This is from Chron home & garden writer Susan Fornoff:
Journalists who've had enough of this crazy business and want to retrain for a career where they will be increasingly in demand and increasingly well compensated might want to consider the ABA-approved S.F. State paralegal program, which perhaps might qualify under the federal retraining program described earlier in the blog.
The certificate requires 30 credits, generally 10 courses, and with the program running on a trimester system, it's certainly possible to complete them within one year. I attended two evenings a week for five semesters at the downtown campus and received my certificate in the spring of 2005, finding the experience rewarding and invigorating -- smart teachers and students, practical courses, an excellent program focused on civil litigation, with electives in real estate, family, patent, criminal, contract and other specialties of law.
How come I didn't actually become a paralegal, you ask? I have other applications in mind for the certificate, which would include more writing/research/interviewing and less, er, cow-towing to attorneys. The skills we've learned in journalism translate easily into success in the field, however — and though one may take a paycut while collecting experience, it will not be uncommon for a skilled and experienced paralegal to someday earn six figures in the right line of work; there are too many lawyers and not enough paralegals.