Benefits of joining an ABA approved paralegal program Paralegal programs enable learners to pursue a lucrative career path in the field of law. The abundance of career opportunities for trained paralegals has given rise to the number of paralegal schools across the US. However, many of these paralegal programs do not meet the acceptable standards of quality in education. This is where ABA approved paralegal programs come into play. ABA stands for the American Bar Association, which serves the interests of the law community around the nation. One of the important functions that the ABA performs is to examine and approve law schools. ABA assesses a law school’s standard of quality in education by reviewing their curriculum and study plans, interviewing the faculty and ensuring that students have all the facilities required in order to excel in their studies. Once satisfied with the above, the ABA then grants certification or approval to these schools. Recently, the American Bar Association has also published a list of colleges offering ‘approved’ study programs. Over the recent years, as the number of colleges offering paralegal studies increased, many colleges, in an effort to streamline the curriculum and ensure a high standard of education have started offering ABA approved paralegal programs. The Process of Approval Colleges, that aim to offer ABA approved paralegal programs, are reviewed by the American Bar Association’s ‘Approval Commission’. This commission carries out an intense on-site evaluation of paralegal programs and question faculty members in order to ensure their knowledge and proficiency. A final report with a number of recommendations is then compiled and sent to The Standing Committee on Paralegals at the ABA, which decides whether to provide approval to a college program or not. Once a college program is approved, the college must continue to submit regular reports to the ABA in order to ensure compliance with the guidelines established for ABA approved paralegal programs. After a complete evaluation, a college may offer approved paralegal programs for up to seven years before another evaluation is due. Why should I enroll in ABA approved paralegal programs? There are a number of benefits of enrolling in ABA approved paralegal programs – most importantly, graduates of approved paralegal programs stand out among others when applying for jobs. Employers also prefer these graduates due to the fact that they have a sound technical base and a working knowledge of law & the legal process. Another major advantage of approved programs is the fact that students can use credits they earn during their paralegal education towards earning a degree in law. Students enrolled in an ABA approved program have the highest qualified professors, most of whom are practicing lawyers and use their first hand experience to better explain the working of law. It is also easier to obtain state or federal funding for approved paralegal studies. State bar associations and local law firms also support ABA accredited colleges and offer excellent opportunities of employment for freshly graduating paralegals.