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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a “paralegal” and a “legal assistant”?
How long is the program?
Can the program be completed on a part-time basis?
When does the program start?
How much is the tuition?
Can I transfer paralegal or other law courses from another academic institution to apply toward successful completion of the Paralegal Certificate Program?
Does the paralegal program offer placement services?
How is the job outlook for the paralegal profession?
What is the average salary for a paralegal?
 
What is the difference between a “paralegal” and a “legal assistant”?

It has long been recognized that the terms “paralegal” and “legal assistant” are synonymous terms just as “lawyer” and “attorney”. This is not an opinion of NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants), but a well documented fact throughout the United States – supported by state Supreme Court rules, statutes, ethical opinions, bar associations guidelines, and other similar documents.

How long is the program?

The program consists of 375 hours of legal education and is comprised of twelve courses. Attend classes three nights a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:10 – 10:10 P.M.) and complete the program in one year.

Can the program be completed on a part-time basis?

Yes. However, do note, the Certificate Program must be completed within 4 years.

When does the program start?

The program starts two times per year (January and July).

How much is the tuition?

 The tuition for the program is $3,660.00. Fees for each course are payable in full at the time of registration for each individual course.

Can I transfer paralegal or other law courses from another academic institution to apply toward successful completion of the Paralegal Certificate Program?

 Our program welcomes transfer students and will evaluate and consider waivers of course work.

Does the paralegal program offer placement services?

 Yes. Employers contact the program coordinator who posts job advertisements and recommends to students and graduates to seek these opportunities. Also, we network with paralegal associations.

How is the job outlook for the paralegal profession?

The paralegal profession has grown tremendously since its introduction in the 1960’s. The volume of legal activity and litigation continues to increase even when the economy slows down.

 The following is a statement by the Department of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor:

Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 22 percent between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. Paralegals are performing a wider variety of duties, making them more useful to businesses.

 Private law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but a growing array of other organizations, such as corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real estate and title insurance firms, and banks also hire paralegals. Corporations in particular are expected to increase their in-house legal departments to cut costs. In part because of the range of tasks they can perform, paralegals are also increasingly employed in small and medium-size establishments of all types. 

What is the average salary for a paralegal?

Earnings of paralegals vary greatly, depending on education, training, experience, the type and size of employer, and the geographic location of the job. Historical trends provided by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. in their 2006 Compensation & Benefits Study Report show that over a 13-year period through 2006, gross salaries climbed 61 percent. The average current salary reported was just over $50,000, with one-fourth of paralegals reporting a salary at or below $40,000, and one-fourth reporting a salary at or above $60,000. See the most recent NALA Salary Survey results.

For more information, call 561-297-3648 or e-mail rrmagdal@fau.edu

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 Last Modified 8/26/12