Requirements for becoming a Paralegal:
Currently, paralegal certification is a voluntary procedure; there exists no mandatory examination for legal assistants to assume such roles in the United States. That being said, an individual will increase their chances of landing a paralegal job and subsequently landing a job with higher pay if they possess a background in the skill-set required to effectively handle the job.
For instance, an individual with experience writing legal briefs, conducting legal research or interviewing perspective clients has a better opportunity of landing a job then someone who is inexperienced regarding these particular skills. Additionally, individuals who have enrolled in paralegal courses, have obtained paralegal certification or who have completed classes revolving around the skills required for the job, are more likely to land a role within a law firm or government agency as a paralegal.
Paralegal certification is a subject of considerable interest among the various paralegal organizations, state legislatures and state bar associations. With that in mind, Paralegal certification demonstrates to employers, such as government agencies or law firms, a commitment to the profession and a mastery of a distinct skill set and knowledge to complete the various tasks required in the field. These skills and knowledge are tested in various paralegal certification examinations; such testing will inspect an individual’s knowledge over legal procedure, writing skills, communication abilities, ethics, as well as research abilities.
Paralegal certification may incorporate a variety of examinations, issued by legal organizations throughout the United States. For instance, the National Association of Legal Assistants is a sponsoring agency which issues certification examinations. To become eligible for paralegal certification within the National Association of Legal Assistants an individual must graduate from a legal assistant program that is approved by the American bar Association, obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field plus obtain one year’s experience as a legal assistant.
The examination itself is a two-day comprehensive test based on federal law and procedure; the primary subject areas of this particular paralegal certification test are Ethics, Legal Research, Communications, Interviewing Techniques, Human Relations, Legal Terminology and Judgment & Analytical Ability.
Enrolling in Paralegal Courses:
Although there are no mandatory educational or certification-based requirements to become a paralegal, individuals interested in the occupation are recommended to enroll in various paralegal courses to bolster their opportunities of landing job, to increase their ability to fulfill their responsibilities, and to increase their pay throughout their career. These paralegal courses will teach a candidate how to succeed as a paralegal. An individual can enroll in paralegal courses online, through an associate degree program or by focusing on the field as a major in an accredited university.
That being said, there are numerous types of paralegal courses an individual can enroll in; all paralegal courses focus on specific or general functions of the paralegal. Taking the time to find paralegal courses that provide particular benefits to the candidate’s specific desires will increase the individual’s specific skill set and in turn, increase their ability to land a high-paying paralegal job.