Interested in quality Paralegal schools

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Catman0280, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Catman0280

    Catman0280 New Member

    I am looking to take online courses leading to paralegal certificate or degree. Any suggestions? Anyone know anything about Blackstone Career Institute?
  2. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    My wife considered Blackstone before choosing Penn Foster. The two programs are basically the same, both DETC and MSCSS accredited, both are reputable and legitimate, and the costs are roughly the same. It took my wife about a year to graduate from Penn Foster, but she could have done it sooner had she fully applied herself.

    One thing you need to ask yourself is whether a paralegal certification (and possibly sitting for the CLA exam) will meet your needs. Most community colleges offer paralegal degrees (60 semester hours) and paralegal certifications (30 semester hours). The Blackstone and Penn Foster programs would be closer to the paralegal certification offered at community colleges with one important difference...Penn Foster and Blackstone courses are calculated in clock hours, not semester hours, and they are not accredited regionally, so they credits earned with them, while legitimate, will easily transfer into degree programs. So if you intend to pursue a degree at a later time, even if it is not in the paralegal field, you will be better off with a certification from a community college because the credits earned can be used toward a degree.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  3. Catman0280

    Catman0280 New Member


    Thanks. Did you mean the clock hours are NOT easily transferrable to a degree?

    I have BBA from Georgia State U and was just thinking of something inexpensive to get me into door of legal field. I am thinking this Cert would do that. Is it working for your wife?

    Thanks Jeff
  4. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    Clock hours can be difficult to transfer into a semester or quarter hour system. If Blackstone and Penn Foster were accredited by one of the 7 regional accreditors you may have some luck, but they're not. That combined with a clock hour system is going to make it nearly impossible to transfer into a degree.

    My wife is working for a military contractor, not as a paralegal. She earned her certification to fill out her resume for employment in the business world, which has been successful. Her mother works for a large corporation as a patent paralegal. When she hires new talent, she looks for either a degree or a certification. So at least in her experience, a certification should work for you, particularly with your degree that illustrates your core education.

    One of my clients is the hiring manager for a local law firm. I asked for her opinion a while back on this issue and was told that a certification is sufficient, but that she also looks for a degree of any kind.

    My sister-in-law has her AA degree in paralegal studies and was hired by a law firm, then later went to work for the state. Her AA degree did not qualify her for those positions anymore than a paralegal certification + degree would have.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Why is that? Isn't a quarter hour equal to ten clock hours and a semester hour equal to fifteen clock hours? :confused:
  6. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    Yes, you are correct, but my wfe ran into road blocks. Even before choosing a paralegal school, she contacted a few schools about the transferability of credits, TESC and Excelsior were two of them. Both institutions told her that in order for them to even consider the transfer, a letter would have to be written by the school that issued the credits, converting the clock hours to semester hours and explainig the rationale. Then they would be reviewed and considered, but not guaranteed. Odd...

    In any event, the bigger issue in this case is that neither Blackstone or PF are regionally accredited.

  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  8. Chsheaf

    Chsheaf New Member

  9. Catman0280

    Catman0280 New Member

    Sorry it has been a few days. Say I get an associated degree in paralegal studies, doe sit absolutely have to ABA- approved course to get job in field? I live in Winchester Va and none are close and are not online. I am considering American Public University which is regionally accredited and has good pricing ( I am veteran).


  10. Catman0280

    Catman0280 New Member


    I can't seem to get to that link. How do you get there? I am new to site.
  11. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Penn Foster is regionally accredited at the career diploma and high school diploma level. Its degree programs are nationally accredited and the courses are reviewed by ACE.
  12. lukedean27

    lukedean27 New Member

  13. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I think the paralegals most in demand right now are those who have a BA. I'm not sure a career diploma or a two-year degree would cut it. That has been my impression from most of the want ads I have seen from law firms looking for paralegals.
  14. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    I think that depends on the geographic area. My wife and I have been looking into the possibility of relocating to theAtlanta area and hav been looking at the employment ads for quite some time. The demand for paralegals in that area seems to stay pretty high and the emphasis is more on experience and certification, not a college degree.

  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  16. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    University of Miami has an online paralegal program.
  17. Nana

    Nana New Member

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