Type in a career question:

How to become a Paralegal?

1 Answer(s)
Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered February 26 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
In order to become a Paralegal in the United States the first step includes obtaining the proper education. Across the country there are many accredited paralegal programs and degrees, and the level of the studies can vary from certificates to graduate degrees. To become a practicing Paralegal, it is required to hold a certificate. 
Once an aspiring Paralegal has obtained a certificate or degree the next step is to find a job that allows you to practice the skills that you have learned. Many Paralegals will become specialized in a certain field whether this is with a firm or a corporation. In the United States private law firms are the largest employer of Paralegals.  
It is recommended that while studying to become a Paralegal that you should begin to network and seek assistance of the school to help place you once you have completed your studies. Having a strong resume, impressive interview skills and knowing how to properly land a career will help Paralegals with their success. States also have their own Paralegal associations, which can help aid and direct ambitious Paralegals in the right direction.  
Things to know before becoming a Paralegal: 
  • Paralegals can be generalists or specialists. This means that the work that they carry out will depend largely on how they have been trained and what direction they wish to pursue. The roles and responsibilities that a Paralegal has will be depending on the nature of the Paralegals workplace and their training. 
  • Paralegals are not lawyers. Paralegals are not authorized to carry out the work that is done by Lawyers, however they can assist them with their work. Lawyers are able to give out legal advice, where as a Paralegal can not.  

  • Paralegals can go on to further their career by becoming Lawyers. Paralegals are experts in the law, but they are not practicing Lawyers. The education for each career is different, however because the two work hand in hand the path to becoming a Lawyer may be more clear for a Paralegal. Paralegals can also become members of the American Bar Association (ABA). 

  • Paralegals are not licensed in the United States, however they are certified by private organizations. The two largest are the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and the National Association of Legal Assistances (NALA). Laws around Paralegals will vary from state to state, so it is important to look into the specific requirements for each location.