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  #1  
Old 09-21-2016, 08:06 AM
nygirl17 nygirl17 is offline
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Default They offer a paralegal college course can he be employed Mi

My husband said they offer college courses to be a paralegal. Now I know he could get some work while in prison but he only has two years left and the course is two years but he said it could be completed in one and being he is highly intelligent and that he already has some college he would be able to get through it pretty fast. My question is can he take the bar exam and actually get a job as a paralegal when he gets home. We live in michigan. I found some sites that say yes and some that say no. And I don't want to waste my money for nothing.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:31 AM
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It depends on the requirements of your state for paralegals. Some states require no education or certificates. Others are more stringent.

He won't be able to take the bar exam - that's for people who want to be attorneys. Paralegals are not attorneys. Paralegals work for attorneys, but they are not attorneys, cannot functions attorneys, and will generally pull new charges of Unauthorized Practice of Law should they try. No worries, though. It's a bitch of an exam that lasts 2-3 days depending on the state.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:31 PM
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I've looked everywhere some day say yes some say no....my husband is pretty intelligent and knows an awful lot about laws and how they work. I wouldnt be surprised if he would do just fine with that test lol. I'll have to keep searching.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:39 PM
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He won't take the bar exam as that's to become attorney.
Some attorneys in Ohio will hire felons as paralegals depends on their crimes!
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:44 PM
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I've looked everywhere some day say yes some say no....my husband is pretty intelligent and knows an awful lot about laws and how they work. I wouldnt be surprised if he would do just fine with that test lol. I'll have to keep searching.
The bar exam is for people that have obtained a law degree. In some states you can take the exam after studying under a Judge or practicing attorney. Mi is not one of the states. He may do just fine with the test but he wont be allowed to take it unless he attends law school.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:47 PM
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As yourself mentioned, paralegals work under the license of an attorney. It appears MI does not strictly regulate paralegals and considers them 'paraprofessionals'. So yes he can work as a paralegal, but it will mean finding an attorney willing to allow him to work under their license.

National Federation of Paralegal Associates may have more specific information for you.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:32 PM
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Yeah I got the part where he didn't have to take the exam.....and thanks for posting the link I'll look at it when I get home. I mean if they are offering this course for $700 That's pretty cheap if he could find someone willing to let him work with them.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:04 PM
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My husband said they offer college courses to be a paralegal. Now I know he could get some work while in prison but he only has two years left and the course is two years but he said it could be completed in one and being he is highly intelligent and that he already has some college he would be able to get through it pretty fast. My question is can he take the bar exam and actually get a job as a paralegal when he gets home. We live in michigan. I found some sites that say yes and some that say no. And I don't want to waste my money for nothing.
I did a but of research on paralegal certificates. I couldnt see tuition for regular colleges but i checked 2-3 online programs and the cost just to get a certificate, not a degree is around $7,000-8,000 usually at $300-400 a semester credit. I would have him just double check if its really a paralegal certificate because if it is that is a great deal. I think any education he is able to take would be good but i would make sure he can get employment out here at the completion of the program. Maybe check to see if any credits he gets in prison would transfer to a college out here.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:48 PM
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I did a but of research on paralegal certificates. I couldnt see tuition for regular colleges but i checked 2-3 online programs and the cost just to get a certificate, not a degree is around $7,000-8,000 usually at $300-400 a semester credit. I would have him just double check if its really a paralegal certificate because if it is that is a great deal. I think any education he is able to take would be good but i would make sure he can get employment out here at the completion of the program. Maybe check to see if any credits he gets in prison would transfer to a college out here.
He's going to send me the info so I can look at it and yes I agree any education he can get in there is good for when he comes home. He sent it out today so I should have it by Monday. I'll have to look it over and see what it says.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:53 PM
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I've looked everywhere some day say yes some say no....my husband is pretty intelligent and knows an awful lot about laws and how they work. I wouldnt be surprised if he would do just fine with that test lol. I'll have to keep searching.
uh, no. He won't. If he can't read at a really great clip, write even faster, and reason like a lawyer, he'll crash and burn. People who have bachelor's degrees in courses of study that don't require a great deal of reading and writing regularly flunk out of the first year of law school - you need to be able to read fast, write fast, and reason fast. And that's just on the big part of the test. The other requirements include passing a legal ethics exam, usually taken in the second year of law school after passing your professional ethics class, and a character and fitness exam. The character and fitness packet alone is at least a quarter of an inch thick. Nobody right out of prison will pass that particular portion.

