MISSOULA – Missoula College’s new certificate program in legal studies was recently approved by the American Bar Association.
The one-year program – the only one of its kind in the Montana University System ꟷ offers training for those interested in pursuing work in the legal services sector as a paralegal, in law firms, government agencies, public administration, legal justice work and health insurance.
Providing an immersive experience in areas that include legal writing, terminology, the function of law, interviewing and preparing for trial, the program also exposes students to the function of law and legal ethics.
Offered completely online, the Legal Studies Certificate can be finished in one year if participants already possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. After completing the program, participants will receive an ABA-approved certificate and be prepared to enter the legal services profession. Additionally, students in the program are required to complete a 90-hour internship program, which is most often paid.
“The goal of the program is to equip students with the ability to perform a variety of skills, in a shorter amount of time than a 2- or 4-year program,” said Michelle Boller, associate professor and program director at Missoula College. “We’re seeing an increased demand in the legal services sector, so we want to make our programs accessible to all by making the certificate available online. We also wanted to create a curriculum that is in-demand for those who are either mid-career or beginning a professional journey.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the jobs of paralegals and legal assistants are expected to grow 10% through 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, noting that formally trained paralegals and legal assistants with strong computer and database management skills will have the best job prospects. The bureau also states the median pay for those in legal services is about $52,920 per year.
For more information on Missoula College, or to apply, visit https://mc.umt.edu/ or call 406-243-6266.
Contact: Michelle Boller, Missoula College associate professor and department chair, 406-243-7877, firstname.lastname@example.org.