What to Expect
Students in paralegal programs learn to do research and other tasks for
lawyers. There's a lot to learn.
Judith Armstrong says the paralegal program she took covered a wide range
of subjects. "The program I took involved all areas of law in which a paralegal
is authorized to practice," says Armstrong. "It covered our...legal system,
contract, tort, landlord and tenant, civil, criminal, administrative tribunal,
immigration...and some family law."
In addition to the time spent in the classroom, Armstrong estimates she
spent between 17 and 20 hours per week doing homework.
How to Prepare
Armstrong says high school students should visit a local law office
to see if it's a career that might interest them.
"Quite a few lawyers offer one half-hour of free consultation, and students
could avail themselves of this to get some insight as to whether they would
like the field," says Armstrong.
"Also, attend court as a visitor and watch cases being heard. This
is also very useful as a guide."
Although her schooling was tough, Armstrong feels anyone willing to take
on the challenge will be rewarded.
"One has to be dedicated, love the law and work very hard to achieve success,"
she says. "This is not an easy program. If it is what a student wants,
it will be a rewarding and uplifting program, with self-esteem and confidence
being the biggest rewards other than those monetary."