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Top Paralegal Degrees

The paralegal field seems to always be expanding, with qualified professionals easily landing jobs in some of the most notable firms right after graduation. That’s likely due to the fast pace of expansion and growth in the legal field itself, though it might also be a tribute to the quality of the country’s most prestigious paralegal degree programs. From coast to coast, a number of excellent programs are helping graduates get the skills they need to gain employment, demand higher salaries, and enjoy a rewarding career in the legal profession.

Though there are thousands of paralegal degree programs and certificates, there are five programs that rank heads and shoulders above the rest. Whether it’s due to outstanding instruction, integration with a university’s law school, or proximity to a thriving legal community, these schools are the best bet for aspiring paralegals.

1. Widener University School of Law

Widener University’s School of Law is the only law school in all of Delaware, and it serves as a major destination for aspiring paralegals in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. The law school actually administers the four-year undergraduate program in paralegal studies, making it one of the most unique programs in the country. Students take undergraduate general education classes at the university’s traditional campus, and then schedule their degree programs through the law school.

That gives paralegal students access to some of the country’s leading legal minds, as nearby Philadelphia is a hub of legal jobs and professional advancement. With a robust number of internship opportunities in Philadelphia, as well as in the Delaware cities of Wilmington and Newark, the educational opportunities at Widener University are a great option for students.

2. Kaplan University

The paralegal studies program that students can enroll in through Kaplan University is easily the best one offered by an online institution. When it developed its paralegal studies program, Kaplan University was determined to give students access to real world professionals who could not only instruct, but also relate the theory of a class to the reality of the legal profession. It has managed to do this with great success.

All of Kaplan’s courses are offered online, and students can participate in accelerated terms that allow them to receive their degree faster and begin their career sooner than they would be able to at competing colleges. With great instruction, excellent job prospects, and great financial aid, Kaplan is an excellent choice for online learners.

3. Villanova University

While none of Villanova’s classes are offered online, the university does operate both daytime and evening paralegal studies degree programs that are perfect for young students and young professionals alike. The university is situated in the western Philadelphia suburbs, giving it access to the thriving legal community contained within the city itself. Additionally, courses draw upon the excellent knowledge, experience, and research, of the Villanova School of Law.

Villanova’s suburban location makes it perfect for anyone in the greater Philadelphia area, as well as anyone throughout the northeast who doesn’t mind commuting between the school and home via the Northeast Corridor trains operated by Amtrak. With day and evening classes, and a number of innovative financial aid programs and scholarships, Villanova is a serious contender for aspiring paralegals.

4. Platt College

Platt is a distinctly Californian institution, with two university campuses that are designed to serve both Greater Los Angeles and the so-called Inland Empire. Courses are offered at both of those campuses, as well as online, and the university gives students the option to accelerate their degree program quite a bit. Both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree options are provided, with accelerated Bachelor’s degrees taking just 26 months to complete.

Though it is considered a private university, Platt College has the right financial aid to make their degrees easily affordable by students of all income levels. With online courses, and two offline campuses, local residents and students nationwide will find Platt to be quite accessible.

5. Tulane University

Tulane University maintains campuses in Chicago and New Orleans, and it’s one of the best paralegal schools in the country. The diverse selection of degrees includes an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s, as well a post-baccalaureate work and a certificate program in paralegal skills. Courses rely on professors with real legal experience, and represent one of the best ways for southern and Midwestern students to learn at a local campus while pursuing a nationally recognized degree.

Great Options for Aspiring Paralegals
The paralegal field is highly developed, very competitive, and very lucrative for skilled graduates. With the five degree programs mentioned here, students give themselves a shot at the best jobs, the best salaries, and the best learning experiences, available anywhere in the country.

Top Legal Assistant Degrees

Generally considered the entry-level positions at most law firms, at least aside from the file clerks who roam the corridors, the market for legal assistants is one that always seems to be quite strong nationwide. Generally, their duties include assisting paralegals and attorneys so that cases can proceed smoothly both in court and in the office. With the right amount of work and dedication, their experience is generally grounds for advancement, with most legal assistants eventually working as paralegals at major firms nationwide.

