Associate Degrees

Some legal careers require an Associate degree to begin work in the field. The usual course of study for a paralegal is an Associate degree or its equivalent. To start an Associate degree program, the person must have a high school diploma or GED. The degree takes about two years and includes courses such as

  • Civil Procedures
  • Contract Law
  • Legal research, writing and interview techniques
  • Law office management
  • Administrative law
  • Family law
  • Bankruptcy law

Court reporters also take about one year of studies to complete their basic education, but they need another year to become proficient at the job. Prerequisites include a high school diploma and the training is offered at vocational and technical schools, leading to an Associate degree. Courses studied are

  • Legal terminology
  • Criminal and appellate procedure
  • Computer transcription
  • Real-time reporting

People wishing to become police or corrections officers can start with an Associate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. Before entering the community college or vocational program, a person must have a high school diploma or GED. Class subjects include

  • Documentation processes
  • Investigative skills
  • Criminal law practices
  • Dealing with domestic violence
  • Juveniles and the law
  • Traffic law
  • Use of firearms
  • Criminal and traffic law codes
  • Defensive and pursuit driving techniques

Police and corrections officers typically attend a police academy before beginning their position as a law enforcement professional. One of the advantages of becoming a police officer after receiving an Associate degree is that you are working in the field earlier than someone who takes a four year degree.

Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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