Is there a paralegal program that could reasonably be labeled as the best online paralegal certificate program? Not really. This is because each person using a program has their own specific goals and ambitions. You might use a two-year program that ends with your associate’s degree in order to learn if the career of the paralegal is really something you want to pursue. That would mean that the best online paralegal certificate program would be the one offering that associate’s degree.
On the other hand, you may be using a program in order to further your legal studies in the hopes of becoming something more than a paralegal. For instance, you may want to be a legal assistant someday, and that would mean that the best online paralegal certificate program would be one from a four-year school with larger options for master’s degree work or further certifications and training.
This makes it pretty clear that any program can be chosen based on the goals of the individual and that it is impossible to point to one online school or one provider as offering the very best online paralegal certificate program. In order to thin out the options, however, it is important to understand the need for accreditation.
The availability of online learning has opened the door to some relatively unscrupulous behavior and there are some institutions offering certificates and training, but which have not had their curriculum approved by official groups. Though paralegal certification is not mandatory, it is still only going to have value to you if it is granted through a school that is valid and recognized by the legal world.
So, the first step in choosing the best paralegal program for yourself is to begin with the type of program you want – two-year, four-year, or something different. Then, check out the schools with online certification that is accredited and approved. Look at the list of courses or the descriptions of the curriculum and be sure that they meet your needs. You may want to compare several programs to see which have the best support and offerings (some even help with job placement).
There are no “bests” in general, but there are superior and certified programs that will ensure you have many more job opportunities and a much brighter professional life when your studies are done. It is well worth the time spent in searching a bit for the perfect school.