Have you ever wondered what the requirements are to become a paralegal? There are a few ways to achieve this goal.
Most paralegals have an associate degree in paralegal studies. There are many colleges that offer paralegal training programs. For associate and bachelor’s degree programs, this training is usually in conjunction with other academic coursework. Many of these programs are approved by the ABA, the American Bar Association, which can help achieve better employment opportunities.
A paralegal education not only teaches the core of being a paralegal, it also trains on the responsibility and ethics of the job. The coursework will prepare for all the challenges a paralegal may find, including research, writing, analysis, criminal laws, legal procedures, interviews and computers. You can specialize in a particular legal area, especially since many law firms focus on a specialized field.
Also, some of the college programs include internships where you can gain experience in the paralegal field. Internships are very valuable and give a great advantage when job searching.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can earn a certificate through concentrated paralegal training. A good way to have an advantage in the job market is to get voluntary certifications from a professional society, such as NALA, the National Association of Legal Assistants, AACP, the American Alliance Certified Paralegal or the National Federation of Paralegal Association.
You may also check with employers if they train paralegals, but this has become rare. Paralegals have taken on many more responsibilities and most employers do not train on the job as much as they may have in the past.