Ashland University’s Fall Paralegal Classes to Begin Oct. 20

10/3/12 ASHLAND, Ohio – Fall classes for Ashland University’s new paralegal certificate program, held in partnership with the Center for Legal Studies, will begin Oct. 20 and will run for six weekends.

“Ashland University offers a quick, affordable paralegal certificate program that prepares students for paralegal and legal assistant jobs in as few as six weeks,” said Dwight McElfresh, dean of Ashland University’s Founders School of Continuing Education. “The 84-hour live-lecture course, which is held on Saturdays and Sundays, begins October 20 and runs for six weekends.”

The fall classes, set for Oct. 20-21, Oct. 27-28, Nov. 3-4, Nov. 10-11, Nov. 17-18 and Dec. 1-2,  will be held in Room 246 of the Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics on the AU campus.

McElfresh said the job market for paralegals remains very strong. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for people with paralegal training is 37.8 percent higher than the national average. In addition, the job outlook for these professionals is projected to improve significantly over the next 10 years,” McElfresh said.

Paralegals don’t practice law, but they are trained to help attorneys gather evidence, do research, interview clients and witnesses, and prepare legal briefs and forms. In short, companies and legal firms are looking to save money by hiring paralegals to perform many of the tasks that were previously assigned to licensed attorneys.

“Most people just think of paralegals working in law firms,” said Gail Stowers, a paralegal course instructor with The Center for Legal Studies. “Many of them do work in law firms, but the job market is so much broader than that. Students are surprised when I tell them that paralegals are employed in 47 different areas of the law and settings. Some include corporate human resources or legal departments, government agencies, banks, insurance companies, the criminal justice system, lobbying organizations and legal aid offices. Employers can easily see the cost savings in hiring paralegals at $30,000 to $75,000 a year rather than attorneys at about $200 an hour for many legal tasks.”

Students who complete the Paralegal Certificate Course will receive their certificate from Ashland University, providing instant credibility in the local job market. Those wanting to register for the paralegal course or wanting more information, should contact Ashland University Founders School of Continuing Education at 419.207.6945 or 800.882.1548 ext. 6945.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.