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Author Topic: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program  (Read 23814 times)

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Offline Dazzler

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Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« on: March 11, 2006, 01:30:58 PM »
I came across this on one of my regular sites that I patrol for new information:  INMATES MAY OBTAIN A DIPLOMA IN LEGAL ASSISTANCE/PARALEGAL WORK AT THIS INSTITUTE.

Education For Inmates

                                                                               Blackstone Career Institute offers a Legal Assistant/Paralegal Program for those interested in home study. It generally takes between 8 months and 2 years to complete the program. Blackstone has an impeccable reputation and has been in continuous operation providing legal training since 1890. The administration has backgrounds in education, law and business as well as years of experience in distance education. We have many inmates who have been successful in obtaining their paralegal diploma. All materials are soft cover books and a computer is not needed. Payment plans are available. If anyone would like further information on our paralegal program, please contact dhein@blackstone.edu for further information.  


~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2006, 01:36:04 PM »
G took this program, that's where he obtained his paralegal certificate.  It's a great program.  The inmate (or his/her family) can make monthly payments (when G was doing it, I paid $25.00 a month).  He finished real quick, so I had to pay it off, but you can continue to pay until the program is complete.  They send a workbook at a time and you complete the lessens and send them back to be graded.
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Offline Dazzler

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2006, 01:42:16 PM »
Could I take it too?  I've already learned so much but I wouldn't mind adding paralegal to my list.  I've e-mailed the Institute and asked for some particulars to post in our forum and possibly a link to us on their site...
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2006, 02:21:51 PM »
Dazzler, you can take it also.  I believe you would have the same payment options, those have nothing to do with whether or not the student is incarcerated.  I was going to take it too and probably still will, but for now the $$ is best used elsewhere.   

I just went to the website, it has gone up a little since G graduated in 2000.  Back then, the program was $750, now it's $880.00.  $55 down and $55 a month, interest free.  Not a bad deal.
Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline Jims

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2006, 10:18:08 AM »
That's a great deal. I am going to send it to a friend of Jim's who is the local legal eagle. Thanks for posting.
What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger

Offline Dazzler

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2006, 10:07:44 PM »
Jims - our newest member dHein is the same dHein who is an administrator with the Blackstone Institute.  I've invited dHein to make any additional posts in this forum and perhaps she's available for questions.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Jims

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2006, 12:04:56 AM »
I've already PM'ed her!
What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger

Offline dhein

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2006, 09:57:52 AM »
This is Diane from Blackstone Career Institute.  I would be happy to answer any questions anyone may have regarding our paralegal diploma program.  We also offer advanced paralegal programs in several different topics such as:  Civil Litigation, Business and Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy Law, Personal Injury/Torts, Family Law and Wills, Trusts and Estates.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006, 10:21:00 AM »
Diane - thanks for joining us today for some questions.  How long does the program take?  Is it more or less work at your own pace? Can it be done on-line or just text books?

Is anyone eligible for the $55 monthly payment plan - especially inmates with limited funds?  Also, some imates don't even have a GED yet....is this a requirement?

And most importantly, to me, what exactly is a certified paralegal allowed to do in the court system?  After certification must all work be done under the supervision of a lawyer...how does this work?  I think I've thrown enough at you for the moment.....thanks....sorry... :)

~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Jims

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2006, 12:05:27 PM »
My questions exactly, Dazzler!
What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2006, 03:29:52 PM »
And most importantly, to me, what exactly is a certified paralegal allowed to do in the court system?  After certification must all work be done under the supervision of a lawyer...how does this work?  I think I've thrown enough at you for the moment.....thanks....sorry... :)



Diane - I'd like to know more about the advanced civil litigation.

Dazz - I'll let Diane answer the questions specific about the course, it's been several years since G took it and I'm sure some things have changed, although I can tell you it's done by text book, they send one at a time (I think) until completed.

