How to Get Paralegal Certified

A paralegal certificate is an academic credential earned after completing undergraduate or postgraduate level coursework in paralegal studies. A degree in paralegal studies, on the other hand, is a four-year undergraduate degree.

If you want to become a paralegal, you’ll need to earn a certificate from an accredited institution. This process typically takes around two years, and requires completing coursework in legal research, writing, and ethics.

While it’s not as expensive or time-consuming as law school, becoming a certified paralegal does require some hard work and dedication. But with the support of student resources, you can definitely succeed in earning your certificate.

For those interested in becoming a paralegal, certification is definitely worth considering. 

While some may think that a certificate program can be completed in a matter of months, this simply isn’t the case. The process of becoming certified as a paralegal is quite involved, and it can take quite some time to complete. However, the effort is definitely worth it, as certification can lead to increased job satisfaction and better job prospects, including higher pay.

If you’re considering a career in the legal field, you may be wondering if getting a paralegal certificate is worth it. The answer is a resounding yes! 

Here are four reasons why:

1. Increased Job Opportunities 

A paralegal certification will give you a leg up on the competition when applying for jobs. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a paralegal program, as they know they will have the necessary skills and knowledge for the role.

2. Increased Job Security 

Having a paralegal certification will make you a more valuable employee and less likely to be laid off or let go during tough economic times.

3. Great Career Mobility 

A paralegal certification can open up doors to new career opportunities. If you’re looking to move into a different area of the legal field, or even switch to a different industry altogether, your paralegal certification will give you the skills and knowledge you need to make a successful transition.

4. Options to Branch Out 

Getting a paralegal certification opens up a world of possibilities. You can choose to specialize in a certain area of the law, or use your skills to start your own business. No matter what you decide to do, a paralegal certification will give you the foundation you need to succeed.

If you want to become a certified professional paralegal, there are many different ways to go about it. 

First, you can have a minimum of five years of experience working as a paralegal or legal assistant.  This requirement varies based on the program. 

Alternatively, you can have a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an accredited institution. 

Finally, you can graduate from an ABA-recognized paralegal program. Each of these options will make you eligible to sit for the certified professional paralegal exam.

There are many ways that you can become certified as a paralegal. 

One option is to enroll in and complete an accredited paralegal studies program. This type of program will typically offer courses that cover topics like legal research, writing, and ethics. Once you complete the program, you’ll be eligible to take the certified paralegal exam.

Another option is to take the certified paralegal exam without completing a formal paralegal studies program. To be eligible to do this, you’ll need to have a certain amount of work experience as a paralegal. The exact amount of experience required varies depending on the organization that administers the exam.  This exam might not be available in all states.

If you’re already working as a paralegal and want to become certified, the best way to do this is to enroll in an accredited paralegal studies program. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the legal field and brush up on your skills. Once you complete the program, you’ll be eligible to take the certified paralegal exam.

Passing the certified paralegal exam is the best way to show that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work as a paralegal. Employers often prefer to hire candidates who are certified, so becoming certified can give you a competitive edge.

You’ll also need to meet any other educational or professional guidelines that are set by the certificate-granting association, state, or agency. 

For example, two national professional associations that offer paralegal certification credentials are the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

Once you’ve met the requirements for taking the certified paralegal exam, you’ll need to register for and take the exam. The exam covers a variety of legal topics, and you’ll need to obtain a passing score in order to be certified.

To learn more about how to become a certified paralegal, check out the resources below.

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