Even though it is considered an entry-level position, those who are looking to become a legal assistant must still earn their high salaries and rather large list of responsibilities. That generally means a two-year or four-year degree program in legal studies, paralegal studies, or a related field. Of all the programs offered from coast to coast, there are five in particular that students should pursue.

1. Kaplan University

Kaplan is almost synonymous with online legal education, and the university has spent the past several decades burnishing its legal education credentials among major law firms and students alike. For those students aspiring to a career as a legal assistant, Kaplan offers both a Bachelor’s of Science and an Associate’s of Science in Paralegal Studies. The program draws on the experience of seasoned legal professionals who teach online courses, facilitate online group discussions, and issue online assessments.

Kaplan’s programs can also be put on what the university call its “Fast Track.” This allows for accelerated completion of a program, giving students more time to locate a job and enjoy a successful career in their field.

2. Mercy College

New York’s Mercy College has always been a big name in the legal field, and its four-year degree program in legal studies is one reason that it has so successfully maintained that reputation. Mercy College is known for hiring some of the best legal minds in New York to educate its students, which allows them to get a more thorough understanding of how lawyers, court professionals, and fellow legal assistants, think in the real world.

Because of its focus on merging legal studies with general education and management courses, Mercy College prepares graduates for a diverse career in the legal field that will likely help them throughout the duration of their time in the workforce.

3. St. Petersburg College

The paralegal studies program at St. Petersburg College, located in Florida, is accredited by the American Bar Association and is one of the best programs in the south for aspiring legal assistants. The university operates a career-focused Bachelor’s of Science program, giving students the tools they need to find the right job after graduation and put their skills to work.

Throughout the southern United States, St. Petersburg is understood as offering one of the best educational backgrounds for legal assistants and paralegals. That’s a huge benefit for young jobseekers in today’s economy.

4. Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology, located in the central part of the state, is one of the few schools nationwide that offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Legal Assistantship. It’s an extremely unique program, and the best of its kind, for the profession. The university focuses on a career-centric approach, guided by local legal professionals with a wealth of experience in the courts, the office, and in interacting with the assistants who help them each day.

The degree’s unique nature and excellent preparation means that most graduate find a related job in record time, all while paying some of the lowest tuition rates for a legal studies program available anywhere.

5. Florida Atlantic University

Aspiring legal assistants who are looking for a very broad legal education will find it at Florida Atlantic University. While many other universities focus on preparing students to become a paralegal or legal assistant, the Bachelor’s in Legal Studies program at FAU prepares students to pursue a wide range of legal careers. It’s also considered one of the top programs for students who are considering attending law school at some point in the future.

With experienced professors and an in-depth legal education, FAU’s program should be a top priority for students who have even the slightest inkling of pursuing a more involved career in the legal profession at some point in the future.

An Entry-Level Career with Endless Possibilities
With the great degree programs mentioned here, legal assistants will find all of the tools they need to land a job, enjoy their position, and turn it into a great opportunity for advancement throughout the higher ranks of the legal profession.

Top Juvenile Justice Degrees

For far too long, the American justice system was setup to cater almost exclusively to adult criminals who had a long series of crimes logged in their records files. That approach simply didn’t work for those under the age of 18, many of whom were treated to subpar juvenile detention experiences and haphazard trials that didn’t provide the kind of justice that younger offenders were entitled to. Luckily, the past few decades have changed al of that in a big way.

Today, juvenile justice has become its own field for research, development, and education. Degree programs prepare professionals to deal with younger offenders and those who might develop a pattern of committing crimes at a young age. It is a much better system for today’s children, and it’s one that has led to the creation of exciting, all-new degree programs. Five of these programs lead the pack, offering a superior educational experience and excellent job prospects.

1. The University of Southern Mississippi

It might seem like a strange choice, but the Bachelor’s of Arts in Juvenile Justice at the University of Southern Mississippi is one of the only full, four-year degree programs that focuses exclusively on juvenile justice. Many other programs take an approach that involves merging criminal justice with juvenile affairs. While that’s good, a dedicated program can produce better in-depth knowledge of juvenile concerns and better career prospects.

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of the leading educational institutions in the southern portion of the United States, and it’s one of the most recognizable names in criminal justice. Graduates will easily be prepared for a successful career with the B.A. offered at USM.