Bachelor's first. Then do the LSAT. Then get into law school. Then graduate law school. Then try to pass the bar exam. Only then can you practice as an attorney.

(caveat - some law school students are allowed to practice without a license when taking a specific clinic - criminal law, family law, juvenile law, etc. Further, as somebody noted, there are one or two states that allow people to sit for the exam after working at an attorney's office for a period of years. Their bar pass rate is something like 20%. But please don't confuse jailhouse lawyers or paralegals with actual attorneys - they are not the same. There's a big difference between a 1-2 year paralegal course and a 3 year, all you are doing is law school, post bach professional program in law. You should both understand this. If he wants to be a lawyer, he should bag the paralegal program as he'll have to unlearn everything he learns there by the end of his first semester of law school or risk failing out, get a bachelor's degree in a humanities, keep his GPA as high as possible, and then sit for the LSAT. He should get off paper, have not so much as a parking ticket between now and actually applying to the bar, and pass all 3 years of law school with the highest GPA he can manage. Then, and only then, does he have a chance of sitting for the bar and becoming an attorney.)
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:56 PM
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Oh, and any paralegal program that mentions sitting for the bar exam? Yeah, run away as quickly as you can.

Fwiw, a certificate in paralegal studies is always better in terms of distinguishing you from somebody who doesn't have anything. Since he's a felon, the balancing act for a potential employer is paralegal who's a felon who has a certificate and no experience v. a paralegal with no certificate and no experience. The felon part can actually work in his favor if he targets his job searches to law offices that actually deal in criminal matters or human rights/civil rights/prisoner's rights issues.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:47 PM
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uh, no. He won't. If he can't read at a really great clip, write even faster, and reason like a lawyer, he'll crash and burn. People who have bachelor's degrees in courses of study that don't require a great deal of reading and writing regularly flunk out of the first year of law school - you need to be able to read fast, write fast, and reason fast. And that's just on the big part of the test. The other requirements include passing a legal ethics exam, usually taken in the second year of law school after passing your professional ethics class, and a character and fitness exam. The character and fitness packet alone is at least a quarter of an inch thick. Nobody right out of prison will pass that particular portion.

Bachelor's first. Then do the LSAT. Then get into law school. Then graduate law school. Then try to pass the bar exam. Only then can you practice as an attorney.

(caveat - some law school students are allowed to practice without a license when taking a specific clinic - criminal law, family law, juvenile law, etc. Further, as somebody noted, there are one or two states that allow people to sit for the exam after working at an attorney's office for a period of years. Their bar pass rate is something like 20%. But please don't confuse jailhouse lawyers or paralegals with actual attorneys - they are not the same. There's a big difference between a 1-2 year paralegal course and a 3 year, all you are doing is law school, post bach professional program in law. You should both understand this. If he wants to be a lawyer, he should bag the paralegal program as he'll have to unlearn everything he learns there by the end of his first semester of law school or risk failing out, get a bachelor's degree in a humanities, keep his GPA as high as possible, and then sit for the LSAT. He should get off paper, have not so much as a parking ticket between now and actually applying to the bar, and pass all 3 years of law school with the highest GPA he can manage. Then, and only then, does he have a chance of sitting for the bar and becoming an attorney.)
First if all you don't know my husband I do but thanks for responding!!!!! I stopped reading after the first sentence. I never said he "had to take the bar exam" I said can he because I actually thought he had to which now I know he doesn't. My husband has college credits and actually maintained a 4.0 the entire three years he attended and ofcourse made the deans list. He's very smart just makes bad choices.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:32 PM
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First if all you don't know my husband I do but thanks for responding!!!!! I stopped reading after the first sentence. I never said he "had to take the bar exam" I said can he because I actually thought he had to which now I know he doesn't. My husband has college credits and actually maintained a 4.0 the entire three years he attended and ofcourse made the deans list. He's very smart just makes bad choices.
you should have read more than the first sentence.