G received his certificate from Blackstone in 2000.  You don't need a lawyer to go to court, but in some cases, it's nice.  G has fought and won now two cases against the DOC.  Both of them he filed pro se (acting as his own attorney).  In the first the court appointed a lawyer but it was three years after it was initially filed.  If someone is experienced, I think it's harder for them to get a court appointed attorney in a civil suit.  In both of G's cases, he wasn't given a lawyer until he'd gone through all the summary judgement motions.  In the first summary judgement was granted and they went to trial, that's when he was given his attorney (on that one they settled).  On his present case, he was just now given a lawyer (that was filed in 2002), and this is now just for damages as he beat them in summary judgement (on his own).  He also appealed a decision early on in this case and has fought the DOC before the 7th Circuit Court of appeals and won..

...did I say I was a little bias?  He's really good at what he does.

Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline dhein

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2006, 10:23:28 AM »
Jims:  you can request the information packet for our advanced paralegal courses at our website at www.blackstone.edu and this will be sent to you.

Dazzler: Students have up to two years to complete their paralegal program.  The program is self paced and you study on your own time. All exams can be taken online and all course materials can be viewed online with the exception of the commercial textbooks we use in the program.  Even if taking the course online, the student will still receive the written materials by mail.  Anyone is eligible for the $55.00 monthly payment plan.  Students will also receive a Blackstone Law Glossary, a Blacks Dictionary and a Paralegal Desk Reference as free bonus items for enrolling.  These items are sent at different times during the program.  If a student does not have a GED when beginning the course, they must have received their GED before they can receive their graduation documents.  In order to become certified, an individual must sit for the national certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).  All recommendations are that an individual work under the auspices of an attorney.  Hope this answers your questions and if you need additioal information, please ask.

I have one question.  How do I reply to an individual message.  I don't see that option after each message.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2006, 10:34:23 AM »
thanks for all the superb info Diane.  I'm sure members will leave more questions for you. 

I don't believe we can reply to a specific individual's post.  It would be nice, however, you can quote their text and they will know you're referring to them or you may click on an individual's name or IM button under their avatar and send a personal message.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2006, 12:07:53 PM »
Diane, for inmates can they still receive everything in the mail (exams, etc.)?  Knowing that there's internet access is good also, my husband likes to send everything through me, I could then enter his exam answers on line?
Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline dhein

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2006, 11:09:49 AM »
Diane, for inmates can they still receive everything in the mail (exams, etc.)?  Knowing that there's internet access is good also, my husband likes to send everything through me, I could then enter his exam answers on line?
Yes, inmates can receive everything in the mail.  A family member could set up an online account to check the student's grades, payments etc.

Offline Susan

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2006, 09:35:13 AM »
I told my daughter about this program, and she's interested, but asks if anyone knows if law offices actually hire convicted felons as paralegals. Anyone know?
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Offline Dazzler

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2006, 09:52:34 AM »
Susan - that is a very good question for Diane Hein...she'll be around again soon and hopefully she'll see this.  If they can earn a degree I don't see any problem with working for an attorney but I'm sure she can fill us all in.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2006, 02:00:18 PM »
I know that G was promised a job should he get out by a law firm that represented him in a civil suit against the DOC.  I don't see why one wouldn't be hired...I do know that a convicted felon couldn't take the bar though.
Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

Offline dhein

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2006, 02:37:53 PM »
I told my daughter about this program, and she's interested, but asks if anyone knows if law offices actually hire convicted felons as paralegals. Anyone know?

We often hear back from graduates of our program who have been incarcerated and many have been successful in obtaining employment as a paralegal.  Many of them have met attorneys while incarcerated and have been promised work when released.

Offline Scout

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Re: Paralegal Diplomas for Inmates through Home Study Program
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2006, 02:52:46 PM »
Diane, could you provide me with a link to the page with the advanced paralegal courses.  I found it once, now I cannot locate it and my husband is interested in it.
Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.