2. Liberty University

Located in central Virginia, Liberty University has long been a major asset for those pursuing an education in the legal or political fields. The institution’s juvenile justice program is no exception to this rule, with a well-rounded series of courses that will prepare students for a successful career in the field.

The degree offered through Liberty is actually a criminal justice degree with a focus on youth corrections. It’s one of the most unique programs in the field, and it actually gives students a more holistic view of the profession they’re about to enter. With a thorough understanding of criminal justice itself, and youth corrections specifically, graduates will be primed for success.

3. Kaplan University

Kaplan University’s Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice comes with a concentration in juvenile justice that can easily rival anything Liberty University has to offer. Kaplan has long been known as a leader in online legal education, and its criminal justice programs are among the best at online universities around the country. With a focus specifically on juvenile justice, students will gain real world viewpoints and experience from seasoned professors. They’ll master the art of dealing specifically with children, priming themselves for occupational success.

Kaplan, of course, specializes in affordable courses and always-on accessibility for assignments, assessments, and group projects. For professionals who are looking to change careers, this is the perfect way to obtain the education necessary to do so.

4. Prairie View A&M University

For graduate degree seekers, Prairie View A&M University is the perfect option for a juvenile justice education that goes in-depth and prepares graduates to manage juvenile programs or facilities. The university does not offer a four-year degree in juvenile justice, but does offer a Master’s of Science in the field. Because of its easy accessibility and low tuition rates, the program is one of the leading options for those serious about a career serving America’s troubled youth.

The program is conducted online, further enhancing its accessibility and convenience. Professors are experienced in the field and constitute some of the leading minds in juvenile justice, rehabilitation, and detention.

5. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers a unique program to those interested in a career in juvenile justice. Students first enter a pre-criminal justice program, and then decide between continuing as a criminal justice student or changing to a juvenile justice concentration. If the latter option is chosen, students will proceed through courses that detail juvenile corrections and rehabilitation, as well as child psychology and how to help children who have become repeat offenders at a young age.

Great Degree Programs for an Emerging Field
As juvenile justice continues to grow and mature as a specialization, degree programs nationwide will only improve. The five programs mentioned here are, at the present time, the leading ones in the field. With experienced professors, careful research, and graduate programs, students can benefit from each of these schools’ unique approaches to juvenile corrections and justice.

Top Criminal Justice Administration Degrees

When most students think about the criminal justice field, their mind usually drifts to things like crime scene investigation, detective work, and the challenges associated with being a law enforcement official. While these careers are quite popular, criminal just administration is an equally popular and important part of the field.

Those who earn criminal justice administration degrees are equipped to interact with law enforcement officials, lawyers, courts, and a wide range of other figures who are essential to pursuing and delivering justice in the event of criminal activity. These professionals are highly sought, well paid, and have access to some of the best degree programs in the country. In particular, five such programs stand out as the best combination of skills, value, and experience, nationwide.

1. Niagara University

Located in western New York, Niagara University offers one of the most unique criminal justice administration programs in the country. The school is barely across the border from Canada, and its entire administration program is designed to give students an international perspective that will prepare them for work in either the United States or Canada after graduation.

The degree program also features courses from Niagara University’s business school and MBA programs, making it a well-rounded way to virtually guarantee a job after graduation. With the right combination of location, instruction, and financial aid availability, the program should be a top target for applicants.

2. University of Phoenix

The criminal justice administration program at the University of Phoenix combines a major in criminal justice administration with a concentration in management. Much like the program offered at Niagara University, those who choose the popular online institution will get a combination of criminal justice skills and business background, preparing them for the widest possible number of career choices after their degree program is finished.

The University of Phoenix comes with the added benefit of being an online university, making it accessible to people nationwide without any commuting to a local campus or other facility. For busy people already in a full-time job, this is a significant asset.

3. Franklin University

Located in Ohio, Franklin University allows their students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration either online or at the university’s traditional campus. That flexibility makes Franklin a top destination for online learners, as well as local Ohio residents who need the right mix of in-person instruction and at-home accessibility to course assignments and assessments.

