"Paralegal jobs are projected as growing faster than average, and obtaining a certificate in Paralegal studies will give the job candidate an edge over the competition," said Community and Economic Development Coordinator Cindy Holland. "Additionally, our program meets the requirements for certification by the National Association of Legal Assistants if a graduate wishes to obtain a national certification."
Paralegals assist attorneys with many of their duties, including research, preparing documents and interviewing witnesses. With a lower salary than attorneys, paralegals are popular hires among insurance companies, law firms, medical groups, corporations and government agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for paralegals to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018.
The program has been offered at the North Metro Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College since 1992. The non-credit program takes approximately one year to complete with a total of 14 classes at the rate of two classes per week for six weeks. Taught by local attorneys, the program also offers networking opportunities whenever possible, inviting members of organizations, such as Georgia Association of Paralegals, to speak to the students and offer them the opportunity to join these associations.
"I have been teaching in this program for the past 19 years," said Civil Litigation Instructor Matt Flournoy. "The current job market is difficult, and being a paralegal graduate will help you get your foot in the door of potential employers. CTC's program is a bargain -- the costs are lower than most other paralegal schools."
The Paralegal Certificate Program is eligible for Workforce Investment Act funding -- a federal program that will assist laid off workers as well as long-term unemployed, low income, unskilled workers in retraining or new training to help them get back in the workforce.
The next classes available for entry are Real Estate Law on Tuesdays starting Feb. 21 and Criminal Law I on Thursdays beginning Feb. 23. Tuition is $125 per class or $250 each six weeks for those wanting to take both classes offered. No books are required for the classes.
There is no application or registration fee for the classes. Prospective students are asked to stop by the North Metro Campus in Acworth or call to register at least five business days before the class is scheduled to begin.
"Paralegal students need good verbal and written communication skills and a basic knowledge of computers such as word processing and navigating the Internet," Holland said.
For more information about the program, contact Cindy Holland at 770-975-4050, or email cholland@ChattahoocheeTech.edu. Information also can be found at www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu under Continuing Education.