Better Call Saul, better yet, Stautzenberger
“Law & Order.” “Matlock.” “How to Get Away with Murder.”
It’s no secret that crime-based television shows like these have massive appeal among American audiences. What is it about discovering dead bodies, following police officers and lawyers step by step as they piece together the clues and arrive to a conclusion?
Our nation’s infatuation with crime dramas and documentaries inspires viewers daily to inquire for more information on pursuing fields in criminal justice, forensic science, law and more.
In fact, criminal justice, paralegal studies, law, law and justice administration, forensic science and forensic psychology all earned spots on College Match’s top 200 degrees earned in 2014. Criminal justice, however, transcended all of the degrees listed above by securing 11th place with 49,360 degrees earned that year – and incidentally acquired 9th place in the Simple Dollar’s 10 Worst College Degrees to Earn in 2015.
While most of the degrees listed above require a four-year degree at minimum, paralegal studies isn’t one of them. Stautzenberger College, for one, maintains two paralegal studies programs – a ten-month diploma program and a seven-month associate degree completion program. Whether students explore paralegal studies for ten or 17 months, they are welcome to utilize Stautzenberger College’s resources despite the online program format. While the majority of the program is hosted online, students have the opportunity toward the end of the 10-month period of fulfilling an externship and hopefully getting his or her foot in the door.
Stautzenberger College benefits include access to the learning resource center up until 10 o’clock at night Monday through Thursday and until 4 o’clock on Fridays, help from the career services department, student services department, and of course the sage wisdom of lead instructor Christopher Greene, B.A, J.D.
“What viewers see when they watch shows like ‘Perry Mason’ or ‘Ally McBeal’ are the actors on the screen, but what the audience needs to keep in mind is TV shows could never go on without behind-the-scenes players like choreographers, set designers, writers, and more,” notes Greene.
“In the legal realm,” he continues, “paralegals are those behind the scenes specialists. Paralegals are often the ones setting up the scene for the lawyer, who is the would-be actor in this case. Paralegals make sure the show goes on and everything runs smoothly. On a special occasion, paralegals do get to do a ‘small role’ when the lawyer takes them to court to assist with the case. While helping the lawyer at court, the paralegal will assist with documents, note-taking, listening to testimony and more. It can really be a primary role in some instances.”
The curriculum itself is varied to give law-passionate students a well-rounded sampling of different opportunities available. This includes computer software, office procedures, law office technology, legal terminology, legal research and writing, civil litigation, torts, probate, criminal and family law… to name a few.
Once the program transitions into the degree completion phase, there is more focus on advanced law concepts like intellectual property or administrative law. In addition to the upper level legal courses, students also fulfill general education prerequisites in order to complete requirements for an associate degree.
This type of career path is ideal for someone who is curious by nature, enjoys research and investigation and possesses excellent writing skills. Opportunities vary from traditional law offices to government, nonprofits, real estate and more. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 82,700 new job openings for paralegals are projected between 2014 and 2024.
If you or someone you know is thinking about making a career out of this interesting and important role, please contact the Stautzenberger College admissions department at 440-838-1999 for more information.
Kelsey Cullen-Kelsey has been gaining public relations, advertising and marketing experience in the Cleveland-Akron area since 2010. Cullen-Kelsey joined Stautzenberger College as a Community Outreach Coordinator in January 2016. She wears many hats at the school; including admissions, event planning, social media producing and guest speaking in high schools. Cullen-Kelsey is married to Kevin Kelsey and is a crazy cat mom to Rorschach and Crash.
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