Paralegal Programs in West Virginia
Currently there are no regulations pertaining to the education or experience of paralegals in West Virginia. Just as in other states, lawyers are expected to regulate all activities and duties delegated to their paralegals or legal assistants and they are ultimately responsible for their actions. The Association of West Virginia Paralegals supports the continued education and certification of paralegals. They even provide a two day course for members of their association to help them prepare for the paralegal or legal assistant certification exam (CLA/CP).
The paralegal profession is one of the fastest growing in the nation today. This is no exception in West Virginia. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, West Virginia is one of the top five states with the highest concentration of employers in this occupation. Though employment opportunities are abundant, competition for these positions can be fierce. Employers in the legal community are looking for individuals with experience and a formal paralegal education. Having a paralegal certificate or degree can help to set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to finding a job as a paralegal in West Virginia.
- Find Nationally and Regionally Accredited Online Paralegal Programs
- Find Campus Based Paralegal Programs in West Virginia
Choosing a Paralegal Program in WV
Your have a variety of options when it comes to schools that offer paralegal programs in West Virginia. This can also make your decision a bit more challenging. There are a number of items to look for when you are researching schools that may make finding the right program for you a bit easier.
First and foremost, consider choosing a program that is accredited in some fashion. Programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) are always an excellent option because you can feel confident that the curriculum and teaching methods meet their standards for paralegal education. That being said, there is only one ABA approved paralegal program in West Virginia. This can be a dilemma from a geographical standpoint for the residents of WV. It is important to note that you do not have to graduate from an ABA approved program. The majority of employers are very satisfied with those individuals that get a paralegal education at a school that is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. These schools/programs are also held to high standards and you can expect to receive a quality education.
One option you may consider is contacting a few potential employers to ask them what their hiring criteria is for paralegals. Do they require that you graduate from an ABA approved program? Do they prefer an associate's or bachelor's degree in paralegal or legal studies or can a paralegal certificate suffice? Do they hire paralegals without experience? If not, it may be a good idea to choose a program that offers an internship as part of the program. If you decide to enroll in an online paralegal program, you may have additional time and flexibility to get a job or full time internship during the day to help satisfy experience requirements of potential employers while you are going to school.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help make your decision a bit easier. All of the schools that you see on this site are accredited. Currently there are no online ABA approved paralegal programs. However, every online school you see on this site is accredited by a national or regional body recognized by the US Department of Education. You can find accreditation information listed by each school to save you time when you are researching programs. Select those schools that interest you and request information to learn more about their paralegal programs and student services.
Virginia Criminal Justice Schools
Campuses: Glen Allen
- Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
Online Criminal Justice Schools
- AAS in Paralegal Studies
- BS in Paralegal Studies
- Paralegal - Associate of Applied Science (Online)