The Need For Paralegal Program Expansion Grows

The Need For Paralegal Program Expansion Grows

Find a paralegal programThe demand for any good paralegal program remains high and is only going to develop further as lawyers and the demand for lawyers grows.

Recently, for instance, there was the announcement of a new paralegal program being set up in Georgia by Ashworth College who noted that the demand for paralegal practitioners was climbing to as much as  18 per cent over the next ten years, according the US Department of Labor Statistics.  The college has responded by introducing its new paralegal program, saying that the new certificates can be used as a foundation program or as a supplement to other training.

“To meet market demand, Ashworth is now able to offer sequential paralegal programs that will academically challenge a student according to the individual’s needs and career goals.”

New Paralegal Program

Developed primarily for those who are new to the legal profession, the new certificate programs provide comprehensive overviews to Civil Litigation, Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, and Wills, Trusts and Estates.

”Whether a student is looking for an introduction to the profession, a full college degree, or to supplement previous education or on-the-job career training, Ashworth is committed to providing pathways to successful careers with programs that meet the demands of the today’s evolving marketplace,” Dr. Gargiulo added in his statement.

Access to Justice a Major Issue

Another matter drew attention to the need for paralegals and other ‘non-lawyers’ too and that was an article on access to justice published on CNN
and written by Gillian Hadfield who wrote that 95 per cent of those in the courts were unrepresented.

She wrote:

“Some legal professionals have called for more public money for legal aid clinics and courts to provide free legal help and for lawyers to do more pro bono work. But the demand for ordinary legal help is simply too massive to meet with increased court funding, legal aid or pro bono work.

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“I believe there is no way to help ordinary people with their legal problems without fundamentally changing the way lawyers and judges regulate the practice of law.

“What we need are more efficient ways of delivering legal help and less expensive nonlawyers who can provide legal assistance. Supreme court judges in every state have the authority to accomplish this with the stroke of a pen.

“The root of the crisis of access to justice is the scale of the problem. Here’s a little back-of-the-envelope arithmetic. Using data from surveys conducted by the ABA and state bar associations, I estimate that, at any given time, roughly half of all American households are dealing with about two legal problems each– evictions, divorces, bankruptcies, denials of health care benefits, and so on.

The $20 Billion Problem

“Giving these American households just one hour of help from a lawyer to manage a maze of legal documents and court procedures would cost close to $20 billion.

“This doesn’t even consider the cost of what clients want most from lawyers — advice about how to avoid legal problems. Including this service would add additional tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars.

“That’s why the only way to increase access to justice is to expand the group of people and organizations that can provide legal help beyond JD-trained and licensed lawyers.

“Authorized nonlawyers and organizations could help ease our overburdened courts in many ways. Each year, 2.3 million New Yorkers, for example, represent themselves in state courts. These litigants do not want to be in court or to manage their problems alone, but have no other practical choice. They frequently labor under huge misunderstandings about legal procedures, requirements and forms. Oodles of judges and lawyers have complained about the delays and complications these misunderstandings create.”

Providing a good increase in paralegal program development, online paralegal courses and generally assisting in the development of programs that will help people achieve paralegal certification will certainly help ease the access to justice issues facing ordinary Americans, and many other people worldwide.

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Posted by on Nov 25 2012. Filed under paralegal certification, Paralegal courses, Paralegal studies online. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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