By Leanne LaBissoniere
Director of Public Relations
In response to the increasing demand for qualified legal assistants, Perry Technical Institute is adding a new training program.
The 12-month Legal Assistant/Paralegal Program will prepare students for entry-level legal office jobs in businesses such as private law firms and government offices. “We are offering the Legal Assistant/Paralegal Program to meet an increasing demand for qualified legal assistants and to provide a practical and relevant educational experience for students,” said Nathan Hull, Perry’s dean of education. “This program will further enhance our current office programs by providing yet another avenue for students to specialize in.”
The program is a combination of training in traditional office skills, soft skills and specialized legal skills. Paralegals are qualified to assist attorneys with legal tasks such as preparing case material and data prior to litigation while understanding and properly using legal terminology.
During the first two quarters, students prepare to take the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist certification exams in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. In the third and fourth quarters, students advance into more specialized subjects such as civil law, criminal law, legal terminology, legal research, writing techniques and legal documents.
According to statistics from the United States Department of Labor, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow by 28% over the next 10 years. Employers are trying to reduce costs and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers.
The new program has been approved by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology.
Established in 1939, Perry Technical Institute is a private, non-profit educational institution which offers 10 specialized technical training programs. The school is located across the street from the Yakima Air Terminal.
Applications for admission are now being accepted for April enrollment. For more information, call the school office at (509) 453-0374 or toll-free (888) 528-8586.