During 4-year programs in paralegal studies, students will acquire a foundation in legal skills, including preparation of litigation, document supervision and research. Some programs offer specializations in personal injury, teaching students to analyze medical reports and assess product liability and insurance claims. Students can also choose elective courses that focus on personal injury litigation. Most programs require that students get hands-on training through internships. These 4-year degree programs also include general education courses in required subjects such as mathematics, science and English composition. Some programs are offered online.
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Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
With a BS in Paralegal Studies, students might begin work in a law firm or government office as a paralegal. Personal injury litigation is very common, and many aspects of a case can be handled by a paralegal. Students in these programs get the chance to develop their legal research, drafting, legal writing and interviewing skills. Some areas of law students will explore more of include real estate, contracts and civil litigation. Many universities offer master's level degree courses and confer advanced degrees with concentrations in personal injury. Some students go on to law school after earning a paralegal degree. Coursework in a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program may include:
- Motor vehicle insurance claims investigation
- Pre-litigation protocols
- Instructing expert witnesses
- Medical malpractice litigation
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Many law firms are attempting to lower costs and increase efficiency through the hiring of legal assistants and paralegals. According to the BLS, jobs in this field will grow by 8% from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The BLS said the mean annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $52,390 in May 2015.
Individuals interested in career fields related to personal injury may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. This degree program equips students with the skills needed through coursework and internships covering legal research, drafting, and interviewing skills.