Curriculum at the university focuses on local, state, and federal criminal justice procedures and agencies, giving graduates the tools they need to succeed at any level of government or law enforcement after they have finished the program.

4. Point Park University

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Point Park University is one of the most well regarded schools in the nation. It consistently ranks highly in Princeton Review, College Board, and U.S. News and World Report rankings, and has developed a reputation as a leader in professional education. The criminal justice administration program at PPU is no different. Unlike many other universities in the country, Point Park allows students to enroll in a five-year combined program that will see them graduate with both a B.S. and M.S. in criminal justice administration.

Because of its central location, urban appeal, and generous financial aid programs, Point Park University is a top option for those looking to combine their degrees, save money, and attend one of the most respected universities for this particular program.

5. Lynn University

The M.S. in criminal justice administration offered by Lynn University is one of the newest programs on the market, but it’s also one of the most robust in terms of well-rounded education. The school, which actually started out as a community college in southern Florida, has beefed up its degree programs in an effort to become one of the leading higher education institutions in the country. It has largely succeeded, and its criminal justice administration program is proof of that.

The program combines traditional criminal justice instruction with a master’s-level background in administration and management that will give candidates an edge when applying for jobs. Both domestic and international administration techniques are pursued, which is particularly useful given the university’s proximity to neighboring Puerto Rico and other Caribbean destinations.

Plenty of Great Programs Both Online and Offline
Criminal justice administration is a fast-growing field that has enjoyed high demand nationwide in recent years. That has allowed the instructional programs at major universities around the country to flourish, by combining traditional management education with the nuances associated with criminal justice. With excellent graduate and undergraduate programs from coast to coast, as well as online, the degree is highly accessible to all who have an interest in the field.

Top Court Reporting Degrees

Pursuing a court reporting degree will allow you to find a career within the legal community as a court reporter or a deposition reporter as well as find employment in the communications realm, providing captioning and communication assistance for hearing impaired people.

There are a variety of degree programs for court reporters, depending upon the option you wish to pursue. Certificate programs that take a year or less to complete while associates degrees typically take about 2-3 years and bachelor’s degree programs require about 4 years to complete. The various degree programs each offer a specific level of expertise in relation to the depth of education involved. The more in depth your education and degree, the better the job options that are available to you.

1. Saint Leo University

This school is exclusively an online education program designed to meet the needs of adults who lead full and busy lives as they pursue their degree. A degree in court reporting can be obtained without ever setting foot in a classroom. If you have PC access, you have school access. Saint Leo University enables students to live their lives, working, raising families, serving in the military while also obtaining a court reporting degree.

2. New York Career Institute

Located in New York, New York, this vocational school is dedicated to providing career training for a number of developing fields. Associates degrees in court reporting can be obtained in about 2 year’s time. Graduates of this court reporting degrees program are held to a demanding standard that results in competent court reporters who can regularly type 225 words per minute. Finding a career in the legal system or communications field is highly possible with a court reporting degree from the New York Career Institute.

3. Fortis College

Pursuing a court reporting degree from Fortis College allows for a lot of flexibility. With 11 campuses in five states, this college aims its programs at working adults who need flexibility and non-traditional hours. This system of schools also provides online education for those who would prefer that level of flexibility. Court reporting degrees from certificates to associates degrees can be obtained through Fortis College.

4. Alvin Community College

Alvin Community College is located in Alvin, Texas, and caters to students who commute to college classes. The campus is fully supportive of the students, even hosting a few clubs despite not having residential students. You can pursue a court reporting degree at Alvin Community College while raising a family and working, living your life.

5. Long Island Business Institute

A private 2 year facility located in Commack, New York, Long Island Business Institute provides students with a diploma or associates degree in court reporting. This certification or degree will allow you to find a satisfying job in communications, helping hearing impaired people with various captioning needs as well as a career in court reporting or deposition reporting in the legal system.

By taking the time to research the process of obtaining a court reporting degree, you can choose a degree program that is right for you. Choose one that fits your life, the one you are living right now. Online or on campus, there is a court reporting degree program that will fit into your life and allow you to successfully pursue your degree and, in time, a career you will enjoy and can thrive with. Both the legal and communications fields have bright and promising paths for graduates from court
reporting degree programs.