Paralegal Studies


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Q. What is a paralegal?
A. A paralegal is a person who assists an attorney in a law office, corporation, or government office in many aspects of legal representation or service. While a paralegal may conduct a wide variety of tasks, he or she may not give legal advice or represent another person in a court of law. Also, the National Association of Legal Assistants provides a definition of what it means to be a paralegal.

Q. Are there payment options available?
A. Yes. Click here to review your options. You may also want to consider the Automatic Payment Plan.

 

Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies Paralegal Studies

    Q. Are there any special requirements for attending the In-Class Program?

    A. Should you choose the In-Class Paralegal program track, there are two requirements that admitted students must complete.

    These requirements ARE NOT applicable to students enrolled in the Paralegal On-Line program.

     

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW IN-CLASS REQUIREMENTS

     

    Q. What support is provided to program graduates?

    A. Howard University School of Law Paralegal Studies Program does not guarantee placement. However, program students and graduates are provided with career support in several ways, including:

     

    • ParalegalSpace Job Postings
      Students are provided with job postings through their access to the ParalegalSpace.com website. Lawyers, law firms, corporations, government agencies, and others seeking paralegals are allowed to post positions on this site for students and graduates.
    • The Howard Law Paralegal Resume Site
      Successful graduates of the program are allowed to place their resumes on the Howard Law Paralegal Resume website. After each program concludes, emails are sent announcing that graduates are ready for employment, leading potential employers to the resume website. (This is optional for those students wishing to post resumes.)
    • The Paralegal Companion Website
      Even after graduating, students are provided with access to the Paralegal Companion Website. This site includes writing labs with templates from every state and territory in the U.S. as well as federal forms, monthly exercises, legal research labs, and more. Only by graduating from the Howard Law Paralegal Program are students given access to this fantastic career support tool. There is no fee for the Paralegal Companion Site, and access is provided indefinitely.

    Q. Why choose a career as a paralegal?
    A. The number of paralegals in the U.S. is expected to continue growing. Law firms and corporate legal departments are relying more heavily on paralegals, as cost-savings measures, to perform tasks once routinely handled by attorneys. The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, forecasts a faster-than-average growth rate of 28 percent through 2018. The Bureau found that:

    Demand for paralegals also is expected to grow as an expanding population increasingly requires legal services, especially in areas such as intellectual property, healthcare, international law, elder issues, criminal law, and environmental law. The growth of prepaid legal plans also should contribute to the demand for legal services. —U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

     

    Job rewards and satisfaction for paralegals include excellent sal ares and benefits with opportunities for bonuses and advancements; recognition for contributions to case resolutions; meaningful work helping clients; and challenging and interesting work in a professional environment surrounded by talented, educated colleagues.

     

    Q. What is the average salary for a paralegal?
    A. 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' 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 2010 NALA Salary Survey results.

     

    Q. What are the advantages of enrolling in Howard University School of Law's Paralegal Studies Program?
    A.
    Howard University School of Law is an institution rich with legacy and pioneers in legal education. You will have access to extensive resources including customized texts, hands-on workbooks, a toll-free support line, LexisNexis and Westlaw (you'll get individual passwords), and online study tools that include practice exercise questions, lecture notes, quizzes and mock exams, and research and writing labs. Online study tools are provided for both the online and on campus programs.

     

    Q. Will I be able to take the national certification exams?
    A.
    The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) each offer a voluntary examination for a fee. However, no state requires that a paralegal take any exam, and most paralegals choose not to take either exam. Students that have a bachelor's degree in any field and have graduated from the Howard Paralegal Certificate Program are eligible to sit for either exam. Contact NALA or NFPA for the most current requirements to sit for those examinations.

     

    Q. Can I preview the program?
    A. Yes. Take the Test Drive.

     

    Q. Is traditional financial aid available, or other payment options?
    A. There are no financial aid options available for enrollment in the paralegal program. For private lending sources please Google "education loans" for a selection of private lending resources.

    An additional option to spread out payments is available for the Campus programs starting the Fall 2012.

    For more information, please email admin@howardlawparalegal.com with the subject line: Paralegal Payment Option. A program representative will contact you regarding the payment option.

