Paralegals play an essential role in the legal process of many law firms today.
These trained professionals are responsible for many of the tasks that are necessary in law practices such as interviewing, researching, and documenting paper work.
If people in Montana would like to begin a career in the field, the following schools are perfect places to start.
University of Montana
The University of Montana, located in Missoula, offers a wonderful associate degree program in paralegal studies, which holds approval with the American Bar Association and accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Those people in the Missoula area, who would like to enroll within the program, can find out the requirements for admissions by calling – 406-243-0211 or by writing to – 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812. They can also find the requirements online at – www.umt.edu.
The paralegal program at the University of Montana is a two-year curriculum comprised of several common studies and law-related courses. The common studies portion of the curriculum is as follows – Introduction to Computers, Contemporary Mathematics, Introduction to American Government, Fundamentals of Organizational Psychology, College Writing I, Oral Communications, and Introduction to Sociology.
The law-related portion of the curriculum is as follows – Essentials of Accounting, MS Word, Contracts, Legal Ethics, Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Introduction to Legal Research, Legal Research and Writing I through III, Principles of Real Estate, Criminal Procedures, Critical Analysis for Business, Computers and Law, Civil Litigation, Current Legal Issues, Trial Preparation, Family Law, Estates Administration, and Paralegal Studies Internship.
University of Great Falls
The University of Great Falls has a superior associate of science degree program in paralegal studies, accredited with the Northwest Association of Schools and Universities and approved by the American Bar Association. If people would like to learn how to apply to the university, they can phone the general office at – 800-856-9544, or they can correspond with them at – 1301 20th Street South, Great Falls, Montana, 59405. They can also find the application procedures within the university’s website at – www.ugf.edu/.
For students to earn their associate degrees from the University of Great Falls, they will need to complete the following basic education curriculum – Corps of Discovery I and II, Writing Sentences and Paragraphs, Essential Math Skills, Introduction to Algebra, Essentials of Computers, Writing Essays, Elementary Statistics or Statistical Methods for the Sciences, Fundamentals of Speech Communications, Conquering the Digital Divide, Fundamentals of Theology, What Does it Mean to be Human, Fine Arts elective, Humanities elective, Social Science elective, and Experimental Science.
Students will also need to complete the following paralegal-related curriculum – Litigation and Trial Practice, Commercial Law, Introduction to Paralegalism, Introduction to Legal Analysis, Legal Research and Writing, Field Experience in Legal Assistance, Current Issues in Paralegalism, and at least two of the following courses – Commercial Transactions, Domestic and Family Law, Property Law, Estate Law, Debtor/Creditor Law, Office Systems, and Legal Research Institute.
ITT Technical Institute Online
ITT Technical Institute, accredited with the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools, offers excellent online paralegal training for those persons in Montana, pursuing careers in the field. If people would like to earn their paralegal degrees online, they can call ITT’s toll-free number at – 866-606-4379, or they can request information by writing to them at – 9511 Angola Court, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46268. They can also request a brochure online at – www.itt-tech.edu/.
For students to obtain an associate of applied science degree in paralegal technology, they must take the following general education classes – Problem Solving, Strategies for Learning in a Technical Environment, Psychology, Composition I and II, State and Local Government, Survey of the Sciences, and College Mathematics I.
They must also take the following law-specific classes – Computing and Productivity Software, Business Law and Regulation, Tort Law, Paralegal Capstone, Criminal Law, Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Research and Writing I and II, Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Civil Litigation, Ethics for Paralegals, Family Law, Technology in the Law Office, Real Estate Law, and Wills/Trusts and Estates.
Kaplan University Online
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Kaplan University offers outstanding online paralegal training for people in Montana. Prospective students can call Kaplan at – 866-527-5268, or they can write to them at the following address – 4655 121st Street, Urbandale, IA, 50323. They can also request information online at – online.kaplanuniversity.edu.
Paralegal students at Kaplan will need to take the following basic skills courses to earn an associate of applied science degree – Eight Skills of Effective Legal Studies Students, Mathematics, two Communications electives, and three additional basic skills courses.
They must also take the following career-related courses to earn their degree – Introduction to Legal Technology, Associate’s Capstone Project, The Paralegal Professional, Legal Ethics, Civil Litigation, Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing, Introduction to Legal Research, and at least four additional career-related electives.
Where to Obtain Paralegal Certification in Montana
Although the state of Montana does not require paralegals to have certification, it is beneficial for them to possess the distinction. Certified paralegals have much broader employment prospects than do non-certified professionals, and they often enjoy more raises and promotions, as well. There are currently four organizations that provide paralegal certifications, and they are as follows.
- The National Association of Legal Secretaries (requires applicants to complete a written exam)
- The National Association of Legal Assistants (also requires a written exam)
- The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (also requires applicants to take a written examination)
- The American Alliance of Paralegals (requires applicants to have several years of experience as paralegals)
Paralegals, who need to take an exam, can obtain useful study material from the NALA, the NFPA, public libraries and online. While the exam covers many areas of the paralegal profession, some of the main areas it will cover are legal terminology, legal ethics, government, civil procedures, criminal law, family law and litigation.