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Ashworth College Blog

How Do I Become a Paralegal?

Written by Autumn Granza on Tuesday, 03 December 2019. Posted in Career

Inside a courtroom.

To become a paralegal you must receive formal education and training. Although it’s not required, employers may also prefer candidates who have also completed a certificate program. If you have an interest in the legal system and hope your career helps people fight for justice, then Ashworth’s Paralegal Studies Career Diploma program may be right for you.

What type of work does a paralegal do?

As a paralegal, you’ll perform tasks that support the lawyers or firm you work for. This includes conducting legal research, drafting documents, and maintaining files. You may investigate facts of a case, gather or arrange evidence, and help lawyers during trials. The duties of a paralegal may also vary depending on the size of the firm. In addition to organizing files, paralegals may also help lawyers determine how to handle their cases.

How do you get a paralegal diploma?

In order to enter the paralegal field, you need training. Our online Paralegal Studies Career Diploma can help you prepare to take the next steps toward work you love. As a paralegal you’ll draw up legal documents and prepare corporate, civil, and criminal cases for trail. You’ll also complete lessons such as

  • Contracts and Business Law. In this lesson, you’ll learn what a contract is, its elements, defenses to valid contracts, remedies available to breach of contract actions, and the purpose of the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Wills and Estates, and Family Law. You’ll learn about wills, trusts, estates, and the elements of a valid will. This lesson will also cover the distribution of property before and after death.
  • The American Legal System. In this lesson you’ll learn about American law, its history, and its structure.
  • Paralegals in the Workplace. You’ll learn about the process of obtaining employment in the field and examples of work that may be performed by paralegals.

After completing the program, you’ll earn a career diploma. You should also be able to explain the importance of legal research and writing skills for paralegals, the differences between criminal and civil law, and outline the structure of the federal and state court systems.

Can I get a paralegal diploma online?

You can earn a paralegal career diploma online. Ashworth’s online program allows you to start with no prerequisites. Our affordable program also allows you to learn at your own pace—when and where you want—with no pre-scheduled classes or exams.

How long does it take to get a paralegal diploma?

Ashworth’s Paralegal Studies Career Diploma program can be completed online in as little as four months. Learn the ins and outs of the legal field on your own schedule. Our career program covers the basic principles of paralegal studies. You’ll receive training that may help you in your career like the litigation process, tort law, and contracts.

Do you have to have a degree to be a paralegal?

Most paralegals have training in paralegal studies. There are many paths that aspiring paralegals can take. Our career diploma could be the first step. Students may also earn an associate degree or undergraduate certificate. The salary of a paralegal may vary based on education and experience. In 2021, the median salary of a paralegal was $56,230 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Take the first step

Start your journey towards a career in the legal field with Ashworth. If you’re ready to train for work you enjoy at your own pace, call an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online today.

Let's talk about your educational goals. Call 1-800-957-5412