     

    Q. What is the cost of the program?

    On Campus Program
    $4,995.00 plus materials. (approximately $600.00)

    Online Program
    $6,995.00 plus materials. (approximately $600.00)

     

    Q. How do I begin the program?
    A.
    To register for the On Campus or Online Howard Paralegal Studies Program, please click on the Register link, or visit our offices.

     

    Q. What if I fail an exam or fail a class?
    A.
    You are expected to pass all exams and all classes with a minimum grade of C or better. If you fail an exam, you may not repeat it. If you fail a class, you will have to take the class over again.

     

    Q. Can I earn the certificate completely online?
    A.
    Yes. You can complete the certificate by taking the online version of the program.

     

    Q. What if I earn a certificate of completion from Howard and then move to another state? Will my paralegal status change or be jeopardized?
    A.
    No. Some states (e.g., North Carolina and Florida) have voluntary certification exams, but even these are not required. You will, therefore, be eligible to work as a paralegal in any state.

    Q. Is independent certification or credentialing necessary once I complete the Howard University School of Law Paralegal Studies Program?
    A.
    While no state requires you to sit for an exam to be a "certified" or "credentialed" paralegal or legal assistant, many choose to attain the professional designations to enhance their stature in the field. The CLA (Certified Legal Assistant) and CP (Certified Paralegal) exams are the nation's premier certifications, along with the NFPA Howard exam. For more information about sitting for these exams, please visit the National Association of Legal Assistants or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

    Q. Can I access my course from anywhere?
    A.
    You can access the course anywhere that you have Internet access. Some companies have firewalls that prevent you from participating in the chat sessions. Please check with your company before you attempt to access the course.

     

    Q. Is my online course an instructor-led course?
    A.
    No. This is a self-paced course. However, you will be given a recommended course syllabus to follow. Your instructor will be available via e-mail to respond to any queries you may have.

     

    Q. How many hours are required outside of class time to complete reading assignments and homework?
    A.
    You should expect to spend up to a minimum of 360 total hours of study for successful completion of the online or hybrid program. You will most likely spend approximately 17 hours at least per week going over class lecture notes, performing exercises, viewing demonstrations, using online labs and other online support materials, and completing assignments. Approximately 10 hours will be needed for the core Essential Skills part of the program, and approximately 7+ hours for the substantive courses. The actual time required for each course will vary from student to student.

     

    Q. Are there specific dates that I need to log on to the website?
    A.
    No. The online program is self-paced. You may sign up for any course at your convenience during the time the course is open.

     

    Q. What happens if I fall behind or complete the course early?
    A.
    The online paralegal courses are self-paced within the time frames allowed, but you will have deadlines and due dates for assignments just as you would in a traditional classroom setting. Thus, it is recommended that you sign up for the online version of this program only if you can commit the time to complete it successfully.

     

    Q. What kind of computer peripherals are required to take an online class?
    A.
    You will need either a PC computer or Mac. A high-speed Internet connection is highly recommended, but not required, and Internet Explorer is the preferred browser. You must have Microsoft Word or similarly compatable word processing software, such as OpenOffice.org.

     

    Q. Do I need to have cookies enabled?
    A.
    Yes. Your Internet browser must be set to accept cookies.

     

    Q. How do online courses work?
    A. Once you begin your course, you will be able to access the Study Support Website. Your instructor will contact you to provide you with contact information and additional getting started tips. You will work through the core Essential Skills part of the program in Segments, earning passwords to continue as you complete assignments and exams. The substantive programs are set up chapter by chapter. For each chapter of the books, you will have online study support. It is recommended that you read the assigned material chapter by chapter, reviewing the online study support as you progress. Please contact your instructor with any questions you may have, but also check the online Help page in the web modules for commonly asked questions.

     

    Q. What resources are available for general information on a career as a paralegal?
    Standing Committee on Paralegals, American Bar Association
    National Association of Legal Assistants
    National Federation of Paralegal Associations
    Paralegals and Legal Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor

     

     

    Q. What resources are available for general information on a career as a paralegal?
    Standing Committee on Paralegals, American Bar Association Click Here
    National Association of Legal Assistants Click Here
    National Federation of Paralegal Associations Click Here
    Paralegals and Legal Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor Click Here