costs, they are expected to hire more paralegals and legal assistants. In these cases, paralegals and legal assistants can take on a "hybrid" role within the firm, performing traditional paralegal duties as well as some of the tasks previously assigned to legal secretaries or other legal support workers.

Everest Paralegal program graduates have gone on to find positions in setting including:

  • Law firms: Law firms and legal offices come in sizes ranging from individual practices to mega-firms that support hundreds of attorneys. Many small- to medium-sized law firms specialize in a single area of the law, such as criminal law, civil law, contract law, patent law, probate law, family law or personal injury law. Larger firms often have separate divisions that focus on these individual specialties.
  • Corporate legal departments: Larger businesses often have in-house legal departments devoted to handling the company's legal issues. These departments handle everything from business-to-business contracts to patent and copyright enforcement to dealing with state and federal regulators.
  • Government agencies: Most county, state and federal agencies employ attorneys-and paralegals-to handle a variety of legal issues. District and state's attorney offices in particular are packed solid with lawyers and paralegals as these are the agencies responsible for prosecuting accused criminals.
  • Legal Aid Offices: Legal aid offices are privately funded groups that provide free or low-cost help to people who can't otherwise afford legal representation. Legal aid offices commonly deal with minor property disputes, landlord/tenant issues, immigration problems and misdemeanor-level criminal defense.
  • Title Companies: Title companies specialize in providing documentation that proves individuals or businesses have a legal claim on the property they occupy or intend to sell. Title searches are routine in real estate transactions, and paralegals and legal assistants easily perform this kind of work.
  • Consumer Groups: Consumer groups often employ legal teams to file formal complaints against companies whose products or services they believe cause harm to customers.

Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 8% through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a paralegal, it is possible you'll work long hours-lawyers rarely work just 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -but the challenges and rewards can be worth it. Being a paralegal gives you the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with successful professionals in a highly-respected career field.

Note: Program availability, version and schedules vary by campus. Please check your campus catalog for specific details about which paralegal/legal assistant programs programs are available.

*Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors will impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.

Source: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00

Financial Aid

Everest helps students reach their educational goals and reduce student loan debt in a number of ways, including institutional grants and scholarships.*

Students are encouraged to use our resources as often as needed. These services are included at no additional cost and include:

  • Answers to your federal student loan questions
  • Information on your loan servicer
  • Clear explanations of all your federal student loan repayment options
  • Information on how to reduce or postpone your monthly payment

Contact ECMC Solutions, Everest’s loan counseling partner, by phone at 1-877-331-3262 or visit its website to email or web chat: http://www.ecmcsolutions.org/.

Scholarships and Grants

The Zenith Student Grant is a multimillion-dollar institutional grant program awarded to students of Everest and WyoTech schools owned by Zenith Education Group who demonstrate financial need.

This and other financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Contact a representative by phone at (888) 223-8556 or click here to learn more.

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