Legal Careers Without a Law Degree

If you’ve always wanted a challenging career in the legal field but the long years and heavy debt of law school were not right for you, there are alternatives. You can work closely with attorneys and immerse yourself in the law by pursuing several interesting careers with an Associate’s degree or specialized training. Three legal careers that are hot right now are Paralegal, Legal Secretary and Court Reporter. All of these are in demand, have excellent salaries and promise continued growth in the future.

Paralegals work closely with attorneys, assisting them in preparing everything from legal briefs to depositions. Most paralegals spend a great deal of time researching court cases and reading about current legal research and trends in order to stay abreast of what’s going on in the legal community. Paralegals are also entrusted with interviewing clients, interviewing witnesses and investigating the facts of a case. They may follow leads in order to confirm information or make arrangements to question witnesses in the event of a criminal investigation.

It is a paralegal’s job to make sure that the attorney he or she works for always has the most available research on case law available at their fingertips, and that all pleadings and other necessary paperwork is ready at all times. He or she should also be prepared to obtain sworn affidavits at all times. To that end, most paralegals are also Notary Publics. Paralegal programs typically last two years and result in an Associates degree or certificate. Course work will cover proper research techniques, preparation of legal documents, state and federal statutes, proper investigative techniques, court structure, legal terminology, rules of hearsay, preparation, discovery and a host of other issues.

Legal Secretaries do less research but have more generalized duties in a law office. These are the secretaries who do everything from handling correspondence for the attorneys to scheduling depositions, meetings and hearings. If you work for a corporate legal department, you may also verify, quote, review and summarize the content of legal journals for busy executives. Legal secretaries generally receive secretarial training that focuses on legal terminology and the use of a wide range of office equipment, including transcription machines and computers. Legal terminology and administrative skills are also taught, and you will generally receive a certificate at the end of the program.

Court reporters are currently in high demand, and it appears that this trend will continue in the next several years. It’s a face that more positions will open up than there will be trained people to fill them. Court reporters must be able to pay attention to the details of events, particularly the conversations taking place at all times. And, they must be able to record them with precise detail and accuracy. The training for a court reporter is strenuous. A typical court stenographer can record over two-hundred words per minute by the end of their training. He or she will also be able to translate the information transcribed into accurate legal documents for use by the court system.

Most court reporters work in either the criminal or civic court systems. You may work for a particular judge or be a part of a team of reporters regularly hired by attorneys or law firms for anything from depositions to trials. Some corporations also have court reporters on staff to record meetings. There are now several methods of court reporting available. The most widely used and most traditional is still court stenography. This also requires the most training (generally about 33 months) in order to become proficient on the stenographic machine. Voice writers (using a voice recording machine and transcribing the text later) can usually complete training within a year. Both courses are certificate programs. The National Court Reporters Association offers certification for those who can prove proficiency at recording over 225 words per minute. A Certified Court Reporter (CCR) classification and Notary Public license is required in some states.

Plan To Succeed With Information Product Creation: Why You Need To Split Your Process Up

One of the keys to succeeding in information product creation is to break the process up into discrete steps. This frequently isn’t an instinctive reaction for the typical information marketer. Especially on the internet where small sized learning products are the norm.

However, it is extremely important to your ultimate success. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you don’t do this you probably won’t succeed… even when you are starting out let alone as you move forward.

Your product creation system should do this for you if only to help you to understand the overall task.

But why?

In this article, I’m going to ignore chunking and focus on the practical aspects. That’s not to say that chunking isn’t important. It is. It’s important to understanding and to learning the process. But while you can use the same chunks as you move forward, long term your focus needs to be on the operation of the system not the understanding of it. Unless of course you are constantly training new people!

So why is chunking important to long term use of the product creation process? (Yes, I know systems design uses a different term for this process but I’m not teaching you systems design. So I’m going to use the word learning content designers use.)

The first reason that having individual discrete tasks is important is one of schedule estimation. Frequently it is very difficult to estimate how long the total task of creating a product will take. After all, the size and type of the products matters as does the number of products in your product funnel. And those are just the most obvious elements. However, estimating a discrete task is often much easier. The total can then be estimated as the total of the discrete tasks.

Secondly, scheduling a large task can be problematic. However, by segmenting the task into a number of discrete tasks, you gain a much greater flexibility in scheduling. Not only that but as your business begins to add people you are able to schedule multiple people to the product creation.

Finally, segmenting a large task into smaller discrete tasks allows you to have much better control over the product creation. This affects two different areas — status and quality.

By segmenting your process into discrete tasks you are able to schedule and record the progress at much more detailed level. As a result you are more in control of the status of the product creation. You know what everyone is doing. When they should complete it. And how much it should cost. You also know exactly what has been done.

You also improve your overall quality. Instead of waiting until everything is done you can check quality as you go. This allows you to immediate react to low quality products without absorbing their costs. This means that you have less rework and your rework costs less. And if the product is not going to meet its quality requirement you will know about it in time to stop the development, change the requirement or fix the product.

Various Options for Small Business Loans With Bad Credit

Though the lending for small businesses are reaching the highest point in the curve, still there are challenges that many small business owners with bad credits face. Many banks and financial institutions are still not ready to lend a loan for small business owners with really a bad credit rating. Though many companies have valid reasons for having a poor credit history, those are not still considered by the banks. For example, during recession time, especially in the year 2009-10, many small businesses failed to pay their vendors or faced problems in correcting their cash flow issues. The bad remark on any company may take years to get corrected. In the meanwhile, the company may require some kinds of loans. Luckily, there are many lenders other than banks who are ready to sanction loans even if the small business or the business owner has a bad credit score.

Funding Options for Small Business Loans with Bad Credit

There have been studies conducted which shows that only 25% of bank loans or credit card options have been sanctioned to small business owners. This means there are many other options available for business owners other than these, which is really a comforting fact for many.

Home Equity Loans

To start up a business and build a credit score on it would take months together. In the meanwhile, a small business entrepreneur can apply for a home equity loan if he or she owns a home. But while applying for such a loan, one must think about various risk factors involved in the business, as he or she is pledging the home.

Merchant Cash Advance

This is a very short-term loan which is approved to a business owner in a lump sum against the business’s few future credit-card or debit-card sales. These loans are sanctioned for a short-term, generally for 24 months and the payments can be made in small installments, usually on each business day. These kinds of loans are not like regular bank loans where one needs to pay in lump sum every month and for a longer period of time. Many financial institutions which sanction such loans approve the loan application within 48 hours and the person applying needn’t have excellent credit rates. The only drawback in such loans may be the high rate of interest.

Family and Friends

Seeking loans from family and friends is also a good option. According to statistics, about 50% of families and friends like the idea of small business and entrepreneurship, and come forward to help someone in the business. This is a very good option as no relatives or friends look into credit scores before giving a loan, as they believe in one’s character.

Lending from Suppliers and Vendors

Many businesses thrive on one’s vendors and suppliers. If the supplier is ready to supply products on credit and then report to the credit agency, then it is going to be a good option to improve the credit scoring. But the credit scoring will improve only if payment is done on time.

Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards help a businessman to improve his credit scoring and at the same time get finances to improve his business.


Many non-profit organizations and online non-bankers lend microloans to entrepreneurs anywhere between $5000 and $50,000. These loans are specifically designed for women and minority entrepreneurs and also for companies who work for economic empowerment zone. These are really excellent for people with a low credit score, but with a higher rate of interest. But, compared to credit cards and other loans the rate of interest is nominal and affordable.

These are a few loan options for small businesses with bad credits, which may help one to either start a new business or develop an already existing business with confidence.