The answer to the above question is yes of course you can but you need to check it is the right option for you. While studying at your own pace without the need to attend regular classes may sound like heaven, most people are not suited to this type of learning. Computer based courses tend to work best for short intensive study programs. For example, first aid qualifications although you do need some practical training for those, or passing a multiple choice exam.
Most would be paralegals underestimate the amount of time involved in studying to become a paralegal. They find out that you can graduate after two years and seem to assume that it is a relatively easy course. That is far from the case. The amount of work involved both in college and in home work and assignments is quite intensive. It can be a challenge keeping up the pace when you are surrounded by other students in a similar situation. When you are trying to do this alone without the support of other students, some people can become overwhelmed.
That is not to say that online paralegal programs don’t offer a good solution for some people. Of course they do. If you are already working you might not have the luxury of taking time off to attend classes. You may be trying to combine your study with raising a family. There are many reasons why the traditional college method may not work for you.
If you do decide to attend one of the few ABA approved online paralegal programs, take advantage of all the support they offer. In order to be accredited they had to prove to the American Bar Association that students could interact with other students and tutors alike. You should be able to get answers to any questions you have and shouldn’t experience any technical difficulties caused by the college computer systems when trying to access your course work.
Before you start at any college make sure you are taking the right course based on your previous education and work experience. You don’t need to make life difficult for yourself.
However you decide to study, give yourself plenty of time to do the work involved. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. It is much easier to do a little every week than to have to cram everything into the last month or so before your exams. Good time management skills will be an asset in your future career so practice them now!
You also never stop studying in this job. If you choose to gain your paralegal certification you will have to meet certain educational requirements depending on what type of certification you choose. You will have to attend seminars and keep track of the changes in case law relating to your area of expertise. The law is constantly evolving with landmark decisions and cases affecting future decisions. You have to keep on top of these changes or you will not be able to function effectively as a paralegal. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to study at a local college or online as all paralegals will have to study more at some point in their career.