You are the one who said,
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I've looked everywhere some day say yes some say no....my husband is pretty intelligent and knows an awful lot about laws and how they work. I wouldnt be surprised if he would do just fine with that test lol. I'll have to keep searching.
Again, no, he won't. I'm not disparaging his intellectual ability. I'm saying he lacks the requisite background and skill sets. I told you how to get the background. I also told you more. But, if you're so thin skinned that you see this simply as a critique of your man's intelligence, then you're going to have bigger problems than choosing the right paralegal course and getting him employed as a paralegal when he gets you.

Read my full response. Especially if he actually wants to be an attorney.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:01 PM
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Default Paralegal requirements - updating an old thread

I have been employed as a legal secretary or a paralegal from the mid 80s until November 2013 (disability ended my career at which time I was a paralegal office manager for a 2 attorney firm).

In the 80s, there were very few requirements in any state and attorneys weren't really sure what we could do. Then in the 90s, AA degrees and certificate programs became prominent. By 2000, many large firms wouldn't look at your resume unless you had a bachelors degree.

From 2000 to 2006 I was in Phoenix, Chicago, and Milwaukee and most firms wouldn't accept a paralegal application without a Bachelors. I was always able to obtain paralegal positions in small firms because of my experience and my NALA and NALS certifications, along with specialties in family law and estate planning and probate, and an AS as an Administrative Assistant and an AA in general studies.

On the plus side, I was always able to work for temp agencies because of having first been a legal secretary with certification from what was then the National Association of Legal Secretaries.

Generally, these days, the certificate programs are useless. Small offices will look at experience and an AA degree in paralegal studies. To have a career as a paralegal with good pay, you need to plan on a bachelors degree program. The current climate has resulted in attorneys taking paralegal positions because of the number of attorneys vs the number of jobs.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:09 PM
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I agree with what most of the posters said above, but would also like to add that there are a lot of specialized paralegals. There are real estate paralegals, transactional paralegals, corporate, family law, IP, litigation, EP, etc. and yes these days most paralegals do have Bachelors Degrees. However, there are also a lot of small firms that hire Paralegals that double as Legal/Assistants and you can get a lot of good experience this way.

There are a lot of decent paralegal programs at community colleges that your husband can go to and get a certificate. As I think "yourself" may have said above, or perhaps someone else if not him, the one advantage your husband has and where he can create a niche and sell himself if he is truly interested is that he has first hand experience in the legal system as a felon. There are states however that you cannot be a paralegal as a felon so you would have to look that up.

I do know someone who was in prison in Illinois that was able to come out of jail (not Federal prison) and go to law school. I'm not sure though that he was ever able to then sit for the bar and become licensed. The ARDC is very sensitive about that and victim issues. You would have to check your state.

As yourself said, passing the bar to become a lawyer is a bitch. First of all, just getting into law school is very difficult and often the smartest people don't get in. It's not just about good grades, the LSAT is an important component for law school admittance. Next, you have to be disciplined and glue your ass to your chair for the next 3 years of law school before you can sit for the bar. Then, when law graduates sit for the bar, the literally study for it an entire summer. Everyone takes a course to study, so your husband can be in Mensa, but without everything that yourself said, he will not pass the bar just by going in and sitting for it. It just doesn't work that way unfortunately. If it did, we would have a lot more unqualified lawyers than we already do!!

Becoming a lawyer is a long drawn out process. And once you become a lawyer, you then have to worry about finding a job, because if you don't go to a top law school, you then won't even get a job unless you're at the very top of your class because the market is over saturated with lawyers and people who never should have been lawyers in the first place. It can be an ugly business. Many people still have the misconception that lawyers make shit-tons of money. Some do, but most don't. If you get a job at one of the huge firms, they will prostitute you like crazy and you'll make a lot of money but have no life. If you want a life, you're going to be hustling like crazy and marketing yourself to everyone you know because the only way you can make money is to bring in clients. You make what you eat.

If your husband is seriously interested in being a paralegal, he should do some research when he comes home, talk to some paralegals and see what the work is, or which type of paralegal work he may be interested in and see if that's something he really has an interest in pursuing. Some of it quite frankly, is pretty damn boring. I inherited a registered agent business, and perform a lot of paralegal work as an aspect of my business, and quite frankly, it is boring as shit. The preparation of and filing of annual reports is a snooze. But, someone has to do it and it pays the bills!
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:42 PM
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The desire for that course came and went he decided another route and I'm glad he did.
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